[4:15 PM] Powerful Storage Networking Tool Brings Up To 200 MB/Sec Data Transfers
A powerful networking tool is coming to the Mac (and Win NT). Charismac has pre-announced that they will be announcing a new product called FibreShare at Comdex next week. The product works with fibre channel networks and allows network administrators to build networks capable of up to 200 MB/sec data transfer. Aimed at markets that transfer huge files, this FibreShare will be an important product for Macs in the corporate market. According to Charismac:
Charismac Engineering Inc. will unveil their cross-platform SAN (storage area network) management software, FibreShare, at Comdex next week in Las Vegas. FibreShare is an open-systems volume management software solution aimed at the enterprise, digital audio/video and pre-press markets.
FibreShare can be used in native operating system environments or can be configured to run in cross-platform solutions. FibreShare is fully application independent.
FibreShare enables users to create, edit and administer open-systems shared storage networks utilizing high-speed fibre channel storage. Charismac will show FibreShare running under both Macintosh and Windows NT from the Fibre Channel Community suite, N250, in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Charismac will show multiple machines playing back video footage from a shared fibre channel disk array.
With performance capabilities of up to 200 MB/sec in a dual loop configuration, fibre channel storage is quickly becoming the interface of choice in the enterprise, audio/video and pre-press markets. FibreShare is the only solution available that provides users with all the software tools necessary to administer and work in a high-speed SAN.
FibreShare allows one or more administrators to set up single drives or multi-disk arrays and assign users and groups privileges to specific volumes in a shared storage network configuration. Administrators can customize privilege levels specific to users or workgroups to enable access to volumes that require intense I/O operations.
FibreShare runs native to both Windows NT and the Mac OS. FibreShare is fully scaleable, allowing your network room to grow. New users as well as additional storage may be dynamically added to a FibreShare network.
Both the NT and Macintosh versions of FibreShare include Charismac's cross-platform storage management software RAID suite developed native to the specific OS being used. This suite allows both single drives as well as high-performance disk arrays to be effortlessly added into a simple to use and maintain FibreShare network.
More information on FibreShare, and serial storage technology in general, can be found at the Charismac Engineering web page, www.Charismac.com.
Since the product has not officially been announced, despite the company's press release, their is not specific information on the product at the company's web site. Pricing and availability have also yet to be announced.
[4:10 PM] The Apple Stock Watch: Veteran Day Tech Rally, Apple closes up to 92 1/4
by Wes George
Happy Veteran's Day! The US stock markets continued their divergent trends today. While the Nasdaq extended its remarkable technology rally, the NYSE proved nervous ahead of next week Federal Reserve's policy meeting. Bond markets were closed for the holiday. Trading was directionless for most issues not in the news.
The Nasdaq rose 41 points (1.3%) to close at 3197 on a volume of 1.37 billion shares traded. Rally conditions prevailed again to set the 9th record high in the last ten sessions, up about 280 points in two weeks. Today was also the 4th largest volume day for the Nasdaq.
Semiconductor stocks hit new highs as Merill Lynch upgraded its price target on the sector. Merill said that demand for computer chips will stay high for several years.
The Dow spent most of the day down, ending off 2.44 (0.02%) to close at 10595 on a volume of 876 million shares.
The S&P 500 advanced 8 points (0.58%) to close at 1381.
Tomorrow, the 3rd quarter productivity data are set to roll out. Look for the all important hourly cost of wages that bond traders are watching closely for any tell tale rise of inflationary pressures. Also expect October retail sales to be released Friday.
After spending much of the day in negative territory Apple moved ahead 13/16 to end the session at 92 1/4 on half the normal volume.
Apparel retailer Gap Inc.(GPS) traded up fractionally to closed at 34 1/4 after beating 3rd quarter estimates with a 27% increase in sales. Profits rose 32% to $315 million or 35 cents a diluted share from $237.7 million or $0.27 per share last year. Steve Job's brought the Gap's CEO Millard Drexler onboard the Apple Broad of Directors early this year to tap his retail savvy.
Dell rose 2 to 43 7/16 on hopes that 3rd quarter earnings, to be announced this afternoon, will beat analyst's expectations of $0.18 per share. Dell's earnings for the quarter had been revised down from $0.20 per share because high DRAM prices have eroded Dell's profit margin.
Compaq rose by 1/2 point to close at 22 1/2 after yesterday's released of a new computer called the iPaq in honor of Apple's iMac.
Microsoft (MSFT) bounced off a solid support level, up 2 1/2 to close at 89 5/8. Microsoft signed a marketing deal with Tandy Corp (TAN) to install kiosks in their Radio Shack stores. Gateway and Intel also both ended the day higher.
Red Hat (RHAT) got a boost of 8 1/4 points to 103 1/2 on the news that Oracle will help promote Red Hat Linux. Be Inc. (BEOS) gave back some of the "Microsoft effect" gains of early this week, down 1 3/8 to 131 5/16.
In Apple related stocks, Pixar, Arm Holdings and Macromedia posted gains, while Akamai, Adobe and Symantec were down. Apple's Power PC partners, IBM and Motorola both showed weakness in spite of the semiconductor rally. Oracle hit a new all time high up 3 3/16 to close at 62 1/16.
For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. We also have many of these same quotes reported live (20 minute delay) on our home page. For other stories regarding Apple's stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.
[3:45 PM] New Mailing List Announced For Mac Digital Video
Eric Prentice, The Macintosh Guy, has announced a new mailing list for people interested in Macintosh digital video. The new list is called the MacDV List, appropriately enough. According to Mr. Prentice:
The MacDV list is a place for everything about digital video on the Macintosh. This includes software, hardware, techniques and troubleshooting.
"A new world is opening up. Even the consumer DV editing software has its roots in professional software. And professional programs have a tendency to be awkward and buggy and need special attention and workarounds. That means lots of support, but at consumer prices the phone support doesn't always hack it. I'm looking forward to the new MacDV list for support and education and inspiration." -Steve Wozniak
[3:00 PM] Microsoft Continues To Show Just How Innovative They Are
In another stunning example of Microsoft's innovative business efforts, the company has announced a "strategic alliance" with Tandy Corporation. The alliance centers around a, now get this, a "store-within-a-store: that will be featured in many, if not all, of the 7,000 Radio Shacks around the country. Microsoft will be peddling internet access in these "stores." Other parts of the deal include a huge wad of cash going to RadioShack for their online e-commerce site as well as a sweetheart advertising deal for RadioShack on MSN.com. According to Microsoft: [Editor's Note: This is Microsoft's press release. It is long-winded, but we are presenting it in its entirety dave for the fluff quotes from company execs. For more commentary, read The Mac Observer Spin at the end of the article.]
Microsoft Corp. and RadioShack, the retail operating format of Tandy Corp., today announced a strategic alliance that should accelerate the adoption of Web technologies and consumer connections to the Internet as Microsoft and RadioShack team together to acquire new customers. Under the five-year agreement, the companies will establish a Microsoft "store within a store" in as many as 7,000 RadioShack locations across the nation. Customers will be able to see demonstrations of and sign up for MSN dial-up or broadband Internet access.
In addition, as part of the alliance, Microsoft will make a $100 million equity investment in the newly launched RadioShack.com, to help build it into a leading e-commerce site. The online store will have premier placement across all of MSN and its properties, including the newly launched MSN eShop online shopping service. The agreement will extend RadioShack's goal of becoming America's Home Connectivity Store and will deliver a key pillar of Microsoft's vision for the Everyday Web, enabling millions of Americans who shop at RadioShack to be connected any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft Presence at RadioShack -- A "Store Within a Store"
The purpose of the alliance is to accelerate the adoption rate of narrowband and broadband Internet access using Microsoft® products and services, as well as those from Microsoft partners, available at RadioShack stores nationwide. Accordingly, Microsoft will join RadioShack's other strategic partners who have also set up a "store" inside RadioShack. This retail presence, as well as the presence of Microsoft products and services in other sections of the RadioShack store, will showcase a broad range of solutions and services based on Microsoft technologies, including MSN Internet Access, Microsoft WebTV Network services, Windows® CE-based handheld devices, MSN mobile solutions and Microsoft home networking. Customers can sign up for narrowband or broadband MSN Internet service and will have access to a version of MSN co-branded with RadioShack.
The design of the Microsoft retail store at RadioShack will begin immediately. An aggressive rollout of the new "store within a store" concept is scheduled to begin during the third quarter of 2000 in RadioShack's network of 5,000 company-owned stores and up to 2,000 more RadioShack dealers. Microsoft's store is the latest in a series of similar joint alliances by RadioShack, including the RCA Digital Entertainment Center at RadioShack, the Compaq Creative Learning Center and the Sprint Store at RadioShack.
Microsoft and RadioShack Plan Joint Efforts in Marketing, Infrastructure Enhancement
Both companies will make substantial contributions to joint marketing efforts over the life of the agreement, beginning with a jointly funded consumer marketing launch late next year. Microsoft will also fund the initial store fixturing, in addition to planned updates to the Microsoft "store within a store" at up to 7,000 RadioShack locations.
Microsoft, in conjunction with NorthPoint Communications Inc., which has relationships with both companies, has also agreed to provide broadband access to all RadioShack company-owned stores at no cost. About half of the stores are expected to use digital subscriber line (DSL) services from NorthPoint, with Microsoft arranging for the remaining high-speed connections.
Alliance to Further RadioShack's Home Connectivity Strategy
The Microsoft alliance further enhances RadioShack's plan to become America's Home Connectivity Store. RadioShack expects to take a leadership position in connecting America's homes and small offices to state-of-the-art digital audio and video products and services, the latest computer advances, and high-bandwidth technology. The strategy is designed to enable RadioShack to deliver new and emerging technologies, including instant Internet access, video teleconferencing, multiple fax/phone connections and on-demand services, to those who want a single-source solution and personal, knowledgeable help.
RadioShack is rapidly developing the capabilities, through its acquisition of AmeriLink Corp., to install and set up -- right in a customer's home or small office -- any of the consumer electronics and connectivity solutions customers purchase in the store or online. AmeriLink is one of America's leading installers of cable, telephony and high-bandwidth products.
Investment in RadioShack.com to Help Create E-Commerce Powerhouse
Microsoft's investment in RadioShack.com represents a major commitment to establishing RadioShack as the premier merchant of electronic goods and services on the Internet. The investment will involve building a more powerful infrastructure for the site based on Microsoft e-commerce technologies - the same technologies that power such leading consumer sites as Monster.com, 1800Flowers.com and SmarterKids.com. Microsoft and RadioShack will work together to implement further enhancements, creating a full-featured online store where RadioShack's loyal customers can go for a wide range of consumer electronics products, parts and services.
RadioShack will be a major advertiser on the MSN network of Internet services and will occupy one of the premier positions on the MSN eShop online shopping service site (http://eshop.msn.com/). Through its presence on eShop, RadioShack.com will be able to take advantage of the portal leadership of MSN to reach a broad audience of customers on the Internet. In addition, RadioShack.com will adopt the Microsoft Passport electronic "wallet" service, adding to the growing number of e-commerce businesses that recognize the customer and business value of automated authentication and wallet technology.
Deal Makes Everyday Web a Reality to help build it into a leading electronic commerce site.
Tandy will be a major MSN Internet advertiser and will be featured on the new MSN eShop online shopping service.
For more reading, Microsoft has set up an "interview" in their "presspass" section of their web site.
The Mac Observer Spin:All right, does this sound like one of the most ridiculous concepts to anyone else? A "store-within-a-store" that sells Internet access? That calls for a set of brochures and a lovely cardboard standup, not a "store-within-a-store." Certainly this move will dupe more people into signing up with MSN, and is a powerful tool in the ongoing, and seemingly newly heated, race between AOL and Microsoft for eyeballs. However, our take on this is that Microsoft has pushed forward this initiative, including a hefty chunk of change from the petty-cash box stuffed into Tandy's corporate pockets, in order to give Wall Street something pretty to think about instead of Judge Jackson's nasty ruling. This is supported by the fact that the design of the "store-within-a-store will begin immediately." If this had not been rushed, the two companies would have waited the extra half-hour it will take to design this new "addition" to RadioShack. This seems to have been a successful tactic too as MSFT closed at 89 5/8, a gain of 2 1/2.
Is this the Freedom-To-Innovate Microsoft talks so loudly about? This entire announcement is nothing more than a big pile of fluff.
[2:00 PM] VersionMaster Latest Updates: FontBuddy, ToolDaemon, And MacTuner
FontBuddy has been updated to version 1.3.1, ToolDaemon enters a new age with the release of version 2.0, and MacTuner gets tweaked to version 2.1.2. These are the most recent updates listed at The Mac Observer's VersionMaster. You can find all the most recent Mac software updates with this service.
[1:30 PM] Sonnet Joins The G4 Crowd With New G4 Upgrade Cards
Sonnet Technologies has announced a new G&4 upgrade product line to join their existing G3 products. The new cards fully support AltiVec, or The Velocity Engine, and are shipping in 350 MHz and 400 MHz versions. According to Sonnet:
Sonnet Technologies announces that G4 upgrade cards for PCI Macs are immediately available from distributors worldwide. Sonnet quietly stocked resellers last week and is pleased to announce immediate volume availability from reseller partners. The Sonnet Crescendo G4 includes superior Altivec Enabling software, complete Mac OS 9 Velocity Engine compatibility, Adobe Photoshop Altivec Plug-In Enabling software, Sonnet Metronome Profiler Utility software, and unequaled ease-of-installation and reliability.
Altivec Enabling Software
The Sonnet Crescendo G4 upgrade ships with superior Altivec Enabling software, giving all applications access to the Altivec processing engine in the G4 processor. The unique Sonnet Enabler extends Altivec support to even MacsBug, which is an important distinction for software developers and sophisticated users.
Mac OS 9 Velocity Engine and Adobe Photoshop Altivec Compatibility Sonnet Crescendo G4 Enabler fully supports the Apple Velocity Engine libraries included in Mac OS 9. The Adobe Photoshop 5.5 Altivec Plug-ins, Altivec Core, Lighting Effects, as well as future Altivec plug-ins are also enabled with the Sonnet software. Adobe Photoshop 5.5 users can expect a specialized boost out of the Sonnet Crescendo G4 processor. Scientific and audio/video authoring applications will also benefit significantly from a Sonnet G4 upgrade.
Sonnet Metronome Every Sonnet G3 and G4 upgrade includes the Metronome Profiler Utility software, giving users useful system performance information such as processor type, speed, temperature, bus speed, and cache size.
Sonnet Crescendo G4 cards have unequaled ease-of-installation and reliability. Sonnet Crescendo cards work in every compatible Macintosh without the need for the antiquated methods of hardware configuration. Free from switches, jumpers, and control panels, the Sonnet Crescendo G3 and G4 families for PCI and NuBus Macintoshes are Simply Fast. Sonnet processor cards will automatically configure to the maximum possible reliable speed based on the machine and rating of the processor. Sonnet products are guaranteed to operate reliably over variations of machine, time and temperature. The ability to move an upgrade card from one machine to another without the need to tweak any jumpers, switches or control panels is a significant advantage to resellers and organizations that want to maximize their flexibility, while minimizing the long term technical support requirements.
Availability All Sonnet G4 upgrades are now available through all channel partners and from the Sonnet web site. Estimated US pricing appears below. Actual pricing may vary.
The Crescendo G4/PCI is compatible with the following models:
Power Mac 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8515, 8600, 9500, 9515, 9600
You can find more information on the Crescendo G4 at the company's web site. The Crescendo G4/350/1M is priced at US$699 while the Crescendo G4/400/1M is priced at US$999. The company says that resellers are stocked now.
[9:15 AM] Soapy! Special Millennium Deal On TextSoap
Unmarked Software is offering a special deal on the internet based text organizing utility, TextSoap. TextSoap is a valuable tool for those that frequently copy and past text from the Web, or send or receive forwarded e-mails. According to Unmarked Software:
Have you ever copied some text out of your browser or tried to forward an e-mail message only to have the formatting completely and utterly messed up? With textSOAP you can clean up your text in an instant.
New in 2.0
New application features quick-clean palette, one-click SCRUB
AppleScript support (via AppleScript Addition)
Create your own customized cleaners (find and replace)
New BBEdit, Mailsmith Tool Palette
Contextual Menu can now clean clipboard
Turn dumb quotes to smart quotes
Re-Quote text cleaner
Re-Wrap text cleaner
TextSoap 2.1 is currently available for US$15. This price is good only until Jan 1, 2000. You can find more information at the Unmarked Software web site.
[8:30 AM] We Don't Need No Stinkin' After Dark!, Ambrosia Offers Eclipse Competitive Upgrade
Ambrosia Software is attempting to fill the void left by the imminent departure of the After Dark screen saver. Ambrosia is offering a competitive upgrade for After Dark users to the OS 9 friendly Eclipse. According to Ambrosia Software:
Ambrosia Software, Inc. announced a new Eclipse competitive upgrade program exclusively for users of Berkeley Systems' After Dark screensaver.
"We designed Eclipse with compatibility in mind," said Matt Slot, Bitwise Operator at Ambrosia. Eclipse 3.1.1 is written as an application, not an extension, so it is much less likely to conflict with other Mac software. Eclipse also has a much smaller RAM footprint, so it requires much less memory than other screensavers.
Eclipse saves the screen with a multitude of digital media - any GIF, JPEG, PICT, or QuickTime movie placed in the Eclipse Graphics folder makes personalizing the screen saver a snap. Additionally, Eclipse is integrated with Energy Saver 2 (a feature of Mac OS 9), conserving power and preserving your hardware.
Users who wish to upgrade to Eclipse can do so for US$10, a savings of 33% of the full version price. This offer is good through December 31, 1999. You can find more information at the Ambrosia Software web site.
The Mac Observer Spin:Good for Ambrosia! This company is one of the finest examples of a Mac software development company on the market. They have brought great Mac games and other useful utilities to the Mac for years, and now they are stepping up to the plate one more time. The Mac helped make Berkeley Systems, but Berkeley has thumbed its nose at the legions of Mac After Dark users who want to upgrade their systems to Mac OS 9. So, go try Eclipse if you are looking for a screensaver.
[8:30 AM] Xtra! Xtra! Read All About It! PDFs For Macromedia!
Integration New Media has announced a cross platform PDF utility for Macromedia products. PDF continues to emerge as the dominant format for file exchange, programs like PDF Xtra 1.0 will continue to appear and facilitate the use of the PDF format. According to Integration New Media:
Integration New Media proudly announces the release of it's latest cross-platform Xtra for Macromedia Director: PDF Xtra version 1.0. Seamless integration of PDF documents in Director projectors and Shockwave movies is now possible! PDF Xtra is fully integrated with Director and is cross-platform compatible (MacOS and Windows 95/98/NT).
PDF Xtra is available for US$199. You can find more information at the Integration New Media web site.
[8:30 AM] Japanese Assistance Sought For Software Translation
Public Access Software, publisher of the recently announced Tape utility, is in search of assistance to translate the product into Japanese. According to Public Access:
Public Access Software is looking for an individual who would be willing to translate our newly released "Tape" software into Japanese.
This person would receive a complementary copy of the software free of charge, and be first in line for any additional localization work needed by Public Access Software, with similar compensation as well.
[8:30 AM] Ambrosia Updates Galore In Ambrosia CD 4
Ambrosia Software is shipping version 4.0 of Ambrosia CD. The new CD is a valuable software tool for users of Ambrosia Software products and recently released OS 9. According to Ambrosia:
These burgundy and white CDs contain the latest versions of every
Ambrosia product, including those recently updated for compatibility with Mac OS 9:
Avara was updated to version 1.0.1, specifically to address an issue with Mac OS 9. Barrack was updated to version 1.0.4, and fixed problems that appeared only on the newest Macintosh computers running Mac OS 9.
Cythera was updated to version 1.0.4, and addressed issues with 7.6.1 as well as Mac OS 9. The update also included all of the bug fixes from version 1.0.3.
Ares was updated to version 1.1.1, and while the update is not necessary for OS 9 compatibility, it's a worthwhile update nonetheless because of the rare bugs it addresses.
This person would receive a complementary copy of the software free of charge, and be first in line for any additional localization work needed by Public Access Software, with similar compensation as well.
Ambrosia CD 4.0 is available for US$10. Purchased in conjunction with a software registration, users can purchase the CD for US$5. You can find more information at the Ambrosia Software web site.