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March, 1998 Archive


Tuesday, March 31st
DV, FireWire Coming To UMAX Product Line
[6:00PM] Through a joint effort with Radius, UMAX Technologies today added its name to the growing list of vendors supporting the IEEE 1394 (FireWire) standard. The companies said they will work together to integrate Radius' DV software and FireWire technology with UMAX' computer systems and peripherals. In addition, the partnership calls for UMAX to distribute and co-market select Radius products. "UMAX is excited about bringing FireWire technology to its systems platform because this technology provides a higher standard of digital quality and throughput performance," said Vincent Tai, president of UMAX, in a statement. Initial products from the partnership will first be seen in Macintosh machines, followed by Windows 95 and NT systems.

UMAX Technologies - Radius

Planet Computing Offers To Buy Newton OS
[1:55PM] Planet Computing, a privately held company out of Austin, Texas, today confirmed that it has submitted an offer to purchase the Newton OS and associated technologies from Apple, in hopes of keeping the mobile platform alive. A formal written proposal requesting a counter was submitted to Apple, but as of Monday afternoon, Planet has yet to receive a response, despite the fact that Apple vowed last month to entertain any serious offers. (How serious of an offer Planet is putting on the table isn't known as this time, as the company declined to disclose an amount.) "Planet has already received an overwhelming number of emails in regard to our purchase of the Newton platform from a variety of end users and developers, and most notably educators," said Mark Collins, chief executive at Planet, in a statement. "Educators feel as though they have been Apple's technology proving ground at their expense. Educators tell us they have had enough and want a company that will not summarily dismiss them."

Collins added, "We, along with hundreds of thousands in the Newton user community including developers, see a bright future for Newton-based products. Apple's decision to discontinue Newton products has left its Newton customers and developers high and dry. If Apple doesn't want to continue Newton, so be it. Just sell it to us and we'll keep it going."

Planet Computing - Apple Computer

Global Village Sells Modem Business To Boca
[1:30PM] As part of a newly devised corporate strategy, Global Village Communication today announced it has signed an agreement to sell its modem business to Boca Research for $10 million in cash and notes. With its new direction, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said it will target the small and medium size office networking market with a new family of communications server products later this year. The line will provide customers with versatile, expandable, and easy to use Internet, fax, and remote access solutions, Global Village president and chief executive officer Neil Selvin said, adding that the proceeds from the sale of the company's modem business will be used to fund deployment of the new products. Upon completion of the sale, which is anticipated in June, the company will take on a new name and ticker symbol. Selvin and the current management team will continue to run the new server business, while approximately 50 of Global's 218 employees will still remain with the company.

Global Village Communication - Boca Research

Apple's New All-In-One G3 Aimed At Education
[11:25AM] With an important education conference just days away, Apple today used its time leading up to the event to officially unveil the new Power Macintosh G3 All-in-one, the first G3 machine targeted at the education community. Known previously by its code name "Artemis," the new system will come in two configurations (233-MHz and 266-MHz), each slated to ship on April 4, a date which marks the start of the National School Boards Association's 58th annual conference. Designed through collaboration with students and teachers to incorporate features that address the needs of the classroom, the unpriced all-in-one comes standard with 32MB RAM, 512K backside cache, 4GB IDE hard drive, 24X CD-ROM drive, 2MB video SGRAM,10Base-T Ethernet, and built-in microphone and stereo speakers. And unlike some of Apple's previous education offerings, the G3 all-in-one is loaded with expansion room, including three PCI slots, three memory slots, and four drive bays.

The unit's casing -- which, in Apple's words, features rounded corners for safety purposes -- houses a 15.1-inch multiple scan display (13.8-inch viewable), dual headphone jacks, and desktop lockdown cable loops to provide simplified security. The form factor also features a logic board tray that protects internal components while supporting easy access for servicing, much like the ones found in older Performa models. In addition, the all-in-one will come with a host of multimedia options, including video input/output capabilities, as well as content creation and video-editing tools, depending on the exact configuration. Meanwhile, Apple says the new G3 systems will be available in build-to-order configurations via the Apple Store for Education, which is currently slated to go live on April 30.

"Bringing the performance of PowerPC G3 technology to an integrated all-in-one system for education allows students and teachers to easily collaborate on projects, design web pages and leverage multimedia for learning," said Mike Lorion, VP of Education Sales for Apple, in a statement. "The PowerPC G3 is up to twice as fast as a Pentium II. This power, combined with the new innovative features, make the Power Macintosh G3 All-in-one an excellent long-term investment for schools and colleges."

G3 All-in-one Information - Apple Computer


Monday, March 30th
After Months Of Waiting, QuickTime 3.0 Debuts
[TOP STORY: 3:00PM] QuickTime 3.0, Apple's long-awaited upgrade to its industry-leading multimedia engine, made its official debut today, along with the new "Pro" version that was first announced at Macworld Expo in January. Apple is distributing one complete package with all of the Pro features included, but to unlock the expanded editing capabilities that Pro provides, users will need to purchase a $29.95 key from the company's Web site. In terms of new features, what was once believed to be a release that mainly brought the Macintosh and Windows versions closer has turned into so much more, as evident by the plethora of announcements over the past months. And while the cross-platform feature parity can't be overlooked, -- minus MPEG software decompression, the Mac and Windows version are identical -- QuickTime 3.0's biggest attraction is its new capabilities, nearly all of which come by way of outside alliances.

For video, Apple has replaced the aging Cinepak compression scheme with a stunning new codec from Sorenson Vision that not only provides superior image quality but also scalable data rates, which makes the technology suitable for Internet delivery. Likewise, in the audio department, partnerships with QDesign, Qualcomm, and Roland have gone long ways in improving QuickTime's music and sound. QDesign's codec makes it possible to stream 16-bit CD-quality music over 28.8-Kbps lines (and unlike solutions from RealNetworks and Liquid Audio, QT 3.0 does not require server software), while Qualcomm's PureVoice technology can deliver one second of quality speech in as little as 900 bytes. And with Roland's Canvas sound set and GS Format extensions, even MIDI files will see significant improvement in quality.

"If you want to easily view or edit high quality video on your computer, QuickTime 3 Pro is a must-have," said Avie Tevanian, Apple's senior vice president software engineering, in a statement. "For consumers, digital video artists, software developers and webmasters, QuickTime 3 is the ultimate software for creating and publishing digital content -- from home videos to blockbuster interactive software titles. Also, with new compression technologies and file play back capabilities, QuickTime is required software for any serious Internet user."

In addition, version 3.0 features QuickTime VR and QuickDraw 3D integration, a revised Web browser plug-in, as well as support for over 150 video effects and transitions approved by the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE).

QuickTime 3.0 Information - Apple Computer

Addonics' New PocketZIP Won't Support Macs
[11:55AM] A new 13-ounce Zip drive announced today from Addonics Technologies will not be compatible with Macintosh notebooks, despite the fact that it uses a standard PCMCIA interface. The 7x4-inch $249 "PocketZIP" is considerably similar to VST Technologies' Zip100, as both use Iomega's slim Zip drive mechanism and both can operate off a notebook machine's battery. But whereas VST's proprietary drive design is only usable in PowerBooks (the company does indeed offer a PC version for IBM and Toshiba notebooks, but the two are not interchangeable due to their form factor), the PocketZIP could theoretically be paired with any PCMCIA-equipped notebook. However, at the moment, Addonics has chosen to play to the PC crowd by supplying drivers for only DOS and Windows 3.1/95/NT.

Addonics - Iomega - VST Technologies

CompUSA's Retail Chain To Grow By Seven
[10:50AM] Computer retail giant CompUSA will be adding seven new locations to its chain of 150 stores over the next twelve months. The Dallas, Texas company today announced the completion of seven new lease agreements for properties in Augusta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Lansing, Michigan; Little Rock, Arkansas, Newport News, Virginia; Tallahassee, Florida; and Tucson, Arizona. The Augusta, Lansing, Little Rock, Tallahassee, and Tucson sites are new markets for CompUSA, while the Charlotte and Newport News locations will each join other units in the immediate area. "CompUSA continues to add new Computer Superstores in both new and existing markets in order to more conveniently serve our customers," said Jim Halpin, company president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The seven locales, which are all slated to open before mid-1999, will incorporate CompUSA's seven product departments, including the Apple "store within a store." Meanwhile, on a related note, updated sales figures for the Apple environment will be released this week by CompUSA, MacCentral reported over the weekend.

CompUSA - Apple Computer - MacCentral

Patent Exchange Settles Motorola, 3Com Suit
[9:55AM] As part of a settlement reached in a lawsuit between the two companies, Motorola and 3Com said last week they will exchange the entire collection of patents that were at the heart of the litigation proceedings. The patents cover technologies required for compliance with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) analog modem standards, and include the new V.90 standard, as well as the older V.34 protocol. In addition, the agreement will give Motorola access to any future patents related to technologies essential for 56-Kbps modems that are issued to Brent Townshend, which 3Com previously had exclusive rights to. (Townshend has rights on the basic technology that enables modems to communicate at speeds faster than 33.6-Kbps.)

"We view this settlement with Motorola as a positive move for the communications industry and one that establishes a solid foundation for an expanded and ongoing strategic relationship between the 3Com and Motorola." said Janice Roberts, 3Com's senior vice president of worldwide business development and global marketing, in a statement.

Motorola - 3Com

Woolard Talks, Says Board Wants Jobs To Stay
[8:05AM] Apple's board of directors, quiet since their meeting last week, broke their vail of silence last Friday, as Edgar Woolard spoke out about the group's stance on Steve Jobs' role with the company. Speaking to the Dow Jones news service, Woolard, who was one of the few long-time directors salvaged in last summer's shakeup, said the board wants Jobs running the company no matter what his official title. "He is the CEO," Woolard told Dow Jones. "Whether we call him interim or not interim is a nonissue with us. We hope he will stay a long time." Woolard, a director at DuPont up until last November, added that the Apple board did not give Jobs a deadline to make up his mind.

ZDNet Report - Apple Computer

Apple Studio Display To Use New Genesis Chip
[7:15AM] The Apple Studio Display, the first flat-panel display from Apple that was introduced earlier this month at the Seybold Seminar in New York, will be utilizing Genesis Microchip's powerful gmZ1 Advanced Image Magnification (AIM) integrated circuit when it ships this May, the companies said last week. The new chip, which Apple helped define, provides "smart scaling" -- full-screen video at varying resolutions -- and is designed to solve de-interlacing, zoom scaling, display synchronization, and overlay control problems all with one highly integrated device. "We congratulate Apple on getting the Studio Display into production and wish it tremendous success," said Genesis Sales Director Shyam Nagrani in a statement. "We are pleased about the wonderful relationship between Apple and Genesis, which resulted in a high-quality chip, the gmZ1 for Genesis, and an excellent high profile product for Apple, the Apple Studio Display."

Apple Computer - Genesis Microchip


Friday, March 27th
Sony To Use Java In Entertainment Products
[3:40PM] Exactly one week after Hewlett-Packard announced plans to develop a competing Java virtual machine for use in consumer devices and embedded systems, Sun Microsystems shot back today by courting one of its biggest licensees yet, Sony Corp. The Tokyo-based consumer electronics goliath said it will use and distribute Sun's PersonalJava technology, but was coy in giving exact details, saying only that it would incorporate applications based on Java into "advanced digital AV products." Sources, however, told ZDNet that Sony is interested in integrating the Java technology into set-top boxes and televisions to create an interactive gateway that connects users to the Web.

Sony Corp. - Sun Microsystems - ZDNet Report

Mactell Enters Monitor Market With New Bundle
[2:00PM] After having entered the peripherals markets earlier this year with their Vision3D Pro II video card, Mactell Corp. today continued to distinguish itself from being viewed as solely a Macintosh clone vendor. The Austin, Texas-based company, who remains the only Mac OS licensee outside of Umax, announced the "Ultimate Graphics Bundle," a $3,995 package that pairs its 3D/2D video card with a 24-inch Trinitron-based monitor. The displays supports resolutions up to 1920x1200, and features 30 percent more screen real estate than 20-inch monitor, while taking up nearly the same footprint. A Tungsten-infused cathode is used in the display, providing double the beam density of ordinary tubes, a reduction in beam spot size by 30 percent, and a longer life. In addition, the monitor uses improved electron beams for a brighter, shaper picture, as well as new panel glass and blue filter technology that increases light transmittance and contrast.

Meanwhile, the 8MB Vision3D Pro II video card, which was recently honored with New Media Magazine's 1998 Hyper Award, is based on Number Nine Technology's high-powered "Ticket to Ride" chip and the Imagine III processor, which Mactell says offers the fastest MPEG acceleration available.

Mactell Corp.


[1:10PM] Judi Webster yesterday joined Adobe System as vice president of worldwide channels and accounts, a newly created position in which she'll report to Fred Snow, the company's head of worldwide field operations. A transplant from Netscape Communications , where she was most recently vice president of enterprise sales and marketing, Webster will be responsible for leading Adobe's global sales, distribution and e-commerce strategies and for establishing programs for major accounts worldwide. "Judi brings incredible strength to our distribution, strategy and enterprise sales efforts. Her appointment, combined with the recent hiring of Rick Dyer as vice president, North American sales and field marketing, is critical to supporting Adobe's ambitious growth objectives," said Snow in a statement.

Adobe Systems - Netscape Communications

Adobe Sees Q1 Earnings Slide 50 Percent
[12:05PM] Citing weak demand in Asia, a decline in Macintosh sales, and a slowdown in North American revenues, Adobe Systems yesterday said revenues for its first quarter fell to $197.8 million from $226.5 million in the year ago quarter. Likewise, net income -- excluding one-time gains and charges -- slid well below analyst expectations. First Call was forecasting earnings of 44 cents per share; actual income came in at 33 cents per shares, compared to 61 cents in the prior year. The company said Macintosh revenues were down 36 percent, while sales of Windows products continued to show strength, jumping some 18 percent. For the quarter, 59 percent of Adobe's total product revenues came from its Windows customer base, while 41 percent were related to the Mac platform. Incidently, in the first quarter of 1997, marketshare numbers were almost completely flip-flopped, with the Mac accounting for 56 percent of the company's total revenue stream.

Adobe chairman John Warnock said in a statement the company anticipated a slowdown in revenue growth because of the lack of major new product releases. Weakness in Asia and the Macintosh market, however, compounded the expected decline, resulting in the disappointing results. Looking ahead, Warnock pointed to a revised senior sales management team as an area of promise, adding that the company is "continuing to focus our product development efforts to deliver an exciting series of new releases throughout the remainder of the year."

Adobe Systems


Thursday, March 26th
Andy Grove Out, As Intel's Top Seats Shuffle
[3:20PM] He was Time magazine's 1997 "Man of the Year," and now, just three months into 1998, Andy Grove is out as chief executive officer of semiconductor giant Intel. But the man credited with making Intel the microprocessor industry's most dominant force, will still remain with the company, although in an important, but diminished role. The 61-year old Grove will assume the chairman seat to focus on "broad strategic issues" while he watches his protege, Craig Barrett, who is currently Intel's president and chief operating officer, man the company as its chief executive. The board of directors at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel said they will officially elect Barrett to the position at their next organizational meeting, which takes place on May 20, the same day as its annual shareholders meeting.

Of his decision to step down, Grove said in a statement, "I have thoroughly enjoyed being Intel's chief executive officer for the past 11 years, and now I would like to focus more of my time on broad strategic issues concerning the industry and Intel. Craig and I have had a long working relationship and I look forward to a smooth transition of our roles as I continue my work as chairman."

Intel

Happy Endings: Timelines - The "Real" Thing
[PERSPECTIVE] I hate to rehash the Newton deal (especially since my education diatribe is still only about two weeks old), but I have a feeling I'm going to be getting a quick heart pang every time I see a picture of a Newton for the next few months. This month's Wired magazine touts software for the big lug, which, apparently, is no more. What's worse is, while the overall attitude and excitement over Apple is great, the plans coming out of Cupertino are nothing to hang your hat on -- especially if you're a computing professional or consultant in one of Apple's core markets, like education and Web publishing... [MORE]


Wednesday, March 25th
HP Demonstrates Prototype FireWire Scanner
[12:55PM] Hewlett-Packard this week publicly unveiled a prototype IEEE 1394-based (FireWire) flatbed scanner at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Florida. The demo ScanJet model was shown functioning with Microsoft's oft-delayed Windows NT 5.0, which, like Windows 98 will support the burgeoning digital bus standard (the Mac OS has supported IEEE 1394 since the release of 8.0 last summer, and an Apple-branded FireWire card is scheduled to ship next month). "While IEEE 1394 technology is futuristic, it does demonstrate HP's commitment to ensuring compatibility and connectivity, making imaging devices as easy to use as possible," said Phil Faraci, the general manager of the HP Greeley Hardcopy Division, in a statement.

Hewlett-Packard - Microsoft - Apple Computer

Imatec Files $1.1 Billion Lawsuit Against Apple
[11:10AM] Fittingly, just as Apple has begun making the rounds to publicly preach the benefits of its ColorSync technology, the company is slapped with a lawsuit related to the technology. Imatec Ltd. said today it has filed a suit against Apple alleging that Apple infringed upon three patents "by its making, using, and/or selling its ColorSync color management systems and inducing others to do so." Imatec is seeking $1.1 billion in damages, preliminary and permanent injunctions against Apple, as well as a jury trial. Dr. Hanoch Shalit, president and CEO of Imatec, who holds the patents in question, said in a statement, "We have formally served Apple Computer with our complaint. We are confident that the patents will be upheld in court and that justice will bring a prompt and satisfactory resolution of this matter for Imatec."

Apple Computer

Amid Troubling Times, Iomega CEO Steps Down
[10:45AM] The ongoing turmoil at prominent removable storage maker Iomega Corp. pressed on today, as the company announced the immediate resignation of its president and chief executive officer, Kim Edwards. James Sierk, a current Iomega board member and former senior vice president at AlliedSignal, will fill Edwards' shoes, assuming the role of acting president and CEO. But by his own wishes, Sierk will not take on the position permanently, and thus, Iomega said it will begin a search for a new replacement immediately. Conditions at Iomega, however, could potentially make it difficult for attracting a new leader. The Roy, Utah-based company is embroiled in a number of legal battles, including a large-scale shareholder's lawsuit which accuses high-ranking officials of violating federal securities laws. In addition, flagging sales and a massive $100 million advertising campaign is expected to put the company in the red this quarter.

Meanwhile, Edwards, who declined to give the reasoning for his resignation, had the following to say: "One of Iomega's core values has been to set and achieve unrealistic expectations. I believe that over the last few years our people have repeatedly demonstrated the ability to do just that. I leave Iomega confident that the management team and employees are equipped to continue this unique tradition in which I take a great deal of pride."

Iomega Corp.

Judge Orders Microsoft To Remove Java Logo
[9:20AM] Sun Microsystems won a key, but only temporary, ruling yesterday when a federal judge ordered Microsoft to remove the "Java-compatible" logo from two of its products; Internet Explorer for Windows and the Java Developers Kit. U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte in San Jose, California, issued the preliminary injunction while Sun's lawsuit against Microsoft proceeds. In the suit, Sun alleges that the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant broke its license agreement by shipping incompatible versions of Java, something which Microsoft flatly denies. But Microsoft will fully comply with the court order, according to Tom Burt, the company's associate general counsel. "We remain confident that once all the facts are presented in the larger case, the court will find Microsoft to be in full compliance with its contract with Sun. We are disappointed with this decision, but we will immediately comply with the Court's order."

Sun Microsystems - Microsoft


Tuesday, March 24th
Apple Brings QuickTime To Java; DR Available
[TOP STORY 9:25AM] In a move that was rumored for months, Apple today announced that it has ported the QuickTime 3.0 APIs to Java, which will enable developers to write Java applets and applications that incorporate QuickTime content and functionality. Apple said it expects that "QuickTime for Java," as it's called, will significantly increase Java's acceptance in new media markets and enable delivery of compelling interactive content to Java customers. Through a set of Java classes, developers will have access to the rich assortment of QuickTime capabilities, including the new compression technologies in version 3.0. However, unlike Sun's "write once, run anywhere" slogan for the programming environment, QuickTime for Java will only function on platforms that natively support the media engine, ie. Windows 95/NT and Mac OS. Developers can already try out the technology, as Apple has posted a developer release on its Web site.

"QuickTime is the industry standard in digital media and digital video, and has delivered ground-breaking capabilities to the Macintosh and Windows platforms," said Avie Tevanian, vice president of Software Engineering at Apple, in a statement. "Integrating QuickTime with Java will not only open new doors for QuickTime, it will also allow the creation of truly advanced interactive software by the Java community."

QuickTime for Java - Apple Computer

Talk Of Jobs' Situation Sends Apple Shares Up
[4:45PM] Shares of Apple jumped over 7 percent to $28 in today's trading on continued reports that the company's of directors are pressing Steve Jobs to accept a lucrative deal to stay on board. Consistent with a BusinessWeek story published late last week, this morning's edition of the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple's directors were prepared to put Jobs on the hot seat at a scheduled board meeting today. According to the paper, who cited people familiar with the matter, the board members want Jobs to take a package that would include options to acquire about six million shares, plus one million shares of restricted stock. If he accepted, Jobs would wind up with more than 5 percent of the company's 130 million outstanding shares. But just as BusinessWeek reported, the Journal says the deal will not lay on the table forever, as the board is expected to consider imposing a deadline by which a decision must be made. Presumably, such a deadline would be before Apple's April 22 shareholders meeting.

Wall Street Journal - Apple Computer

Another Week, Another Job For Jim Cannavino
[12:40PM] Jim Cannavino, fresh off his appointment to the chairman seat of Computer Concept's Internet Strategy Committee, today took on yet another executive role, this time at CyberSafe Corp. The Issaquah, Wash.-based network security solutions provider named Cannavino as its chief executive officer and chairman of the board, roles that give the one-time IBM executive control of the company's strategy, day-to-day operations, and overall organization. Of his newest position, Cannavino said in a statement, "I am intrigued by CyberSafe's unique approach to developing security products and its ability to help customers realize the business-to-business and electronic commerce implications of securing their networks."

Cannavino, who had been rumored to be a candidate for the top spot at Apple, added, "This is an exciting time to be in the security industry, and I am eager to lend my experience to CyberSafe to provide our customers with the best products so they can securely collaborate with their customers, vendors, business partners, and other institutions critical to their success."

CyberSafe Corp.


Monday, March 23rd
Creative Shuts Down Six Of Its Retail Stores
[4:25PM] Creative Computers, the direct marketing company behind the MacMall and PCMall catalogs, closed six of its retail shops last week, in an effort to improve operations. The stores affected include three Elek-Tek stores in the Chicago area and three Creative Computers stores in Southern California (all six of which operated in the red for the first quarter of 1998), leaving the company's Santa Monica store, which houses a substantial corporate sales effort, as the only remaining location. A one-time restructuring charge covering the related costs will be taken in the quarter ending March 31. With the majority of its retail outlets closed, Creative said it plans to increase its focus on e-commerce, an area which has seen strong growth in the current quarter, while also maintaining concentration on its direct marketing and direct sales business.

Of late, however, the catalog business has been a mixed bag for Creative. For the current quarter, the company expects revenue from Wintel-related sales to exceed $160 million, but Macintosh sales are expected to be lower than anticipated, as a result of what the company classified as "industry trends, competitive pressures and a drop in catalog circulation during the quarter."

Creative Computers - MacMall - PCMall

Pioneer Ships Double-Speed DVD-ROM Drive
[1:50PM] Pioneer New Media Technologies today began shipping its DVD-102, a next-generation DVD-ROM drive that features speed 2.6 times that of earlier DVD-ROM technology. Equipped with the company's revolutionary slot-load disc mechanism, which is not unlike mechanisms found in CD car stereos, the drive is compatible with multiple disc formats, including DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW. When operating with the traditional CD-ROM medium, the drive maintains 20X speeds, the company said. "The DVD-102's high capacity and enhanced performance offers better performance than competitive products," said Paul Dempsey, senior vice president, sales and marketing at Pioneer, in a statement. "It's speed and compatibility support industry standards and simultaneously work to advance the overall progress of DVD technology." The $175 drive is currently available with an ATAPI interface, and Pioneer expects to have a SCSI version on sale by the end of April.

Pioneer New Media Technologies

Apple Improves Rating In TBR's CBQ Index
[12:10PM] Apple's rating in Technology Business Research (TBR) Fourth Quarter 1997 Computer Business Quarterly (CBQ) Benchmark Index climbed to 4.52, up from 4.0 in the previous quarter, putting the company tied for fifteenth on the list which ranks computer vendors on a comparative basis each quarter. To calculate the index, the research firm takes into account key factors such as: ability to effectively implement strategy overall and in terms of product sets, marketing strategy, manufacturing strategy, and business model. Topping the list for the quarter was Dell Computer, who overtook Sun Microsystems as the number one ranked company. Compaq Computer remained in third place for the sixth consecutive quarter, while Gateway 2000 and Hewlett-Packard rounded out the top five.

Technology Business Research - Apple Computer

Citizen Becomes First Clik! Drive Licensee
[11:45AM] Citizen Watch today entered into an agreement with Iomega to become the first licensee of Iomega's upcoming Clik! drive, the low-cost, highly portable storage solution due this spring. Under terms of the deal, Citizen will manufacture and market a Clik! drive for use in its own portable electronic products and will sell the drives to other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and consumers. In addition, the companies said they are currently working together to develop enhanced versions of the drives. "By combining Iomega's Clik! technology with our unique automation techniques, we have the ability to deliver revolutionized Citizen products to market by the end of this year," said Eiji Kawakami, managing director and general manager of Citizen's Computer Systems and Peripherals Group, in a statement, adding that Citizen believes Clik! has the potential to become the de-facto standard for personal mobile storage.

Iomega - Clik! Information

Report: Apple Board To Ask For Jobs' Decision
[10:20AM] At an Apple board meeting scheduled for tomorrow, "company insiders" tell BusinessWeek that several directors will ask Steve Jobs what many have wondered since his interim appointment some seven months ago; will he remain at the company full-time or is he stop-gap for the next in line? According to the trade's report, after wavering for months, Jobs showed renewed interest in the top spot just a few weeks ago, and asked Apple directors to put together their best offer. They came back with a huge pay package, one which included as much as 8 percent of the company, or some $270 million based on the current day price of the stock. But, according to BusinessWeek insiders, Jobs' indecision still remains, which is why the board will apparently press for an answer this week. "Some members of the board don't want to leave loose ends open for eons," an insider told the magazine, adding that the star-studded group has finally found a suitable candidate who is only waiting for Jobs' decision.

Unsurprisingly, when asked to comment on the forecasted situation, Jobs told BusinessWeek via email that their "sources are wrong," roughly the same answer he gave the publication when it ran a story last fall accurately predicting the events of November 10, which included the unveiling of the Apple Store and initial line of Power Macintosh G3 machines.

BusinessWeek Report - Apple Computer


Friday, March 20th
Amelio's Tell-All Autobiography Due April 8
[2:45PM] Gil Amelio's no-holds-barred, tell-all autobiography of his eighteen month stint as chief executive officer and chairman at Apple is scheduled to hit store shelves April 8. According a report from NEWS.COM, Amelio's "On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple" candidly recounts, among other things, his thoughts of Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO, as well as deal-making discussions with Bill Gates. For instance, during the several-month window when Apple's executive team was searching for a replacement operating system strategy for Copland, Amelio says he approached Gates about developing a next-generation Macintosh OS based on Windows NT. As unpopular as the decision would have likely been, Amelio says he was looking for a way to drive wide-spread acceptance of the Mac platform. Apparently he believed NT was one of the ways to go, but writes that "converting Windows NT into a Mac operating system would require scaling some very tall mountains," leaving the search team onto other candidates, and eventually into the lap of Jobs and NeXT.

Meanwhile, Amelio also describes interesting negotiations with Gates over Gates' push to make Internet Explorer the default Web browser on the Mac. According to the book, Amelio vowed to give IE preference, but only if Microsoft committed to developing a version of its Office suite for Rhapsody. As time would tell, the deal never happened -- Amelio says that Gates couldn't make that commitment and they hit a stalemate. But coincidentally, a similar pact involving the same two products did get hammered out once Steve Jobs reentered the Apple world last summer.

NEWS.COM Article

HP Preparing Their Own Cup Of Java, WSJ Says
[11:55AM] Hewlett-Packard is planning to undermind Sun Microsystems' grip on Java by offering their own variation of the budding software environment, the Wall Street Journal reported in this morning's edition. HP, tired of what it classifies as excessive licensing fees Sun is charging for a consumer-electronics version of Java, will apparently announce today a new set of specifications and software for running Java-based programs on a wide range of electronic devices, including computer printers, the paper said. The company is currently making rounds to build early support for the technology, and according to the Journal, it has already locked up an important ally in Microsoft, who will use HP's Java variant within the Windows CE operating system. The timing of HP's announcement couldn't have come at a more ironic time, either. Next week, Sun will be holding its annual JavaOne developer's conference in San Francisco, where an expected crowd of 10,000 Java programmers are expected to gather.

Hewlett-Packard - Sun Microsystems - WSJ


Thursday, March 19th
Maxis Takes Kids To Safari In New "Sim" Title
[3:55PM] Maxis today announced the release of SimSafari, the latest title in its critically acclaimed "Sim" series. Aimed squarely at youngsters eight years and older, the hybrid game puts kids in charge of their own virtual African wilderness park and tourist camp. In the role of a safari ranger, kids get to make all the decisions from picking which animals and plants to put in their park to choosing where to place new buildings in their tourist camps. Along the way, players will learn about Africa's exotic plants and animals, how ecosystems and food chains work, and basic business and budget skills. Priced at $29.95, SimSafari is available today on a hybrid CD-ROM for PC and Macintosh machines.

Maxis - SimSafari Information

Glucose Completes Web Hammer Project
[1:40PM] Glucose Development said today it has completed work on the Web Hammer project, an international effort to develop a multi-lingual automatic text summarization engine for the Web. The project, available freely to the public, was developed by Glucose in combination with the help of 120 volunteers from 21 countries, who responded to a post on Eric Belsley's Macintosh Resource Page. The group of volunteers provided support for a total of 16 non-English languages, while Glucose developed the core algorithms and shell of the Web Hammer application. "This collaboration has far exceeded our expectations," said Gabriel Cheifetz, project coordinator for Web Hammer at Glucose, in a statement. "We acknowledged the fact that English is not the only language in the world, and it seems to have really struck a nerve. Along with the search engines, Web Hammer is probably one the most powerful free tools on the web right now."

Web Hammer Project - Glucose Development

Computer Concepts Names Cannavino Chairman
[11:20AM] Long-standing rumors of Jim Cannavino possibly becoming the next permanent leader at Apple can officially be laid to rest, following news this morning that the former Perot Systems executive has been named chairman of Computer Concept's Internet Strategy Committee. In his new role, Cannavino, who also spent time as a senior executive at IBM, will be responsible for orchestrating a strategy to bring CC's new Internet technology to the market. Commenting on his decision to chair the committee, Cannavino said in a statement, "I am extremely impressed with Computer Concepts' management team headed up by Dan DelGiorno, president and CEO, who has taken the company from a startup to approximately $30 million in sales in 1997, with over a 100 percent sales growth rate anticipated for 1998. This was no small accomplishment considering the majority of startups fail due to lack of funding and poor management."

Computer Concepts

1998 To Be Apple's Year Of Industrial Design
[10:35AM] Apple Computer Europe's president and general manager, Diego Piacentini, speaking in an interview with Reuters yesterday, said Apple's noted industrial design department will be playing an increased role this year in helping the company distinguish itself from others in the industry. "This is the year for Apple of industrial design," Piacentini told the wire service. "We still think that customers want nice machines, not just a square, ugly box. We need to differentiate ourselves and our design department will do that for us." Piacentini added that burgeoning Internet use and projects to involve Europe's children in computers will also be key factors in Apple Europe's efforts to maintain a stronghold in the education market. Meanwhile, Piacentini noted that sales of Apple's Power Macintosh G3 machines have hit the 100,000 milestone since their introduction last November.

Reuters Report - Apple Computer Europe

Aiwa Eyes ORB, Invests In Castlewood Systems
[9:25AM] As part of a strategic alliance announced at this week's CeBIT show in Germany, leading consumer entertainment product maker Aiwa said it will invest an undisclosed amount in Castlewood Systems, paving the way for adoption of Castlewood's ORB in the consumer electronics marketplace. "Castlewood and Aiwa have complementary business ideologies, which results in a remarkably synergistic relationship," said Syed Iftikar, chief executive at Calif.-based Castlewood Systems, in a statement. "This investment and strategic alliance allow us to expand beyond our core PC business and target the multimedia and consumer electronics industries for which ORB is so well-suited."

Introduced last November, the ORB is the first removable hard drive to use the new magnetoresistive head technology, which provides top-notch speed and capacity at comparably low prices. The ORB will feature a 2.16GB capacity, sustained data transfer rates of 12.2MB per second, and best of all, a remarkable price tag -- the drive will retail at a mere $199 and the 2.16GB disks for just $29. Castlewood maintains that the product will begin shipping this spring, but sticky legal issues with SyQuest Technology (SyQuest filed a lawsuit against Castlewood last fall, alleging among other things, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition) could potentially delay introduction.

Castlewood Systems


Wednesday, March 18th
Media Design's New Web Tool Does XML
[3:20PM] San Diego, Calif.-based Media Design in*Progress today announced the release of one of the first Macintosh Web site publishing systems based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). XPublish, available immediately at an introductory price of $245, is targeted at Webmasters who author, publish, and maintain medium-to-large sized sites. Users interact with XML content, which lies in an object database, through an extendible markup editor reminiscent of the popular UNIX emacs editor. Media Design says this gives Web developers the advantage of one-source publishing without the overhead and complexity of full SGML. In addition, XPublish includes an integrated Cascading Style Sheets editor for consistent presentation. According to the company, the editor can even emulate CSS for older browsers that don't support for the technology.

XPublish Information

Happy Endings: Content Is King
[PERSPECTIVE] I've decided that I'm going to attend Seybold Seminars in the Fall -- in fact, I may trade my annual Internet World trip for a chance at Seybold. Not only would it give me another excuse to go to San Fransisco in the fall, but it sounds like a great chance to see some cool stuff. Unlike Internet World and similar venues, Seybold seems to be a show about people getting stuff done. Which is exactly what Steve Jobs' keynote sounded like -- a report on a company that's trying to get stuff done. Sure, the press is watching the stock price and the CEO story and the politics of the second Jobsian dynasty, but the sound bytes I'm hearing from Mr. Jobs betray a different set of thoughts... [MORE]


Tuesday, March 17th
Extensis Releases Second PhotoFrame Volume
[5:05PM] Extensis Corp. today began shipping the second volume of Digital Edge Effects for PhotoFrame, a collection of over 150 professionally designed frames composed from computer generated effects. PhotoFrame 1.0, a Photoshop plug-in that enables users to develop customized, professional-quality image frame and border effects, was announced last month and recently began shipping with Painted Edge Effects, the first volume of pre-built images. Both volumes are available today, with each selling for $99.95

Extensis

Apple's Consumer Thrust To Come This Fall
[SEYBOLD] Acknowledging that Apple hasn't had great consumer products over the past several years, Steve Jobs today promised that the company will get back into the ever important sector this fall with products priced "very aggressively." "Apple has not had a great consumer product over the last few years and that's really bizarre," Jobs said in the question and answer session of his keynote at Seybold this morning. "You're going to see that change this fall," he said, adding that the company isn't yet prepared to get into details. Meanwhile, when asked about Columbus, the alleged home entertainment convergence device that popped up in the news last week, Jobs jokingly referred to it as "an anti-gravity device" before saying he couldn't talk about it.

Apple Computer

400-MHz G3s Could Arrive Early Next Year
[SEYBOLD] Your Macintosh desktop may be running on copper sooner than you might have previously thought. Showcasing a 400-MHz prototype of IBM's first copper-based PowerPC processor, Apple interim chief executive Steve Jobs this morning told the audience at Seybold that the company will be shipping such a processor in its systems by early next year. And even its it current state, the chip looks like it will surely delight users who are trying to quench their need for speed. In a demo this morning, the 400-MHz wonder powered a prototype G3 easily past a host of other machines, one of which was the just-released 300-MHz G3. Judging by the chip's BYTEmark scores it's easy to see why. According to Jobs, the processor rates at 13.7 on the industry standard scale, making it a full 300 percent faster than Intel's Pentium 333, which registers just a 4.5 on the same test.

Apple Computer

Apple's First Flat-Panel Display Introduced
[SEYBOLD] Apple today fired its first shot in the flat-panel display market with the Apple Studio Display, a product, due in early May, which the company says was developed in direct response to the requests of its most demanding and knowledgeable customers. Decked out with 15.1-inches of screen real estate, the display uses a state-of-the-art thin film transistor active matrix liquid crystal display (TFT AMLCD), which produces, according to Apple, twice the performance of traditional, analog monitors in terms of brightness, contrast, and sharpness. The display can pump out 16 million colors and resolutions up to 1024 x 728, and includes a number of "smart" features and software-based controls that provide full-screen viewing at varying resolutions, precise control over brightness, contrast, and back lighting, and top-notch performance regardless of the graphics card being used.

One of the product's most distinguishing features, however, isn't found on the list of technical specs, but rather on its outside. The Studio Display's industrial design is stunning and embodies the award-winning excellence that Apple shows when it's at its best. And like the design of several of its past products, a touch of functionality has been melded into the stylish looks of the Studio. The display's stand is organic in a way, as Apple let's users choose between a desktop and picture-frame stand, which can be interchanged to reduce the desktop footprint of the product.

With the impressive list of attributes, however, comes a steep $1,999 price tag, one that is probably out of the range of most average users -- although to be fair to Apple, the product isn't targeted at everyday users, and in all actuality, is a true bargain compared to offerings from other companies.

Apple Computer - Apple Studio Display

Native AppleScript To Arrive This Summer
[SEYBOLD] AppleScript -- an often overlooked, but sometimes vital component of Apple's software portfolio -- will be getting a much needed upgrade this summer. According to company chief executive Steve Jobs, a PowerPC-native version will be built into this summer's Mac OS revision, codename "Allegro." The company will not stop there either, Jobs says, as current plans call for further integration into the operating system.

Apple Computer - AppleScript Information

Apple Extends WebObjects Consulting Group
[SEYBOLD] Companies in the design and publishing field wishing to embrace the WebObjects development platform will now have a helping hand, as Apple announced today it is extending the WebObjects Consulting Group to cover this core market. The group, which provides in-depth consulting for companies implementing the high-powered Web application development platform, has already helped companies such as DDB Needham, World Color, Laser Tech Color, and Daniels Printing deploy WebObjects solutions. "We've seen a major gap in the publishing industry for personalization and customization of print on demand and web content," said Jeff Martin, senior director of Apple's Design and Publishing Marketing group, in a statement. "Apple has filled that gap by providing the right technology, WebObjects, which has become the middleware standard to connect databases to the web and the right internal consulting team to help companies implement compelling solutions for their customers worldwide."

Apple Computer - WebObjects Information

Apple Unveils 300-MHz G3, New BTO Options
[SEYBOLD] As expected, Apple followed up yesterday's formal introduction of the 300-MHz PowerPC 750 processor today with the unveiling of a 300-MHz Power Macintosh G3 machine. The unit, which is the company's most powerful computer ever, is available immediately in build-to-order configurations via the Apple Store, with prices starting at $2,499. Each machine comes standard with 1MB of backside cache operating in a 2:1 ratio with the processor, and performance is said to eclipse the 266-MHz models by 20 percent. For the reseller channel, Apple will be offering two pre-configured models, both of which will come in mini-tower enclosures. The "low-end" 300-MHz machine, priced at $3,359, will ship with a 24X CD-ROM drive, 64MB SDRAM, 6MB SGRAM, and a 4GB Ultra Wide SCSI hard drive. A $4,899 "dream machine" adds 128MB SDRAM, a 128-bit 8MB video card for dual monitor support, a pair of 4GB Ultra Wide SCSI hard drives with RAID software, and a 10/100 Fast Ethernet card.

Meanwhile, Apple continued to expand their list of build-to-order components with a new plate of options, including two of the most requested add-ons; DVD-ROM drives and FireWire cards. The latter will be available starting in late April for $299, and will finally bring the Apple-developed high-speed bus technology to Macs. The DVD option, as well as RAID hard drives with Conley SoftRAID, can be purchased immediately from the Apple Store.

Apple Computer - The Apple Store

JackHammer Gains Media100 Recommendation
[11:10AM] Hammer Storage Solutions' JackHammer SCSI Accelerator, the company's RISC-based intelligent I/O interface, has been recommended for use with Media100's qx, qx(c), le, lx, xe, and xs video systems in Apple's Power Macintosh G3 machines. The JackHammer anchors Hammer Storage's product offerings, which are designed for the prepress, digital video, animation, graphics, and multimedia creation markets. "The new Apple G3's offer a great price/performance point, but have shown to be temperamental with third party peripherals," said Brenda Bergin, manager of peripheral engineering at Media100, in a statement. "We've always worked closely with Hammer engineers and the JackHammer has passed our G3 with Media100 compatibility testing with flying colors."

Hammer Storage Solutions - Media100

Quark And Microsoft Enter Strategic Alliance
[8:40AM] As part of a "strategic alliance" announced today, Quark will be adopting Microsoft technology as the reference platform for its future technologies. The companies say the mutual support will be manifested in three major relationships: technology, business development, and joint sales and marketing. "Our strategy is to focus on technology that anticipates our customers' needs, and thus helps them meet the needs of their customers as well," said Susan I. Friedman, vice president of product management at Quark, in a statement. "The publishing industry is changing rapidly. Microsoft provides the most extensible, robust platforms for applications development that will enable us to continue to deliver the innovative solutions our customers need." In addition, Quark said it will participate in the Microsoft Certified Solution provider program, architect their systems on COM and DCOM, participate in alpha and beta programs, and insure their products are certified for Microsoft BackOffice and Windows.

Quark - Microsoft

Jobs Gets 30,000 Stock Options, But No Salary
[8:20AM] Apparently being the interim leader at a particular company does have at least one significant downside; you don't get paid. According to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, Apple interim chief executive Steve Jobs received no monetary compensation for his work at the company, other than the 30,000 stock options he and the other board directors received. But Jobs, who still owns one share of the company, could take comfort in the fact that his options were exercised at $23 per share -- Apple's stock now sits at 26 11/16 giving him a tidy profit already. Meanwhile, the proxy statement also revealed that Larry Ellison was the only board member to attend less than 75 percent of scheduled meetings in fiscal 1997.

Reuters Report - Apple Computer


Monday, March 16th
Connectix' Begins Shipping Virtual PC 2.0
[6:30PM] San Mateo, Calif.-based Connectix Corp. today began shipping Virtual PC 2.0, an upgrade to the popular emulation software package that boosts speeds by up to 40 percent. Besides the performance improvements, the new version makes a number of enhancements to the program's overall ease-of-use. Files can now be transferred by a simple drag-and-drop method, eliminating the need to set up shared folders. In addition, as previously reported, Virtual PC 2.0 also includes native drivers for TechWorks' Power3D card that allows users to take advantage of 3Dfx-enabled PC games. "Connectix Virtual PC 2.0 lets Power Mac owners leverage the performance of their current systems to play PC multimedia games, use Internet software, run PC business and productivity software, and share documents across Mac and PC platforms," said Roy McDonald, president and CEO of Connectix, in a statement. "It's a great solution for Mac users to run PC games or applications that aren't yet available for Macintosh."

As with the previous version, Connectix is offering Virtual PC 2.0 in two variations; one preinstalled with Windows 95 and the other with DOS. Street price for the Windows package is expected to be $149, while the DOS version will carry a $49 price tag. Upgrades for existing owners will be available for an estimated price of $35, the company said.

Connectix - Virtual PC 2.0 Information

Media4 Extends MacDrive To Alpha Machines
[3:55PM] Users of workstations powered by Digital Equipment's Alpha processor now have the ability to open files on Macintosh-formatted removable media, thanks to a new product from Media4 Productions. MacDrive 98 Alpha, available immediately, allows Windows NT-based Alpha machines to seamlessly read and write Mac-formatted media, such as Zip, Jaz, SparQ, and SyJet disks, as well as traditional floppies. The Des Moines, Iowa-based company has been offering a version of MacDrive for Windows 95 and NT, but it wasn't until company president Brian Landwehr was approached by Digital officials that they began work on an Alpha version. "Our work with Digital is consistent with our mission to make computing as easy and efficient as possible for the widest range of users," said Landwehr in a statement. "MacDrive fulfills the promise of cross-platform compatibility." MacDrive 98 Alpha carries a $65 price tag and can be purchased from Digital's newly created Web storefront.

Media4 Productions - Internet Innovators Marketplace

Helios To Demo Rhapsody Software At Seybold
[3:10PM] Helios Software GmbH, a leading OPI software provider, will demonstrate pre-release Rhapsody versions of its EtherShare, EtherShare OPI, and PDF Handsake software packages in Apple's booth at this week's Seybold Seminars in New York. The German company said it expects to release its products for Rhapsody as soon as Apple's next-generation operating system ships in a wide scale release. Helios added that its servers will be fully administrable from any Macintosh on the same network or in the Rhapsody Blue Box.

Helios Software - Rhapsody Information

Global Villages Gets Into The V.90 Modem Act
[2:30PM] Global Village Communication, a company rumored to be in merger talks with Apple Computer, today joined the expanding field of vendors offering a V.90 ITU standard compliant modem. Scheduled to be available in late March, the TelePort 56K, priced at $169, will fully support the ratified 56kbps standard and will ensure backward compatibility by automatically utilizing the appropriate protocol, V.90 or K56flex, that is supported by ISPs or online services. "We are pleased to provide the premiere communications solution for Macintosh users, combining new V.90 technology with our award-winning TelePort family," said Neil Selvin, president and chief executive officer of Global, in a statement. Meanwhile, free software upgrades to the V.90 standard for existing 56K (x2 or K56flex) owners are expected to be available sometime next month, the company said.

Global Village - Apple Computer

Mactell's PowerJolt Tops In MacWelt Roundup
[1:35PM] Mactell said today that its PowerJolt 250-MHz G3-based processor upgrade was the top rated card in MacWelt magazine's April processor roundup, which pitted offerings from Newer Technology, Interex, PowerLogix, and Mactell. MacWelt, the German Macintosh publication of IDG Communication, reviewed the PowerJolt under its German OEM label and found the card to not only beat out products rated at the same clock speed, but also cards rated at speeds up to 300-MHz. "The PowerJolt 250-MHz's high performance is due to the use of higher rated and non over clocked components," said Pat Berry, vice president of Mactell. "This allows the 750 G3 processor to operate at its maximum speed potential and eliminates all performance bottlenecks."

Mactell - PowerJolt G3 Information

Motorola Moves Closer To Copper Production
[1:05PM] Motorola moved one step closer to production of a copper-based processor Sunday night, on news that it has completed testing of its first silicon wafter utilizing copper technology. The company says the advancement will lead to production later this year, in line with what was promised last summer. With wafter research completed, engineers at Motorola's Austin, Texas-based Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) are now testing prototypes in various applications, the company said. "This is a significant technological breakthrough for the semiconductor industry," said Bertrand Cambou, senior vice president of the Networking, Computing and Systems Group at SPS, in a statement last night. "Our PowerPC architecture has captured significant design-ins in all markets due to its high performance. We now expect that the additional benefits of production using copper will create breakthrough speeds over the long term for semiconductor applications."

Motorola

New Printer To Feature CompactFlash Slot
[12:15PM] Canon Computer Systems this week will debut the world's first printer with a slot for CompactFlash (CF) memory cards at the annual CeBIT show in Germany. Used as a storage medium in digital cameras, CF cards are credit card-sized devices that hold data and information in Flash memory. Traditionally, data transfer between the cards and a printer has been possible only by a cable connection between a digital camera and a computer. With Canon's new Digital Printer CD-200, however, users will be able to move pictures by simply inserting CF cards into the printer, eliminating the need for a host computer. In addition to the innovative slot, the dye-sublimation printer includes video-in/out (RCA pin type/S-video interface) for direct video transfer. Canon says the $499 printer can print images on a area of 3.2" x 4.2" and with optional accessories, consumers can print multi-image templates including stickers, frames and postcards

"The huge influence of pictures on the Internet and interest in digital photography is fueling the need for users to have a simple solution to printing digital images from their digital camera and our Digital Printer CD-200 delivers that solution," said Ned Bunnell, director of imaging products at Canon, in a statement.

Canon

Joint Effort Brings E-commerce To PageMill
[11:10AM] Reaffirming its pledge to help small businesses take advantage of the Web, Adobe Systems today announced a low-cost electronic commerce solution for PageMill 3.0 customers. Through a joint effort with ICentral and Best Internet Communications, Adobe has put together a complete service that will cost businesses as little as $30 per month. The solution uses Best's Web hosting facilities and ICentral's ShopSite Express, an application that provides a complete set of features for creating an online store, including customizable options for payment, shipping, and secure credit card handling. The companies have made ShopSite available to registered owners of PageMill 3.0, which will be available on the Macintosh later this year, at no charge. Businesses will only pay the hosting prices at Best, which start at $30 per month, with a one-time $50 start-up fee. (A live online demo of ShopSite Express is available via a link below.)

Adobe Systems - ShopSite Demo

Amidst Legal Issues, Iomega's Woes Continue
[9:50AM] Iomega Corp., currently entangled in a shareholder lawsuit and an ongoing litigation battle with foreign disk maker Nomai Systems, today took another hit, saying it expects to report a first quarter loss in the $10 million to $25 million range. The company said shipments in all regions have been lower than previously anticipated, causing revenue to be flat with first quarter 1997 sales. This shortfall in revenue combined with the incremental expenses from a prohibitive marketing campaign, which is one of the roots of the investor suit, will put the Roy, Utah-based company in the red and in the negative cash flow column when it reports results on April 16. Losses could be even greater than reported today -- or conversely lower --, given that revenue and operating results will be "significantly impacted" by sales in the remaining weeks of the quarter, the company said.

Iomega

UMAX Introduces New 36-Bit Scanner Series
[9:15AM] UMAX Technologies today added to its Astra scanner family with a new line of low-cost flatbed scanners aimed at the SOHO (small office/home office) market. Starting at $199, the Astra 1220 series features 36-bit color and 600 x 1200 dpi, and comes in three different models to ensure compatibility with the wide variety of host interfaces available. The 1220S, the most flexible of the three, comes equipped with a standard SCSI interface, allowing for compatibility with both PC and Macintosh machines. For PCs without a SCSI connector, UMAX offers the 1220P, which utilizes a parallel port interface. Lastly, the company has the 1220U, a sort of breakthrough for scanners. It's one of the first, if not the first, to use a Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface -- now a standard on most PCs -- for faster performance and easy installation. It has long been expected that Apple will adopt USB for use in their machines, but they have thus far been hesitant to do so. UMAX says the $199 Astra 1220P is available immediately, while the 1220S will begin shipping next month for $229. The USB-enabled model is expected to roll out in June.

UMAX Technologies

300-MHz PowerPC 750 Officially Announced
[8:30AM] Paving the way for the imminent announcement of Apple's 300-MHz Power Macintosh G3 machine, Motorola today officially announced the immediate availability of a 300-MHz version of the PowerPC 750 (G3), the first speedbump since the processor family's debut last summer. Priced at $495 in quantities of 1,000, Motorola says the new chip operates at a 4 to 7 watt typical power dissipation range, and features a 2.5v core and 3.3v I/Os, a 32KB integer cache, a 32KB data cache, and 6.35 million transistors. In the industry standard SPECint95 and SPECfp tests, the new processor notched scores of 13.2 and 8.5, respectively. For comparison, the 266-MHz variation benchmarks at 12.4 and 8.4 in the same tests. Jon Rubinstein, Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering, said of the announcement, "These latest PowerPC microprocessor clock speed increases will enable Apple to continue to provide Macintosh customers with leading-edge performance at affordable prices."

Motorola - Apple Computer

Softclub Taking Orders For 300-MHz G3
[7:45AM] Softclub Computer Systems this morning said it has begun taking orders for Apple Computer's Power Macintosh 300-MHz G3 machine, the newest member of the popular line expected to be rolled out at this week's Seybold Seminars in New York. According to the reseller, the new unit will feature 128MB RAM, two 4GB hard drives, a 24X CD-ROM drive, 100Base-T Ethernet, and 6MB video SGRAM. Other reports say the machine will also feature 1MB of backside cache, compared to the 512k of the current crop of G3's. Softclub's online catalog quotes a $4,850 price for the new machine, and says initial units are expected to ship by month's end.

Softclub - Apple Computer

Reports: Jobs To Demo 400-MHz Copper Chip
[7:20AM] The first tangible evidence of IBM's anticipated copper-chip technology will take center stage tomorrow during Steve Jobs' keynote at Seybold Seminars in New York, reports said late last week. According to InfoWorld and Electronic Engineering Times, Apple Computer's interim leader will demonstrate a Macintosh running a prototype of IBM's 400-MHz copper PowerPC chip. The showing will mark the first time that IBM's copper-metalization technology, which was originally announced last fall, has been publicly displayed. But when the chip might make it into an actual shipping product is not clear at this time. Apple officials declined to comment, while IBM says the technology will first be used in an RS/6000 server either late this year or early next, and then in "workstations" later next year.

CompUSA - InfoWorld Report - EE Times Report


Friday, March 13th
Database Highlight Of ProVUE's SiteWarrior
[REVIEW] Web sites are deceptive. They always start out as a page or two, put together using a text editor or a GUI program, like Home Page. Over time, they grow and pretty soon, it's impossible to make timely updates without breaking links and pulling out hair. If you then want to change the format of the pages, it's hours of work involving lots of cutting and pasting of old content into new formats. SiteWarrior attempts to break this pattern, and while it isn't perfect, its unique features separate it from the pack of web site management tools... [MORE]

150th CompUSA Superstore Opens Today
[12:30PM] CompUSA this morning reached a significant milestone with the grand opening of a new retail superstore in La Mesa, California. The new location, which is the first in the immediate area, is the company's 150th national store. "While some of our competitors are consolidating, CompUSA continues its steady growth nationwide, making our mark as one of the dominant computer retailers and resellers in the nation," said Jim Halpin, CompUSA president and chief executive officer, in a statement. The La Mesa site is modeled after CompUSA's latest store prototype, showcasing the company's new CompKids and Software Sampler areas. Present also is Apple Computer's "store-within-a-store" environment, which will be "officially" opened across all CompUSA's stores this weekend.

CompUSA - Apple Computer


Thursday, March 12th
New Commercial To Air On NBC Tonight
[5:10PM] As the company did with its "Snail Ad," Apple Computer will be following up last night's ABC debut of the "Toasted Bunnies" commercial with a series of showings throughout tonight's NBC prime-time lineup beginning at 8PM PST/EST. In a statement announcing the new spots, Apple's interim chief executive Steve Jobs said, "Our lightning-fast G3 computers have been the most successful products launched in Apple's history. Our newest commercial captures this momentum and the passion we feel for our products." The Cupertino, Calif.-based company added that the new commercial is expected to run for several weeks.

Apple Computer - NBC

Study: 1998 Internet Performance On The Rise
[4:05PM] In spite of a handful of major outages in 1998, overall Internet performance increased by more than 60 percent during the first two months of the year, a study released by Keynote Systems said, proving just how bad the comparable period in 1997 was. During January of this year, Keynote Systems says performance was solid, with the exception of a late month surge in which several major news sites were bogged down by users seeking the latest information on the breaking White House scandal. However, Keynote says performance degraded 20 percent in the first two weeks of February, primarily due to a pair of significant outages at the MAE-West Network Access Point (NAP) and major backbone providers. After the blackouts, the remainder of the month did end up returning to January's levels.

Results for the study are based on 180,000 measurements conducted each week for the Keynote Business 40 Internet Performance Index, a standard indicator of the overall health and performance of the Internet that measures the time required to access and download pages from 40 of the top important business sites, one of which is Apple Computer's page.

Keynote Systems - Apple Computer

BBEdit Now Available Via Electronic Distribution
[2:55PM] Bare Bones Software today made their first entry into the electronic distribution channel with the announcement that BBEdit is now available for purchase and download through Software.net. The high-powered text and HTML editor is listed in the Web Authoring Tools section of the online store's Internet Center for $99. "We are continually looking for better ways to get our products into the hands of our customers," said Rich Siegel, founder, president, and chief executive officer of Bare Bones, in a statement. "We've wanted to do electronic delivery for a long time, and we believe that Software.net offers the best way for us to accomplish that goal." The Bedford, Mass.-based company says it sees electronic delivery as an effective supplement to its current retail channels, and as such, will continue offering its product line through traditional resellers.

Software.net - Bare Bones Software

Consortium Plots Roadmap For VRML Standard
[1:40PM] The VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) Consortium, the body which develops and promotes the emerging 3D standard, today outlined a technology roadmap for the VRML specification that the group hopes will drive continued growth of 3D on the Internet. Core issues involve using the technology as a lightweight, integrated media format for page animation, as well as a solution in enterprise computing and database applications. In the roadmap, the committee also addressed the need to improve VRML file sizes via compression and steaming, in addition to the interoperability of content between clients and authoring tools.

Meanwhile, the consortium has also elected a new executive committee which will form so-called "task groups" within the organization to lead the marketing and specification initiatives outlined in the roadmap. Members selected include Neil Trevett, president of 3Dlabs; Tony Parisi, executive vice president of Intervista Software; Don Brutzman, vice president of technology at Naval Postgraduate School; David Frerichs, Cosmo Software's vice president of marketing; Rick Rafey, treasurer at Oracle; and Deepak Kamlani, secretary at Interprise Ventures.

VRML Consortium

SyQuest Completes $8.7 Mln. Escrow Funding
[12:00PM] Removable storage maker SyQuest Technology yesterday reported that it has met the requirements of the escrow account established in conjunction with its most recent Series 7 financing, allowing financing of $8.7 million, which has been held in escrow. Last month, the Fremont, Calif. company disclosed details of the Series 7 financing when it announced a $27.5 million investment and the agreement for an additional $2.5 million in capital. SyQuest says both transactions have been completed and that the proceeds will be used as working capital and as a means to increase productions capacity for its flagship SparQ drive.

SyQuest Technology

Burn Baby Burn: Intel Toasted In New Ad
[11:15AM] Apple Computer continued its potent attack on chip giant Intel last evening with the premiere of a new television commercial called "Bunnies." Debuted during last night's ABC prime-time lineup, the new spot, which once again features the narration of actor Richard Dreyfus, begins with a view from inside a mask. As the appropriately used 70's-hit "Disco Inferno" plays in the background, a fireman begins to extinguish the individual, who, as the camera pans out, is revealed to be one of the infamous disco-dancing Intel "bunny people." While viewers watch the bunny drone smolder, Dreyfus pipes in by saying, "Apple Computer would like to apologize for toasting the Pentium II processor in public. But the fact remains; the chip inside every new Power Macintosh G3 is up to twice as fast."

A QuickTime movie of the commercial is available from Apple's Web site, although as reported by Ric Ford's MacInTouch, Crystal Canyon is hosting a higher quality version, which was captured the Media 100 system and utilizes the Sorenson Vision video compression codec of QuickTime 3.0.

bunny commercial - Crystal Canyon

Apple Lures Compaq Exec To Head Operations
[10:10AM] Apple Computer yesterday announced it has brought in former Compaq executive Tim Cook to head operations. The ex-vice president of corporate materials at the PC maker will serve as Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Operations, and will report directly to interim chief executive Steve Jobs. Cook, who spent 12 years at IBM prior to joining Compaq, will be responsible for leading Apple's global operations organizations which is accountable for worldwide procurement, supply chain management, manufacturing, and distribution. "We are extremely fortunate to have Tim on board to manage our worldwide operations team," said Steve Jobs in a statement. "Tim has a rare combination of experience which includes product development, procurement, manufacturing engineering and operations, logistics, channel configuration, and customer service and support."

Apple Computer - Compaq Computer


Wednesday, March 11th
New Apple Commercial To Debut Tonight
[TOP STORY 5:00PM] One month after debuting the wildly successful "Snail Ad," Apple Computer will be introducing a new 30-second commercial tonight during ABC's prime time lineup that promises to turn up the heat. The new spot, called "Bunnies," is the latest in the company's "Think Different" campaign.

Apple Computer

Apple Shares Close At New Six-Month High
[TOP STORY 4:50PM] Seemingly fueled by investor interest in the mysterious "Columbus" project, shares of Apple Computer today streaked 8.5 percent to close at a new six-month high of 26 1/8, on volume of 10.5 million. The gain of 2 1/16 points in today's trading session continued a run up that initiated in mid-February, when issues were priced around 17. Since news of the company's surprising profit in January, the stock price has almost doubled, and shares are closing in on the 52-week high of 29 3/4, which was set last August following Apple's truce with Microsoft and its board of director shakeup.

Apple Computer

Apple Displays Now Meet TCO 95 Standards
[4:35PM] Apple Computer today announced that its line of ColorSync Displays, formerly named AppleVision, now officially meet strict international TCO 95 standards for recyclability, low emissions, and power consumption. The adherence further distances the ColorSync Displays, which are the only monitors available to include Apple DigitalColor internal calibration technology -- a technology which offers color matching and accurate on-screen color representation, from others in the publishing field. "The Apple ColorSync Displays' built-in color calibration and adherence to strict new international standards goes far beyond what any other display manufacturer offers," said Apple's vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller in a statement. "The Apple ColorSync Display incorporates digital color calibration tools directly into the display at a price point competitive with non-calibrated displays." Following a round of price cuts last month, the ColorSync 17-inch and 20-inch Displays now retail for $799 and $1,799, respectively.

Apple Computer - Apple Displays

Netscape Server Tops In Customer Satisfaction
[3:35PM] A study released today by Creative Networks shows that server software from Netscape Communications ranks first in overall customer satisfaction. For the study, Creative says it interviewed individuals familiar with the specific and detailed attributes of the Web servers in use in 85 organizations in North America between October 1997 and February 1998 looking at both product quality and deployability as well as technical support and services. The results ranked Netscape Enterprise Server first in both categories. "In this study, we analyzed over 61 attributes for each product and vendor," said Nina Burns, president of Creative Networks, in a statement. "Customers rate Netscape the highest in overall satisfaction for technical support and services, industry leadership and pricing licensing and problem solving." Presently, Apple Computer's Web site and online store are hosted using Netscape Enterprise Server.

Netscape Communications - Apple Computer

Seybold Keynote Speaker Lineup Announced
[3:10PM] The list of keynote speakers for next week's Seybold Seminars at New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center were announced today. As reported earlier, Apple Computer's Steve Jobs will be headlining the conference at a special keynote session on Tuesday morning, March 17, the opening day of the expo. Jobs' appearance at the publishing industry event will be his fifth, and his second in as many shows. Meanwhile, speakers for the Seybold/Wired Web Publisher Conference, held March 16-17, include Nicholas Negroponte, director of MIT's Media Lab and Wired magazine contributor, and John Gage, Sun Microsystems' co-founder. The Seybold Publishing Systems Conference, held March 19-20, will feature keynote speakers James Adams, chief executive of United Press International, and Dan Bricklin, founder and chief technology officer of Trellix Corp.

Seybold Seminars

Report: "Columbus" To Have Color Screen
[2:20PM] According to a report by CNBC this afternoon, Apple Computer's top-secret "Columbus" project will feature a built-in 8-to-9-inch color display, a projected $650 price tag, and a chassis that resembles the original Macintosh. Bruce Francis, the network's technology correspondent, citing sources at The Envisioneering Group, also reported that the project is to be targeted at the education community, contradicting what was reported earlier this week on NEWS.COM, who said Columbus would most likely be a consumer-oriented entertainment device.

CNBC - Apple Computer

RealNetworks To Move To Waterfront Digs
[12:55PM] Underscoring its rapid growth, streaming multimedia leader RealNetworks is planning to move its company headquarters next year, though the firm will remain in its hometown of Seattle. The three-year old company, which currently employs 350 people, said it has signed a 12-year lease for a 175,000 square foot occupancy in the Seattle Trade Center development on the city's waterfront. With the new location, RealNetworks positions itself as a significant contributor to the area's high-technology economy.

RealNetworks

Analysts Chime In On Purported Apple Device
[12:30PM] A Reuters story discussing Apple Computer's reported plans to develop a new class of entertainment devices quotes analyst Lou Mazzucchelli as suggesting that next month's National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas could be the stage where Apple goes public with the project. "NAB would be the venue for this," Mazzucchelli, a Gerard Klauer & Mattison analyst, told the wire service, who added the Steve Jobs is currently scheduled to keynote the event, which kicks off April 6. Meanwhile, Richard Doherty, director of the Envisioneering Group in Seaford, N.Y, is quoted in the story as saying, "There are signs that Steve Jobs over the next 120 days will shake up the computer industry by introducing a very low- cost system." Doherty adds that the project could be one of the reasons why Apple delayed its shareholders meeting from early February to mid-April.

Reuters Story - Apple Computer

CompUSA To Celebrate Milestone This Weekend
[11:45AM] In celebration of the official chainwide grand opening of CompUSA's Apple "store within a store" environment, the computer superstore retailer will be holding special demonstrations this weekend. On both Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, customers will be able to "test drive" Power Macintosh G3 machines, take advantage of special promotions, and explore CompUSA's selection of Apple-related products at each of the store's 149 locations. In addition, on Sunday from noon to 5:00PM, representatives from Apple and other leading software companies will demonstrate top software, including Microsoft Office 98: Macintosh Edition. Productivity, game, and Internet titles will also be showcased. "This official grand opening of CompUSA's new Apple 'store within a store' celebrates our companies' shared commitment to providing excellent service and support to Mac users across the nation," commented Jim Halpin, president and chief executive officer of CompUSA.

"Together with CompUSA we have redefined the national retail buying experience for our customers," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim chief executive officer, in a statement. "Now Apple customers can visit 149 CompUSA Computer Superstores nationwide for a full selection of the latest Apple products and a knowledgeable staff available to assist them."

CompUSA - Apple Computer

Hancock Lands At Exodus Communications
[11:00AM] Ellen Hancock, the former Apple Computer senior executive who was ousted in last summer's firing of Gil Amelio, today was named president of Exodus Communications, a provider of Internet system and network management solutions for enterprises and mission-critical Internet operations. The 54-year old Hancock has been associated with the enterprise market throughout her distinguished career. She spent almost three decades at IBM and was a key factor in engineering Apple's December 1996 purchase of NeXT, who specialized in tools for the enterprise market at the time. "The Internet is a mission-critical medium being used by businesses today," said Hancock, who will report directly to Chandra Sekhar, chief executive and chairman of Exodus, in a statement. "I'm pleased to help Exodus continue to deliver solutions designed for doing business on the Internet."

Exodus Communications - Apple Computer

Apple, Microsoft To Converge Java Development
[10:10AM] The two distinct Java Virtual Machines (JVM) in development at Apple Computer and Microsoft will become a single harmonious product, under an agreement announced today between the two companies. The unified virtual machine will be based on Apple's Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) and will incorporate a variety of Microsoft Java technologies, including aspects of the J/Direct API, which gives Java applications access to native functions of the Mac OS. Apple said it expects to incorporate this functionality into a version of MRJ later this year. Once this is done, Microsoft Internet Explorer for the Mac will in turn rely exclusively on MRJ as its sole Java VM. In addition, the companies will integrate Microsoft's Security Zone technology for Java, as well as Microsoft's VM debugging API. The one-time arch rivals will also exchange their internal test suites to facilitate consistency and compatibility with real-world Java applications.

"This collaboration will allow Apple to continue to provide a Java-compatible VM while incorporating additional Microsoft technologies to deliver the best possible Java experience for our customers," said Avie Tevanian, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, in a statement. "Apple's recent Java work delivered significant advances with MRJ 2.0, and today's announcement will mean that our customers and developers can look forward to an even more robust and high-performance Java environment on Macintosh."

Apple Computer - Microsoft

Netscape Delivers Tools To Customize Browser
[9:40AM] Adding a new element to its Unlimited Distribution Program, Netscape Communications today announced a new set of tools that makes it possible to customize components of the Navigator and Communicator software packages. The Netscape Client Customization Kit (CCK), as the suite is called, enables companies to modify several aspects of the browser, including the traditional "N" logo, the default home page, preset bookmarks, as well as many other options. Companies will also have the option of providing either a dial-up version of Communicator or the Local Area Network (LAN) version. The kit, like Netscape's actual browser, can be licensed directly from the company free of charge, and a downloadable version for Windows 95/NT and Macintosh machines will be available on the Web within the next week.

"The Client Customization Kit will allow these companies [ISPs, OEMs, and Internet content providers] to generate new customers through direct marketing or by bundling our free client software with their current product offerings, which not only helps distribute Netscape Navigator and Netscape Communicator, but ultimately pulls more new users of Netscape client software to the Internet," said Mike Homer, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Netscape, in a statement.

Netscape Communications - Unlimited Distribution

Fireworks Announced, Public Beta Available
[8:50AM] Further positioning itself as a Web-centric company, Macromedia yesterday announced details of Fireworks, a new graphics production tool aimed squarely at the needs of Web designers. The new tool incorporates such advanced features as a visual export preview, complete control over compression and color palettes, automatic generation of button states and JavaScript rollovers, as well as text and effects which are editable all the time. "Fireworks inaugurates a new category of Web graphics production tools," said Norm Meyrowitz, executive vice president and chief technical officer at Macromedia, in a statement. "Just as Dreamweaver was the first visual Web authoring tool for professionals concerned about preserving the quality of their code and Flash pioneered delivery of compact vector-based Web animations, Fireworks is the first graphics tool which specifically addresses the issue of creating images for the Internet." Available now in a public beta release, Fireworks is slated for delivery this summer and is expected to be priced at $299.

Macromedia - Fireworks Information


Tuesday, March 10th
Consumers Targeted With New Apple Devices
[TOP STORY 6:00PM] Preliminary details of a top-secret platform, believed to be code named "Columbus," under development at Apple Computer have been exposed by NEWS.COM. According to the online trade, Apple is at work on portable and TV set-top entertainment devices that offer Internet access and play everything from music CDs to DVD movies -- a concept similar to the now-defunct Pippen product, but apparently completely separate in terms of technology. The report speculates the Columbus could be the first "pet project" of Steve Jobs, as well as initial evidence of Apple's network computer (NC) development. However, unlike an NC, the project would not be intended as a replacement for computers, but rather a device that is marketed as an entertainment box or information appliance. NEWS.COM also says the Columbus devices would be able to connect with any ISP, regardless of the software they're running -- a stark contrast to WebTV, which requires customers to use its proprietary service. Nevertheless, Apple is apparently hoping to position Rhapsody as the server operating system of choice for Columbus.

NEWS.COM Article - Apple Computer

Painter Takes A Step Into A New Dimension
[4:30PM] MetaCreations today announced a new version of the 3D painting tool formerly known as Fractal Design Detailer. Now christened "Painter 3D," the product is one that brings the company's venerable Natural-Media technology to artists and designers working with computer-generated 3D imagery. Scheduled to ship early this spring for both Windows and Macintosh, the new version will feature an expanded set of plug-ins that allow users to natively work with files from Ray Dream Studio, Ray Dream 3D, and Kinetix' 3D Studio MAX. Painter 3D, which will carry a street price of $299, will also include support for simultaneous map painting that will allow designers to map one image to a series of objects. In addition, MetaCreations says the application will feature multiple-object management, new model-view controls, and user-interface enhancements.

"Painter 3D fills an established need for 3D digital artists to generate realistic and artistic textures on 3D models in real time," said Frank Casanova II, MetaCreations' vice president of product management and design, in a statement. "By incorporating the Natural-Media painting technology found in our other Painter family products, digital artists will be instantly familiar with the professional tools and functionality of Painter 3D."

MetaCreations

Happy Endings: The Ego Has Landed
[PERSPECTIVE] It's not just the fact that Apple killed Newton that's got me riled. I understand it was an important business decision and that Apple may be focused on some Mac OS Lite solution for handhelds. Even though I loved the Newton, I never managed to buy myself a MessagePad 2100, still waiting for a time when I had cash to burn and Apple offered a fire sale on the thing... [MORE]

Macromedia To Put On Fireworks Display
[2:55PM] Macromedia will be putting on the first public display of Fireworks, its new Web-oriented graphics production tool, for the Spring Internet World crowd at a private showing tomorrow evening in Los Angeles. The San Francisco, Calif.-based company also says Fireworks will make a nonpublic appearance at next week's Seybold Seminars in New York. The new application is one of the cover stories in this week's edition of MacWEEK, and is also the subject of an ongoing, and somewhat over-the-top, Web skit called the "Sludge Report."

Macromedia - Sludge Report - MacWEEK

Companies To Showcase PDF At Seybold
[1:35PM] Extensis Corporation along with a group of prepress industry leaders will take part in the Extensis PDF Workflow Pavilion, an educational booth dedicated to showcasing PDF as a standard for electronic document distribution and four color printing, at next week's Seybold Seminars in New York. With partners Adobe Systems, AGFA, Apple Computer, Creo Corporation, Scitex, Tektronix, and Graphics Arts Center, Extensis will demonstrate the first interactive PDF workflow through a multi-vendor digital imaging system. "By adopting PDF as a universal file format for entire print production workflows, industry leaders are committing to a solution that is application, platform, network and output device independent," said Mary Sommerset, a senior product marketing manager at Extensis, in a statement today. "The result is an improved digital workflow that ensures greater flexibility, reliability and increased performance."

Extensis PDF Workflow - Seybold Seminars

Imagine This: A Virtually-Based Radio Network
[12:00PM] Publishing mogul Imagine Media this week debuted its latest online venture, an ambitious round-the-clock network of Internet-based radio stations designed to appeal to tech junkies and music lovers alike. Entitled "Imagine Radio," the network features more than 20 original stations, including 24-hour live news coverage from the Associated Press, four stations of talk show programming, and sixteen genre-based music stations that range from smooth jazz to alternative rock to classical. "We've morphed the best of traditional radio with the best of the Net to introduce a totally new medium," said Chris Anderson, president and CEO of Imagine Media, the parent company of Imagine Radio, in a statement. "Users can rate their favorite songs, find out artist names and song titles, stay connected to breaking news, and hear the best in today's talk commentary and tomorrow's music." Among the content most interesting to Macintosh fans is The MacAddict Hour, a one-hour talk show about everything Mac from the people who bring you the pub of the same name.

Imagine Radio - MacAddict

Terry Morse, GoLive Team On Software Bundle
[10:15AM] On the heels of yesterday's release of Terry Morse Myrmidon 2.1, a new version of the popular Web page converter that adds CyberStudio-specific enhancements, Terry Morse Software and GoLive Systems today teamed up to offer a value-added software bundle. Priced at $349, the bundle will include full copies of Myrmidon 2.1 and CyberStudio 2, as well as a copy of the CyberStudio 2.0 Quick Start Guide from PeachPit Press. Purchased separately, the package, which is available direct from GoLive's Web site, would cost nearly $470.

GoLive Systems - Terry Morse Software

NUpowr Speeds Aging PowerBook 1400 Series
[9:55AM] Newer Technology today formally announced their much anticipated G3 upgrade cards for Apple Computer's PowerBook 1400 series. As previously reported, the NUpowr add-ons come in two different flavors; a 216-MHz version with 512k of cache, priced at $699, and a $999 250-MHz model decked out with 1MB of cache. Both cards will begin shipping in April, the company says, and each version will put the low-end notebook on par with Apple's top-of-the-line PowerBook G3, at a fraction of the cost. Under the standard MacBench 4.0 benchmarks, the 216-MHz and 250-MHz NUpowr cards scored 634 and 875, respectively, compared with the PowerBook G3 marks of 746. "Now people who bought PowerBook 1400's last year and don't want to spend $5,000 on a new G3 mobile computer have a very attractive alternative," said James P. Wiebe, president and CEO of Newer, in a statement. In addition, because of the G3 processor's low power consumption, Wichita, Kan.-based Newer says customers will see extended battery life when using the NUpowr.

Newer Technology - Apple Computer

RealNetworks Finds Leader For Media Group
[8:55AM] RealNetworks, the de facto force in the streaming multimedia marketplace, yesterday named former Starwave Corp. executive Alex Alben as vice president of its Media Publishing Group. Under the role, Alben will report directly to Bruce Jacobsen, president and chief operating officer at RealNetworks, and will be responsible for managing the company's publishing assets, including Film.com, MusicNet, and LiveConcerts.com. Most recently, Alben served as vice president of business affairs and general counsel at Starwave, the Bellevue, WA-based company responsible for ESPNet SportsZone, Mr. Showbiz, Outdoor Online, NBA.COM, and NFL.com, and NASCAR Online. "I am thrilled to be a part of RealNetworks' pioneering efforts in establishing the Internet as the best way for the entertainment industry to reach audiences and communicate interactively about new movies and albums," Alben said in a statement.

RealNetworks - StarWave Corp.

PCs Now Present In Over 45% Of U.S. Homes
[8:10AM] Adoption of personal computers by homes in the United States have hit a new all-time high, thanks in part to the robust sales of sub-$1,000 systems. According to market research firm Computer Intelligence (CI), as of late 1997, PCs were present in 45 percent of all U.S. homes, up a full three points from figures gathered in August of last year. While certainly not the only reason for the growth, the surge in sales of sub-$1,000 machines, which made up as much as 40 percent of the market late last year, was the most likely factor, as pointed out by Dave Tremblay, a senior industry analyst at CI. "That's the one thing that stands out as a possible explanation," Tremblay told online publication NEWS.COM. "That looks like the likely candidate."

NEWS.COM Article - Computer Intelligence

Apple To Broadcast Jobs' Keynote Nationwide
[7:30AM] Steve Jobs' keynote speech at next week's Seybold show in New York will be televised at Apple Computer's Market Centers in the U.S. and Canada. Centers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Reston, and Toronto will receive a live feed of the event, which is scheduled for next Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00AM . (A showing in Santa Monica will be on tape delay.) Apple says Jobs is expected to touch on the company's "new" Power Macintosh G3 machines, QuickTime 3.0, and FireWire, also known as IEEE 1394. Reservations for the event can be made by calling 1-800-895-4853 or by visiting Apple's seminar page. Meanwhile, for individuals without a Market Center in their immediate area, several publications (CNET, ZDNet, etc.) will be Webcasting the keynote. In addition, for individuals with access to standard Telstar 5 or Galaxy C4 signals, Apple has provided instructions on their site for downloading the satellite feed.

Keynote Viewing Options - Apple Computer


Monday, March 9th
Apple To Broadcast Jobs' Keynote Nationwide
[6:35PM] Steve Jobs' keynote speech at next week's Seybold show in New York will be televised at Apple Computer's Market Centers in the U.S. and Canada. Centers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Reston, and Toronto will receive a live feed of the event, which is scheduled for next Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00AM . (A showing in Santa Monica will be on tape delay.) Apple says Jobs is expected to touch on the company's "new" Power Macintosh G3 machines, QuickTime 3.0, and FireWire, also known as IEEE 1394. Reservations for the event can be made by calling 1-800-895-4853 or by visiting Apple's seminar page. Meanwhile, for individuals without a Market Center in their immediate area, several publications (CNET, ZDNet, etc.) will be Webcasting the keynote. In addition, for individuals with access to standard Telstar 5 or Galaxy C4 signals, Apple has provided instructions on their site for downloading the satellite feed.

Keynote Viewing Options - Apple Computer

Rockstar Redefines Convenience With GearBox
[REVIEW] Internet service providers, large and small, from coast-to-coast must be ecstatic -- folks by the thousands are signing up for Internet accounts each month. A common issue ISP techies face, however, is determining how much "hand-holding" a new customer requires. To its credit, Apple has attempted to make the Internet connection process as painless as possible on the client end for novices and pros alike. From its cobbled application suite dubbed the "Internet Connection Kit" introduced several years ago, to the updated and revamped TCP and OpenTransport/PPP control panels, extensions and connection scripts included with Mac OS 8.x, Apple has streamlined this process, but still hasn't addressed the needs of those who want "one-stop shopping" when it comes to configuring their Mac for the Internet, and those who need to share Internet apps on the same Mac... [MORE]

UMAX Sees February Sales Jump 50 Percent
[5:10PM] UMAX Data Systems, the Taiwanese parent of UMAX Computer Corporation, last week reported a 50 percent jump in sales for the month of February, compared with year ago numbers. According to Reuters, the revenue spike reflected increasing sales of the company's scanners and computers. UMAX expects its scanner business to reach 3.6 million units shipped in 1998, while its budding notebook computer division is projected to turn out 120,000 machines during the year. Specific sales figures for UMAX' Macintosh clone systems were not disclosed.

Reuters Article - UMAX

Former Intuit Exec To Head Austin-Hayne
[4:45PM] Austin-Hayne, a publisher of human resource software, has tapped John Monson, former senior vice president and general manger of the Small Business Division at Intuit, as its new president and chief executive officer. Monson is credited with establishing Intuit's Quicken as the leading product and brand in consumer software and turning QuickBooks into a profitable $100 million business. Of his new role, Monson said in a statement, "I joined Austin-Hayne because our products provide the best tools for organizations to significantly improve how they manage and develop their people. Using Intranet technology, our performance management products improve the quality and reduce the cost of performance reviews."

Austin-Hayne - Intuit

3Com Officially Introduces Newest PalmPilot
[2:15PM] As expected, 3Com's Palm Computing unit today added a new, upgraded model to its popular PalmPilot family. Palm III, the device's third generation, is expected to be available in April for $399 and will add additional storage space, infrared (IR) beaming capabilities, an optimized user interface, as well as a refined industrial design. The unit will run Palm OS 3.0, a new version of Palm Computing's underlying operating system that has been updated to take advantage of unit's expanded features. Much like Apple Computer's Newton devices, the Palm III will provide new communications opportunities with its IR port, which allows records and applications to be "beamed" from one Palm III device to another. In terms of memory, the Palm III will not only feature 2MB of RAM (enough to store 6,000 addresses, five years of appointments, 1,500 to-do items, 1,500 memos, and 200 email messages), but also flash memory, which will make software-based operating system upgrades a reality.

"With the Palm III organizer, our goal was to deliver a product that would delight our customers by building on the ease-of-use, form factor, instant response, connectivity and value that made the PalmPilot products the best-selling handheld devices worldwide," said Ed Colligan, VP of marketing for Palm Computing, in a statement. "To do this, we optimized existing features and produced a new industrial design that is both elegant and highly durable. We considered numerous additional features and carefully selected only those that both deliver new functionality and retain our dedication to portability, simplicity and affordability."

As a sign of support for its existing base of users, Palm Computing also announced two upgrade paths today. First, all Pilot 1000 and Pilot 5000 owners who purchase the new Palm III will be able to trade in their current organizer for $75. Secondly, registered users will also be able to gain the added software, IR, and extended memory functionality of the new device via the Palm 2MB Upgrade, which is expected to be available this June.

Meanwhile, Macintosh Pilot users will be glad to hear of Palm Computing's new plan for Mac OS connectivity. The current MacPac will continued to be sold separately, but the company is committed to releasing a much-needed upgrade this summer. 3Com says the revision is being written specifically for the Mac OS and will provide an "extensible conduit architecture." The architecture will enable third-party companies to develop Mac OS specific conduits and desktop applications that seamlessly integrate and synchronize with any Palm Computing platform based-device. A pre-release version of the conduit software developer kit (SDK) is already available, and interested parties are asked to contact 3Com.

3Com - Palm Computing

Tengah "Merced" Bound Following Investment
[Updated 1:15PM] Continuing its developer courtship for the upcoming IA-64 platform, Intel today made an investment in WebLogic, a San Francisco, Calif.-based Java developer, and announced that the two will work together to optimize the performance of WebLogic's Tengah Java application server for the Intel Architecture, including the "Merced" processor. "We believe that technologies such as the WebLogic Java Application Server running on Intel-based servers will better enable Fortune 1000 corporations to build Internet applications for the enterprise that solve critical business problems," said John Miner, VP and GM of Intel's Enterprise Server Group, in a statement. "Intel Architecture is the unifying architecture for Enterprise Computing and WebLogic's Tengah Server is an excellent example of the ability of the Intel server platform to put Java to work."

Meanwhile, in a separate announcement today, WebLogic announced it has secured even more corporate financing. In its first ever venture capital funding, the company captured $12.5 million from a group of investors who include venture capitalists TL Ventures, Bay Partners, and Cambridge Technology Capital.

Intel - WebLogic

Diamond, Cisco Say Shotgun Tests Successful
[11:30AM] Diamond Multimedia Systems and Cisco Systems have successfully completed interoperability testing between Diamond's Shotgun modem technology and Cisco's universal access servers, including the newly announced carrier-class AS5800 series, the AS5300, the AS5200 and the Cisco 3600 series. The Shotgun technology, announced last November, enhances Internet access by bonding together the bandwidth of two modems and two regular phones for a theoretical throughput of 112Kbps. The positive test results, which demonstrated the portable architecture of Shotgun and its ability to support a variety of protocols, will help expand ISP adoption. "Shotgun's interoperability with Cisco access servers paves the way for Diamond Multimedia to cultivate more ISP and corporate exposure," said Jim Cady, vice president and general manager of Diamond, in a statement.

Diamond Multimedia - Cisco Systems

IE 4.0 Adoption Growing In Smaller Businesses
[10:15AM] A recent study conducted by MSI International East, a research firm out of King of Prussia, PA, shows that Internet Explorer 4.0 has effectively taken over the browser market in small and medium-sized companies. According to the study, 57 percent of the desktops in this market have selected Microsoft's IE 4.0 as their browser of choice. The group of businesses surveyed cited ease of use, integration, and standards support as the top reasons for going with IE over Netscape Communications' rival Navigator browser. The study, which surveyed small and medium-sized firms spanning industries such as manufacturing, government, insurance, financial services, consulting, education and health care, was conducted in October through December of last year through telephone interviews of 547 IT managers.

"The adoption of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 by these organizations demonstrates the superior value Internet Explorer has for small and medium-sized businesses," said Yusuf Mehdi, director of Microsoft's applications and Internet client group, in a statement. "Leading companies everywhere are finding that Internet Explorer offers customers a robust development environment, as well as a cost-effective Internet and intranet solution."

Microsoft - Internet Explorer

Apple Reveals Plans For Online Education Store
[9:25AM] Apple Computer is planning to extend its popular online storefront to K-12 education institutes in late April, a note posted on the company's Web site this past weekend revealed. Beginning Thursday, April 30, the new online Apple Store for education will give authorized education purchasers the ability to order Apple products via the Web on behalf of their institution. In addition, Apple's build-to-order manufacturing system will be available to buyers, who will still retain their special education pricing. Purchasers, however, will need to go through a special registration process before becoming eligible to order from the store. Apple says a more general education store, targeted at higher education students, faculty, and staff, and K-12 educators purchasing for personal use, will debut "later this spring."

Apple Store for Education - Education E-commerce Q&A;

Pioneer Begins Shipment Of DVD-R Discs
[8:25AM] Pioneer New Media Technologies, a domestic wing of Japanese-based Pioneer, today announced the availability of its DVD-R media, the high-density, write-once, recordable derivative of the DVD medium. Conforming with version 1.0 of the DVD-R specification, Pioneer says its media offers 3.95GB of storage, and supports the new UDF Bridge file system, which is a hybrid of the newer UDF system and the older ISO format. This allows DVD discs to be used in conjunction with operating systems which do not have a provision for UDF. "DVD-R technology now enables various industries to meet the demands of their storage-intensive applications by creating and archiving large amounts of data to a single disc," said Paul Dempsey, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Pioneer, in a statement.

Pioneer New Media


Friday, March 6th
Citrix Brings Windows Apps To Macintosh, UNIX
[5:20PM] Using technology it recently acquired from SoftWindows maker Insignia Solutions, Citrix Systems has developed Macintosh and UNIX clients that interop with its WinFrame thin-client/server software, giving the two platforms the capability to run Windows-based applications across a network. Described by some as the Windows equivalent to X-Windows, the WinFrame architecture allows remote execution of Windows-based program without the need for specialized software emulation layers. Based on Citrix's Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) technology, the new clients can now be downloaded at no charge from the company's Web site. The Macintosh version is available for both 68K and PowerPC machines, and Citrix says the client will also support its upcoming "pICAsso" project.

"The UNIX and Macintosh ICA Clients further our goal of providing universal access to Windows-based applications, regardless of user device or platform," said David Weiss, director of product management for Citrix, in a statement. "By establishing seamless connectivity between WinFrame and these Clients, Citrix has simplified the process of deploying applications to Macintosh and UNIX devices."

Citrix Systems

3Dfx Completes Second Public Stock Offering
[2:45PM] 3Dfx Interactive, makers of the high performance Voodoo chipset that drives TechWorks' Power3D video card, today completed a public offering of 3 million shares of common stock at $23.75 per share. Two-thirds of the options were sold by the company itself, while the remaining allocation came by way of selling shareholders, which included Intel. An underwriting group of BancAmerica Robertson Stephens, NationsBanc Montgomery Securities LLC, and UBS Securities LLC managed the offering, of which proceeds will be used by the company for general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures, working capital, expansion of sales and marketing and R&D; efforts, and financing of accounts receivable and inventories.

3Dfx Interactive - Intel

Myst Sequel Surpasses 1 Million Unit Milestone
[11:55AM] Proving for the second time that a non-action, story-based game can be a smashing success, Red Orb Entertainment today announced that Riven has sold more than 1 millions units since its release last October. The numbers, compiled by research firm PC Data, are based on sales at major software retailers, including CompUSA, Best Buy, Egghead, Office Depot, Toys R US, and Babbages. "Since we began tracking software sales in 1991, Riven is the first product in the entertainment software category to rise to the top of the charts and take the number one position for the year in just over two months," said Ann Stephens, president of PC Data, in a statement. In addition, Cyan Entertainment's epic was also the top selling CD-ROM game for the entire past year, a truly astounding feat, considering that Riven had only two months of sales in 1997. Probably even more amazing is the continued success of Riven's predecessor, Myst. Despite having been released over four years ago, Myst ranked as the number two selling game in 1997, PC Data said.

Riven - Cyan Entertainment - PC Data


Thursday, March 5th
Bare Bones, MacConnect Announce Partnership
[5:30PM] Bare Bones Software and MacConnect yesterday forged a partnership that will give customers special discounted rates on selected Internet services from MacConnect. According to the companies, MacConnect will waive the $15 setup fee and provide the first month of access for $9.95 for any new dial-up customers referred by Bare Bones. The Macintosh-only Internet provider will also discount its Web hosting fees. The normal $25 setup fee will be waived and the first month's worth of service will be $34.95. In addition, under the alliance, MacConnect customers will be able to purchase the full version of BBEdit for $79 when placing orders directly through Bare Bones.

Bare Bones Software - MacConnect

PowerBook Zip Drive Becomes More Affordable
[4:40PM] VST Technologies today announced an immediate 15 percent price reduction on its Zip100 for PowerBook, a move which the company hopes will broaden the removable Zip drive's appeal. At it's new $299 price tag, the Zip100, which began shipping last November after more than a year's worth of delays, still remains priced $100 higher than its stand-alone cousin, though many believe the product's sheer convenience factor, especially its hot-swappable capabilities, warrants the premium.

VST Technologies

Apple's Network Assistant 3.5 Enters Beta
[2:45PM] Apple Network Assistant 3.5, the latest version of Apple Computer's server software that lets administrators manage a group of networked Mac OS-based computers over TCP/IP and AppleTalk networks, entered public beta testing today. The company says the upgrade includes native support for TCP/IP, improved support for screen-sharing over slower network connections, and better security, which enables network administrators to create multiple password levels as well as restricted passwords. The release also features the ability to set and change various Internet and TCP/IP settings, as well as asset management features that allow equipment tracking.

Apple Network Assistant 3.5 Beta - Apple Computer

Netscape Posts Draft License For Source Code
[1:55PM] Furthering along its promise to publicly deliver the source code to Communicator 5.0 by the end of this month, Netscape Communications today posted a draft version of the Netscape Public License (NPL) on its mozilla.org developer repository. The company hopes to solicit feedback from the commercial developer and open source communities and will be accepting comments on the preliminary license for one week. "The purpose of the Netscape Public License is to enable the maximum number of individuals and organizations to access the code and participate in its development," said Marc Andreessen, executive vice president of products at Netscape, in a statement. "By allowing early access to the draft version of the license, we can help ensure that it meets the needs of those people who will be adding enhancements, and creating increased benefits for our customers."

Draft License - mozilla.org - Netscape Communications

3Com Slashes Prices On Exisiting PalmPilot Line
[1:10PM] In preparation for next week's planned rollout of a brand new model, 3Com's Palm Computing unit today announced price cuts on its existing lineup of PalmPilot devices. The company lowered pricing on the Personal Edition of its popular organizer to $199, down from $249. The higher-end Professional Edition went from $369 to $299, a cut of just over 18 percent. In addition, the suggested retail price of the PalmPilot 1MB Professional Upgrade, which is used to extend the Personal Edition's storage capabilities, was reduced to $79 from $129. "When we created the PalmPilot, one of our primary goals was to make it easily affordable," said Ed Colligan, vice president of marketing for Palm Computing, in a statement. "We will continue to set the value standard in our category, and make our product affordable to more people by reaching aggressive new price points."

According to industry reports, 3Com is preparing to unveil a new model, currently known as "Palm III," next Monday. As we reported earlier in the week, the unit is said to feature improved handwriting recognition and a new, more organic industrial design.

Palm Computing - 3Com

First Quarter Profit Warning Rocks Intel
[11:45AM] Citing surprisingly weak demand for its chips, Intel warned investors yesterday that its first quarter profits and revenues will be lower than previously anticipated. Prior to their announcement, the semiconductor giant had expected revenues for the quarter to remain flat with fourth quarter marks of $6.5 billion, but the company now estimates that sales will be down 10 percent in the current quarter. In particular, Intel says the shortfall is due to slow OEM (original equipment manufacturer) turns -- orders from PC manufacturers to be shipped within the quarter. The warning has rocked Intel stock in today's early trading. Shares of the company were off substantially in after hours trading yesterday, and likewise, opened down more than 11 points this morning. Other technology stocks have also been stung by Intel's gloomy announcement, particularly Dell Computer and Microsoft.

Intel - Intel Quote

Apple Learning Interchange Web Site Debuts
[10:15AM] Extending its reach to the education market, Apple Computer today announced the debut of the Apple Learning Interchange, a Web site which provides materials and tools -- such as teacher-tested lessons, photos, maps and videos -- to encourage and support collaboration among educators. Daily news on education-related topics is incorporated into the new site, as are chat rooms that enable teachers to interact and share information with colleagues. "The Learning Interchange is yet another example of how Apple is providing teachers with innovative resources to support them in the classroom," said Mike Lorion, vice president of Education Sales for Apple, in a statement. "We know that teachers hold a wealth of information and tools -- the Learning Interchange enables them to share that wealth with others."

Concurrently, Apple also said it has released six new titles in its Education Series, a special suite of software and curriculum products and programs for K-12 and general education. The new titles include Student Desktop Tools, Middle School Connections: Math and Science, Middle School Connections: Language Arts and Social Studies, Internet Curriculum Connections, Elementary Creativity and Reference, and Advanced Reference Tools.

Apple Computer


Wednesday, March 4th
Microsoft Drops $6 Mln. Into General Magic
[4:40PM] Microsoft today made a $6 million minority investment in General Magic as part of a pact that will grant Microsoft access to certain General Magic technologies. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based General Magic has been working on a virtual assistant network service, code-named "Serengeti," that synchronizes information with Microsoft's family of products, including Outlook, Schedule+, and Internet Explorer, as well as Windows CE-based devices and the WebTV service. Serengeti gives mobile professionals access to email, faxes, addresses, calenders, news, and stock quotes via a telephone using a proprietary voice user interface or via a Web browser. "Products like Serengeti can provide users with worldwide access to much of their important information,"said Nathan Myhrvold, CTO at Microsoft, in a statement. "We are pleased to see General Magic's integration of Serengeti with Microsoft applications such as Outlook and Internet Explorer, and General Magic's exclusive use of Windows NT-based servers in its first Network Operations Center."

Microsoft - General Magic

EveryWare Announces Major Tango Upgrade
[3:55PM] EveryWare Development today released details of Tango for FileMaker 3.0, the latest version of its visual development tool used for integrating FileMaker Pro databases with the Web. Slated to ship this quarter, version 3.0 incorporates enhanced drag-and-drop capabilities, server side Java integration, support for FileMaker 4.0, and JavaScript 1.2 compatibility. By including JavaScript within Tango, Web developers will be able to utilize their existing JavaScript knowledge without having to rely on, or learn, a new proprietary scripting language. "This latest version of Tango for FileMaker shows EveryWare's commitment to the Macintosh developer community, by providing a feature set that enables developers to create sophisticated web-based applications," said Michael Senechal, Tango Product Manager, in a statement. EveryWare also said it expects to ship the Enterprise edition of Tango one month after the regular version's release.

EveryWare Development - FileMaker Information

MetaCreations' Painter Becomes A Classic
[1:10PM] MetaCreations today announced a stripped-down version of its high-end natural media painting program targeted at "emerging digital artists." Painter Classic, available immediately for Windows and Power Macintosh machines, like its sibling, utilizes the company's core natural media engine, which effectively replicates traditional media like paint, chalk and brush strokes. Where the new $99 Classic package differs is in its user interface. MetaCreations has stripped away the sub-palettes that give Painter added functionality, and they've also redesigned and simplified the interface to accommodate budding artists. "With the introduction of Painter Classic, we are reaching out to an entire new segment of computer enthusiasts and digital artists with an affordable and elegant way to work with pencils, chalks, oils and brushes on a computer desktop," said Mark Zimmer, inventor of Natural-Media technology, and CTO at MetaCreations, in a statement.

MetaCreations

Sculley: Dropping Newton "Makes Sense"
[11:15AM] Commenting on last week's demise of the platform he once frantically backed, former Apple Computer CEO John Sculley told the San Francisco Chronicle this week that dropping the Newton makes sense, as Steve Jobs had to focus on Apple's core product. "Dropping Newton and putting everything behind the Mac makes sense," Sculley wrote in an email to writer Tom Abate. However, Sculley says he's remains puzzled why the Newton platform didn't evolve in other directions. "I have no explanation why Apple failed to develop Newton... The Newton in 1998 looks remarkably unchanged from the Newton in 1993, with the exception that the handwriting now works and the screen is readable. Why wasn't it miniaturized, cost reduced; why didn't it learn from the great success of the PalmPilot that simple tasks like data synchronization with your desktop PC are really useful; etc?"

SF Chronicle Article - Apple Computer

Optima's CDWriter On Display At Apple EBC
[10:25AM] Optima Technology said today its CDWriter, a 1.3GB capacity CD-R/CD-RW system, is now on display at Apple Computer's Executive Briefing Center (EBC). The EBC, situated on the Apple campus in Cupertino, Calif., showcases the latest and greatest in Apple and related third-party technology. The Center is used by Apple salespeople to brief their top accounts on the company's plans, products, and strategies for the future. "The EBC is a tool used by our sales force to promote Apple Computer products and solutions to our top customers in all markets and channels worldwide," explained Jesse Stein, Apple's Product Line Manager, Hardware Technologies. "We are constantly looking for third-party solutions, especially in our core markets of Education, Graphics/PrePress and Content Creation. In review of Optima's CDWriter, we see a very powerful solution unique to the Mac OS."

Optima Technology - Apple Computer

Newer Tech Set To Announce G3 1400 Upgrade
[9:45AM] Owners of Apple Computer's PowerBook 1400 series, a well rounded notebook family but never a speed demon by any account, will soon be able to add a G3 label to their machines. According to NEWS.COM, Newer Technology will announce tomorrow their long-awaited PowerPC 750 (G3) upgrade card for the popular portable series. The NuPowr upgrades will come in two variations; a 216-MHz version, priced at $699, and a top-of-the-line 250-MHz design for $999. Combining the 1400 series' recently adjusted prices (machines can now be had for around $1,800) and the cost of Newer's upgrade, users will effectively be able to get a G3-class portable for a fraction of what it would normally cost to purchase the PowerBook G3, which currently goes for $5,600. And Newer says a machine using the 250-MHz processor card will actually outperform Apple's G3-based unit, in part because of the NuPowr's use of 1MB of backside cache, compared to the PowerBook's 512K.

NEWS.COM Article - Newer Technology

Miller Brothers End Working Relationship
[9:00AM] Rand and Robyn Miller, the brothers responsible for Myst and Riven -- two of the best-selling CD-ROM games of all time -- have officially acknowledged the end of their working relationship. During their time together, the tandem went from complete anonymity to one of the most successful development partnerships of the '90s, solely upon the unrivaled success of Myst, which has sold an extraordinary 4 million copies and still rides the top-ten best seller's list, even five years after its original release. Rand, in London to promote the Sony PlayStation version of Riven, broke news of the breakup, amicable by all accounts, to Web magazine Salon. He told the publication that he will now take sole leadership of Cyan Productions, the duo's game development firm in Spokane, Wash. (Richard Vander Wende, the third part of the Riven team, has also departed from the company.) Robyn, the younger brother, has left "design new worlds," which will entirely separate from the Myst and Riven universes.

In an email message to Salon, Robyn said, "I am, indeed, 'off making worlds.' Really, though, the worlds are just a vehicle for something I'm far more interested in: stories. Having never really taken an opportunity to test myself (and express myself) in a more linear medium, I'm anxious to finally go that route and see what happens. Rand and I agreed that this would not be best achieved within the walls of Cyan, which is, at its core, an interactive company. So, because of that, and because of some of the obvious risk associated with what I'm doing, we agreed that my work should be a bit more independent."

Salon Magazine - Cyan Productions


Tuesday, March 3rd
AudioNet To Broadcast New CNN Audioselect
[5:30PM] AudioNet today said it will lend its vast multimedia distribution network to CNN Interactive to broadcast their newly launched online service, CNN Audioselect. Under the agreement, AudioNet will broadcast live audio feeds of the network's family of channels, including CNN, CNN Headline News, CNN International, CNN/SI, and CNN en Espanol. "CNN is the world leader in news broadcasting, and by teaming with AudioNet, they are helping to set the stage for the Internet becoming the next mass broadcast medium," said Todd Wagner, chief executive officer of AudioNet, in a statement. AudioNet said the service will support both RealPlayer and Netshow streaming technologies.

AudioNet - CNN Audioselect

Compass Acquires Apple's Plastic Supplier
[4:15PM] Compass Plastics & Technologies today completed its previously announced $17.4 million acquisition of San Jose, Calif.-based MOS Plastics, a provider of turn-key plastics parts and subassemblies for clients including Apple Computer, Silicon Graphics, and Hewlett-Packard. "We look forward to working with the team at MOS and building on their existing engineering capabilities and customer relationships," said Michael Gibbs, president and chief executive officer of Compass Plastics, in a statement. Gibbs added, "The management and employees of MOS are an integral part of our growth strategy. In order to align their interests with those of our shareholders, 29 key MOS employees have been granted stock options in Compass." The companies also said MOS Plastics' founder, Werner Schulz, will be given a seat aboard Compass' board of directors.

Apple Computer

3Com Readies Next-Generation PalmPilot
[3:25PM] Next month, 3Com is expected to roll out a next-generation version of its wildly successful PalmPilot personal digital assistant (PDA). According to NEWS.COM, the new device, tentatively labeled "Palm III," will sport a slightly curvier outer casing, as well as an update to its operating system, the PalmOS. Sources tell the online publication that the price is expected to be set at $399 and the new unit will improve on the device's handwriting recognition. Currently, 3Com uses the Graffiti software package as the underlying hardwriting engine for the Personal and Professional versions of the PalmPilot. Meanwhile, Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, says that over 1.6 million PalmPilots have been sold to date, a number which will grow to around 2.2 million by the end of the year.

NEWS.COM Article - 3Com

Happy Endings: May You Live in Dull Times
[PERSPECTIVE] I know it's not over, I know we're not out of the woods and, however irrational the motivation, I hop onto Webintosh and MacSurfer every morning to make sure Apple didn't slip into oblivion while I was sleeping. But I must say, I've been breathing easier over the past few weeks. For all of 1997, I was on the defensive. Writing a weekly column in a Colorado computing magazine, hosting a computer talk show in Denver, writing a weekly for Webintosh (for the second half of '97, anyway) and other monthly columns on the matter, I tried to relate the issues surrounding Apple is as complete and fair of a light as possible. That was a minority position... [MORE]

IBM Secures Rights To Sun's picoJava Design
[12:50PM] Continuing its adoption of Java, IBM today entered into an agreement with Sun Microsystems to license Sun's picoJava I processor core. The picoJava, a microprocessor chip designed to accelerate Java application performance in consumer electronic products, will be used by IBM to help electronics manufacturers develop new classes of network-connected devices based on the processor technology. "Our recent merger with CommQuest Technologies will help us provide the components for wireless connectivity to the network," said Luis Arzubi, vice president of the IBM Microelectronics Division, in a statement. "Now, with picoJava, we can work with our customers to further enhance their products with Java applications."

Using the Sun-designed chip, IBM will have the ability to embed Java software directly on microchips, making it possible for Java applications to efficiently run on devices, such as PDAs, game devices, global positioning systems, and a vast array of other home, office, and mobile applications, that typically have a lower memory ceiling compared to desktop machines.

IBM Microelectronics - Sun Microsystems

Netscape Execs File To Sell 850,000 Shares
[11:50AM] Despite the fact that shares of Netscape Communications are trading near their 52-week low, company co-founder Marc Andreessen and a group of four other top executives have filed to sell 850,000 shares, NEWS.COM reported yesterday. Andreessen, Michael Homer, James Sha, Roberta Katz, and Richard Schell all filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month to each sell a large portion of their stake in the company, although it is not apparent if the transactions will be finalized. The filings clear the way for the shares to be sold, but do not necessitate it. The 24-year old Andreessen, now vice president of products at the Mountain View, Calif. company, lead the pack, filing to sell 375,000 shares, or 25 percent of his entire interest.

NEWS.COM Article - Netscape Communications

Philips Introduces Single-Chip MPEG2 Encoder
[9:55AM] Philips Semiconductors today broke the barriers of MPEG2 video encoding technology by introducing the first-ever single-chip MPEG2 video encoder for home computers. The single chip, dubbed "SAA6750H," will be targeted as a low-cost solution for home users wishing to store analog video (VCR) in a digital form on a variety of media, including CD-ROM or DVD. MPEG2, which is the basis for DSS satellite systems as well as DVD, is the emerging standard for high-quality digital video. Philips says that with the new chip and "a few more components," manufacturers will be able to create add-in PC encoder cards for just a few hundred dollars, far cheaper than what has previously been possible. The SAA6750H is compatible with both PAL and NTSC format video signals, and Philips says the output is fully compliant with the MPEG2 standard.

Philips Semiconductors

Updated Ray Dream Studio Handbook Ships
[8:55AM] The second edition of John Sledd's "The Ray Dream Handbook," featuring complete coverage of the new features in MetaCreations' Ray Dream Studio 5.0, began shipping today, publisher Charles River Media said. The new edition, an entirely updated and revised version of the original, takes readers through the new features of the popular 3D tool, including chapters on special effects methods, using Ray Dream Studio with the Internet, modeling tips, and new lighting techniques such as direct manipulation controls, Four Elements, Professional Lens Pack, Soft Shadows, and visible light beams. The book will also ship with a CD-ROM, featuring an assortment of ready-to-use scene, texture, AVI, QuickTime, and shader files.

Charles River Media - MetaCreations

Qualcomm To Sell Eudora On CNET Service
[8:30AM] Under an agreement announced today, Qualcomm's line of Eudora Pro email products will be available for electronic sale via CNET's BUYDIRECT.COM service. The deal between the two companies covers Eudora Pro 4.0 for Windows 95/NT and Macintosh, as well as Eudora Pro CommCenter 4.0 for Windows 95/NT. "This agreement with CNET ensures that Eudora Pro software is highly visible as well, which will significantly impact our electronic sales," said James DeBello, vice president and general manager of Qualcomm's Eudora Division, in a statement.

Qualcomm - BUYDIRECT.COM - Eudora

"Showcase" Organizers Announce Encore Event
[8:05AM] Journalists who would have like to attend January's Internet Showcase, but were turned away, now have a second chance to look at some of the industry's hottest product and technologies. Upside Magazine and show organizer David Coursey today announced Internet Showcase Encore, a special press reception to be held on the first day of next week's Spring Internet World in Los Angeles. Organizers say the event, scheduled for next Wednesday, March 11, at the Los Angeles Marriott, will offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet with the companies behind the products and technologies that will shape the Internet and intranet marketplace in the coming year. "The products selected for Showcase Encore are the best of the best, and I'm very pleased to be able to invite the media to an event where they can get a close-up look at them in a relaxed atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the show floor," explained Coursey, executive producer of the conference and editor of the coursey.com newsletter.

Internet Showcase - coursey.com


Monday, March 2nd
UMAX To Ship G3 Upgrade Card With S900BASE
[7:25PM] The largest remaining Macintosh clone vendor has decided to toss aside its restriction on building PowerPC G3-based systems, and will take a creative approach to offering its customers the latest technology. UMAX Computer Corporation, who has been shipping discount rebates for G3 upgrades in recent months, said today it will now bundle the MAXpowr Pro+ G3 processor upgrade card from Newer Technology in the same box with the S900BASE. The new configuration, appropriately titled S900BASE w/G3, sidesteps licensing issues with Apple (although one could imagine that today's news will not help UMAX' chance of winning a license renewal this July) and maintains full compatibility with the Mac OS. Slated to begin shipping this month, the $2,995 machine will come with the 250-MHz G3 upgrade card (1MB backside cache), a 24X CD-ROM drive, a 4GB SCSI hard drive, a 4MB IXMICRO TwinTurbo video card, 64MB RAM, and 10Base-T Ethernet for out-of-box network connectivity. The machine is also loaded for expansion, including 7 drive bays, 6 PCI full-length PCI slots, and room for 1GB RAM.

UMAX also said today that it has doubled the length of the one year basic warranty on any S900 purchased after March 1, 1998, making it the most complete service package available in the Mac market today. Customers will also have access to UMAX' new service and support plan which features more technical representatives to answer support calls and an extensive online support library which allows customers to view UMAX' KnowledgeBase and enter their own support cases.

UMAX Computer Corporation - Apple Computer

Macromedia Impresses With First HTML Tool
[REVIEW] Macromedia has finally released its first HTML editor, aiming it at the high end of the market. Dreamweaver is a very capable Web editor, and is surprisingly polished for a 1.0 product. Unfortunately, it is missing a few features that its competitors have. Installing Dreamweaver is a simple task, although you do need a PowerPC processor and plenty of memory - especially if you plan on running a Web browser alongside Dreamweaver. The Dreamweaver CD also includes Netscape Navigator 4.0 and the full version of BBEdit 4.5... [more]

Wintel Notebooks Enter Sub-$1,000 Realm
[4:25PM] Compaq Computer today cut prices on its line of portable machines, and in the process has shot its once high-end machine under the sub-$1,000 barrier. According to NEWS.COM, the Armada 4131T, a Pentium 133-MHz with a 12.1-inch active matrix screen, which once retailed for more than $3,500, is now available for just $999. This marks one of the few times that a notebook, complete with respectable power, has dropped below the mystical price boundary. Comparably, discontinued PowerBooks in the similar league, such as the 5300 series, now also go for under $1,000 from a variety of mail order vendors, although that price would only include 8MB RAM and a smaller passive matrix display. With today's news, it would certainly seem that Apple's just announced plan of Mac OS-based "affordable portable computers" is easily doable, even if the machines were to pack PowerPCs and active matrix displays.

NEWS.COM Article - Compaq Computer - Apple Computer

UMAX Offers New Scanner Promotion Program
[3:45PM] UMAX Computer Corporation (UCC) today reinstituted its scanner promotion program, albeit with a slightly different twist. Beginning today, purchasers of any UMAX C600 or J700 series Mac OS machine will receive a free UMAX Astra 610s flatbed scanner. In the past, the company offered the Astra 600 to C600 customers. The new program, which runs until April 30, 1998, is available through all UMAX channels, including retail stores, catalogs, and through value added resellers. UMAX says its channel partners will deliver the free scanner to qualified customers from their inventory at the time of purchase. "UMAX continues to design new and innovative products that can be used effectively in a wide variety of computing environments, and this promotion is another way of adding value to the products we deliver," Bruce Berkoff director of product marketing for UCC.

UMAX Computer Corporation

Companies To Jointly Develop 1394 DV Chip
[1:55PM] Advanced System Products (AdvanSys) and Fujitsu have agreed to jointly develop a IEEE 1394 chip that will connect digital video to computers and eventually bring significantly increased bandwidth between PCs and peripheral devices. Fujitsu and its domestic branch said they will share technology development with AdvanSys, as well as final production of the chip, which meets the latest Open Host Controller Interface specification. Japanese-based Fujitsu is already familiar with 1394 devices, as they've developed a functioning device that serves as a target on peripheral devices. On the other hand, for AdvanSys, today's announcement is their first venture outside of the SCSI world, and it's also their first joint development project. "By combining Advansys technology with Fujitsu's, the first 1394 product based on the new OHCI specification will reach the market more quickly, a necessity in this era of rapidly changing standards," said James Ottinger, president of AdvanSys, in a statement.

AdvanSys - Fujitsu Microelectronics

Prices Reduced On Apple's ColorSync Displays
[12:15PM] In conjunction with the cuts on its Power Macintosh G3 line (see story below), Apple Computer this week reduced prices on its and mid-range and high-end displays. The AppleVision line, now officially renamed "ColorSync" to depict its tight-knit integration with the software technology of the same name, features Sony Trinitron tubes. The 17-inch base model was lowered to $699, down from $849, while the AV version, featuring built-in speakers, was reduced to $899. Apple's high-end 20-inch displays dropped as well, with the standard configuration now priced at $1,649 and the AV model down to $1,799, from $1,999.

Apple Computer - Apple Display Information

Diamond Ships First V.90-Enabled SupraExpress
[11:15AM] Diamond Multimedia Systems today began shipping the first version of its SupraExpress 56 modem that conforms to the new ITU (International Telecommunications Union) V.90 standard. The company says the new line, which also continues support for the K56flex protocol, has established V.90 connections at speeds over 50K to both Ascend MAX and 3Com Total Control remote access server. Although the Supra 56 is available today in only a internal PC configuration, Diamond says Macintosh models will ship this month for $129.95. The Mac version will feature a new case design with smaller footprint, new reset switch and improved speaker quality. Meanwhile, for current SupraExpress 56 owners, Diamond said that free flash downloads of V.90 code will be available by the end of the end of the month.

Diamond Multimedia Systems

Apple Cuts G3 Prices, Intros New Configuration
[10:35AM] In hopes of continuing the impressive sales pace of its Power Macintosh G3 machines, Apple Computer this past weekend cut prices on the entire line by up to as much as 17 percent. The price cuts, the first since the popular line was rolled out last November, come during a quarter in which Apple has traditionally sold its fewest systems. Under the new pricing structure, the 233-MHz Power Mac G3 desktop is priced at $1,699, while the 266-MHz variation goes for $1,999. The 266-MHz mini-tower saw the deepest cuts (just under 17 percent), as its price tumbled from $2,999 to $2,499. In addition, the top-of-the-line 266-MHz mini-tower, which includes 128MB RAM, and Ultra Wide SCSI hard drive, 10/100 Fast Ethernet, and an 8MB video card, dropped from $4,199 to $3,799. The only G3 machine that went untouched was the PowerBook G3, which remains priced at $5,699.

Along with the new prices, Apple also introduced a newly configured Power Mac G3 233-MHz mini-tower model. Available through both retail outlets and the Apple Store, the new $1,999 "communications package" adds a built-in 56Kbps model and a software suite to a stock G3 machine. Titles apart of the software bundle include Adobe PageMill, SurfWatch, FaxSTF BE, Microsoft Bookshelf '98, Now Up-to-Date & Contact, and two games; Master of Orion II and Jack Nicklaus 4.

Apple Computer - The Apple Store

First Macintosh G3 Servers Hit The Street
[9:40AM] Apple Computer today formerly introduced the Macintosh Server G3, its first workgroup server to utilize the PowerPC G3 (750) processor. The new line replaces Apple's previous high-end server offering, the Power Macintosh 9600/350, and does so in impressive fashion. According to the company, the 266-MHz server outpaces the 604e-based machine by more than 100 percent under NetBench tests. The G3 achieved a throughput score of 89-Mbps; the 9600 only a 42-Mbps. Speeds of the G3 servers were also superior to those of a comparable Wintel offering (Dell Server 2200/300), which managed a score of 83-Mbps. "The new Macintosh Server G3 with the PowerPC G3 microprocessor is twice as fast as the products it replaces," said Phil Schiller, vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing at Apple, in a statement. "Each Macintosh G3 server also includes AppleShare IP and RAID software making fast file, print, email and web serving simple and affordable."

The new product line comes in two standard mini-tower configurations, as well as in over 500 possible build-to-order configurations through the Apple Store. A 266-MHz model, priced at $4,999, is equipped with 128MB SDRAM (with support for up to 384MB), two 4GB Ultra-Wide SCSI hard drives, a 24X CD-ROM drive, 512K of backside cache, and 10/100 Fast Ethernet. The $3,749 model is configured similarly, save for the slower 233-MHz processor, half the amount of RAM, and only one 4GB hard drive. Software wise, both models comes standard with Mac OS 8, AppleShare IP 5.0.2, which provides print, email, FTP, and Web serving capabilities, in addition to Conely SoftRAID. Apple Network Administrator Toolkit 2.0 is also included for remote server management.

Apple Computer - The Apple Store

Report: Microsoft To Open Online Storefront
[8:40AM] Microsoft is hoping to turn the heavy traffic to its Web site into sales when it launches a new online software store later this year. According to a Reuters report last week, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant will open the store in August, and will promote it with "Buy Now" buttons on the product information segments of its site. Though the site could potentially cause a rift between Microsoft and its retail outlets, the report says Microsoft is designing the store in a way to avoid alienating its traditional reseller channels. Customers will shop through the site, but once they decide to make a purchase, they will be asked if that would prefer to go through a discounted software reseller. And finally, merchants wishing to sell Microsoft-branded software online will be able to do so, as Microsoft apparently intends on making the store available as a packaged product.

Reuters Article - Microsoft

CompUSA Completes Lease For New Location
[8:05AM] On the heels of the opening of its first store in Kentucky, CompUSA said on Friday it will enter the state of Mississippi with a new 22,900 square-foot location in the Jackson market. Slated to open this spring, the new superstore will be located Ridgeland and is expected to create approximately 60 local jobs. Like many of its other stores, the new location will feature seven main product departments, including the Apple "store within a store" area. "By continuing our expansion into new and existing markets, CompUSA can more effectively serve the wide-ranging needs of our customers," said Jim Halpin, CompUSA president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

CompUSA - Apple Computer



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