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February, 1999 Archive

Headlines For Friday, February 26th

[2:40 PM]
Star Wars "Pod Racer" Coming To The Mac
Paul Ens, and editor for TheForce.net, sent us a note about Pod Racer coming to the Mac. TheForce.net is a popular Star Wars fan site that covers all aspects of the Star Wars world. Read the Full Story for more information.

The Mac Observer Spin: Thanks to TheForce.net for sharing this exciting information with us! Mac Star Wars fans everywhere will rejoice! Support for Mac releases from the Lucas Empire has been rather short in recent years. With the release of DroidWorks and now the possible release of Pod Racer, it seems as if this may be changing.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Editorial
A Rebuttal From A CompUSA Employee
It's time to place the blame where blame is due. CompUSA isn't the only one at fault, although it has its share. There are actually individual people in the Macintosh community that have ruined it for the rest of us. Maybe you know them. They are the ones that walk into s across America and interrogate the salesmen about their Mac knowledge and then tell them how stupid they are, scaring them away from ever supporting the platform. What good does this do?

Read "A Rebuttal From A CompUSA Employee"

[1:36 PM]
Default Folder Gets Another Update To 3.01
St. Clair Software has issued a very quick update to address some problems with version 3.0 which was released on Tuesday. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
The Name of the Game
"
Moving Back To Tuesday!"
The Name of the Game is moving back to Tuesdays! Tune in next Tuesday for the next installment of the Name of the Game.

The Name of the Game

[8:30 AM]
Reports Wrong, Calls To ISPS Exempt From Long Distance Charges
This story was first run late in the afternoon yesterday. With incorrect reports scattered across the Internet, we felt it was important to run it again for those Observers who had not read it yet.

Apparently there is some confusion in the ranks of the FCC. A story run by InfoWorld Electric stated that the FCC had ruled that Internet access calls were subject to long distance charges. This was based on a press release made by Mr. Furchtgott-Roth, a dissenting member of the FCC who was upset that a request to delay the vote was not granted.That PR has a decidedly different message from the PR made by the FCC itself. Read what is really going on in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This was a very serious moment for the Internet, or at least it seemed like it was. At issue was whether you would be charged by the minute by your local Telco for dialing into an ISP. The ISPs would not collect more money, it would have been the telephone companies who have been clamoring for the right to charge per minute fees since the explosion of the Internet first began who would have collected the fees if they were assessed. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[8:30 AM]
PandaSystems Updates PandoCalendar
The good people at PandaSystems have updated PandaCalendar to version 4.3. PandoCalendar is a freeware calendar program. Read about the update in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[8:30 AM]
Spin For Macintosh Announced
Zat has announced the Macintosh version of Spin 1.0 one month after the Windows version was announced. Spin is a web application development environment. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[8:30 AM]
Three Shareware Updates From Public Access Software
The folks at Public Access Software have sent us notice of updates for three of their shareware products. Read about them in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[8:30 AM]
Gil Amelio Named To New Board
Owners.com has announced that Gil Amelio has joined its Board of Directors. Gil Amelio is the former CEO of Apple Computer ousted by Steve Jobs in late 1997. Owners.com is a real-estate web site where home owners can sell their homes.

Owners.com

 

Headlines For Thursday, February 25th

[4:52 PM]
Reports Wrong, Calls To ISPS Exempt From Long Distance Charges
Apparently there is some confusion in the ranks of the FCC. A story run by InfoWorld Electric stated that the FCC had ruled that Internet access calls were subject to long distance charges. This was based on a press release made by Mr. Furchtgott-Roth, a dissenting member of the FCC who was upset that a request to delay the vote was not granted.That PR has a decidedly different message from the PR made by the FCC itself. Read what is really going on in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This was a very serious moment for the Internet, or at least it seemed like it was. At issue was whether you would be charged by the minute by your local Telco for dialing into an ISP. The ISPs would not collect more money, it would have been the telephone companies who have been clamoring for the right to charge per minute fees since the explosion of the Internet first began who would have collected the fees if they were assessed. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:20 PM]
MetaCreations Ships Animation Tool "Headline Studio"
The good people at MetaCreations have released Headline Studio, their new product aimed at banner ad designers. The product assists designers with effects and can optimize the banner for various bandwidths. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:26 PM]
Got 10$? Buy Some Games
The good people at MAC-O-RAMA sent us a note about a sale they were having. We don't usually cover sales, but this one is pretty fine, especially for you old-school gamers out there. For US$10 each, you can pick up one of the following games: Castles: Siege and Conquest, Colonization, Damage Incorporated, F/A-18 Hornet 3.0, Hexen, or Wolfenstein 3D. MAC-O-RAMA is a Mac-only web retailer, so head over there and check out their Mac stuff!

MAC-O-RAMA

[11:57 AM]
Farallon Drivers Increase Ethernet Performance 35%
Farallon has released updated drivers for its line of Fast EtherTX-10/100 PCI and Comm Slot II cards that they claim will increase network performance of MacOS 8.5 up to 35%. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
Ask Dave
"Missing Trash, Aliases, and Type 11 Errors"
The Mac Observer is proud to welcome a new column called Ask Dave by Dave Hamilton. Ask Dave is here to answer all the Mac questions you have. Networking, system conflicts, hardware, you ask it, he can answer it. He is the person from whom all Mac knowledge flows....

Greetings, folks, and welcome to the first installment of "Ask Dave." I'm Dave, of course, and I'll be here each week answering your support questions that you send in to askdave@macobserver.com. With that, let's get started, shall we?

Read Ask Dave

[7:32 PM]
Myth II Updated To 1.2/Bungie.Net Reset On Monday
We posted this story late in the day on Wednesday and are running it again today.

Those Myth players out there will be glad to hear that Bungie has finally released the 1.2 update for Myth II: Soulblighter. Read the Full Story for download links and more information.

The Mac Observer Spin: Releasing this update is important for Bungie as it is supposed to fix most of the problems that players have encountered. Congratulations to the entire Myth II team!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[8:30 AM]
Trans Intl Releases 128 MB Memory Module For PCI Macs/Clones
Trans Intl has released a 128 Mb (FPM/EDO) DIMM memory module for Apple PCI PowerMacintosh series and Apple Clones from Umax, Daystar Digital, and PowerComputing. The module is priced at US$215. More information is available from the Trans Intl. web site.

Trans Intl.

[8:30 AM]
Project Management Software FastTrack Schedule Updated
AEC Software has released an update for FastTrack Schedule brining the project management software to version 6.01. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[8:30 AM]
Demo Released of Mac-Only Reading Software
Inspired Logic has released a demo of C.D. Caterpillar, their educational reading software for the Mac. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

 

Headlines For Wednesday, February 24th

[7:32 PM]
Bungie Releases Version 1.2 Update For Myth II
Those Myth players out there will be glad to hear that Bungie has finally released the 1.2 update for Myth II: Soulblighter. Read the Full Story for download links and more information.

The Mac Observer Spin: Releasing this update is important for Bungie as it is supposed to fix most of the problems that players have encountered. Bungie has always done a great jon of supporting their products and it looks as if Myth II is no exception. Congratulations to the entire Myth II team!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[4:20 PM]
Remote Browser E-Mail Comes To Mac Servers
Net.Dreams has released a W*API pulg-in called Remote Mail 1.0 that makes remote browser viewing of e-mail possible from MacOS web servers. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is an important release for Mac web masters. Browser-read e-mail is becoming more and more important, especially to people who travel, and use e-mail at the home and office.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[3:59 PM]
Server Side Java App Deployment Updated
Jive Software has released an update to JRun, its server side Java web app software. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[3:31 PM]
Use An Ultra-Wide SCSI Drive On Your Old Mac
Trans International has released two new SCSI adapters that makes it possible to use brand new hard drives on your older Mac or your favorite old hard drive on your bra index.html nd new Blue and White G3. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[2:49 PM]
A Personal Account Of MacWorld Expo Tokyo
We have updated our Japan Report with the following:

Carlos, our correspondent in Japan has sent us his diaries from MacWorld Expo Tokyo. This is a great account that let's those of us who have not experienced a Japanese MacWorld get a taste of what it is a like. Read Carlos's account in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:55 PM]
Advantage Introduces Blue And White G3 Memory
Advantage Memory has introduced its own line of memory products for Apple's new Blue and White G3 PowerMacs. The company is shipping 32 MB, 64 MB, 128 MB, and 256 MB memory modules. Read the Full Story for pricing information,

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
My First Mac Was A Typewriter
"
Start Up Sounds On Your Mac"
I have had this long standing relationship with Jean Luc Picard, Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. He tells me when my computer is up and ready to use, and he tells me when the system shuts down. In return I sigh. Now granted, it is not really him, but that is the beauty of sound bites on the computer. One has total control and can personalize sound usage as much as you want. Using sound is the subject of this weeks column.

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter

[11:42 AM]
Adaptec Releases 2940U2W Beta Drivers
Adaptec has released a new beat driver for the PowerDomain 2940U2W SCSI card. The drivers allow users to boot from SCSI drives. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:24 AM]
Adaptec Utility Auto Mounts SCSI Devices On 2906 Card
Adaptec has announced the release of SCSIProbe 5.1. SCSIProbe 5.1 allows SCSI devices to be automatically mounted at startup, including devices on an Adaptec 2906 SCSI card that might not normally mount, especially on the new Blue and White G3s. The utility is available from the Adaptec web site.

Adaptec

 

Headlines For Tuesday, February 23rd

Editorial
Tokyo: The Firestorm That Wasn't
Last week, Steve Jobs gave his keynote speech at Macworld Tokyo. The keynote speech itself didn't have a lot to interest diehard Macintosh fans. That's because it was the same speech he gave at Macworld San Francisco, and we had heard it a month before.

But the keynote did generate some interesting responses from the Macintosh media. In the past, Mac users have had to deal with the frustrating problem of the mainstream press bashing Apple and predicting its eminent demise. Now, it seems we have to watch for the same from within our own ranks...

Read Tokyo: The Firestorm That Wasn't

[2:12 PM]
Final Version Of Default Folder 3.0 Released
St. Clair Software has announced the final version of Default Folder 3.0 has been released. Default Folder is a shareware control panel that enhances the Mac Open and Save Dialog Box. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:13 PM]
Aladdin To Ship DropStuff With Expander 5.1 Today
Aladdin Systems announced it will be shipping DropStuff with Expander 5.1. today. There is a lot of information with the new release and we are letting Aladdin tell the story. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:40 PM]
Aladdin Announces Mac Zip Compression Software
Aladdin Software has announced DropZip, a shareware utility that will allow Mac users to compress files into Zip files. Zip is the most popular compression format for the PC and DropZip will allow Mac users to save files for cross platform use. According to Aladdin:

"This shareware will allow Macintosh users to compress into the Zip format. DropZip users will be able to drag and drop files or folders onto a desktop alias icon or launch the application to select items to be compressed using a Zip engine."

Mac users can decompress ZIp files with Stuffit Expander and the rest of the Stuffit family. Aladdin's DropZip is expected to ship in March.

Aladdin Systems

[12:18 PM]
Saudi Mac Ezine Launched
A new Mac ezine called MacNut has been launched. The site has been launched from Saudi Arabia bringing what we believe is the first Saudi Mac magazine. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer: The Mac Observer would like to wish the folks at MacNut a big "Good Luck!" Welcome to the online Mac community!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:45 AM]
AuctionMac.com Ades To Mac Online Auction Site
The folks at AuctionMac.com dropped us a note to let us know about some new features they are adding to the site. Users can now control expiration times, put their products in a "Spotlight," and search the site with Sherlock. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[10:53 AM]
MS Employee Talks About Ben Waldman
We talked to a developer that we have known and trusted for more than a year and a half about Ben Waldman, the general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit. He tells us that Mr. Waldman is not only a great guy, he is a Mac nut. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: As one of the Mac news sites that criticized Mr. Waldman for saying the greatest feature of the Blue and White G3s was the reset button on the front, we officially apologize for the negative tones of those reports. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

 

Headlines For Monday, February 22nd

Top Story
[2:03 PM]
CyberStudio 4 Announced By Adobe: New Features, Cross Platform, Imminent Release
Adobe announced CyberStudio 4.0, the first cross platform version of the web development authoring environment purchased from GoLive at the beginning of the year. At that time, Adobe announced it would be porting the product "at the speed of the Internet" and the company has proven true to its world. We spoke to Eric Cottrell, Product Manager for Cyberstudio at Adobe, and Jill Nakashima, public relations representative at Adobe, last week about Cyberstudio 4. We were asked to hold our story until after Adobe's announcement today. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: We will make no secret of the fact that we were initially wary of the Adobe buyout of GoLive, but most of those worries were put to rest after our interview with the Adobe folks. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[3:10 PM]
Apple In The Cartoons (Again), Industrial Design Saluted
Observer David Johnson wrote us about the Sunday Foxtrot cartoon is all about Apple's Industrial design. Read the Full Story for more and the link to the cartoon.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[2:40 PM]
ADI Annoucnes 19" Short Depth Monitor
ADI has announced a 19" short depth monitor called the G66 that is aimed at graphics professionals. The monitor has an 18" viewable area which is large for a 19" monitor, but occupies "20% less depth space." Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[7:30 AM]
Virtual Game Station Sales Top US$3 Million In 3 Weeks
Connectix Corporation announced that Virtual Game Station 1.1 (VGS) has logged in more than US$3 Million in only 3 weeks of sales. VGS is a PlayStation emulator that allows Mac users to play PlayStation titles on their Mac. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: US$3 Million in 3 weeks is indeed a very high sales number for a Mac utility, especially a game oriented product. At US$49 per copy, that translates into approximately 61,224 copies, or well over 20,000 copies per week. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
The Apple Trader
"iRant at CompUSA Part II: The Deadly Combo of MarketSource Corporation, Spiff Rip-Offs, and Low Wages"
This is the second in a series of articles on the ills of CompUSA's Apple Store within a Store. Last week's scathing condemnation of CompUSA focused on the almost universally consistent complaints of Mac users concerning the quality of service and displays at CompUSA. I would like to thank the hundreds of people who e-mailed me with bits of information and advice.

There are some CompUSA stores that have a loyal Macintosh specialist, sometimes a whole team, who are eager to sell Apple and would never turn a customer to the PC section as I reported instances of last week. To these few elite, hardworking souls who toil with little personal reward or recognition, I would like to extend an apology for tarring them with the same brush as the more dysfunctional stores. Everyone here at the Mac Observer would like to say a big "Thank You" for being there. We hope that you will survive the presently chaotic and negative environment surrounding the Apple Store with in a Store to see brighter days in the future as an Apple specialist at CompUSA.

Read The Apple Trader

Column
Monday's Mac Gadget
"Cameraid Makes Using Digital Cameras Easier"
If you've recently joined the digital camera crowd, you may be less than satisfied with the functionality of the software or drivers used to extract pictures from the camera. This was certainly the case with the Nikon Coolpix 900 I recently acquired. Thank goodness for Cameraid

Read Monday's Mac Gadget

[7:30 AM]
German Magazine Names Apple Environmentally "Good"
Update: This story originally reported that Apple was named Satisfactory, while in actuality the artice says that Apple was rated as "Good." We apologize for the mistake and appreciate the many Observers who wrote in with the correction. Thanks to all of you.

We received a note from an Observer telling us about an article in German Magazine c't that names Apple Environmentally "Satisfactory." Read more in the Full article.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[7:30 AM]
Chronicus Tracks Time And Billable Rates
Squeem has released a new product called Chronicus. Chronicus is designed to help you track time. According to Squeem:

"Chronicus is a simple time management tool, practical for almost any use where one benefits from measuring time. Chronicus allows one to add additional categories to keep track of time for, and has the ability to tie a billing rate to specified times."

Chronicus is shareware and is priced at US$10.

Squeem

[7:30 AM]
Shareware App Helps Guard Against Memory Related Crashes
MacEase has announced the release of ApplicationSentry. This shareware program is designed to help you monitor memory use by your applications. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:04 AM]
ZD FInally Posts MacWorld Expo Japan Keynote Movie
We posted this late on Friday night and run it again for those Observers who may not have seen the event yet.

It's up! If you are wanting to see what all the controversy was about at Steve Jobs's keynote speech, or you just want to see another great Jobs performance, your wish is here. Ziff-Davis has finally posted the movie they had originally intended to simulcast as a live event. It is enjoyable to watch, despite the difficulties experienced by Mr. Jobs and Ben Waldman of Microsoft, so head over to ZD.net to see it.

Steve Jobs Keynote At MacWorld Expo Tokyo

 

Headlines For Friday-Saturday, February 19th-20th

[1:04 AM]
ZD FInally Posts MacWorld Expo Japan Keynote Movie
It's up! If you are wanting to see what all the controversy was about at Steve Jobs's keynote speech, or you just want to see another great Jobs performance, your wish is here. Ziff-Davis has finally posted the movie they had originally intended to simulcast as a live event. It is enjoyable to watch, despite the difficulties experienced by Mr. Jobs and Ben Waldman of Microsoft, so head over to ZD.net to see it.

Steve Jobs Keynote At MacWorld Expo Tokyo

[3:13 PM]
Touch-3D Allows Models To Be Printed As Plans
Script Software International has released a new version of Touch-3D bringing the 3D modeling software to version 2.1.2. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[2:47 PM]
Rockstar Inks Deal With Mindspring
Rockstar Software and Mindspring have announced a deal where Rockstar's Gearbox Connection Kit will be licensed by Mindspring for all Mindspring Mac customers. This is a major boost for Rockstar, who developed FreePPP, and a great deal for Mindspring and their Mac customers. Gearbox allows for easy Internet setup installation for Mindspring Mac customers and will be distributed by Mindspring.

The Mac Observer Spin: This deal also shows that Mindspring takes their Mac business very seriously. It's always great to see that!

Mindspring - Rockstar Software

[1:55 PM]
MacHack Final Call For Papers (And Early Registration)
The good people at MacHack sent us a note that the Final Call for paper submissions and early registration is at hand. Early registration ends on February 28th. Early registration entitles registrants to US$100 in discounts. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:41 PM]
PCI Card Adds Serial Ports To Blue and White G3s
Keyspan has introduced a new PCI card that adds 4 serial ports to any Mac, including Apple's new Blue and White G3s which do not have standard Mac serial ports. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:30 PM]
Keyspan Releases Palm Pilot To USB Connector
Keyspan has released a USB serial adapter that can be used to connect a Palm Pilot to any USB equipped Macintosh such as the new Blue and White G3s and the iMac. According to Keyspan:

"The new adapter features a single DB9 port that connects directly to a Palm cradle or to a Palm HotSync® cable. The adapter is compatible with all versions of Palm desktop software for Mac OS."

The "Keyspan USB PDA Adapter" is expected to ship in late March and will retail for less than US$40.

Keyspan

[12:59 PM]
An Observer Thinks Mr. Waldman May Just Be Misunderstood
Our story entitled "No P1, No QT 4, Microsoft Insults and Other Disasters Plentiful" received plenty of attention and a lot of feedback from Observers around the world. One anonymous Observer wrote in with a different Spin on Ben Waldman, the general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit who said the best feature of the new G3s was the reset button. Having some great points, we are presenting it to you. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:54 PM]
Inexpensive Shareware Paint Program Ads Cool New Features
Sarwat Khan has added some cool new features to his shareware paint program called Painting in an update to version 1.6. Read the Full story for more.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:09 PM]
Motorola Presents G4 White Paper At Conference
MacInTouch is reporting that Motorola delivered a White Paper on the upcoming G4 PowerPC chips. The White Paper is centered around a 450 MHz G4 and covers AltiVec, Integer performance and Floating Point performance as well as other technical issues behind the processor. Ric LePage has done excellent work as always on MacInTouch's coverage and we recommend heading over to read the article right now.

MacInTouch Article

[10:51 AM]
Steve Jobs, tCEO (Teflon CEO)/ MSNBC Says "Jobs wows ‘em in Japan"
So far, mainstream coverage of Steve Jobs's keynote speech at MacWorld Tokyo has been low-key and/or complimentary. Few of the articles in the main stream press have taken the disastrous overtones that Mac-centric magazines, including The Mac Observer, have had. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: In contrast, many main stream publications picked up on the Blue Screen of Death problem that Bill Gates experienced when trying to hot-swap a USB peripheral in a Windows 98 demonstration. Perhaps we should start calling Steve Jobs the tCEO, or Teflon CEO. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
The Name of The Game
"Fusion: The Game of the Future, Part II"
Randy: Well, Gary, where did we leave off last week?
Gary:
You were scared. I was a visionary. And I called you a fuzzball.
Randy:
Oh, yeah, and a little idea we called Fusion was being discussed. As I remember it we had brought up the idea of fusing different game engines together to create a totally free gaming environment.

Read The Name of the Game

 

Headlines For Thursday, February 18th

Top Story
[1:10 AM]
No P1, No QT 4, Microsoft Insults and Other Disasters Plentiful
Despite our predictions (and fervent hopes), the keynote speech at MacWorld Tokyo last night (8:00 PM CST on Wednesday) did not include an introduction of Apple's upcoming P1 product. Nor did it include an introduction of QuickTime 4.0. In fact, according to reports from Observers in Japan as well as the excellent report by Jason O'Grady for MacWeek, no new products were introduced at all. Much to everyone's dismay however, there were several problems that plagued the event and eventually caused Steve Jobs to walk off the stage. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The biggest gaff though was certainly not the problems with crashing Macs, it was Mr. Waldman shoving his foot in mouth somewhere past his ankle. His comment about the reset button being the greatest feature of the new G3s would be like Avie Tevanian saying something about Windows 98 not being bad considering it was copied from the Mac while a guest presenter at a Microsoft presentation. It may be true, but it's just not in good taste. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[2:02 PM]
Full Spherical Panorama Imaging Brought To The Mac
Kaidan and Infinite Pictures have announced a new imaging product that will allow users to make spherical panoramic images. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:18 PM]
Apple Store Japan Opens: Japanese Observer Says "No Choice"
The good news is that the long awaited Japanese online Apple Store has opened its doors. It may open to a slow start however as a Japanese Observer says there is little choice available at the Store. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The same situation existed when the US Apple Store went online over a year ago and it our educated guess that things will get better at the Apple Store Japan just like they did here.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:59 AM]
Japanese USB/FireWire Market Leading Industry
Apple has announced that there have been 132 USB and 20 FireWire devices introduced in Japan making it the hotbed of USB and FireWire development. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The Japanese market was the first with many USB options such as floppy drives and has seen a much higher variety of these solutions to boot. Many of these products may be coming to the US at some point, but for now Japan is showing its muscle.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:37 AM]
62% of Japanese iMac Buyers New To Mac Platform
Apple has announced the results of a survey conducted by Decisive Technologies, Inc. The survey results represent 4,075 iMac home and home/business buyers in Japan who purchased an iMac between October 1, 1998, and December 31, 1998. That survey showed that some 62% of iMac purchasers were new to the Mac platform. The survey also found that 46% of these buyers were buying their first computer while 16% were Wintel converts.

The Mac Observer Spin: Wow, great numbers indeed. Bringing in new Mac users is one of the hardest and most important jobs that Mr. Jobs and his team has. Just as in the US, Apple Japan seems to have succeeded wildly at this task. A big Mac Observer congratulations to the whole team!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:15 AM]
Apple Touts 1,559 Mac Titles Introduced Since iMac (57.7% of them Japanese)
On to some good news for the day. Apple is touting the fact that some 1,559 Mac software titles have been introduced since the introduction of the iMac on May 6th, 1998. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The surprising thing is that 901 of those titles have been introduced as Japanese localized versions. That's 57.7% of those titles. A very high percentage indeed. Seems the Japanese Mac market is very healthy indeed.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

 

Headlines For Wednesday, February 17th

Top Story
[1:10 AM]
No P1, No QT 4, Microsoft Insults and Other Disasters Plentiful
Despite our predictions (and fervent hopes), the keynote speech at MacWorld Tokyo last night (8:00 PM CST on Wednesday) did not include an introduction of Apple's upcoming P1 product. Nor did it include an introduction of QuickTime 4.0. In fact, according to reports from Observers in Japan as well as the excellent report by Jason O'Grady for MacWeek, no new products were introduced at all. Much to everyone's dismay however, there were several problems that plagued the event and eventually caused Steve Jobs to walk off the stage. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The biggest gaff though was certainly not the problems with crashing Macs, it was Mr. Waldman shoving his foot in mouth somewhere past his ankle. His comment about the reset button being the greatest feature of the new G3s would be like Avie Tevanian saying something about Windows 98 not being bad considering it was copied from the Mac while a guest presenter at a Microsoft presentation. It may be true, but it's just not in good taste. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Top Story
[1:10 PM]
Apple, Sony, Phillips, Others Band Together On FireWire Patent Pool
Apple Computer, Inc., Compaq Computer Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), Royal Philips Electronics, Sony Corporation and Toshiba Corporation have announced that they will work together to promote FireWire. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Above and beyond the boost to FireWire this announcement means, the truly important news here is that Apple has formed an alliance with the heaviest hitters in the electronics world. Sony, Phillips and Matsushita alone account for an enormous market share in this market. By making this deal with these companies Apple is saying to the world that they too are in this league. Apple is one of the most widely known brands in the world, but this arrangement is an important image boost for the company. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[2:45 PM]
ZD To Simulcast MacWorld Tokyo Keynote (Canceled!)
Update:
Ziff-Davis has announced that they will not be offering a web cast of Mr. Jobs's keynote speech. According to the Ziff-Davis web site:

"Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to webcast this speech live; it will be rescheduled as a delayed broadcast. To receive an email [sic] when the keynote will be available (in addition to the day's top tech headlines), you can sign up for ZDNN's daily newsletter. We'll notify you when it's rescheduled. And you can always cancel after the webcast."

We will notify you when we find out more.


Ziff-Davis is planning on broadcasting a simulcast of the Steve Jobs Keynote speech at MacWorld Tokyo tonight at 8:00 PM CST (9:00 PM EST). This marks the first time that Mr. Jobs has attended a MacWorld in Japan. Connectivity could be a bit spotty as the event is being channeled across the Pacific, so tune in early if you want to view it.

The Mac Observer Spin: Once again, we are expecting Mr. Jobs to announce the P1 at this event. The P1 is rumored to be a sub-notebook that is a cross between the power of the PowerBook G3 and the form-factor of the now canceled eMate. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:59 PM]
Iomega 250 Problems Solved With FWB HD Toolkit
Jeff Handy who told us about his epic Mac vs. NT battle at his company has given told us about his difficulty with Iomega and his new Blue and White G3. Fortunately Jeff also found a solution and he shares that with us as well. Read about it in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Iomega has been plagued with customer service issues for some time. It is a good thing that Jeff found his own solution for the problem. Remember, this machine is a test case for Macintosh computers in his office so finding a solution was imperative. Too bad Iomega couldn't be part of that solution. Nice work Jeff and thanks for the update! Jeff will also be giving us a follow-up story on how it is going in his office soon.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:51 PM]
Another Mac Port: PhotoMontage Software Brought To Mac
ArcSoft has announced they are bringing PhotoMontage to the Mac. PhotoMontage allows one to create a single image as a composite from many images similar to the image used in advertisements for The Truman Show. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Another Wintel oriented company bringing a popular Windows title to the Mac is always such a lovely thing. PhotoMontage is billed as an entertainment title and has wide appeal in the consumer market.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:36 PM]
Full Featured DVD Card Brought To The Mac
Sigma Design and Wired, Inc. have introduced a new DVD video card for the Mac called the Wired 4DVD that will bring 1600 x 1200 DVD movies to your screen. The card will also allow playback of DVD movies to a TV screen as well. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: DVD solutions have been somewhat scarce on the Mac and it is nice to see a high-end product like Wired 4DVD announced. Hopefully the card will be priced somewhat affordably.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:55 AM]
Apple To Co-Sponsor QUAKECON 99
id Software has announced that Apple Computer will be a sponsor of QUAKECON '99, id Software's mega-gaming event. QUAKECON '99 will be held in Mesquite, Tx. (near Dallas) from August 6-8 1999. Other sponsors include Activision, Inc, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc, and ATI Technologies. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is a VERY smart move for Apple. Sponsoring a tournament in what has always been a completely PC dominated community is just a great idea. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
My First Mac Was A Typewriter
"Apparently Some Of You Can Do Some Things Better Than Me"
Responses to last week's column on helpful hints has been so positive that I will cover more this week. Several readers have sent in their hints and it is my pleasure to pass them on.

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter

[10:59 AM]
Boca Research Releases Internal Modem For New G3s
Boca Research has announced that its new internal modem for Apple's Blue and White G3s, called the TelePort Internal 56K Fax/Modem. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[10:30 AM]
Newer Technology To Announce USB Video Capture At MacWorld
Newer Technology is set to announce a USB video capture card called the uTV at MacWorld Tokyo this week. The video capture card will utilize Zoran's ZR36060 Motion-JPEG codec to make video capture possible over USB.

The uTV will be priced under US$150 with availability expected in April.

Newer Technology - Zoran

 

Headlines For Tuesday, February 16th

[2:55 PM]
Adobe Announces Acrobat 4.0, Some Features Are Windows Only
Adobe has announced the release of Acrobat 4.0. Adobe has added several new features into the PDF document creator. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Niftily enough, the company has made several features of Acrobat 4.0 available only for Windows. These are PDFMaker, Table Capture, Web Capture and Digital Signatures. This is despite Adobe's seeming refound Mac support.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[2:10 PM]
Mushkin Introduces Yosemite Memory Modules
Even more choices are now available to Yosemite owners looking to add more RAM to their Macs. Mushkin has introduced a 64 MB module for US$99 and a 128 MB module for US$199. Mushkin says that a 256 MB module is also available though the company does not have pricing information currently available. The units can be purchased directly from Mushkin's web site.

Mushkin

[2:10 PM]
MacHome Launches New Mac Print Magazine
The publishers of MacHome have announced they are ready to launch their new Mac magazine "The iMac Buyers Guide." Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The trend among print magazines in recent years has been for Mac mags to cease operation or at best to merge with other print magazines. The iMac Buyers Guide is bucking that trend and The Mac Observer wishes them the best of luck!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:45 PM]
It's Official, MacWorld Expo Moves To New York In July
Well, it's official. MacWorld Expo has been moved back to New York, where it was held last year in August. Due to the last minute move, the event is being moved from August to July and will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This move is going to make a lot of people tense. Boston was the site for the East Coast MacWorld for many years where it was well received. The event held last year in New York suffered from poor attendance and the usual problems associated with hosting an event that size in a new location. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:22 PM]
E-mail Support Solution Provider Reaches Out To Mac Developers
eGain Communications Corp. announced a discount for Mac developers of up to 15 percent who buy or outsource the eGain Email Management System (EMS). eGain is a developer of "customer service solutions for electronic commerce," in their words. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The entire system is web based making it cross platform by default. With the resurgence of the Mac and the newfound proliferation of Mac developers, eGain has sought to bring these developers to their solution by offering the 15% discount. Most enterprise level solution providers do not even notice the Mac so we see this offer by eGain as another example of the return to health by Apple.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:20 AM]
Pinacor Adds Slew Of Mac Suppliers To Distribution Network
Pinacor has announced the addition of a whole slew of Mac suppliers to its distribution network, thus significantly improving their ability to cater to Mac retailers. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The distribution channel is a vital part of any company's efforts to sell at the retail level. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[10:50 AM]
Maxell Jumps On iMac Bandwagon, Offers Mac SuperDisk Diskettes
Another day, another Mac product. Maxell has jumped on the iMac bandwagon and is now offering SuperDisk diskettes that are Mac formatted. The company specifically cited the success of the iMac in their press release announcing the diskettes. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Welcome aboard Maxell!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Correction
[10:45 AM]
More G3 Upgrade Price Cuts
We incorrectly called PowerLogix's G3 upgrade cards the PowerJolt in this article yesterday. The correct name for the card is the PowerForce. The following is a repeat of the article in full with the correct name.

It didn't quite take a full week to see competitive price cuts on G3 processor upgrades. In fact, it took less than a day for PowerLogix to drop the prices on their PowerForce line. The full product line pricing is in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is just the beginning, look for more price drops soon.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

 

Headlines For Monday, February 15th

Top Story
[2:05 PM]
Apple Updates Java For The Mac/One Feature May Bring Controversy
Apple has updated Java for the Mac with the release of MRJ 2.1. Read more about MRJ 2.1 in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is great news for the Mac platform. As any Mac user who has run a Java application or even a Java applet knows, Java has stunk on our platform since its introduction. This release takes a major step towards making the Mac the premier Java platform on the market.

Here's the burning question though. There is one key feature of MRJ 2.1 that screams out controversy and that is support for AppleScript in Java based apps. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[2:50 PM]
More G3 Upgrade Price Cuts
It didn't quite take a full week to see competitive price cuts on G3 processor upgrades. In fact, it took less than a day for PowerLogix to drop the prices on their PowerForce line. The full product line pricing is in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is just the beginning, look for more price drops soon.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:50 PM]
G3 Processor Card Gets A Price Drop
Sonnet Technologies sent us word that they have dropped the price on their Encore 366 MHz/1 MB Backside Cache G3 processor upgrade card. The Encore 366 is now priced at US$699. More information on the Encore product line can be found at Sonnet's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: Processor upgrade cards have been seeing a downward trend since the introduction of Blue and White G3 computers from Apple last January. Sonnet is certainly being aggressive with this offering making it one of the best values for people looking to upgrade their systems.

Sonnet Technologies

Column
The Apple Trader
"iRant at CompUSA: Apple Needs To Buy A Clue"
Wes George has some hard hitting comments about being a Mac user, the CompUSA Apple Store-within-a-Store, and Apple.

I bought my first computer in 1991 so I could keep the books and create advertising for a business I was involved with. At the time, buying a computer naturally meant going to a shopping mall. A friend of mine, a rocket scientist at NASA (seriously), told me to get a Mac and save myself the heartburn of the DOS and Windows OS concoction. I marched down to Computer City and CompUSA and even to Sears and did some serious comparison-shopping the old-fashioned way. I knew I could buy a computer mail order on the cheap, but I wanted to see computers, touch computers, and have some sales guy give me the spiel. I wanted that feel good sales experience where everyone reassures you that your hard-earned money was wisely spent on the best possible machine, since, left to my own devices, I was clueless.

Read The Apple Trader

Column
Monday's Mac Gadget
"NetCD Tells You Song Titles On Your CDs"
NetCD from Toby W. Rush combines a basic Mac CD player with the ability to read from and write to the CDDB database. If you insert a CD that is already part of the database (very likely), you will be shown the artist name and CD title, as well as the title of each track.

Read Monday's Mac Gadget

[7:30 AM]
Lower Prices On Yosemite RAM
Trans International has lowered the price of their PC 100 RAM modules for Apple's Blue and White G3s. The new pricing is as follows, 32 Mb ...$52; 64 Mb ...$ 91; 128 Mb...$175 and 256 Mb ... $799. More information is available from the company's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: RAM prices for the Blue and White G3s have really come down since the introduction of the computers. Watch for other manufacturers to lower their prices in the next week or so.

Trans International

[7:30 AM]
Mac Architectural Web Site Launched
We got a note from BritasMedia who is announcing the launch of a new web site called Architosh. The site is dedicated to "architects and related-design professionals using the Macintosh computer platform." Read more about Archintosh in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The Mac Observer offers a big welcome to Architosh as they join the incredible family of Mac related web sites! Good Luck!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[7:30 AM]
Snak Updated To 2.02
Kent Sorensen has updated his IRC client, Snak, to version 2.02. The new version includes improved performance and bug fixes. Read more about the update in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[7:30 AM]
PowerMenu Updated To 2.2.3
Mark Aiken has updated his contextual menu plugin PowerMenu to version 2.2.3. The new version corrects a startup bug and greatly accelerates the drawing of custom icons under MacOS 8.5.

PowerMenu

 

Headlines For Friday, February 12th

[3:20 PM]
Apple Enters Marketing Agreement With Heartsoft
Heartsoft announced that Apple had entered a marketing agreement with the educational software company. Heartsoft characterized the agreement as an "alliance." According to Heartsoft:

"Under the terms of the alliance, [Apple Computer's K-12] Technology Integration Group (TIG) will co-market Heartsoft's new critical thinking skills product, Thinkology(R), side-by-side with the Apple Macintosh (NASDAQ: AAPL) to educators in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii.

In addition to representing Apple Computer as the exclusive AESA for the Southwestern U.S., TIG also distributes technology solutions by The Learning Company (NYSE: TLC), Macromedia (Nasdaq: MACR), Edmark (NYSE: IBM), Netscape (Nasdaq: NSCP), and Microsoft."

Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Heartsoft

[2:59 PM]
PandaWare Updates TimeCache
PandaWare has updated TimeCache, its time tracking software. According to PandaWare:

"The popular Macintosh time and expense tracking application PandaWare® TimeCache™ has been updated to version 2.05. The latest update improves capabilities for printing to non-US Letter-size paper and adds additional international customization options. It also adds the ability to keep duplicate job numbers for different clients, and fixes some minor bugs."

PandaWare offers a 20 day demo of the product at their web site. TimeCache retails for US$40.

PandaWare

[2:50 PM]
The Perfect Accessory For Your iMac, The iVase
Freeverse has announced what is surely the missing accessory for the iMac owner near you, the iVase. The iVase is... well... We'll let Freeverse explain it. Read the Full Story for more, but please keep in mind that there are some tongues firmly planted in cheeks here. :-)

The Mac Observer Spin: You have to see it to appreciate it. When we received word of this product from Freeverse, the entire staff nearly fell out of our chairs with laughter. With all of the ridiculous products coming out with an "i" in front of their names, it is great to see Freeverse put it all in perspective. Freeverse gets a big Mac Observer Salute!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:45 AM]
Which OS Do You Want To Boot Up On 1/1/2000?
We do not normally link to Internet polls because of their usual lack of validity. However, this one is strictly for fun and asks the question "Which operating system you would like to boot 1st January 2000 ?" The survey has actually been going on since March 3rd, 1998 (last year), but it seems to be picking up in popularity. Head over and vote for the Mac OS under the heading "Rhapsody (or other Macintosh system)."

Vote in the Poll

Follow-Up
[11:26 AM]
Y2K On NeXTStep/OpenStep Explained
In our story entitled "NeXTStep, OpenStep Not Y2K Compliant, Mac Is," we asked for NeXTStep, Rhapsody, and OpenStep developers to explain why there was a problem with the operating systems. We had many Observers write in to do just that and we are sharing those responses with you. The following two letters are typical examples of the great responses we received. Gerben Wierda tells us the fault lies in the way that Unix counts time. David Weintraub goes a bit farther to and talks about command lines, and programming mindsets. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
The Name of the Game
"Fusion: The Game of the Future"
Randy: Well, Gerard, after our last free-for-all, journalistic, self-serving article, I think it's time we get back to the important topic we were hired to write about.
Gary:
I agree completely, old boy. Roll out the browser and let's talk about online adult entertainment.
Randy:
Uh, Gary, this is the Mac gaming column.
Gary:
Oy, what you must think of me. Quite right…Macintosh gaming. Well, I'll just tuck this other little article away for now...

Read The Name of the Game

 

Headlines For Thursday, February 11th

[4:45 PM]
RockStar Ships Internet Setup Monkey 4.0
The good people at RockStar Software have announced they are shipping Internet Setup Monkey 4.0. Internet Setup Monkey allows ISPs and Network Admins to customize a network installation and setup application that makes network setup an easy process. The new version of Internet Setup Monkey has support for MacOS 8.5 and other enhancements. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[3:30 PM]
Match Your USB Mouse To Your iMac With 5 New Colors
Hot on the heels of the interchangeable color kits for the Que! CD-RW for the iMac, Contour has announced that they are shipping the UniMouse, a 3-button USB mouse in 5 colors that match the new 266 MHz iMacs. According to Countour:

"The UniMouse is Now available in Blueberry, Grape, Lime, Tangerine, and Strawberry for a perfect match to iMacs and G3s. The UniMouse&Mac250; offers a Universal Serial Bus(USB) interface and 3 buttons for the iMacs and G3s. Drivers are available which allow several button definition combinations which include double click, control click, option click and drag lock."

You can see a great product shot of the new mice that is reminiscent of Apple's own imagery of the 5 different iMacs colors at the company's web site. The UniMouse is priced at US$39.95.

Contour

[2:59 PM]
Space Doctor Converts Hard Drives To HFS+
It has been a busy day for Power On Software who announced that they were shipping ACTION Space Doctor. ACTION Space Doctor is a utility that will convert hard drives to HFS+ without reformatting the drive. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:55 PM]
An Observer Reports That Yosemite G3s Arrived In Thailand
Matthew Gallyer reports from Thailand that the Blue and White Yosemite G3 models have arrived. You can read Mattew's report in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Thanks for the report Matthew. We hope you get to get a new machine for yourself!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:42 PM]
4 Mac Titles In Independent Games Festival Final Round
4 Macintosh titles have made the cut in the First Annual Independent Games Festival Final Round. The contest offers developers a US$10,000 Grand Prize and a chance to have their game considered by Gathering of Developers (G.o.D.) for publishing. G.o.D. is a cosponsor of the contest along with the Miller Freeman Game Group. Read more about the Festival and the 4 Mac finalists in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is a great contest being put on by Game Developers Conference, one that benefits developers on all platforms. The stated goal of the conference is to become as relevant as the Cannes Film Festival. According to the GDC. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:05 PM]
Luminex Upgrades Network CD-R To 6X
Luminex has announced that it is upgrading the CDR-Power-100 Library and the NET-CDR network CD-Recorder to have 6X burning speed. Both products are network CD burners that allow multiple user read and write abilities to as many as 100 CDs at a time. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:44 AM]
Power On Ships GoMac 2.0
Power On Software has announced that it is shipping ACTION GoMac 2.0. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:34 AM]
Power On Updates ACTION Files
Power On Software has updated ACTION Files to version 1.2. ACTION Files is an interface enhancement for Mac OS Open and Save Dialogue boxes. The new version brings compatibility with Navigation Services as well as other improvements. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

 

Headlines For Wednesday, February 10th

[2:49 PM]
OpenDoor Ships ShareWay IP 2.0
OpenDoor Networks announced it is shipping ShareWay IP 2.0. ShareWay IP is designed to let users share files across Internet Protocols (IP). Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:37 PM]
CD-RW For The iMac Introduced
QPS has introduced a CD-RW burner for the iMac called Que! that is sure to be a big hit. Read more about this product in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: We normally do not rave about products in news stories, but if the Que! is even half of what the company's press release makes it out to be, it is sure to be a huge mega-hit among consumers (and small business owners looking to back up files).

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:20 PM]
MacWorld Boston May Be MacWorld New York....Again
The Boston Globe is reporting that MacWorld may be moving back to New York for the Fall show. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: There is a lot riding on the decision to both cities due to the large amount of cash brought by MacWorld attendees.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:40 PM]
Jobs Is Keynote Speaker At WWDC, New Product Announcement Possible
Apple announced today that Steve Jobs would be delivering the Keynote Speech at the World Wide Developer Conference. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: It is our opinion that Mr. Jobs will take the opportunity to do more than talk about OS X or any of the other very important items on the official agenda. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:20 PM]
Orange Micro Updates OrangePC Drivers
Orange Micro has updated the software used by the OrangePC Windows Compatibility card to version 3.3. According to Orange Micro:

"The main purpose of the release was to provide increased functionality for Windows NT users of OrangePC®. Some of the OrangePC® features for NT include: Fast Switch; Clipboard Exchange for copy/paste between Mac and NT applications; CDROM Auto Play support; and SCSI support, so that all Macintosh SCSI peripherals are also available to the Windows® NT environment on the OrangePC®.

There were also several enhancements for Windows 95/98 OrangePC users. They included enhanced SCSI support, improved serial port emulation (Com1, Com2, etc.), and improved warm boot capabilities."

The software is available for free from Orange Micro's web site. The company will also ship it to you on CD for US$19.

Orange Micro

Column
My First Mac Was A Typewriter
"Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.. I Can Do Anything Better Than You...*"
*With profound apologies to Annie Oakley, this is our theme song for the week. We are going after basic respect. We are going to get it by learning tricks for enhancing skills with the Mac. I want to share some great hints and shortcuts that I have picked up along the way in my computer journey. Some of them will be useful to you and decrease your dependence on others.

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter

Headlines For Tuesday, February 9th

Top Story
[1:40 PM]
Apple Files Q1 Results For SEC, The Numbers Look Good
Apple released its Q1 results for 1999 (Apple's 1st fiscal quarter goes from October 1st to December 31st). Most of the findings aren't new as Steve Jobs released the meat of the quarter's results at MacWorld San Francisco in January, but there is some good information that makes us happy to be The Mac Observer instead of The PC Watcher! :-) Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Good numbers! The gross margins in particular are important as they are among the highest in the industry. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Top Story
[12:10 PM]
NeXTStep, OpenStep Not Y2K Compliant, Mac Is
According to SEC filings made by Apple, NeXTStep and OpenStep are not Y2K compliant. The company also says the Mac is Y2K compliant. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: We believe the Y2K message to be a very powerful potential selling tool for Apple. Hopefully the information from the SEC filing will make its way into the hands of CEOs and CFOs around the world.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:30 AM]
Chinese Yosemite Roll Out Includes PCs, Sledgehammers, And Chainsaws, Literally
Hot on the heels of our Japan Report, we received a great report from an Observer in China telling us about the general situation in China as well as the Yosemite introduction in Beijing. We warn you though, do not proceed if you have a weak stomach or a deep rooted love of Wintel computers! :-) Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Thanks Forest! That's a delightful (though a bit bizarre) way to introduce a new line of Macs! Go Apple! If other Observers in China can give us their impressions of this event or similar events in China, we would love to hear it.

We would also like to hear from any Observer who can offer information on price differences for PowerMacs in Asia. Our guess is that tariffs and other protectionism taxes has more to do with it than anything else, but we would like to hear from people who know.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:14 AM]
MacZone Parent's Mac Sales Outpaced PC Sales
Multiple Zones International, the parent company of MacZone, has announced the results of its 4th quarter as well as the entire year. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: MacZone and its parent Multiple Zones have taken being Mac resellers very seriously. This effort has paid off with the results you see in the numbers in this story. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:50 PM]
NewerRAM Adds 256 MB Module For Yosemite G3s
We incorrectly attributed this announcement yesterday to Newer Technologies. Our apologies to NewerRAM for the mistake, this is the article in full again.

NewerRAM has added a 256 MB memory module for Yosemite G3 Macs. The new units complement the existing product line of 32 MB, 64 MB, and 128 MB modules. NewerRAM told the Mac Observer that the units are available immediately for a street price of US$962 at the retail level and that most orders are shipping within 24 hours of receipt.

The Mac Observer Spin: NewerRAM has been a longtime Mac vendor and these new 256 MB modules are priced extremely competitively at US$962.

NewerRAM

 

Headlines For Monday, February 8th

Top Story
[7:01 AM]
The Japan Report
Our story from a Japanese reader drew an outpouring of Observer reports from all over Japan. Almost all of them said that they are seeing something other than what our first Observer sees. Plentiful iMacs, plentiful software, and plentiful people wanting to buy both iMacs and software. With MacWorld Tokyo coming up in a few days, we expect for there to be even more good news coming from Japan. Judging by the nature of the reports that came in, it seems that the Rural regions of Japan may in fact be just as Carlos described in our original posting while the major metropolitan areas are actually doing well.

One thing that we find very interesting is the common thread of suggestions for Apple to release a "Hello Kitty" themed iMac. The thought goes that a pink "Hello Kitty" iMac would appeal to Japanese girls even more than the Bondi-blue and candy colored models do today and sellout quicker than one can say "Goodbye Windows." Perhaps our readers at Apple can pass this on to Steve Jobs. :-)

Thanks to all the Observers who have written to us. The Mac community in Japan is just as viable as it is in the rest of the world, if not more so!

Things Look Good In Japan Part VI- Sales People Everywhere - 2/8/99

Things Look Good In Japan Part V- Make The P1 In Different Colors Too - 2/8/99

Things Look Good In Japan Part IV- Not Enough English Software/Hello Kitty iMac - 2/8/99

Things Look Good In Japan Part III - iMacs Plentiful, Selling Well - 2/8/99

Things Look Good In Japan Part II - Canadian Says Japan Is Better Than Home - 2/8/99

Things Look Good In Japan Part I - Mac Store "The Place" To Be - 2/8/99

A Japanese Observer Says "You Got It Wrong!" - 2/5/99

The iMac Kicks Butt In Japan Too - 2/4/99

The Japan Report

[2:45 PM]
Adaptec Updates 2940UW OpenFirmware Update For Yosemite G3s
Adaptec has announced the release of an Open Firmware update for 2940UW Ultra Wide SCSI cards. Read more in teh Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: It's a Beta release, but Yosemite owners have been clamoring for this release. Observers are encouraged to write us with their results from using the update.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:50 PM]
NewerRAM Adds 256 MB Module For Yosemite G3s
NewerRAM has added a 256 MB memory module for Yosemite G3 Macs. The new units complement the existing product line of 32 MB, 64 MB, and 128 MB modules. NewerRAM told the Mac Observer that the units are available immediately for a street price of US$962 at the retail level and that most orders are shipping within 24 hours of receipt.

The Mac Observer Spin: NewerRAM has been a longtime Mac vendor and these new 256 MB modules are priced extremely competitively at US$962.

NewerRAM

Column
Monday's Mac Gadget
"Default Folder Keeps Your Mac In Order"
Another feature of the Mac OS that hasn't seen significant change over the years is the standard file Open and Save As dialogs. In today's age of monster hard drives, with folks storing more files than ever, it can become a real chore using these dialogs to access the folders and files you want.

Read Monday's Mac Gadget

[12:30 PM]
Syndicated Cartoon Shows Bill Gates With Mac
Observer Dan Greenburg wrote us about a cartoon he saw in the Ottawa Citizen. The cartoon is by Cam, a syndicated cartoonist. We also spoke with Cam to find out what went on behind the cartoon. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The power of the Mac reaches far and wide. There are probably many cartoonists out there who do use Macs in their work, but this cartoon rings funny for anyone. We also recommend you read Cam's other work as it is all very good. So thanks to Dan for pointing it out and thanks to Cam for making this cartoon!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
The Apple Trader
"It's A Slow Quarter, But The Apple Trader Says 'Buy'"
Apple is a very complex company. It'd be much easier to write articles about Dell or Gateway. You could stick with how things are going in the assembly line and a few market forecasts. With Apple, your creative abilities to integrate all the disparate software and hardware initiatives are constantly under siege. This week the Apple news, as usual, is wide and far-flung. So, I'll just start with the obvious and move to the obscure.

Read The Apple Trader

 

Headlines For Friday, February 5th

Top Story
[7:01 AM]
David 1, Goliath 0 -- Connectix Wins First Stage Of Sony Lawsuit
Connectix has won the first stage of the lawsuit from Sony that seeks to keep Connectix from shipping the Virtual Game Station. The Virtual Game Station, or VGS, is a PlayStation emulator that is exclusive to the Mac. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Connectix certainly has a long road ahead of them, but the first few steps seem to have been successful. As we have said in the past, Sony's position is not necessarily as clear as it may seem. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[3:39 PM]
Bungie Releases New Myth II Net-Map With A Twist
Inside Mac Games is covering the release of a new netmap for Myth II that adds a new twist. Head over to IMG to read all about it.

Inside Mac Games

[3:33 PM]
Sony Brings New LCD Projector For The Mac
Sony has introduced a new LCD projector called the Ultra Personal VPL-XC50U XGA LCD. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[2:53 PM]
Mac Users Get A New EDGE In Durable Graphics Printing
Gerber Scientific Products, Inc. has announced the release of software drivers and Illustrator plug-ins for the Gerber EDGE. The product is called MacImprint and is designed to allow Mac users to interface with the EDGE, a process which used to require Mac to PC conversions for those needing to do so. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Chalk up another point in the victory column for PC products coming to the Mac.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[2:11 PM]
DeltaGraph Updated To 4.5
SPSS Inc, has announced it is shipping DeltaGraph 4.5, the latest update to the venerable graphing and charting program. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:20 PM]
XLR8 Planning On USB Wheel Mouse
Word has reached us that XLR8 is planning on releasing a USB wheel mouse called "Point&Scroll." According to our source:

"Unlike the Logitech mouse, Point&Scroll does not depend on XY coordinates, thereby able to scroll all windows, including those partially visible .

Point&Scroll also has a variety of configurable settings for the Mac users (including contextual menus...yes), and a developer API. For older Mac users, Point&Scroll can be purchased with XLR8's (soon released) DualPort USB for PCI. These guys end-up with USB connectivity and cool point & scroll capabilities."

No word yet on pricing information or availability.

XLR8

[12:48 PM]
A Japanese Observer Says "You Got It Wrong!"
An Observer living in Japan says we have it all wrong in our rosy assessment of the Japanese Mac market. He included his assessment of the Japanese market and we think other Observers will enjoy reading them. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Seems that not all is rosy, but 120,000 iMacs sold in Japan is still a big step up from the situation before the iMac’s release. Perhaps Mr. Jobs will see some of what Carlos is talking about when he visits Japan to speak at MacWorld Tokyo '99.

A big Mac Observer thank you to Carlos for sending in this report!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Perspective
Kyle D'Addario
"To Buy or Not To Buy"
<FANFARE>Kyle D'Addario rejoins The Mac Observer team as a Contributing Editor. Long time readers of the site will remember Kyle from the very early days of this magazine when we were known as Webintosh. Kyle helped get the site off the ground and worked with us for over a year as a Contributing Editor at that time. We are pleased to welcome Kyle back in 1999! The following is from Kyle's debut editorial for his return.</FANFARE>

This question has been posed before, I think, but phrased a bit differently (or is it "different?"). However, never has it been more appropriate to again dig up this eternal argument than it is now. Spend the money and quiet that voice in your head that keeps saying, "I NEED that," or be a good consumer and adhere to the adage, "Prices are going to come down if I just wait."

Read "To Buy or Not To Buy"

Column
The Name of the Game
"Even More Questions Only An Idiot Would Ask"
Gary: Man, look at all of this mail! It's filling up the library. I can't even get to the game manuals anymore. You know, buddy, we really should stop avoiding this and just answer our mail.
Randy:
Yeah, I guess so. But that means I have to stop playing Klingon Honor Guard.
Gary:
Dude! You have been playing for two weeks straight now. Your hands are going to get permanently damaged. Take a break.
Randy: All right, all right. So, let's read a little VIEWER MAIL!

Read The Name of the Game

 

Headlines For Thursday, February 4th

Top Story
[11:28 AM]
Apple Estimating 1999 iMac Sales At 2 Million Units?
In a news article from Reuters about Apple manufacturing plans, a startling number is casually tossed out. The article says that LG Electronics would be providing 2 million iMacs in 1999 in a manufacturing deal. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: 2 million units is a very aggressive number for the iMac. It is likely that Apple will continue to roll out new iMac models during the next year and this 2 million unit figure likely include these future permutations. Read more in the Full story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Top Story
[10:19 AM]
iMac Kicks Butt In Japan Too
Reuters is reporting that Apple sold 120,000 iMacs in Japan in the last 4 months of 1998. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Well well well, it seems our little Bondi-blue friend brings good cheer every where he goes. Previous reports from Japan have said that many first time buyers, especially women, were turning out in droves to buy the iMac. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[3:38 PM]
Logitech ReleasesPerfect Mouse For Windows To Mac Conversions
Logitech has released new versions of its MouseMan Wheel Mouse and Logitech USB Wheel Mouse that are just perfect for the intrepid PC user looking to convert to the Mac platform. Both new versions of these mice have PS/2 and USB connections making them ideal for almost any PC and any of the new line of iMacs and G3s from Apple.

The MouseMan Wheel Mouse is retailing for US$49.95 and Logitech USB Wheel Mouse will retail for US$39.95. Mac drivers that make the wheel usable for scrolling on a Mac will not be out until March or April, but the mice will function as normal one button mice on a USB equipped Mac or iMac.

The Mac Observer Spin: Ok, maybe Logitech is not advertising these mice as the perfect PC to Mac migration mouse, their idea is that it makes it easier for consumers to have a good mouse and not worry about getting a new computer with new technology. It is also easier on retailers who can carry one less product and still fill the same consumer needs. If you ask us though, these two mice will make it much easier for someone to come over to the Light Side and still keep that peripheral if they have it! :-)

Logitech

[2:07 PM]
Judge Rules Against Apple In Exponential Lawsuit
Chancellor William Chandler has ruled against Apple in a lawsuit Apple has against its erstwhile partner. To remind Observers on what this is about, Exponential was developing an alternative PowerPC chip to be used in PowerMacs and Mac clones. Apple is a 25% partner in Exponential and helped fund the company during development of Exponential's technology. Read more, including the history of this situation in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: There are generally two schools of thought on the Exponential situation. One school says that Exponential was hopelessly behind in delivering what they promised and the other school says that Exponential was another in a long string of partners that Apple has pulled the rug out from under. We are inclined to say that there is a happy medium here. This lawsuit is likely to be ugly and drag out for at least another 18 to 24 months.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:07 AM]
New Mac-Only Auction Site Introduced
A new web site called AuctionMac.com has been introduced by the people at ClassMac.com. The site brings the power of online auctions to Mac users who don't want to muddle through loads of PC equipment. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Online auction sites have done incredibly well during the last 12 months. Check out ebay.com (Current stock price is $246 per share, down 32 1/4, as of press time) if you have any questions. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

 

Headlines For Wednesday, February 3rd

Follow-Up
[4:04 PM]
The Company MacTell Plans To Buy Owns The Bottom Line
Doing some research on DGR Technologies, we found that this company is the company that owns The Bottom Line. The Bottom Line is an Mac e-commerce site that seels product from all sorts of Mac companies. It is unclear how being owned by MacTell will affect The Bottom Line which sells competing products to MacTell's own line of processor cards, graphic cards, and the iMaccessories.com line of USB products.

The Bottom Line

[2:45 PM]
OrangeMicro Releases Inexpensive SCSI Cards
Orange Micro, the maker of the OrangPC Windows Compatibility processor card add-ons, has announced a line of SCSI cards called Grappler SCSI. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:09 PM]
Former Mac Clone Company Now Healthy Enough To Acquire E-Commerce Company
MacTell Corporation announced a decision to acquire DGR Technologies Inc. in order to fuel growth of the division. DGR is an e-commerce company that focuses on secure transactions. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: The real story here is that a former Mac clone company and current Mac peripheral, graphic card, and processor upgrade company is in the position to A.) grow, and B.) acquire another company as part of that growth. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
My First Mac Was A Typewriter
"Pitfalls, Pratfalls, and Dumb Luck, Part II"
Nancy Gravley continues her series of cool stuff and interesting things she has learned about computers and the Internet. Today she talks about virus hoaxes, where the term "bug" came from, force quitting applications, ejecting CDs and floppies, and participating in on-line surveys. She's been busy! :-)

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter

[11:33 AM]
Peripheral Adds 256 MB Yosemite Memory Module
Peripheral Enhancements announced it had added a 256 MB memory module to its line of Yosemite memory announced on January 6th. Peripheral has set pricing on the new module at US$1099 though that may change by the time it hits the street.

Peripheral Enhancements

 

Headlines For Tuesday, February 2nd

[2:38 PM]
Got A Hot PowerBook? Laptop Stand Introduced
The Frontline Group has introduced a laptop stand called the LapStand designed to make using a laptop a little easier. The case stands at up to 2 1/2 feet and collapses small enough to fit in a standard laptop case according to the company.

The LapStand is priced at US$79.95.

The Mac Observer Spin: Owners of the cutting edge PowerBook 292 MHz and 266 MHz models that had the 83 MHz system bus (a first in the laptop market, but a short lived product due to heat issues) have had difficulty working with the machines due to the heat they can produce on the bottom side. This type of stand could be ideal for alleviating the problem.

The Frontline Group

[2:01 PM]
Observer Alert: An Observer Foils Credit Card Scam
An Observer named Rob Lewis wrote in with an alert to other business owners. Rob is the marketing Director for a company that does Mac and PC support, training and repairs and found himself approached by a foreign national in a former Soviet Republic looking for computer parts. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This news is not really the type of thing that we would normally cover, but we felt that Mac business owners (and any other type of business owner) would appreciate hearing Rob's message. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:52 PM]
Software To Track Print Jobs Released
Productive Intelligence has released PrintTrack, a software app that will track print jobs made on Macs. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: This sounds like very handy software indeed for any Mac office that bills clients by time and materials. We would like to know from our readers if there are any other software packages like this available for the Mac. Write to us at our Observers e-mail address and let us know!

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:30 PM]
Epson Releases High Performance Mac/PC Printer
Epson has released the Epson Stylus Color 900. The printer will output at up to 1440 x 720 dpi and has an impressive feature list. Like other models in the Epson line, the Stylus Color 900 will accept simultaneous Mac and PC connections and also features a USB connection. Epson has also equipped the printer with high capacity ink cartridges for extended printing jobs.

The driver software that accompanies the printer allows users to place customized watermarks (for instance "Draft" or "Confidential" to use Epson's examples) as well as to place draft documents 4-up on a page for proofing purposes.

Epson is offering an interesting software bundling package allowing users to pick two titles from a list of offerings.

The Epson Stylus Color 900 is priced at US$449 with availability slated for later this month.

Epson

[11:48 AM]
Java Servlet Authoring Tool for "Non-Programmers"
Zat, Inc. has introduced an authoring tool for Internet applications they say can be used by non-programmers. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:33 AM]
Miramar Updates PC MACLAN
Miramar has announced an update to PC MACLAN, its PC to Mac connectivity software, to version 7.2. PC MacLan allows PCs to work with Macs as if they were PCs, an important tool for mixed platform houses. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Headlines For Monday, February 1st

[3:01 PM]
Great Mac Triumph Story
Our friend Tuncer Deniz at Inside Mac Games has posted a great story about a couple trying to buy an iMac at CompUSA. They ended up needing some help from Mr. Deniz to overide the nonsense from the sales clerk though. Head over to IMG to read the story.

Inside Mac Games

[2:00 PM]
Stuffit Expander Updated To 5.1
Aladdin Systems' has announced Stuffit Expander 5.1. The new version adds PC decoding capabilities with both the .zip and .uu formats being supported. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:31 PM]
Study Aid For Ohio Students Released For The Mac
Photonics Graphics has released a product called OPTimum for Ohio Students. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[1:15 PM]
Medical Industry Association Directory For The Mac Released
Biomedical Market Newsletter has released a product called "Medical Industry Association Directory--1999." Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: There are many aspects of the Medical profession that get ignored for Mac users despite the large Mac presence in the very same Medical profession. Great to see a company specifically announce a product, even if it is just a valuable spreadsheet as opposed to a full blown application, for the Mac.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:22 PM]
Fox Interactive To Release Pinball Game/TV Advertisement For The Mac
Fox Interactive has announced a new Mac game title called "Fox Arcade: Sci-Fi Pinball." Taking the opportunity to promote its TV programming in the game, the company says the game will feature four distinctive pinball tables based on several Fox properties. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Leave it to Fox to blur the distinction between computer games and TV/Video to make an entertainment title. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:47 AM]
MetaCreations Announces Web Creation App
MetaCreations has announced a new product called Headline Studio. Headline Studio is designed for creating GIF banner ads. Read more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: MetaCreations isn't touting Headline Studio for anything other than banner ads at the moment, but the product seems ideal for creating any kind of GIF animation for the web. With the customizable features and ability to tweak size and palette, GIF animators may find this product to be ideal for spicing up a web page. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
The Apple Trader
"Why FireWire May Make Apple A Smart Buy"
I was all prepared to write about what a coup d’état the Hal 2001 commercial was on the Super Bowl. I just watched it and it went over like a ton of bricks. The eerie, serious tone of the commercial was totally out of sync with the multifarious flavor of that ridiculously over-produced event we all love and cherish. I really don’t think more than one in a hundred watching the Super Bowl even noticed the commercial. Too bad because it’s very cool.

The real Apple news of late was the kind of subtle, far-reaching stuff that is hard to analyze and requires hours of research to fully understand the financial implications. I actually undertook none of this. The weekend was wasted on my annual Super Bowl binge, so you'll have to do your own homework. However, I do have some leads for you.

Read The Apple Trader

Column
Monday's Mac Gadget
"Snapz Pro Makes Screen Grabs A Snap"
Although many portions of the Mac OS have changed significantly over the years, the humble screen capture feature (Command-Shift-3) has only enjoyed one enhancement, allowing the capture of a portion of the screen (Command-Shift-4) or a window (hit Caps Lock after Command-Shift-4). But it still doesn't support graphic formats other than PICT, and can't always capture exactly what you want....

Read Monday's Mac Gadget



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