The Mac Observer Spin:The gauntlets have been cast down by both parties. Sony has picked two angles of attack, the copyright and Intellectual Property issue as well as saying that VGS doesn't offer protection against pirated copies of PlayStation titles. Read more in the Full Story.
Viking Components has announced a new line of memory modules for Apple's new Yosemite PowerMac G3s. The line is being produced in 16 MB, 32 MB, 64 MB, 128 MB, and 256 MB units. Viking says the new line conforms to all Apple specs on the Yosemite models.
Pricing is as follows: 16MB--$39.99, 32MB--$79.99, 64MB--$159.99, 128MB--$339.99, and 256MB--$1,499.99. The modules can be purchased where ever Viking products are sold.
Column The Name of the Game
"How The Heck Did The Idiots Get Klingon Honor Guard Before You Did?"
Gary: Hey, Randy, you look terrible. What happened to you last night? Randy: "I was up all night. My ship was in danger my crew my crew was "
Gary: All right, Captain Kirk. I guess somebody was up in the screening room all night watching another Star Trek marathon.
Randy: Not watching TV. Playing game. "KIRK! Federation bastards killed my son. I am Klingon!"
Gary: Your Kirk and Klingon impersonations sound notoriously alike.
Randy: I am a warrior in the Klingon Honor Guard! Now where's my coffee? Klingon warrior, sleepy.
Gary: Let me see here. Would this be a painfully obvious intro into a game review?
Randy: Of course not. This is a shamefully obvious intro. Pass the Sugar Smackee-Smacks and milk, please.
[2:20 PM] Macromedia Reports 35% Increase in Mac Sales
As another sign of the continued resurgence of the Mac platform, Macromedia has reported a 35% increase in Mac sales when compared against the year ago quarter, slightly edging out the 33% increase in Windows sales for the same time.Read more in the Full story.
The Mac Observer Spin: Macromedia, long a Mac-only developer and now a multiplatofrm developer, was showing some signs of lower confidence in the Mac platform. The big jump in Mac sales will probably help renew that faith. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: The behind the scenes activities are in and of them selves quite fascinating, but the important thing is that Apple will be making a definitive statement on a very important issue, the Y2K problem. Read more in the Full Story.
The wacky folks over at Clixsounds have released another free Mac sound. The new sound is called "Cheesy Group" e-mail sound and is what it name implies, a very cheesy sounding e-mail alert replacement sound. Cheesy Group sounds like an old AM radio break announcement with a group of people very cheerily announcing that you have new mail. To find it, go to the company's web site and click on the Sounds button on the left hand side of the page.
Mike Dixon from the MAc Gamer's Ledge dropped us a note to let us know about their Myth II review. MGL has provided plenty of screen shots and tested the game on a PowerMac 7300 and a PowerBook G3 233 in different graphic modes. Head over to the MGL to read all about it!
[11:15 AM] Harmonic Vision Updates Music Learning Software
Harmonic Vision has announced an update to Music Ace bringing the educational software to version 2. According to Harmonic Vision:
"Continuing the same user-friendly format of comprehensive lessons, challenging games and a creative composition tool, Maestro Max(TM) and his choir of Singing Notes(TM) return for an encore performance with more than 2,000 musical examples and a variety of instruments to provide beginning and intermediate students with a continuing introduction to music fundamentals and theory. Music Ace 2 includes 24 engaging, self-paced lessons that accelerate development of fundamental music skills. An exciting interactive game follows each lesson, designed to reinforce new material and sharpen skills. Music Ace 2 also includes the Music Doodle Pad(TM) that allows users to easily compose and listen to their own musical creations."
The company also officially announced the Music Ace Series of software with Music Ace 2 being the second release.
Harmonic Vision will release the product in April of this year. Pricing is not yet available.
[11:02 AM] New Global Village Fax/Modem For Yosemite Announced
Boca Research has announced the Global Village TelePort Internal 56K Fax/Modem for Apple's new blue and white PowerMac G3s. According to Boca Research:
"Optimized for Apple's new Power Macintosh G3 computer, the Global Village TelePort(tm) Internal 56K Fax/Modem includes features you won't find with other 56K modems, including: Award-winning GlobalFax(tm) software for easy faxing from any application; Multiple versatile address books to keep phone, fax, data line, and e-mail numbers in a single directory; An exclusive Setup Helper with on-screen guide that gets you started faxing fast."
The new modems use the communications slot in the new G3s. The Global Village TelePort Internal 56K Fax/Modem will be priced at US$139.95 and is expected to be available in March.
Top Story [3:37 PM] Mac Software Makes Resurgence In 1998
PC Data has released their year end numbers for 1998 and we found that Mac titles have made a resurgence. In overall business titles for instance, Mac OS 8 was the number 12 best selling unit. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin:Wow! Fantastic! While we all know the mac is making a comeback and is looking stronger than ever, but it is nice to see this reflected in 3rd party data. Read more in the Full Story.
[12:50 PM] Babylon 5 For Mac Petition Passes 1500 Signers
Matt Tingstrom writes us to say that his signature drive for bringing Babylon 5 to the Mac has hit the 1,500 mark. Matt is looking to bring that number even higher, so all Mac users who are interested in buying the game should head over to the Babylon 5 petition site and sign up! Read the Full Story for more information.
The Mac Observer Spin:As always in signing a petition to bring software titles to the Mac, only sign up if you really are interested in buying the product when it ships. When we sign a petition just to show our support for the Mac we dilute the value of future petitions when developers see that their Mac port doesn't sell despite all the signatures they received! Read more in the Full Story.
[11:59 AM] Addonics Brings Full Product Line To iMac
Addonics announced today that it has brought a USB to ATA/Atapi adapter and driver software that makes several of its products iMac compatible. According to Addonics.
"iMac users now have a multitude of storage options with Addonics' new USB - ATA/ATAPI connector cable. A single cable provides hot swappable storage and support for Addonics' family of portable storage devices, which includes: the 100MB PocketZIP; 120MB LS-120 Pocket SuperDisk, 24X Pocket CD, and the Pocket Hard Drive."
The 6-foot long cable and driver software will be sold separately as a $49 accessory or can be ordered with any Addonics "Pocket" USB series product at no extra charge.
The Mac Observer Spin:WooooHooooo!!! Mac users have long enjoyed technically superior hardware (except for many of the low-end models from the past), but we have not had access to the variety found in the PC world. The promise of USB has been fulfilled once again by bringing a company's entire storage line by simply writing Mac drivers.
Column My First Mac Was A Typewriter
"Pitfalls, Pratfalls, and Dumb Luck, Part I"
I'm not proud - at least not too proud to admit all the things I didn't know when I started using the internet, and how I learned them all the hard way. Today's column concerns avoiding pitfalls while enjoying the good things. Since I seem to have learned a great many things the hard way...
While we hesitate to call this a "Where are they now?" posting, Gil Amelio has been named to the board of a technology company. Computer Sentry Software, Inc. has named Dr. Amelio to their Board of Directors. Computer Sentry Software focuses on PC security and asset tracking.
The Mac Observer Spin:It was very easy for many people to slam Dr. Amelio before and after he was ousted. There were also many people who cast doubt on his claim as a turnaround artist after he failed to turn Apple around. He certainly had at least a bit of denial after the fact (from our outside perspective). Our spin is that Apple needed a miracle and a full 180 degree turn and not a turnaround artist. Dr. Amelio did in fact accomplish some good at Apple and his talents as disciplined leader can not be discounted simply because they were not what Apple needed at the time. Congratulations to Dr. Amelio for his new position with Computer Sentry Software!
Bare Bones Software has announced an update to BBEdit to version 5.02. BBEdit is a text and HTML editor that is very popular with web developers who eschew WYSIWYG environments in favor of working with HTML directly. According to Bare Bones:
"This version also incorporates a number of fixes for both the core application and the HTML Tools, and is a recommended update for all users of BBEdit 5.0 and 5.0.1.
A detailed list of additions and fixes included in this update, can be found online."
The upgrade is free to owners of BBEdit 4.5 and above. Owners of BBEdit 2.5 and up are eligible for an upgrade to version 5.02 for US$39. The full product is priced at US$119.
[1:44 PM] Observer Call: Mac Fax-On-Demand Needed!
We are putting out another Observer Call for an Observer in distress. David Anderson of Global Village Communication tells us that their DOS based Fax-On-Demand system has got to go and they are looking for a Mac replacement. Read more in the Full Story.
[10:59 AM] Adaptec Releases Yosemite Drivers For SCSI Card
Adaptec has announced that it has released Mac drivers for the Adaptec 2906 SCSI card which makes the card compatible with Apple's new blue and white G3 machines (also known as Yosemite). The 2906 card supports Fast SCSI (SCSI 2) as well as the original SCSI. The device includes an external connector that allows peripherals to be attached. In fact, Adaptec's web site says the 2906 card is "Ideal for scanners, Zip, or CD-ROM drives."
The drivers have to be downloaded from the web. The Yosemite Mac drivers will not be shipping with the 2906 card until February.
ClearWay Technologies has announced an update to NITRO PowerPlug bringing the server add-on to version 2.2. According to Clearway Technologies:
"NITRO accelerates WebSTAR, WebTen, and compatible Web servers up to 200% or more through advanced memory management and thread scheduling. The new 2.2 version delivers higher performance, increased RAM efficiency, and improved compatibility with Tenon Intersystems' WebTen Web server."
The update is free to all registered users of NITRO. The full version is priced at US$149.
MacConnect, a Mac-only nationwide ISP and hosting service, had announced a new web portal called My MacConnect. The company says that the portal was initially designed for their customers but was recently opened to the public. My MacConnect offers news from AppleLinks.
Top Story [12:54 PM] Despite Reports Of Canceling Super Bowl Ad, Apple Runs HAL
Contrary to our report last Monday, Apple has officially announced it will air a Super Bowl ad on next week's Super Bowl. Last Monday, the Mac Observer reported that Advertising Age had said that Apple had decided to pull its Super Bowl ad and had asked Fox to sell the space.
Today, Apple announced that it would be showing the HAL ad that was first shown at MacWorld Expo and then placed on Apple's web site. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: Our guess is that Apple changed its plans again after deciding to sell the space Whatever the case it is worth being wrong about the Super Bowl ad as Apple will gain some tremendous mileage from the ad. Read more in the Full Story.
Todd Golly wrote in to tell us about his new site called Desktopia. Desktopia is a site that brings you a huge selection of desktop pictures organized by categories. The site offers some fantastic choices including several that use imagery from some of Apple's campaign ads.
[1:20 PM] The Mac Observer Fields iGames Tourney Team And Wins!
This Saturday, The Mac Observer fielded a team to compete in the iGame.org Myth II: Soulblighter tournament at Floppy Joe's in College Station, Tx. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: As the only two Mac users to show up at this location, they report being made to feel very welcome by the PC-only software store, though their was some consternation from some participants and spectators at having out-of-town Mac users win all the cool PC prizes. Read more in the Full Story.
Column Monday's Mac Gadget
"Sleeper...Keeps Your Mac From Yawning"
The Apple Energy Saver control panel provides basic functionality for placing your processor, screen and hard disk in a low power mode after a certain amount of inactivity. This can of course save energy and extend your PowerBook battery life. But if you want a bit more control over these events, as well as get some nifty extra features, be sure to check out Sleeper.
[12:06 PM] MGL Posts Review Of Virtual Game Station
Our good friend at The Mac Gamer's Ledge, Mike Dixon, has posted a review of Connectix's Virtual Game Station. As Connectix finishes preparations on the retail release (and awaits possible legal action by Sony), VGS fans will find this excellent review a must read. Plenty of screen shots and performance numbers for you too.
Column The Name of the Game
"Did you Just Get Hit By An Elephant? Or is that Carmageddon II?"
Gary: Hey, Randy, I've been looking all over for you. You didn't say you would be in the lab. What do you have working there? Randy: I'm trying to retrofit this office chair with a hydraulic lift from a 737 landing gear so I can make my own Sens-O-matic Gaming Chair. See? I've already installed some Bose loudspeakers in the headrest, a joystick in one arm and a trackball on the other. I'm pretty sure I've just about got it. Let me just sit down here, and fire up MDK. Gary: Have you ever done this before? It looks pretty complicated. Maybe we should just buy a game chair from Intensor. They make a killer gaming chair.
Randy: Buy one? I think not, non-believer! Check it out. The chair moves as I run around. It tilts when I dodge enemy fire.
Gary: Wow, that thing seems to work! I can't believe it.
Randy: Let me just jump on this ledge, and- Aaaaauuuuuuggggghhhhh!
Quantum Soft has released a maintenance release of pro Fit, bringing the app to 5.1.2. Pro Fit is a data analysis, nonlinear curve fitting, and plotting applications for the Mac. Read more in the Full Story.
Our friends at Clixsounds have released another sound for Mac users. This one is called Cyberfem:Denied beep and is exactly what it sounds like. A very cybery sounding female voice says "Denied" while an electronic sounding noise pans across your speakers (if you have stereo speakers. Like all Clixsounds releases, Cyberfem:Denied beep can be used anyplace on your Mac that uses a sound. The sound can be found by going to the Clixsounds home page and clicking on the "sounds" button on the left.
[2:38 PM] Get A Refund On Windows If You Don't Use It
An Observer wrote in to tell us of a web site dedicated to telling people how to get a refund if they didn't use Windows on their PC. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin:Some background information is in order. Microsoft has many contracts with computer manufacturers that require the manufacturer to include Windows (or at least charge for a copy of it) with every system sold, whether or not Windows is actually shipping on the box. Read more in the Full Story.
Hewlett Packard has announced an offer for iMac and USB equipped Mac owners (like the new blue and white PowerMac G3). The company if offering the HP DeskJet 697 printer with the iMac Printer Kit for US$158 after a US$60 rebate. The offer is good until January 30th. Coupons for the rebate can be found at retail outlets or can be downloaded in PDF format from Apple.
Column My First Mac Was A Typewriter
"Floppy This! A Guide To A Virtual Floppy"
One of the things I really enjoy about writing this column is that I get to find out about, and try, things I didn't even know existed. Usually this happens because readers share information. One such new experience is iMacFloppy.com. If you don't use an iMac don't stop reading because this service can be used on any machine. It also lets you transfer documents from Mac to Mac without a disk, and even lets you transfer documents from a Mac to a PC and vice-versa. It is this last aspect that made this most appealing to me, and I must confess that I didn't quite believe it would support transferring from one platform to another if I didn't have Word on my Mac at home
[7: 40 AM] CharisMac Adds Support For ATAPI Drives To Discribe
CharisMac Engineering has added support for Atapi drives in their CD mastering application Discribe. According to CharisMac:
"The ATAPI bus architecture in the new G3 line of Macintosh computers allows Mac users to leverage the immense volume of ATAPI devices sold into the PC arena to bring technologies like CD-R/RW to the desktop at an affordable cost. ATAPI has been the most common drive interface in the PC market for well over a decade. Discribe is the first CD mastering program to ship an ATAPI compliant version for the Mac."
Discribe includes a universal CD-ROM drive that the comapny claims makes a Mac compatible with "virtually all" of the many CD-R and CD-RW devices on the market. In addition, the product will support for the creation of HFS, ISO-9660, Hybrid and Audio CDs.
Discribe retails for US$99 with an upgrade and competitive upgrade offer of US$39.
[7: 30 AM] Abbott Systems Offers Opportunity To Developers
Abbott Systems has offered a great opportunity to developers wishing to bring their product to market. The company is seeking developers who want to co-market their product on a new CanOpener CD coming out soon. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: This could be the beginning of another paradigm shift in software distribution (if any Observers know of other companies that have done this, please let us know). Read more in the Full Story.
Aurora Design has updated the drivers for Aurora Fuse to version 1.6 making the video card compatible with Apple's Blue and White G3's. The update also fixes a bug that could cause long movies to stutter, and provides improved accuracy of color space conversion calculations during rendering.
Aladdin Knowledge Systems has introduced eToken, a USB security key for the Mac and PC. eToken is a key-sized device that is plugged directly into a USB port. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: While they are sure to make many form-factor and other technology based changes in upcoming years, security devices like the eToken are a Future Trend. Read more int he Full Story
Top Story [11: 22 AM] Apple Thinks Different About Sound
Apple announced today that it had licensed a new sound technology from Spatializer Audio Laboratories. Find out more in the Ful Story.
The Mac Observer Spin:One of the best aspects of being a Mac user is the marvelous plug and play capabilities we have, but we do pay a small price for this convenience. Sound is one of those prices, but now Apple is taking steps to make it better. Read more in the Full Story.
[1: 04 PM] Applix Releases Applixware To Linux PPC
Applix has announced that its productivity suite Applixware will ship on February 1st of this year. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin:The addition of Applixware makes it much easier for users wanting to run Linux on their Macs. This productivity suite has earned a devoted set off users on other platforms including Windows NT, Linusx for x86, and other Unix platforms.
Softlink has announced it is bringing VOICELink to the Mac. VOICELink is an e-mail client that allows the user to record a voice message and send it to a recipient. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin:SoftLink is a predominantly PC oriented company, yet the company's press release went all out to impress upon Mac users the importance of the Mac to SoftLink. Read more in the Full Story.
[11: 46 AM] MicroTest Adds Mac Support In CD/DVD Sharing
Microtest has added Mac support to DiscZerver, its CD and DVD sharing application. DiscZerver allows multiple users to share the same CD or DVD in a multi-platform environment. DiscZerver now allows Mac users to access Hierarchical File System (HFS), ISO 9660 and ISO/HFS hybrid CDs. The company has also upgraded the connectivity abilities of the product making it possible for up to 255 concurrent users to connect (up from 125) and will support more mounted volumes (248, up from 127).
The DiscZerver integration model and DiscPort2 list for $995. DiscPortVT is listed at $1,995 for the seven-CD model, $2,495 for the 14-CD model, and $2,995 for the 28-CD model.
Top Story [3:01 PM] Apple Pulls Super Bowl Ad At Last Minute
Advertising Age is reporting that Apple has pulled its plans for a Super Bowl ad. The Ad would have marked Apple's first Super Bowl ad since the Lemmings debacle. Advertising Age also reports that Apple has asked Fox to find a buyer for their spot.
Apple had not return our phone calls at press time.
The Mac Observer Spin:It was assumed that Apple would be introducing a new product with rumors ranging from the new PowerBooks (the Lombard) to the P1 with the MacMate and Blue and White G3 units in between. Our best guess is that if Apple has in fact canceled its plans to air a commercial, whatever product the company was planning on introducing has been pushed back (a prime example of why Steve Jobs tries to keep such a tight lid on product announcements). We will update you as more information is obtained.
Top Story Follow Up [11:54 AM] The Mac Observer Speaks With Connectix Concerning Possible Lawsuit
The Mac Observer reported last week that Sony may be preparing a lawsuit against Connectix concerning the Virtual Game Station, the PlayStation emulator. At that time, Connectix spokesman Albert Fong told us that Connectix's policy is to not comment on speculation and rumor. Mr. Fong then made it possible for us to speak to Roy McDonald, the President and CEO of Connectix. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin:Interestingly enough, Mr. McDonald told us that Virtual Game Station was their most successful product rollout at MacWorld Expo ever. Read more in the Full Story.
[10: 30 AM] Simple Technology Introduces RAM Modules For Yosemite
Simple Technology has introduced RAM modules for Apple's new Yosemite G3 systems (also called the Blue G3's by some). The company has introduced 32 MB, 64 MB, 128 MB, and 256 MB units. According to Simple Technology:
"Simple Technology memory modules for the G3 are unbuffered 168 pin PC-100 SDRAM DIMMs. The 64-bit-wide modules are 3.3 volt and built with either 64 or 128 Mbit technology -- 64 Mbit for the 32, 64 and 128 MB modules, and 128 Mbit for the 256 MB modules."
Pricing for the modules starts at US$99 for the 32 MB unit and goes to US$499 for the 256 MB unit.
Column The Apple Trader
"A Detailed Look At Apple's Stock Drop"
I've decided this morning to compose my little ditty at a rather chic looking coffee house here in the town that oil built. This is the first time I've ever brandished an information manipulation tool in public and I feel a bit self-conscious, but supremely cool.
That's good because I definitely lost my cool last week in the stock market. As my faithful readers probably remember I boldly, some say foolishly, predicted that Apple wouldn't sag below 45 bucks. This pontification was based on an old technical analysis rule of thumb that resistance once broken becomes the new level of support.
Naturally, Apple stock collapsed to 41 bucks in one nasty session, an 11% bust Thursday, after Apple's enemies fouled our favorite company with false charges of stuffing the channels.
Column Monday's Mac Gadget "Peek-a-Boo, System Info At A Glance"
Ever wonder about all of the programs that are running on your Mac? No, not just the ones that you can see via the new, improved Application Menu, which can now show you all running applications at a glance. There are also applications that run in the background and are normally not accessible to the user. Find out about Peek-a-Boo at Monday's Mac Gadget.
[7: 39 AM] John Braun's Belated MacWorld Expo SF Picks
John Braun has compiled his list of MacWorld Expo hot picks. John caught a nasty bug immediately after his plane trip back to Boston from San Francisco which kept this list from you until now, but he is healed now ready to go. Some are old and some are brand new, but (mostly) all are things that are important additions to the Mac community. Read more in the Full Story.
[2: 39 PM] Sony In The Midst Of Preparing Connectix Lawsuit
An Observer who wishes to remain anonymous wrote to us about a possible lawsuit from Sony against Connectix Corporation regarding their Virtual Game Station. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin:Sony certainly has an obligation to protect its trademarks, but it should seem obvious that the Virtual Game Station could result in more PlayStation games being sold. Read more in the Full Story.
[2: 07 PM] Apple Stock Contiues Fall: iMac Worries Cited-No Big Deal
Apple's stock continues to fall today (down a point or 2.42% at 40 3/8) despite Apple's stellar quarterly results and yesterday's upgrade from Kevin McCarthy of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette to a buy rating yesterday. Specific worries and a warning or two are to blame. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin:Our take? No big deal. Read more in the Full Story.
[12: 40 PM] A Call To All Observers: Help Lab Find Mac Lab Software
We received a message from a consultant in distress. This person has the opportunity to convert an entire medical lab to the Mac, but he has to find some needed software first. Read the Full Story to find out more.
[3:54 PM] Apple Stock Upgraded To Buy From Market Perform
Kevin McCarthy of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette has upgraded Apple's stock from a market perform to a buy rating. This comes the day after Apple posted its 5th straight profitable quarter with the lowest on hand inventory in the industry and earnings that were three times higher than Q1 of last year. Check out our coverage of yesterday's press conference.
Column My First Mac Was A Typewriter
"Keeping Up With Friends And Family"
What is it about the new year that brings up thoughts from the past? It happens to me every year. This year it occurs to me how much my family is loosing touch. When I was growing up my immediate family (father, mother, sister, brother, me) lived in Texas. All the rest of my parents extended families lived in Georgia or Mississippi. Because of that we were a fairly self-contained unit and always knew what was going on. Now my parents live in one town, I live in another, and my brother and sister in yet other areas of the state. So you may well be asking, what does this have to do with using a Macintosh? I'm so glad you asked.
WestCode Software has released a new utility to make using your Mac easier. According to WestCode:
"Included are 11 tools, all accessible through a floating toolbar while in any application URL Launcher, Folder Boomerang, Auto Save, Insert Text, Popup Character, Monitor Color Depth, Sound Level, Control Panels Popup, System Folders Popup, Windows List, and HD Popup List.
These tools let you easily navigate open/save dialog boxes, auto save documents in any application, store your favorite URLs, instantly paste frequently used text clippings from a user-definable glossary, manage open windows, display and insert special characters from fonts, and more."
Some of these tools also have a supporting role in WestCode's popular OneCLick utility, but WestCode wanted to offer a product for folks who didn't need or want the full power of OneClick.
Pricing for System Bar is set at US$19.98 with immediate availability. More information is at WestCode's System Bar web site.
Inspired Logic has released a new educational title called C.D. Caterpillar. C.D. Caterpillar is designed to help children learn to read by using Cognitive Experiential Learning, which simply means learning by doing. According to Inspired Logic:
"C.D. Caterpillar includes a large quantity of reading material, and will be releasing new versions once a month. This first version includes The Wizard of Oz, Fables by Aesop, and other short stories. The material is presented in such a way that any motivated reader can get started with it. The controls are simple, and everything is explained verbally; no initial reading ability is assumed.
Any level reader can get started with C.D. Caterpillar. Immediate, direct assistance is always available just by clicking on the problem word. C.D. Caterpillar keeps track of the problem words, reinforcing them later in highly focused games."
C.D. Caterpillar is only available for the Mac. Pricing starts at US$20 for a single title with volume pricing available for both many users as well as multiple titles. The company plans on releasing a new title every month.
The little Birdie has been tweeting again and this time we are hearing some stirrings coming from Motorola. A Motorola employee attached to a department that installs new machinery in Motorola plants told us that Motorola was up something pretty big. Find out more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer:This may involve the P1 portable product that has been circulating on the web for the last few months. We have some possible explanations in the Full Story.
MAC-O-RAMA, the online Mac exclusive retailer, is offering a special offer on Myth II. Buy it from them for US$43 and get a free T-shirt. From MAC-O-RAMA:
"Let the carnage begin!! What better way to ring in the New Year than with a copy of Bungie's Myth II: Soulblighter? Purchase Myth II at MAC-O-RAMA for just $43!! We'll even throw in a FREE t-shirt while supplies last!"
Myth II is the long awaited sequel to Myth from Bungie Software. Bungie recalled Myth II just one day before it hit store shelves, but it is now in retail stores everywhere, so go and get it! Myth II normally retails for US$49.95.
ClixSounds has released the latest addition to their popular sounds for the Mac. The newest sound is called Beam Me Up Mail Sound. ClixSounds is suggesting the sound for an e-mail alert, though it can be used anywhere. The sounds are free for the download.
Apple Computer is set to announce it's Q1 sales results tomorrow. This is hot on the heels of Steve Jobs announcing that Apple saw year-over-year sales increases during the quarter from US$1.6 Billion last year to over US$1.8 Billion this year and pre-announcing that the quarter had in fact been profitable. FInd out more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin:The Mac Observer is calling for a higher profit than the analysts are predicting. Find out more in the FulL Story.
ArtToday.com and Apple have announced a licensing deal whereby purchasers of Apple's new G3 systems will receive a free 30-day membership for ArtToday.com's online image inventory. ArtToday.com provides access to over 750,000 images and 2100 fonts to members. Membership is based on an annual subscription with no per-download fees. After the 30 day free trial, users would have to pay the US$29.95 annual fee to stay being members.
Presenting Solutions, Inc. has shipped Pre-valuate for Macintosh 3.0. Pre-valuate for Macintosh 3.0 is a testing application designed for employers or other project leaders to pretest an applicant's skills in a number of Macintosh applications, including FileMaker Pro 3.0; Illustrator 7.0; FreeHand 7.0; Microsoft Word 98; Microsoft Excel 98; and Microsoft PowerPoint 98. Altogether the product offers 50 evaluations for 26 Macintosh apps as well as tests for MacOS use from 7.0 to 7.5. The title also includes a feature called Make-A-Match that allows basic reports to be compiled of all testers. According to Presenting Solutions:
"This enables a test administrator to identify candidates who have scored at a specific level using an array of criteria. For example, a hiring manager could locate all job applicants within a period of time who scored at least 80 percent on the Microsoft Excel evaluation and had a typing speed of 70 words per minute.
Moreover, Make-a-Match can be used for determining a company's training needs. Companies save both time and money by training at appropriate levels. For instance, a manager can test employees' skills on Excel and identify the specific areas in which employees need additional training."
Aladdin Systems has released Spring Cleaning 3.0, the latest update for their uninstaller and hard drive cleaning tool. Spring Cleaning will check help a user search for and remove unused and unnecessary files, applications, folders, and fonts. The new version includes a new interface, an Undo command, a File Checker that checks resource forks, the ability to include invisible files in searches and exclude Extensions and Control Panels as well as under the hood speed improvements.
A new web site has been launched for people wanting to buy and sell iMacs and related accessories. The site is called iMac Classifieds appropriately enough. The site is broken down into three categories of ads including Original iMac, iMac 266, and Peripherals. The site also offers a User's Forum for iMac owners. The service is free.
[1:34 PM] Web Based Content Manager/Web Site Builder Announced
SiteEditor.com was announced at MacWorld Expo last week by NewMedia Workshop Limited of East Sussex, England. SiteEditor.com is a web based content management system that allows users top build a web site through a browser. Content from a company's network can be integrated into SiteEditor through a companion app. According to SiteEditor.com:
"The system links into a company's existing content production methods by using a companion application for Windows and MacOS called SiteEditor Gateway. An organization can easily route existing word processor or database content through SiteEditor Gateway and onto the SiteEditor.com site.
In addition to web pages, Adobe Acrobat and Quark Xpress compatible files can also be automatically generated."
The company is charging a monthly subscription rate of US$50 per user with volume pricing available. A free 30 day demo is available for those who fill out a questionnaire.
Maxis has announced it is making online SimCity available for free at their SimCity web site. SimCity is a now-classic simulation game that puts the gamer in charge of building a city. Maxis is soon to release the next Mac version of the game, SimCity 3000, sometime in the spring of 1999 and is offering the free service to help draw attention to the SimCity web site.
The game is offered through HTML or Java though at press time we were unable to get the service to work.
The Mac Observer Spin: SimCity is one of the most popular games of all time having sold over 5 million copies according to Maxis. Despite the fact that in its early days most Maxis games (including SimCity) were developed on the Mac first, Maxis is not known for their support of the Mac any more. Yoot's Tower for example) first had life as SimTower before Mr. Yoot stopped developing for Maxis.
News flash: Yet another first for the Apple Corporation. MacWorld San Francisco is the world's first PC convention where the top news story is the "delicious" colors on the case!
In spite of such frivolities, MacWorld has made it perfectly clear that 1999 is going to be a landmark year of convergence and happy surprises for Apple investors. This was also the first MacWorld in years that was nothing but good cheer, huge crowds and contagious optimism. Software vendors sold out. Steve Jobs proved once again that he is the industry's best showman. Everyone is happy skipping down the yellow brick road towards the land of OS X.
Things also look rosy on the NASDAQ for AAPL. Apple is going to stay above 45 bucks next week. A basic rule of technical analysis has it that old resistance becomes new support. We'll see if that's the case.
Column Monday's Mac Gadget
"Watch You System With G3 Strip 1.5"
So youve finally got a shiny new G3 Mac or upgrade board, and youre curious about the clock speed of your new processor, backside cache and system bus. Alas, the new Apple System Profiler 2.1.x, which reveals much more system info that prior versions, will only report the processor type and clock speed.
Watching through Steve Jobs's keynote presentation at MacWorld, we found a spot that is clearly labeled QuickTime 4. It came during the part of the presentation dealing with FireWire when Mr. Jobs was showing streaming video.
Dave Hamilton, The Mac Observer's Business Manager, had the opportunity to ask Apple's Press booth what this was about. Both Apple reps vehemently denied there was any mention of QT4 in the presentation and that we were mistaken (we weren't). Other Apple people we approached were equally tight lipped and no one would tell us why a QT4 announcement had been pulled from the presentation.
The Mac Observer Spin: Our guess is that a minor problem or other issue such as licensing agreements kept Apple from mentioning it. This is pure speculation, but it is also possible that Mr. Jobs's decided he wanted to take another opportunity to make the QT4 announcement as there was already enough for his speech this week.
Apple's big announcement of the availability of OpenGL for the Macintosh on Tuesday skipped an important piece of information regarding the source of this wondeful new piece of technology. This was developed neither by Apple NOR SGI, but by a small outfit called Conix Enterprises, Inc. Read more in the FullStory.
The Mac Observer Spin: Something significant in this development is that once again Apple has shown it has shed its NIH (Not Invented Here) attitude. Read more in the Full Story.
Apple has announced and posted a web page for Final Cut Pro. Final Cut Pro is Apple's video production suite purchased from Macromedia early last year and just recently finished. Apple has kept the lid pretty tight on product information until now.
Final Cut Pro will be available in Spring of 1999 with pricing information being announced later.
Sorenson Vision, the makers of the Sorenson Codec used as the compression technology in QuickTime 3, has updated Sorenson Video to version 2.0. Sorenson Video can be used by developers in making QuickTime based creations. According to Sorenson Vision:
"Sorenson Video 2.0 is a QuickTime system extension that allows users to take advantage of the enhanced compression quality on any platform that supports QuickTime 3 or later. Developers can purchase Sorenson Video 2.0 encoding software directly from Sorenson Vision. No developer royalties are required for applications created with the Sorenson Video encoder.
Sorenson Video 2.0 greatly enhances the performance of the encoding and decoding process for QuickTime compatible CD-ROM, DVD and Web-based video applications. In addition, it offers increased flexibility for managing the quality/bandwidth tradeoffs inherent with compressed video. Decoders for playback are built into all releases of QuickTime 3 or later."
Sorenson Video can be purchased directly from Sorenson Vision at a price of US$499. Registered owners of version 1.0 can upgrade to US$99.
Column The Name of the Game
"The Developers' Cave"
Randy: You know, with game developers jumping on the Mac wagon, (again) it sure would be a cool thing to have a place where new Mac game developers could get a chance to show off their work. A place where there was no commercial pressure. A place where gamers could go to get an inside glimpse of how a title develops as it matures for market. And most of all, a place for people to show off works-in-progress and get feedback from the Mac gaming community.
Gary: Not bad. It could be kind of like a developer's co-op. Independent developers could display their labors, not to try and make a buck, but to show off just how clever they are. They could exchange ideas and get feedback. They could test their puzzle building skills on the gaming community at large instead of letting some stuffy old market research group tell them what people want.
Randy: And wouldn't it be great if their were two Idiots who would stop talking about something like this and who would create just such a place?
Hot on the heals of this week's introduction of the new iMac 266 in five new colors, Apple has changed its MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing) policies. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: The TechWeb story does not make clear, but it is likely that this refers only to the original iMacs. No matter what though, this is a somewhat surprising move on Apple's part. Find out more in the Full Story.
In another move that bolsters the iMac as total computing solution, Avid announced Avid Cinema for iMac. The package will include a USB video capture device that can grab images from a camcorder or VCR as well as a special version of Avid Cinema specially designed for the consumer market. According to Avid:
"Consumers can use simple drag and drop techniques to manipulate digital video and audio clips, apply more than two dozen special effects, and add voice-overs, soundtracks, animated titles and credits. With the click of a button, users can publish the finished movie to CD-ROM or export it as a QuickTime file for use in multimedia presentations, Web sites or the Internet. Avid Cinema utilizes technology from RealNetworks to enable users to stream movies from a Web site or send video email to friends, family or colleagues."
The package will be available in the 2nd quarter of 1999 with pricing currently set at US$299.
The Mac Observer Spin: The iMac has gone form a cute little computer that was priced really low to a major consumer solution in a very short time. There are now tons of USB devices for the iMac making nay-sayers on Apple's choice of USB as the only peripheral choice think again. Avid Cinema for iMac is a great addition to these choices as many people want to edit their home movies and make more professional presentations for web sites and business use.
With 800,000 units sold, the new iMac 266 in 5 colors, and over 100 USB devices available to iMac owners, owning a Mac has never been better.
[11:41 AM] Macromedia Adds WebObject Support To Dreamweaver 2
Macromedia and Apple announced that support for WebObjects had been added to Dreamweaver 2.0, Macromedia's web development app. Users will be able to directly build a WebObjects based web app with Dreamweaver's WYSIWYG interface. According to Macromedia:
"Beginning in February, Dreamweaver 2 developers can simplify the process of developing dynamic web sites by downloading 17 pre-coded WebObjects modules for Dreamweaver 2 and related documentation from (www.dreamweaver.com). Once installed, the WebObjects components allow site developers to easily insert WebObjects content into documents created in Dreamweaver 2. The modules will be available free to registered Dreamweaver 2 developers."
Dreamweaver joins the ranks of GoLive Cyberstudio, just purchased by Adobe, for having built-in support for WebObjects.
[8:20 AM] Apple Removes Mezzanine Port From iMac 266
Apple has removed the Mezzanine port from the iMac 266. Techinfo article number 58210 says that the article was only used for developmental purposes and has been removed as it is no longer necessary. Find out more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: Apple has long been known for not wanting 3rd party developers to mess with their creations, but The Mac Observer feels the company should have left the expansion port on the new iMacs. Fin out more in the Full Story.
Our friend and fellow MacAddict Network member Jason O'Grady has added a new hat to his hat rack. Jason has joined MacWeek as a contributing editor. Mr. O'Grady will be writing about mobile technologies for the venerable MacWeek.
As our own Dave Hamilton, Business Manager of The Mac Observer, and John F. Braun of Monday's Mac Gadget, wander the Expo Floor we are compiling this page of informational tidbits. This page will be added to throughout the day.
[Added 3:30 PM] Added stuff about The Orb, Asante, Pedagoguery, Apple watches, and iMac SCSI.
Current content includes information about Stuffit and Dropstuff With Expander Enhancer, MRJ 2.1, a new flat screen monitor from SGI, Quake II, Tomb Raider Gold, Oni, and Starship Titanic.
Yesterday we referred to a statement John Carmack of id Software made in our article about OpenGL as well as our article about Quake Arena. In the OpenGL article we incorrectly quoted Mr. Carmack as saying he loved OpenGL more than he hated the Mac OS. The true quote should have read:
"I like OpenGL more than I dislike MacOS. :)"
Our apologies to Mr. Carmack and our thanks to a reader for pointing it out.
[1:40 PM] Peripheral Ready With Yosemite RAM Upgrades
Peripheral has announced a new line of memory upgrades for the new Yosemite PowerMacs announced yesterday at MacWorld Expo. The Yosemite line requires PC-100 memory due to the 100 MHz system bus and Peripheral's line of memory is 100% compatible with the PowerMacs.
Yosemite's ship with 64 MB of RAM standard and have 4 DIMM slots total making the line capable of holding up to a GB of RAM. Peripheral's line of memory upgrades includes a 16 MB, 32 MB, 64 MB, and 128 MB module. The company says that a 256 MB module is on the way.
Pricing starts at US$49.95 for a 16 MB module and goes up to US$289.95 for a 128 MB module. The units are available immediately from Peripheral retailers.
Column My First Mac Was A Typewriter
"How The PC Dragon Stole My Magic Mac Kingdom"
Once upon a time, a long time ago, there existed a kingdom where all the citizens were happy and fulfilled with good jobs and tools that made their jobs easy and fun and........ Well ok, it wasn't a kingdom it was an office and it was only 3 years ago although it seems much longer. But the rest is no fairy tale..... Read My First Mac Was A Typeriter.
[7:55 AM] Apple Licenses OpenGL And Reaffirms Game Commitment
Apple has at long last licensed OpenGL from Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI), saying it will appear in the next iteration of OS 8 (probably OS 8.6 scheduled for release next Fall) as well as the first release of OS X. Find out more about this exciting development in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: This is some of the most important news yet to come out of MacWorld Expo! Find out more in the Full Story.
[7:55 AM] Apple Announces That 800,000 iMacs Sold/ 45% Of Buyers New To Mac
Among Steve Jobs's many other stunning announcements at yesterday, he gave us the numbers that many of us have been waiting to hear. Mr. Jobs said that over 800,000 iMacs have been sold during its first 139 days on the market. Mr. Jobs went on to say break that down into some more recognizable numbers. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: The Mac Observer went on record repeatedly as predicting that Apple would sell 1.2 million iMacs before the end of 1998. While this was obviously not the case (but we do like to own up to our predictions), 800,000 is still a stunning figure that makes the iMac the number one selling computer for Apple as well as the entire PC industry of all time!
[7:50 AM] The iMac Gets 5 New Flavors, A Speed Boost, And A Price Drop
Apple announced yesterday that the iMac would be getting 5 new flavors, a speed boost and a price drop. Find out more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: Apple has done a great job as usual. Despite what Mr. Jobs says, there will be many people who are more turned on by the speed increase and price drop of the new iMacs than they are by the five new colors (and one of those new colors is very similar to the original Bondi-blue).
[7:30 AM] Studio Display Gets Two New Monitors And New Look
Apple beefed up the Studio Display line with 2 new models and a brand new look. The Studio Display line was limiteds to a 15" Flat Panel monitor that had colors similar to last year's new PowerBook G3 line. The new version is less expensive and matches the spiffy new PowerMac Pro line.Find out more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: Steve Jobs and his industrial design team have done it yet again. there is more to this than just a pretty montitor however, find out more in the Full Story.
Top Story [12:06 PM] The Mac Observer MacWorld Keynote Coverage
Steve Jobs has finished his keynote speech at MacWorld and has as usual blown everyone away. We have compiled an overview of the keynote that includes highlights. Several of the sections have their own separate comprehensive report. Read more in our reports.
Apple's stock has risen over 4% today to as Steve Jobs has delivered another very impressive keynote speech at MacWorld Expo. As of this printing [3:01 PM EST with a 15 minute delay], the stock is at 43 1/16, up over 4%.
The Mac Observer Spin: Apple's stock is known for rising just before and during a MacWorld Expo, and this rise is not particularly as stellar as we have seen in the past. This is actually good news however, as it says that more mainstream investors have confidence that Apple's stock is at a healthy level. Look for a gradual rise during the next few weeks as Apple prepares its Q1 financial reports.
[10:06 AM] Adobe Buys GoLive, Will Move Cyberstudio To Windows
Adobe Systems announced yesterday that it had purchased the assets of GoLive, the maker of Cyberstudio. The company is moving to bolster its position as a total solution on the web and in print as well as to move the product to Windows. Find out more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin: We at The Mac Observer have some concerns over this marriage, but the good will hopefully outweigh the bad. Find out more in the Full Story.
VST, makers of the Notebook ZIP for PowerBooks, has announced a USB external floppy drive they are marketing directly at iMac owners. According to VST the VST iMac USB Floppy Drive supports the MacOS standard floppy drive formats, including MacOS, DOS and ProDOS.
The VST iMac USB Floppy Drive is available now at a suggested retail price of US$99.
The Mac Observer Spin:We are starting to see multiple manufacturers come out with floppy drive solutions for the iMac and this means we should also start seeing some pricing pressure on the downeard side. The current offerings range from US$99 to US$149 and it our prediction that these should start hitting the US$69 to US$99 range during the next 6 months as production levels increase and research costs get paid for. More good news for Apple and Mac users everywhere.
[12:12 PM] Ariston Introduces USB to SCSI Converter
Ariston has announced a USB to SCSI converter called the iSCSI that allows Mac users to attach a SCSI device to a USB chain. The new converter is connected between an external SCSI device and either a USB hub or the USB connection on an iMac or USB equipped PowerMac.
iSCSI retails for US$79.
The Mac Observer Spin:Having another option to connect existing external SCSI devices makes any switch over to USB much easier for Mac users. As it is very likely that at least some shipping PowerMacs outside of the iMac product line will also be USB only within the year, products like iSCSI make buying such a machine much less risky and costly for many users.
[10:40 AM] Brother Joins The iMac Family With New Printer Kits
Brother has announced two printer conversion kits for Macs with USB capabilities. The two kits are designed to be used with the Brother HL-1040 & HL-1050 Laser Printers. The HL-1040 kit includes a USB to parallel converter cable as well as Mac drivers for the laser printer. The HL-1050 is already equipped with a USB port, but the kit includes a manual as well as Mac drivers.
The HL-1040 USB-to-Parallel Kit is priced at US$79.95 and the HL-1050 USB-to-USB Kit is priced at US$39.95 with availability in mid January.
The Mac Observer Spin:It's great to see Brother join the iMac family, but it is surprising that they are charging for Mac drivers for their printers. While charging for the converter cable and manuals is very appropriate, the company should make the drivers available for the HL-1050 available for free over the Internet.
MacWorld Expo San Francisco kicks off today with a Townhall meeting. The Townhall meeting is being hosted by Bob Levitus and Conference Chairman Paul Kent. The Townhall meeting starts at 9 AM PST and runs to 11:30 AM PST today in Salon 7 of the San Francisco Marriott Hotel. Tomorrow sees the event get fully underway with a keynote speech by Steve Jobs.
[8:44 AM] MAC-O-RAMA Gives Away Myth II Every Day This Week
We got word from MAC-O-RAMA that they will be giving away two copies of Myth II: Soulblighter every day this week. From MAC-O-RAMA:
"In celebration of the New Year and the release of Bungie's Myth II: Soulblighter , we are having a scavenger hunt! We've hidden a Myth II box somewhere on one of the 16 sites in the MacAddict Network. The first two people to find it each day will win a FREE copy of Myth II: Soulblighter! Scavenger hunt starts Monday, January 3 [sic], 1999 and ends Friday, January 8, 1999."
Cool stuff for fans of the hottest Mac game of 1999! Check out your favorite Mac Addict Network sites and look for the Myth II box icon.
The Mac Observer is part of the MacAddict Network and as such, MAC-O-RAMA is a sponsor of The Mac Observer.
[8:10 AM] Casady and Greene Turns 15, Offers Free Sherlock Assistant
Casady and Greene have turned 15 and are offering the Mac community a free app called Sherlock Assistant as a token of their appreciation. According to C&G:
"Sherlock Assistant is an application that allows you to manage your plug-ins. The Mac OS 8.5s Sherlock program only allows you to show 6 search sites at a time without scrolling, Sherlock Assistant allows you to resize the window to accommodate a large number of Sherlock plug-ins, and with one menu command, you can visit Web sites that list hundreds of additional Sherlock plug-ins. Sherlock Assistant makes it easy to install, remove, and organize all of your plug-in files."
Sherlock Assistant is available for free from C&G's web site.
In addition, the author of Sherlock Assistant, Jeffrey Robbin, will be at MacWorld Expo in C&G's booth (#1829) to talk to people. Mr. Robbin is also the author of the fantastic extension manager Conflict Catcher. Mr. Robbin will be joined by Macworld magazine's David Pogue at C&G's booth.
[7:27 AM] Tenon Announces WebTen For MacOS X Server
Tenon Systems has announced WebTen 4.0 for MacOS X Server. WebTen will run on Rhapsody DR2 and is ready to be shipped for Mac OS X Server when it is released. WebTen is Tenon's Rhapsody/Mac OS X Server adaptation of Apache, one of the worlds most used Internet server solution for Linux and other flavors of Unix. Read more in the Full Story.
The Mac Observer Spin:The Mac OS has been a popular server solution for many web developers due to its inherent security and remarkable ease-of-use when compared to other options, but the Mac is not a fast server solution. Read more in the full story.
Monday's Mac Gadget
"Mac TCP Watcher, It Looks Good"
You've followed the instructions of your ISP or network administrator, and your Internet or LAN connectivity finally works. But one day, disaster strikes. You can't get to your favorite web site, or your e-mail program complains about not being able to contact something called a DNS. Don't panic! Mac TCP Watcher provides a basic set of tools that can test the integrity of your network connection, and help pinpoint those annoying network glitches. Read more in Monday's Mac Gadget.
[7:17 AM] The Mac Hardware Guide Posts Guide To iMac Revisions
The Mac Hardware Guide has posted a guide to iMac revisions (Rev A and Rev B). The iMac has so far shipped in two flavors, with at least one more revision likely to be announced at MacWorld Expo this week, and many people may find the differences to be somewhat confusing. Check out the Mac Hardware Guide to learn more.