July, 1998 Archive

CompUSA: iMac Pre-Orders Better Than Expected
[12:45PM] CompUSA, less than a week after announcing its pre-order promotional program for Apple's iMac, said that advance orders on the computer have already been stronger than expected. The company didn't disclose the specific number of orders received thus far, but a spokeswoman for the retail giant told Bloomberg News that the response has been "better than expected." Considering CompUSA's high hopes for the machine -- chief executive officer Jim Halpin believes the iMac could be one of the company's hottest selling products, ever -- the strong early reaction is only music to Apple's ears.

Bloomberg News Reports - CompUSA

Wednesday, July 29th
ADS Outlines Plans For Mac OS Compatibility
[11:00AM] ADS Technologies' USB (Universal Serial Bus) Port for desktops and notebooks -- originally introduced last month -- will be fully compatible with the Mac OS by early fourth quarter, the company announced today. The upgrade solutions, which add two USB connectors to any PCI-based Macintosh or CardBus-enabled PowerBook, will carry a $69.95 street price for the desktop version and an $89 price tag for the notebook card. According to ADS, the necessary Mac OS extensions for both products will be available on its Web site and in product boxes.

ADS Technologies

Tuesday, July 28th
DVD Forum Sets Dates For U.S. Conference
[12:35PM] The DVD Forum, the international group dedicated to developing DVD formats and promoting wide acceptance of the technology, announced today it will hold the third U.S. DVD Conference on October 1-2 at the Hyatt Regency SF Airport in San Francisco. The two-day conference will cover, among other things, the recent standardization of DVD-Audio, DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW. In addition, the conference will feature demonstrations of the latest DVD products and technologies.

DVD Forum

Maxis: SimCity 3000 For The Macintosh A Go
[11:50AM] Over the weekend, Maxis officials for the first time acknowledged that SimCity 3000 (SC3K), the next chapter in one of gaming's most recognized and honored series', will be coming to the Macintosh. Luc Barthelet, a general manager at the company, made the announcement during an online chat with the SimElite Club ChatZone. When asked about the prospects of a Mac version of SC3K, Barthelet responded: "We will make it available for the Mac. It would be nice to get more support from the Mac users. They are not buying many games, like SimSafari for example." SC3K is due this fall for the PC; no time frame for the Mac version was announced.

SimElite Club - Maxis - SC3K Info

G3 Cuts Loom, But Will There Be Product?
[10:50AM] Despite recent denials from Apple spokespeople regarding a shortage of Power Macintosh G3 machines, several retailers are still voicing their concerns over having enough product in the channel, especially since demand is likely to go up after this weekend, when Apple is expected to cut prices on the G3 line. Computer Reseller News reports that back-orders of G3 machines are piling up, and quotes one East Coast retail executive as saying: "If I had as many G3 machines as I needed, I would have quadrupled my sales."

Regardless, it appears certain Apple will cut prices on the G3 line this Saturday. According to retailers, the 233-MHz model will be cut to $1,399, while the 266-MHz machines with 4GB and 6GB hard drives will be lowered to $1,699 and $1,999 respectively. In addition, the 300-MHz system will be discontinued, retailers say.

Computer Reseller News Report - Apple

Netscape Delivers Latest Netcenter Service
[10:10AM] Netscape today became the latest portal player to get into the personalization business. The company this morning announced the debut of "My Netscape," a new personalized service that brings together various Netcenter-related features -- such as WebMail, Netscape Search, Member Directory, software downloads, personal bookmarks, and address books -- into a single page. Available now in a preview version, Netscape said the service -- in its first-generation form -- will initially feature content from SportsTicker, Reuters, S&P; Comstock, S&P; Personal Wealth, and WeatherLabs, though it plans to "aggressively" expand its offerings in the coming months.

My Netscape - Netcenter

Friday, July 24th
Avid's Income Rises, Despite Drop In Sales
[12:35PM] In spite of a drop off in sales for its second quarter, Avid Technology yesterday reported a 41 percent increase in earnings. The digital media tool vendor said its income for the period ended June 30 rose to $9.2 million, compared to $6.5 million in the year ago quarter. Profits margins were also up, climbing to 60.5 percent from 51.4 percent in the same period last year. As mentioned, however, revenues in the quarter fell slightly to $112.9 million from $122.9 million, in part to continued sluggishness in the Asia Pacific region, lower revenues in both the Americas and Europe regions, and adverse currency effects.

Commenting on the first half of 1998, William J. Miller, Avid's Chairman and CEO, said: "We have taken great strides toward achieving one of our primary goals, which is to expand our presence in the television finishing market. At the National Association of Broadcasters show in early April, we announced the introduction of Avid Symphony, our new uncompressed nonlinear finishing system, and in mid-June we signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Softimage subsidiary of Microsoft."

Avid Technology

Thursday, July 23rd
Report: Intel Discovers Bug In Xeon, Again
[2:40PM] In the midst of fixing a previously discovered flaw in its high-end Pentium II Xeon processor, Intel has stumbled upon another glitch, PC Week reports. Now the processor, which was pushed back until July 17 after the first finding, will not ship to vendors until the end of the month, at least. According to PC Week, the new bug affects a error-correcting code feature in the chip that measure and monitors the parity of memory bytes.

PC Week Report - Intel

Apple Geared To Grow In Asia, Exec Says
[1:45PM] Apple is forecasting growth in its Asia division, in spite of the continue economic trouble in the region. Jeff Martin, Apple's senior director of worldwide design and publishing, told Reuters that the company is poised to grow its Asian sales over the next three years. "We believe the iMac and some of our other products will allow us to see growth during the economic downturn," said Martin, who was in Singapore this week to unveil the iMac. (Singapore, incidently, is where Apple will be manufacturing iMacs bounded for the Asian market.)

Reuters Report - Apple Computer

Blizzard Exodus Includes StarCraft Producer
[10:50AM] Ten employees at Blizzard Entertainment, including one of the producers and designers of the company's most recent hit, StarCraft, have resigned in order to start a new development studio, Next Generation Online reports. Among the group departing are a programmer, several artists, a Webmaster, and StarCraft producer James Phinney, who was working on StarCraft: Brood War, an expansion pack, before his departure. Blizzard tells NGO that the resignations could have a short-term effect on the development schedule for Warcraft II Platinum and updates to the company's Web site, but other projects, including the aforementioned StarCraft expansion pack and Diablo II, will not see any side effects from the departures.

NGO Report - Blizzard Entertainment

Wednesday, July 22nd
Imagine Radio Spins, Merges With Silver Island
[2:00PM] Imagine Radio, the Internet-only radio station which broadcasts the MacAddict talk show, will be spun off from its parent company -- Imagine Media -- and merged with Silver Island, the companies announced today. The new entity will retain the Imagine Radio name and the two partners say the alliance will create the Internet's foremost radio group, one that combines the personalization technology of Silver Island and the programming lineup of the current Imagine Radio. The new venture will be partly funded by Imagine Media and its executive staff will be made up of a mix of Imagine and Silver Island execs.

Imagine Radio - Silver Island

CompUSA To Begin Taking iMac Pre-Orders
[10:30AM] Starting this Sunday, July 26, CompUSA will officially kick off its promotion of the iMac with a new "Apple Coupon Book" offer. Through August 14, the eve of the iMac launch, customers who reserve a machine with a minimum deposit of $250 will receive a book of coupons for savings of up to $800 on Apple-related software and accessories. "The iMac marks a new beginning for Apple," said Larry Mondry, CompUSA executive vice president of merchandising. "It combines the best in form and function with its sleek, stylized design and ease-of-use. We believe the iMac has the potential to become one of CompUSA's best selling desktop computers of all time."

Meanwhile, CompUSA also said today it will host special "Apple Demo Days" on August 15 and 16, from noon to 5 p.m., to celebrate the official launch of the iMac. The company said the event will feature Apple representatives who will demonstrate the latest Apple hardware, software, and accessories.

CompUSA - iMac Information

Tuesday, July 21st
Ballmer Formally Becomes No. 2 Man At MS
[2:35PM] In a "formal recognition" of his role at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer today was named president of the software giant. The 42-year old longtime deputy, who was most recently executive vice president of sales and support, has long been considered to be the number two executive at Microsoft. Of solidifying that position, Ballmer said, "I am extremely excited about my new role as president, and look forward to partnering with Bill and our management team in the leadership of the company I love." According to Microsoft, Ballmer's appointment will give Bill Gates "more time to focus on Microsoft's long-term vision and product strategy."

"The majority of my time will be spent with our product groups, devising the technologies and products of the future," Gates said in a memo to employees. "I'm more enthusiastic about and committed to Microsoft than I've ever been."


Radius Unveils Entry-Level Version Of EditDV
[1:30PM] Hoping to reach out to a wider audience of video editors, Radius today unveiled an entry-level version of EditDV, its award-winning digital video editing solution. Priced at $99, "EditDV Unplugged" is a single-track, non-linear editing tool that enables anyone with a fast Macintosh, FireWire card, and DV camcorder to work within a 100 percent end-to-end digital environment. The QuickTime 3.0-compatible product includes many of the same capabilities of its higher-priced cousin, but lacks some higher-end features such as professional quality special effects, compositing, animation, and unlimited video and multiple audio tracks. A trial version of EditDV Unplugged can be downloaded from Radius' Web site.

Radius - EditDV Unplugged Information

Department Of Defense Adopts WebObjects
[12:45PM] WebObjects, Apple's high-performance environment for creating Internet, e-commerce, human resources, and asset management applications, is now being used by the U.S. Department of Defense to aid in updating the U.S. military healthcare system. Using WebObjects, Apple built the Clinical Encounter Application, a major component of the Department of Defense's new Composite Health Care System (CHCS II) project. According to the company, the application makes it possible to move data sources into a single Web environment, which enables military healthcare managers to monitor patient care, as well as manage the readiness and mobility of the armed forces overall.

Apple Computer - WebObjects Information

Two New CompUSA Stores Coming To California
[11:05AM] CompUSA will open two new stores in California over the next 12 months, the company announced today. The nation's largest computer retailer said it has signed lease agreements for locations in San Rafael and Vacaville -- to open in late 1998 and next summer respectively. Each store will feature CompUSA's usual array of product departments, including the Apple "store within a store," and each is expected to create 60 to 65 local jobs.

CompUSA - Apple Computer

Monday, July 20th
CE Software Reports Third Quarter Earnings
[2:10PM] Hurt by lower-than-expected sales in its domestic channels, CE Software last week reported a loss of $261,000, on revenues of $905,000, for its third quarter of 1998. While the company's loss was only slightly higher than the corresponding period a year ago, revenues fell 83 percent. Christian Gurney, CE's president and CEO, said the drop off in sales was primarily due to QuicKeys for the Macintosh and activity in Japan, which remains poor due to the economic circumstances there. Gurney did say sales of the company's QuickMail line remained "good."

CE Software

NBC To Launch Snap! Campaign Next Week
[12:45PM] The first sign of NBC's involvement in CNET's Snap! service will come next week when the broadcast giant kicks off a six-week promotional campaign across its network schedule. The companies said the Shelly Palmer Productions-produced campaign centers on a tagline which urges users: "Don't suffer from information overload. Snap! out of it! Search the Internet with Snap.com today!" The current campaign, which is expected to generate over 400 million viewer impressions in the 18-to-49 year-old Internet demographic, will be a precurrosor to a full launch this fall, the companies said.

Snap! - NBC

SyQuest Reviewing Strategic Alternatives
[11:30AM] SyQuest Technology today said it has retained investment banker CIBC Oppenheimer to assist in its review of strategic and financial alternatives, a move which could precipitate a number of things, including public or private offerings, manufacturing partnerships, or acquisitions. "CIBC Oppenheimer will be instrumental in restructuring our capital accounts and raising incremental funds as the need arises," said Ed Marinaro, chairman of SyQuest. "With its considerable experience in assisting technology companies to meet their financing requirements, CIBC Oppenheimer is highly qualified to assist us with public or private offerings, either debt or equity."

SyQuest Technology

Friday, July 17th
IDG Releases Attendance Figures For Macworld
[1:55PM] IDG Expo Management today released attendance figures for the first -- and last -- Macworld Expo in New York, and as expected, the numbers were down considerably from prior shows. According to IDG, the show drew 34,200 attendees, almost 20 percent of which came to see the iMac and its related peripherals. Despite the sizable drop off -- last summer's Boston show drew 49,700 visitors -- several factors are likey behind the slip, including most notably, the high cost of New York City and the show's prebilling as a creative-oriented event.

IDG Expo Management

Thursday, July 16th
Intuit Begins Phasing Out Investment Site
[2:35PM] Subscribers of Intuit's Investor Insight service were sent a letter yesterday notifying them of the company's plans to phase out the service by summer's end. The site, which offered investment news and research on a subscription basis, will officially be closed on August 31. Quicken.com, a free site which features many of the same tools found on Investor Insight, will be promoted as an alternative, Intuit said. "We are confident, that Quicken.com is a strong option for our Investor Insight customers and we are working to ensure that whether our customers choose to use Quicken.com or another alternative, it is a seamless transition," stated Mark Goines, a senior VP at Intuit.

Intuit - Investor Insight

Judge Rejects HP's Request For Injunction
[1:30PM] A California federal judge yesterday denied a motion by Hewlett-Packard that would have prohibited Xerox from a selling a range of self-branded HP compatible laser toner cartridges in their current packaging. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston rejected HP's request for a preliminary injunction, saying "HP had not demonstrated that it was likely to succeed in its allegation that the design of the packages violated HP trademarks." HP, which had argued that the design of Xerox' packaging was misleading consumers into believing its products were endorsed or sponsored by HP, also was unsuccessful in its attempt to force Xerox into recalling all products sold in that packaging.

Xerox - Hewlett-Packard

J.P. Morgan Upgrades Apple To Buy
[11:20AM] On the heels of Apple's breakout third quarter results, J.P. Morgan Securities today raised its rating on the company to buy from long-term buy. The brokerage house cited Apple's strong-than-expected quarterly results, the company's improving asset management, and the excitement building around the iMac introduction as factors in raising its outlook.

J.P. Morgan - Apple Computer

Apple Appoints Consumer Marketing Exec
[10:30AM] Apple today shored its consumer executive staff in preparation for its re-entrance into the low-end space, appointing Peter Tamte senior director of consumer marketing. Likely a familiar name to some, Tamte was the founder and, most recently, executive director of GT Interactive's MacSoft unit, the largest publisher of gaming software for the Macintosh. Prior to MacSoft, Tamte headed sales and marketing for The WizardWorks Group, a publisher of value-priced consumer-oriented software for Windows and the Mac. "I am ecstatic to join Apple at such an amazing time," said Tamte. "I believe Apple has a phenomenal opportunity in the consumer market, particularly with iMac, and I can't wait to be a part of the team that makes it a huge success."

"Apple will reenter the consumer market with iMac, and we plan to be very aggressive in addressing the needs of these customers," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. "Having been a Macintosh developer, Peter brings an extensive knowledge of the consumer market to Apple and our customers."

Apple Computer

Wolpert Out As President Of Disney Online
[10:05AM] A week after taking the stage at Macworld Expo to introduce the Macintosh version of Blast Online, Richard Wolpert is out as president of Disney Online. The reason? Publicly the company is saying that Wolpert left to "pursue other professional opportunities" -- a start-up venture, according to some reports -- but sources tell The Industry Standard that he was asked to resign. Those sources also tell the publication that Disney Online's vice president of technology will join Wolpert in his new venture. Jake Winebaum, currently chairman of the Buena Vista Internet Group, will assume Wolpert's duties on an interim basis.

Industry Standard Report - Disney's Blast Online

Wednesday, July 15th
Apple Blows Away Wall Street Estimates
[TOP STORY: 4:50PM] Apple today came through on their word, posting its third consecutive quarter of profits. For the third quarter ended June 26, the company reported net income of $101 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, on flat quarter-over-quarter sales of $1.4 billion. Analysts had been expecting a 34 cents per share, or $44 million, profit. Apple's third quarter bottom line included a $26 million gain from non-recurring items, including a $33 million windfall from the sale of its stake in ARM Holdings and a $7 million in-process research and development charge related to its acquisition of video editing technology from Macromedia. Excluding these one-time items, Apple's net income for the quarter would have been $75 million, or 50 cents per share. Gross margins were 25.7 percent, the company said, an improvement from the 24.8 percent posted in the prior quarter.

"Apple had a terrific quarter -- we sold a record number of Power Macintosh G3 computers, customers love our new PowerBooks, Apple earned its highest profits in years, and we ended the quarter with the lowest inventory level among the major PC players," said Apple's CEO Steve Jobs. "Looking forward, Apple's improved operational efficiency has paved the way for us to aggressively reenter the consumer market with iMac on August 15."

"Apple's three consecutive quarters of profitability and improved asset management have made Apple much stronger financially," said chief financial officer Fred Anderson. "We have nearly $2 billion in cash and short-term investments, and we believe we have the infrastructure in place to support our upcoming reentry into the consumer market."

Apple Computer

PointCast Axes Plans To Go Public
[6:25PM] Push vendor PointCast has withdrawn its plan to go public and will instead "pursue other strategic initiatives," the company said in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, ZDNN reports. The decision to abandon the IPO will likely re-embark buyout speculation, which peaked last month when Business Week published a report saying Pointcast was shopping itself around to several major media companies.

PointCast - ZDNN Report

Zoran Buzzing About Its JPEG Chip-Set
[3:50PM] Iomega's desktop video editing solution, Buz, released last week for Power Macintosh G3 machines, makes use of the Zoran ZR36060 and the ZR36067 motion JPEG chip-set, Zoran Corp. said today. The chip-set, which features Zoran's patented Bit-Rate-Control for memory- and bandwidth-friendly image quality, is what drives the Buz, enabling it to accept video from almost any source, including video cameras, VCRs, camcorders, laser disks and DVDs, the company said.

Zoran Corp. - Iomega

New Pioneer DVD-ROM Drives Now Available
[2:30PM] Pioneer New Media Technologies today announced the availability of two new DVD-ROM drives, including what the company claims to be the first reader to feature a SCSI-2 interface. Both the DVD-A02, an ATAPI/EIDE version, and DVD-U02, the SCSI variation, read both single and dual layer DVDs and support the usual array of disc formats including DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW. The drives also feature 512K buffer memory, digital and audio outputs, easily accessible headphone and volume controls, and Pioneer's slot-load disc mechanism -- a loading system similar to the those found in car CD systems. Pioneer said the drives will retail for $225 (ATAPI) and $275 (SCSI).

"This is the first Pioneer-branded drive available through our U.S. distributors, giving customers other than OEMs and kit manufacturers the opportunity to purchase our DVD2 product," said Paul Dempsey, senior VP of sales and marketing at Pioneer.

Pioneer New Media Technologies

Netscape Rolls Out Communicator 4.5 Preview
[12:45PM] Netscape today rolled out a pre-release version of Communicator 4.5, the first major upgrade to the company's browser in over 10 months. The new version, available in standard and professional editions, marks the first sign of Smart Browsing, a new technology that integrates a series of Netcenter-hosted services with the browser. In version 4.5, three Smart Browsing-related capabilities are featured, including: Internet Keywords, a search method that allows users to type regular words, or keywords, directly in Communicator's URL field; What's Related, a button which dynamically generates a list of related links based on the content of the currently loaded site; and NetWatch, a mechanism that filters out content based on PICS-compliant rating systems RSACi and SafeSurf.

The update also adds a number of enhancements to Messenger, the suite's email and newsgroup component, including a new three-pane interface, full support for the IMAP and LDAP protocols, and an import utility for Eudora or Outlook Express.

Communicator 4.5PR1 - Release Notes

FileMaker, Inc. To Chat With Robert X. Cringely
[11:05AM] FileMaker, Inc. today will host a special Web chat with Robert X. Cringely, noted author, and writer and host of the PBS mini-series "Triump of the Nerds." The chat, scheduled for 7PM this evening, will be the first of two FileMaker-related appearances for Cringely. The former InfoWorld columnist, who now writes a high-tech business column for PBS' Web site, will appear as keynote speaker at the upcoming 1998 FileMaker Developer Conference on Sunday, August 30 at the Doubletree Hotel in Monterey, CA. Those interesting in attending the event will be interested to know that FileMaker will give one participant of today's chat a free 3-day pass to the conference, a value of $695.

FileMaker, Inc. - Cringely on the Web

Tuesday, July 14th
Boca Research Names Chief Operating Officer
[1:25PM] Macintosh modem maker Boca Research today announced the promotion of Michael Reale to chief operating officer, a newly created position. Reale, who joined the company in 1995 as vice president of manufacturing and was most recently senior vice president of the division, will be responsible for all of Boca's daily operations and the coordination of sales throughout its product lines, including Internet access devices, modems, input/output (I/O), and networking devices. Reale will continue to report directly to Boca president and CEO Tony Zalenski.

Boca Research

Monday, July 13th
NotifyMail Gets First Update Under New Owner
[2:15PM] Imagina today began shipping its first update to NotifyMail since acquiring the email notification system earlier this year. Version 3.1 for the Macintosh -- a new update for Windows was also released -- includes support for additional email clients and changes to enhance user productivity. Meanwhile, Imagina said NotifyMail's use in the corporate world continues to grow, with NASA, Motorola, Cray Research, the University of California at Berkeley, and Louisiana Chemical Equipment all having recently adopted the software.


MetaCreations To Pare 25% Of Workforce
[1:40PM] In connection with its previously announced restructuring program, MetaCreations today said it will eliminate approximately 75 jobs from its 300 person workforce. According to the company, the cuts will occur across its four office locations, primarily in the sales & marketing and administrative departments. Gary Lauer, MetaCreations' recent appointed president and chief executive officer, stated: "The restructuring is necessary to quickly realign resources to focus on taking better advantage of market opportunities. Severance programs and outplacement services are being made available to departing employees in recognition and appreciation of their contributions."


SPSS Reasserts Commitment To The Mac
[12:35PM] As a sign of their committment to the Macintosh market, SPSS Inc. said today it will ship a new version of its DeltaGraph graphing software package by the end of the year. SPSS, which acquired DeltaGraph from DeltaPoint a year ago, estimates that close to 65 percent of the product's customer base are Mac users. "DeltaGraph has always been a leading product on the Macintosh," said Jack Noonan, SPSS president and CEO. "As part of our strategy to supply analytical software to large groups of customers, and because DeltaGraph's underlying technology is Mac-based, SPSS plans to continue the development of DeltaGraph on the Macintosh for the foreseeable future.


Friday, July 10th
VST's Zip100 Now Offered Through Apple Store
[MACWORLD] Apple will now be offering VST Technologies' Zip100 drive as an option on PowerBook G3 Series machines sold through the Apple Store, the companies announced today. The $249 drive reads and writes standard Zip disks, and comes with a bootable version of Mac OS 8, Iomega tools, RecordIt, and DiskFit Pro. "VST is very excited to be a part of this opportunity which offers customers a full range of configurations for their new PowerBook G3 Series computer," said Vincent Fedele, president and chief executive of VST Technologies.

The Apple Store

Macworld Selects "Best Of Show" Winners
[MACWORLD] Macworld's customary list of "Best of Show" honorees was announced yesterday, and to no one's surprise, Apple's iMac tops the roster. Other winners included Connectix' RAM Doubler 8, QX-Tools 4 from Extensis, Conflict Catcher 8 from Casady & Greene, MacLinkPlus 10 from DataViz, DiamondSoft's Font Reserve 2.0, Totally Hip Software's Web Painter 3, Palm Computing MacPac 2, and finally, the Road Rocket from ixMicro. Winners were selected by Macworld editors, and announced at the Mac Publishing booth in conjunction with its Macworld Live! event.

"For all the talk over the last couple of years about developers abandoning the Mac, we continue to see a lot of innovative new products and upgrades, and this show is certainly no exception," said Stephen Beale, senior news editor at Macworld.

Macworld Online

Thursday, July 9th
Cohen & Company Downgrades Apple Rating
[6:00PM] Robert M. Cohen & Company analyst Keith R. Bossey today cut his rating on shares of Apple to neutral from speculative buy, citing the completion of an 18-month price target of $32. In a statement, Bossey noted, "Since first recommending Apple about a year ago the company has made many of the changes we felt were necessary to return to prominence. Cutting costs, focusing on a few key products and markets, and reinvigorating their brand name have enabled Apple to turn two successive profitable quarters." Despite the company's current momentum this year, which has resulted in a 100 percent gain in the stock, Bossey warns that the "easy" money may already have been made.

Apple Computer

Gravis Enters USB Game With Updated Controller
[MACWORLD] Reaffirming a commitment to the Macintosh market that dates back to 1988, Gravis today said it will include Mac support with its upcoming line of USB (Universal Serial Bus) game controllers. The company's first USB product -- a digital version of the best-selling GamePad Pro -- is scheduled to be available in October. "Gravis continues to integrate new technology that enhances the gaming experience," said Randy Hart, director of Gravis. "This year marks the rise of USB devices and systems designed specifically for USB products, and Gravis will support the demand for these types of devices for gamers."

Gravis - Gravis USB Section

SyQuest To Develop USB Version Of SparQ
[MACWORLD] A USB (Universal Serial Bus) version of SyQuest Technology's 1.0GB SparQ drive -- previously a PC-only device -- is in the works, and the company said this week it anticipates shipping the product in time for the holiday shopping season. SyQuest did not announce pricing for the translucent red drive, but judging by the PC version, street pricing should be in the neighborhood of $170-$190, with the 1GB cartridges around $40. "Like Apple, SyQuest has always been an innovator. We share the vision that the Internet is going to have a Tsunami effect on consumers -- creating a need for endless amounts of storage," Gary Jones, executive VP, sales and marketing at SyQuest, said.

SyQuest Technology

Wednesday, July 8th
WebObjects Amassing Impressive Customer List
[MACWORLD] Despite getting little public play or promotion from Apple, WebObjects -- the company's high-performance environment for creating powerful Internet, e-commerce, human resources, and asset management applications -- continues to chug along, racking up thousands of customers, including some of the world's most prominent companies. To this end, Apple today said that over 3,000 customers have purchased WebObjects 3.5, the latest incarnation. Among the companies now using the software are: Adobe Systems, Aetna Healthcare, Allied Signal, America Online, the American Stock Exchange, BankBoston, British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), First National Bank of Chicago, Hewlett-Packard, Imation, MCI, Merrill Lynch, Standard & Poor's, The Smithsonian Institution, Toshiba, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Meanwhile, Apple today also reiterated its plans to take WebObjects to the PowerPC later this year. In addition to continuing support for Windows and Unix platforms, WebObjects 4.0 will be the first release to support PowerPC-based Macs. Version 4.0, due this fall, will also offer performance enhancements, better application monitoring and test playback tools, and the capability to create multithreaded applications and distributed Java applications, Apple said.

Apple Computer - WebObjects Information

Jobs: Apple's Profit Roll Continues
[MACWORLD] As hundreds of Macworld exhibitors announce their latest hardware and software products, almost lost in the shuffle is news that Apple will -- once again -- report a profit in its latest quarter. Steve Jobs, in his keynote address this morning, predicted the company's third consecutive profitable quarter, but stopped short of giving a specific number, unlike January's Expo in San Francisco. Instead, Jobs merely told the audience, "I think you will be pleased." Actual results will be released one week from today, July 15, after the close of the stock market.

Apple Computer

BellSouth's ADSL Service To Be Mac-Savvy
[MACWORLD] Beyond the eye-opening array of support from peripheral and software vendors being announced at Macworld, the Macintosh is also getting backing from BellSouth, who announced today that it is joining forces with Apple to ensure Mac compatibility with its upcoming ADSL-based Internet service. According to the companies, Apple will assist BellSouth in developing and testing the Mac version of BellSouth.net FastAccess ADSL service, which is scheduled to be available in the first of 30 southeastern markets in late August.

BellSouth.net FastAccess - Apple Computer

Sorenson Accelerator To Use Trimedia
[MACWORLD] Philips Trimedia, the multimedia accelerator once believed to be the Mac's answer to Intel's MMX technology, will be the basis for an upcoming video accelerator from Sorenson Vision. The company, whose Sorenson Video codec ships with every copy of QuickTime 3.0, said the PCI-based card's target performance is a 2x speed up over software encode times on current high-end Macs and PCs, with greater speed up on older machines. Pricing and shipping dates were not announced.

Sorenson Vision

Everyone's Favorite Action Babe Mac-Bound
[MACWORLD] Apple's revived efforts to bring Macintosh users the upper echelon in gaming have been successful in getting at least one high-profile developer onboard. Eidos Interactive said today it would bring Tomb Raider II, the latest chapter in the best selling 3D action adventure series, and Lara Croft to the Mac. "Tomb Raider II starring Lara Croft is an unprecedented success which will be a must-have title this holiday season for iMac customers," said Charles Cornwall, chief executive of Eidos. "We are proud of our involvement with Apple during the launch of a product as exciting. Apple's move back into the consumer market is great news for Eidos and for the millions of Mac customers around the world who want to play our games."

Eidos Interactive - Tomb Raider

iMac Customers Get $100 Discount Off Office 98
[MACWORLD] To mark the first anniversary of their blockbuster partnership, Apple and Microsoft today announced a new promotion giving iMac customers a $100 discount off the purchase of Microsoft Office 98. Each iMac will ship with an in-box coupon for the rebate promotion, which begins the day the computer ships (August 15) and runs through December 31.

Apple - Microsoft - iMac Information

ThrustMaster To Re-Enter Macintosh Market
[MACWORLD] All future USB products from PC-game controller maker ThrustMaster will support the Macintosh, the company announced today at Macworld. Scheduled to ship in the third and fourth quarters of 1998, the ThrustMaster USB product lineup will include racing wheels, joysticks, game pads, and high-end flight controllers. According to the company, the first of its product to feature Mac support will be the TOP GUN USB joystick, scheduled to launch alongside the iMac next month.

ThrustMaster - iMac Information

Apple Pencils In August 15 For iMac Launch
[MACWORLD] Mark your calendars Mac fans, the iMac is just a little more than five weeks away. During this morning's keynote at Macworld, Apple announced that the highly-anticipated consumer computer will be launching on August 15, complete with -- by popular demand -- a 56Kbps modem. In addition, the company announced the finalized iMac software bundle. Slated to be included are: AppleWorks (the re-branded version of ClarisWorks), FaxSTF, Quicken Deluxe 98, Kai's Photo Soap, MDK, Nanosaur, Williams-Sonoma Guide to Good Cooking, Internet Explorer 4.01, Outlook Express 4.01, and EarthLink's Total Access 2.01. (Notably absent from the list, however, is the previously promised FileMaker Pro.)

"The iMac will deliver the best and easiest-to-use Internet experience, tons of great consumer software, a variety of great add-on peripherals, and, yes, a high-speed 56K modem," said Steve Jobs, Apple's iCEO. "We will have lots of iMacs on dealer shelves for the U.S. launch on August 15, right on schedule."

Apple Computer - iMac Information

Iomega Boards USB Bandwagon With New Zip
[MACWORLD] Iomega's Zip, the de facto standard in the removable storage field, will coming to an iMac near you before the end of the year. Iomega said today it plans to ship a new USB (Universal Serial Bus) version of the external Zip drive in the late fourth quarter timeframe, at a price of no more than $149. Decked out in new a translucent ice-blue case, the drive comes equipped with a built-in USB interface, and like its SCSI cousin, is compatible with either Mac OS 8.1 or Windows 98.

Iomega - iMac Information

Disney's Online Service Blasts Onto The Mac
[MACWORLD] At this morning's Macworld keynote, The Walt Disney Co. pledged to support the Macintosh with its Internet service for kids, Blast Online. Starting today, Mac users can access a special beta version of the site free of charge, with no future obligation required. "In response to the large number of Macintosh owners around the world who have encouraged us in our efforts to develop Disney Blast for their systems, we are thrilled to make this service available for Macintosh," Richard Wolpert, president of Disney Online, said. "We are committed to support the Macintosh platform in future Disney Online developments."

Disney's Blast Online

Tuesday, July 7th
Apple's Education Store Now Open To Individuals
[7:00PM] Apple today expanded its Apple Store for Education to encompass individual faculty, staff, and students at higher education institutions, as well as faculty and staff at K-12 schools. The store, which had previously been only open to authorized education purchasers, now offers individuals access to education discounts, online information, and build-to-order options. To order from the store, customers are required to submit proof of their school affiliation.

Apple Store for Education

Funnel Web Upgrade Shipping This Week
[5:20PM] Active Concepts this week will be releasing a major upgrade to Funnel Web, the company's Web profiling and analysis software package.Version 2.0 of the cross-platform tool adds over 20 new reports including correlation analysis and depth analysis, multiple report formats, post process log archiving, and built-in email notification. In addition, Active said Funnel Web 2.0 offers multilingual support for generation of reports in over 12 different languages. The software comes in standard and professional editions, priced at $249 and $499 respectively.

Active Concepts

Internet-Based Backup Comes To The Mac
[4:40PM] Synectics Business Solutions is bringing Internet-based backup to the Macintosh with its new BackJack service. Billed as a cost effective and secure alternative to conventional backup methods, BackJack gives iMac and other Macintosh users the ability to store their data off-site without having to purchase additional hardware or backup media. According to Synectics, data sent using the service is compressed by up to 50 percent and encrypted with a 128-bit algorithm for complete security. Further details about BackJack, including pricing information, can be obtained from the service's Web site. A risk-free 15-day trial membership is available as well.

BackJack Information

MacSoft's Macworld Lineup To Hold Surprises
[3:30PM] This week's Macworld Expo will feature the largest computer gaming area of any previous show before it, in large part to the efforts of leading publisher MacSoft. The GT Interactive subsidiary said it will roll out a lineup of big-name Macintosh ports this week, led by Unreal, Civilization II: Gold Edition, Dark Vengeance (Reality Bytes' followup to Havoc), and the surprise PC hit of the year, Deer Hunter. At the show, the company will also announce three new titles that it's planning to release during the next six months.

MacSoft - GT Interactive

Pricing, Street Date Set For USB SuperDisk
[1:10PM] Imation today announced pricing and availability details for its iMac-targeted SuperDisk USB Drive. The floppy-compatible 120MB device -- which comes in a casing that matches the iMac's transparent color scheme of bondi-blue and ice (picture available here) -- is expected to hit stores in North America beginning the week of August 16 at a price of $189. At the same time, Imation said it will launch the Mac-Formatted SuperDisk Diskette, a 120MB disk that initially will be sold in five packs for $64.99 (roughly $12.99 each). Both the drive and disks will be available via Apple's retail, catalog, and educational channels, as well as many of Imation's distribution channels.

In addition to its USB products, Imation will showcase other SuperDisk options at this week's Macworld Expo, including internal and external SCSI drives from Winstation Systems.

Imation - SuperDisk

Monday, July 6th
Report: Apple Partnering With Disney And Others
[5:30PM] Although not exactly on the scale of last summer's blockbuster alliance with Microsoft, Apple will announce at least one deal this week that is sure to be another headline grabber, reports say. According to ZDNN, representatives from The Walt Disney Co. will take part in Wednesday's opening keynote address at Macworld Expo to announce iMac-related plans for its subscription-based online kids site, Disney Blast. Disney, however, will not be the only company aligning itself with Apple. ZDNN says there will be other company representatives joining Apple's Phil Schiller and Steve Jobs at the keynote.

ZDNN Report - Apple Computer - Disney

Virtual PC Update, Win 98 Bundle Being Readied
[3:55PM] A new Virtual PC package featuring Windows 98 is being readied for an August release, Connectix said today. Scheduled to be shown at Macworld this week, the $179 bundle will compliment the company's existing Windows 95 and DOS products (rather than replacing either), and will feature a revised version of the actual Virtual PC application. According to Connectix, version 2.1 will incorporate native 3Dfx Voodoo 2 support, improved video compatibility, support for hot-swapping PowerBook drives, user-selectable Ethernet devices, and improved Windows NT application support. All Virtual PC 2.0 owners will be entitled to a free 2.1 update, scheduled for release in August.


HP Backs iMac With Printer Connectivity Kit
[2:25PM] Hewlett-Packard is the first out of the gate with a printing solution for future iMac customers. The company, as part of its alliance with Apple, today announced the HP Printer Cable Kit for iMac, a $69 package that gives the upcoming consumer computer compatibility with the HP DeskJet 670C and 690C series of printers. The kit includes a parallel-to-USB conversion cable, a Mac OS 8.1 printer driver, installation manuals, and a user guide on CD-ROM. Availability is expected to coincide with the launch of the iMac, and Apple says it plans to offer the kit with the HP DeskJet 670C printers, which it sells through its education channels. In addition, HP said it anticipates adding support for additional DeskJet printer models over time.

"This introduction is part of HP's current Mac connectivity program and serves as a transition to HP's longer-term strategy of offering out-of-the-box Mac connectivity," said Vyomesh Joshi, general manager of the Home Business Unit of HP's Consumer Products Group. "This strengthens HP's position in the Mac market, supporting Apple's iMac launch by offering connectivity on existing HP DeskJet printers already available worldwide."

Hewlett-Packard - Apple Computer

CE Introduces LDAP-Compliant Directory Server
[2:10PM] CE Software today introduced Mail Directory System for Mac OS, a new LDAP-compliant directory server that stores phone numbers, email addresses, and other information for entire organizations. The server works with AppleShare IP and the Eudora Internet Mail System (EIMS), and accepts connections from any directory-enabled email client, including QuickMail Pro, Eudora Pro, Netscape Messenger, and Outlook Express. The server is due for release next month, but will be available for evaluation this week, CE said. Prices run $99.95 for 10 users, $249.95 for 50 users, and $499.95 for an unlimited user license.

CE Software - Mail Directory System

Insignia Names Replacement Marketing VP
[1:05PM] Insignia Solutions, who last week saw their marketing head walk, today named a replacement for the open senior vice president of marketing position. Ron Workman, a former executive at Cygnus Solutions, Microtec Research, Ready Systems, and Hewlett-Packard, will fill the role, vacated last Thursday when Joseph Taglia left "to pursue other interests." Like Taglia, Workman will oversee the company's efforts to market the SoftWindows and RealPC line of emulation products.

Insignia Solutions

New RAM Doubler Tuned For Mac OS 8
[11:45AM] RAM Doubler 8, the latest version of Connectix' popular memory management utility, was announced today. The company said the upgrade, free for existing owners of version 2, is the first to be specifically optimized for Mac OS 8 and Microsoft Office 98. In addition, the new version features general performance improvements amd new memory controls, statistics, charts, and performance meters that detail application memory usage, paging information, RAM compression, and disk access rates. RAM Doubler 8 works with any 68030 Macintosh or higher, and is available now for $45. Current users will be available to download the upgrade from Connectix' Web site starting July 15.

Connectix - RAM Doubler 8 Information

Thursday, July 2nd
Insignia's Sales And Marketing Chief Flees
[5:45PM] Insignia Solutions' senior vice president of sales and marketing, Joseph Taglia, has left the company in order to pursue other interests. Taglia's resignation comes the same day in which Insignia announced a shortfall in SoftWindows sales, which will lead to a loss for the second quarter, and plans to restructure its sales and marketing division. Rich Noling, Insignia's president and chief executive officer, will handle Taglia's previous responsibilities during the transition that is expected to involve strategic changes and new staff additions.

Insignia Solutions

3Com To Have Presence At Macworld
[4:10PM] For the first time in recent memory, 3Com will actually have a presence at Macworld Expo. The company's Palm Computing unit, which has showed renewed commitment to the Macintosh in recent weeks and months, said it will be demoing the latest products in its Palm line at next week's show in New York, including the recently launch Palm III device and upcoming Claris Organizer-based MacPac Connection Kit. Show goers will also have the chance to win one of the new Palm III organizers, as 3Com said it will be giving away one every hour.

Palm Computing - 3Com

Newspaper Mac Managers Target Of New Site
[2:55PM] Mark Crosten, the lead Macintosh manager at the San Jose Mercury News, has started a new Web site geared specifically toward Mac managers in the newspaper industry. Crosten says he created "Mac Ink" to share information he's learned about using Macs at a newspaper, and so others in similar positions could report their experiences as well.

Mac Ink - Mercury News

Slow SoftWindows Sales To Impact Insignia's Q2
[1:10PM] Insignia Solutions, citing weakness in the sales of SoftWindows for the Macintosh, said it expects to post considerably lower than expected revenues for the second quarter of 1998. As a result of the shortfall, Insignia also said operating losses for the quarter will be much greater than the prior period. "While our SoftWindows for Unix business continues to show signs of strength, the negative developments in our Macintosh business caused a significant shortfall in our results," said Richard Noling, president and chief executive officer of Insignia. In addition, Noling said the company will makes changes in its sales and marketing to address these issues, and is optimistic over the impact the iMac could have on SoftWindows sales.

Insignia Solutions

Apple To Trim Staff At Cork Production Plant
[12:35PM] A day after selling off production assets to Natstell, Apple today confirmed it will prune the work force at its plant in County Cork, south-west Ireland. As a result of a realignment of its worldwide manufacturing arrangements, the company said it will cut 150 full-time jobs from the plant's staff of 1,850 full- and part-time workers. "As has occurred at other Apple plants, we will outsource our PCB requirements out of the core facility in Cork," Apple spokesman Liam Donohoe told Reuters, adding that the Cork plant would become the European manufacturing base for the iMac, despite the changes. "We intend to focus on the systems assembly business in Cork," Donohoe said.

Apple Computer

Wednesday, July 1st
FileMaker Names Mironov To Executive Team
[4:45PM] FileMaker, Inc. yesterday named Richard Mironov -- most recently the director of product marketing at Wayfarer Communications -- as its director of worldwide product management. Mironov, who started his career as a software engineer at Hewlett-Packard before moving onto Tandem Computers, Sybase, and eventually Wayfarer, will lead the team responsible for product line strategy and product marketing at FileMaker, Inc. "Rich will be a key leader in creating and implementing product marketing strategies that meet the needs of our growing enterprise workgroup customers," said Dominique Goupil, president of the Apple database unit.

FileMaker, Inc.

PowerLogix To Give Away PowerForce Cards
[2:35PM] Through its PowerForce G3 Expo Sweepstakes, PowerLogix will be giving attendees of next week's Macworld Expo the chance to win a top-of-the-line G3-based upgrade card. The company said it will be offering daily prizes at the New York gala ranging from PowerForce G3 t-shirts and baseball caps, to PowerForce G3/220 processor cards, to the grand prize -- a PowerForce G3/300 card with 1MB of cache, valued at $1,700. To enter the sweepstakes, attendees simply need to stop by the company's booth and pick up one of their PowerForce G3 bags.


Natstell Buying Production Assets From Apple
[1:25PM] Natstell Electronics, a Singapore electronics contract manufacturer, has signed a letter of intent to purchase production assets from Apple's Cork, Ireland facility. Reuters reports that Natstell will buy circuit board assembly (PCBA) manufacturing and test equipment, as well as spare parts for $20 million. The announcement from Natstell marks the second time the company has acquired fabrication assets from Apple in as many years. In 1997, Natstell bought PCBA equipment from Apple's Singapore branch. apple computer<>

Apple Extends G3 Promotional Giveaway
[11:45AM] Originally set to expire on June 26, Apple last week quietly extended its "More Power, More Compatibility" promotion. The offer, which gives any Power Macintosh G3 customer a free bonus of either Connectix' Virtual PC 2.0 (with Windows 95) or 32 megabytes of additional memory, is now available through August 16.

More Power, More Compatibility - Apple Computer