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October, 1998 Archive

Headlines For Friday, October 30th

The Apple Trader
by Wes George
Trick or Treat
It’s been a really creepy week for the Apple investor out there. The tech news section is getting so thick it’s hard to keep up with the constant revelations. The Microsoft trial has become a theater of the absurd. Barksdale, Netscape CEO, admitted he played Stalin with Steve Case (AOL’s CEO) who played Roosevelt as they schemed against poor little ol’ Microsoft. Appropriate fun for Halloween, only it wasn’t October when these grown men were playing “Yalta.” Then you had Mark Andreesen’s surreal claim that Netscape would never ever have given away Navigator for free if it hadn’t been for the Microsoft subterfuge of giving away Explorer.

Read The Apple Trader

Top Story:
iMac Number 3 Computer For September!
[8:03 AM] The iMac was the number 3 selling computer model for the month of September, proving that the stunning numbers for August were no mere fluke.

The Mac Observer Spin: Since it became clear that Apple was turning cornet this summer, analysts have consistently said that sustainability was the next key in Apple's ongoing efforts.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

Hitachi Releases 21" Monitors "Optimized For The Macintosh"
[11:41 AM] Hitachi has released two 21" monitors called the RasterOps 8135 and RasterOps 8115. Hitachi refers to the monitors as space saving because they have a depth of 18.5" and a weight of only 61 lbs. In addition, the company says the new monitors are optimized for vector graphics and the Mac OS. The RasterOps 8135 has a maximum resolution of 1856 x 1392 with a refresh rate of 80Hz. At 1600 x 1200, the monitor has a refresh rate of 90 MHz. The RasterOps 8115 carries an expected price tag of only US$1429, while the RasterOps 8135 carries an estimated price of $1099 and a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200.


MacZones Sees Highest Growth For Multiple Zones
[11:06 AM] MacZone's parent company, Multiple Zones, reports that its Mac platform sales increased some 12% from the prior quarter and had a small increase (unspecified by Multiple Zones) over the 3rd quarter from last year. According to Multiple Zones:

"This is the first quarter of year-over-year growth in the past seven quarters, and reflects the strength of Apple Computer's innovative G3, iMac and other CPU product offerings."

CPU dollar sales alone increased some 38% sequentially and 16% year-over-year. This number refers strictly to the number of boxes sold by the company as opposed to the total platform numbers referred to above. In addition, the company saw a 54% increase in the number of units sold over the 2nd quarter of this year and a 31% increase from the 2nd quarter of 1997. While iMac sales have contributed heavily to the bottom line as well as sales growth of the company, it also contributed to a drop in the company's average selling price 11% over Q2 of 1998 and 12% over Q3 of 1997. Overall, the company's Mac sales growth out paced the company's Wintel based sales.


Apple "Looking Into" Reported MacOS 8.5 Problems
[10:30 AM] Reuters is reporting that Apple has officially said it is looking into the bugs being reported for MacOS 8.5. Showing the power of the internet, Apple Spokesman Russell Brady said "We are investigating the reports that we have seen online.'' MacInTouch and MacFixit have been carrying detailed reports as well as their on investigations relating to the bugs readers have reported. These bugs include missing icons for files that are still present as well as other disk damage. This is perhaps the first time that Apple has been so quick to respond to problems reported on the internet. This can be attributed to Apple's efforts to be more responsive in general as well as the growing influence that online magazines have.

Apple - MacInTouch - MacFixit


Headlines For Thursday, October 29th

The Mac Observer is pleased to announce the return of Mike Lambert as a Contributing-Editor. Mike will once again lend us his insight from time to time in the form of editorials, news coverage, and reviews. Today he brings us his thoughts on OS 8.5. Welcome back Mike!

Mac OS 8.5: GO FOR IT!
by Michael Lambert

The hypemeisters in Apple's marketing department are burning the midnight oil these days. After hearing about Mac OS 8.5 nonstop for over a week, you may already be suffering from feature-itis overload. Mac publications and web sites alike are singing the praises of Apple's latest Mac OS upgrade, and you're probably wondering, "Do I really NEED to drop $99 on another upgrade?"

Read Our Review of Mac OS 8.5

Diehl Graphsoft Announces New Mac CAD Product
[1:44 PM] Diehl Graphsoft, the maker of Mini CAD, has announced a new product they are calling VectorWorks. VectorWorks is designed to allow architects and designers to use an object-based approach to design. It also incorporates a scripting environment called VectorScript that allows the user to create custom objects and tools. Pricing information is not yet available and the product should be released by year's end according to Diehl Graphsoft.

Diehl Graphsoft

HP Introduces New Network Printer
[1:28 PM] Hewlett Packard has introduced a new network printer called the HP 2500CM. The new printer is designed for use by a work group and comes equipped with a 10/100 Base T MIO card built-in. In addition, the printer uses HP's SmartPrinting technology which effectively makes individual colors and print heads modular units that can be replaced as needed. The printer will print at speeds up to 9 ppm for black and white or 7 ppm for mixed color and black and white, has 4 MB of RAM (expandable to 76 MB), and will handle print media up to 13" x 19". The unit is expected to retail for US$1649 and will be available in the spring of 1999.


Totally Hip Software Announces Content Creation Tool
[10:59 AM] Totally Hip Software, the creator of the popular WebPainter animation application, has announced LiveStage. LiveStage is a web content production environment. According to Totally Hip:

"LiveStage is an innovative new application development environment for easy scripting of interactive rich media content and sprite movies for delivery over the Web using Apple's new QuickTime(TM) 3 technology and player. LiveStage has a powerful scripting architecture to create complex interactive rich media Web content. It allows users to create everything from full screen interactive animations, simple navigation bars, interactive ad banners, and rollover buttons."

The product is expected to be released at MacWorld San Francisco in January of 1999. Pricing information is not yet available.

Totally Hip Software

After Dark: It's Not Just For Screen Savers Anymore
[10:51 AM] Berkeley Systems has released a new set of arcade games called After Dark Games that use the characters made famous by the After Dark Screen Saver series. The 11 games are Bad Dog 911, Roof Rats, Toaster Run, Mowin' Maniac, Hula Girl, MooShu Tiles, Fish Schtick, Rodger Dodger, Zapper, Foggy Boxes, and After Dark Solitaire. Users of the extraordinarily popular After Dark Screen Saver will likely recognize many of those names. The product is shipping on a Hybrid Mac/Windows CD and is available for US$29.95.

After Dark

MetaCommunications Releases Job Ticket/Asset Management Program
[10:15 AM] MetaCommunications has released Virtual Ticket 1.0. Virtual Ticket 1.0 is a job ticket tracking and asset management tracking application for use in corporate environments. According to Meta Communications:

"Virtual Ticket is a scalable client server system with Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) and Structured Query Language (SQL) support with the Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) database engine. The client software applications support TCP/IP or AppleTalk connectivity."

Virtual Ticket is currently available and is expected to be priced at US$2995.


Newer Technology Releases Upgrade For 4400, StarMax, and M*Power
[10:03 AM] Newer Technology has released upgrade cards for the previously non-upgradeable PowerMac 4400, Motorola StarMax line, and the M*Power from APS Technology. These models all have processors soldered onto the motherboard. The new card called the MAXpowr G3 L2 is placed directly in the L2 Cache slot on these systems. Offering configurations at 260 MHz, 300 MHz, and 320 MHz, the cards are priced at US$499, $599, and $999 respectively. They are expected to be available in the 1st quarter of 1999.

Newer Technology


Headlines For Wednesday, October 28th

My First Macintosh Was A Typewriter
by Nancy Gravley

My First Mac Was A Typewriter
Those of us who remember the world before computers (heck, lets be honest here, I remember the world before TV) need all the help we can get to make the most of this technical world, not necessarily to compete with the youngsters, but to live in harmony with, and use to our benefit, the computer technology that the youngsters take for granted. Therein lies the need for experts upon whom we can call for help. There are two things that distinguish a Macintosh expert. The first is that they know how to do the technical things related to a computer. The second distinction is that they are more than willing to share their skills with you.

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter

Kinko's Supports Apple (For A Change)
[14:44 PM] Kinko's has announced a major purchase and commitment for Apple's ColorSync technology. The computer, printing, and copier company has announced it has purchased US$2.4 million in Apple ColorSync 17- and 20-inch Displays with Digital Color Calibration. The displays are currently being deployed throughout the chains worldwide locations.

The Mac Observer Spin: Kinko's built its empire of rental computer and printing services largely with Macintosh computers, as Macs were the only computers available to do professional desktop publishing. With much of the corporate world relying on Wintel machines for their workforce, Kinko's eventually introduced PCs. During the last 12 months, Kinko's made many decisions that painted a picture of falling support for the Mac platform, including a decision to pull many professional Mac services, though there have been a consistent Mac presence in the hourly computers. In the company's press release, Robert C. Meltzer, senior vice president and chief technology officer, of Kinko's, Inc. is quoted as saying "The Macintosh platform is important to Kinko's as Apple continues to develop technology that gives our customers a competitive advantage." With Apple's revival looking better and better, it is great to see Kinko's make statements like this.

Kinko's - Apple

Bungie Software Makes The Inc. 500
[12:29 PM] The Mac Observer staff's official favorite game developer (oh heck, make it our official favorite maker of anything!) has made the Inc. 500. Inside Mac Games has put together a fantastic write up that features quotes and facts from Bungie.

Inside Mac Games

iMacs for $30 A Day?
[12:23 PM] MacInTouch has reported the possibility that Apple will be running a promotion for buying an iMac for a dollar a day. Based on reports from MacInTouch's extensive readership, the program would run from November 2nd of 1998 to January 31st of 1999. Head over to MacInTouch for details.


Apple Notes Back Up Netscape In Trial
[11:40 AM] In the DOJ Anti-trust trial against Microsoft, the government has accused Microsoft of leveraging its market-share against both its partners and its competitors. To bolster this argument, the DOJ has used testimony from Netscape's CEO Jim Barksdale who has said among other things that Microsoft threatened to kill Office for the Mac if Apple did not make Microsoft Internet Explorer the default browser on all shipping Macs. Yesterday the government entered into evidence hand written notes from Apple CFO Fred Anderson that said: "Apple needed to ensure that Microsoft would continue to provide MS Office for Mac or we were dead.''

Apple - Netscape - Microsoft


Headlines For Tuesday, October 27th

The Name Of The Game
by The Idiots

Questions Only An Idiot Would Ask
Well we asked for it, and we got it. The Idiots have received tons of questions from readers about Mac gaming.

Gary: And now it's time to read a little VIEWER MAIL!

Read The Name Of The Game

We ran this story yeserday, but an HTML error prevented it from being reached. We apologize and present it here again.

MacMall Sees Growth: First Time In 2 1/2 Years!
[11:16 AM]MacMall's parent company, Creative Computers, Inc. announced that its Mac sales saw growth for the first time in 2 1/2 years

The Mac Observer Spin: Good news in the Mac world is steadily becoming old hat, which in and of itself is one of the best pieces of news there could be

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

Apple Lands Australian Notebook Deal
[11:51AM] The Australian (a newspaper) is reporting that Apple and ACER are the joint recipients of a AUS$100 million deal. The arrangement is a government effort to put notebook computers in the hands of 10,700 teachers. Apple will reportedly supply only 15% of the computers, which is surprising considering the fact that Apple is one of the dominant computer maker in Australia. The teachers receiving the computers will be contributing AUS$150 per year as part of the lease. A sweet deal for participants.


SyQuest Releases USB SparQ 1 GB Drive
[11:40AM] SyQuest has released a USB SparQ 1 GB drive with iMac drivers. The new drive uses the same SparQ cartridges as the company's SCSI, Parallel, and EIDI drives, and unlike SyJet cartridges, the SparQ cartridges are cross-platform. Pricing is expected to be US$249 including one cartridge. The SparQ USB drives should be available by November.


Wanna Win A Mac?
[11:29AM] DVDWave has partnered with Apple to give away a PowerBook with built-in DVD-video capabilities. From the official DVDWave announcement:

"As part of the promotion, customers will be automatically entered into a contest, for a chance to win three new DVD movie releases to be given out once a month, when they receive their Free USPS priority shipping on their first order. They will also be simultaneously entered into a contest to win an Apple PowerBook with DVD-video. Current Apple customers are also eligible to participate in the promotion. For first-time customers, DVD Wave will give away free USPS priority shipping on orders from the inventory of more than 1,500 DVD films."

Sheen over to Apple's DVD web site for more information.


NewerRam Ships 256MB Module For PowerBook G3
[11:14 AM] NewerRAM is shipping a 256MB module for PowerBook G3 300 MHz laptops. The new modules allow the PowerBooks to be upgraded up to 384MB of total RAM when used in conjunction with a 128MB module in the other slot, which is limited due to spatial constraints. Space constraints make the other slot limited to a 128MB module. The Mac Observer is awaiting word from NewerRAM concerning pricing. The product is currently availble.


Captain Kangaroo: Coming To A PowerMac Near You
[10:17 AM] Knowledge Adventure has released 2 new CD-ROMs for preschoolers based on the all New Captain Kangaroo TV Series. The CD-ROMs feature "Captain himself, Mr. Greenjeans, the carrot-loving Bunny Rabbit, the funny Mister Moose and other lovable characters." According to Knowledge Adventure:

"'Captain Kangaroo(TM) Life's First Lessons Adventure #1 -- Helping, Caring, Responsibility,' and 'Captain Kangaroo Life's First Lessons Adventure #2 -- Sharing, Taking Turns, Friendship' focus on helping preschoolers ages 3 to 5 build important social and behavioral skills such as sharing, taking turns, caring, respect for others, taking responsibility and building friendships."

The products are expected to retail for less than US$20 each.

Knowledge Adventure

USB Mac Product Announced By PC Manufacturer
[10:17 AM] A company called SanDisk has introduced a USB version of ImageMate that is compatible with iMacs and USB equipped Macs. ImageMate "allows digital camera owners to quickly and easily transfer images from CompactFlash(tm) (CF(tm)) digital film cards to a desktop computer." The company also plans on demonstrating their product connected to an iMac at Comdex '98, an event which was once quite rare. The ImageMAte is expected to retail for US$89.



Headlines For Monday, October 26th

Monday's Mac Gadget
by Dean Philo

A peppy new computer with the latest processor can help you get your work done faster. That's obvious. What isn't obvious is that changing the way you work can save you more time than the most expensive hardware upgrade. Macros are a way of automating the little routines you go through everyday, and probably the easiest way to make your computer feel faster. KeyQuencer is a lean, powerful macro engine that belongs on every true power user's machine.

Read Monday's Mac Gadget

StarNine Adds Chat To WebSTAR Bundle Up Program
[1:51 PM] StarNine has added BIAP Chat Pro to its Bundle Up program. BIAP Chat Pro offer support for up to 200 simultaneous connections, has multiple domain support, as well as an integrated Java chat client. The Bundle Up program allows customers who purchase any two eligible products from StarNine (including 3rd party products in the program) to get a 10% discount, 15% for three items and 20% for orders including four or more items.


OpenDoor Releases Security Suites For WebSTAR and AppleShare IP
[1:51 PM] OpenDoor Networks has released two products designed to enhance the security of Mac web servers. Called Security Suite for AppleShare IP and the Security Suite for WebSTAR, the products build upon the inherent security features of the MacOS. According to the company's press release:

"The Mac OS is one of the most secure operating systems around," said Alan Oppenheimer, president of Open Door Networks. "Due to this high built-in level of security, however, certain aspects of Mac OS servers actually lag behind other systems when it comes to security. Our Security Suites combine the benefits of the Mac OS with innovations from other systems to create an even more secure server environment. At the same time the Suites maintain the Mac's traditional ease-of-use advantages over these systems."

The products are expected to retail for $479, $349 for educational institutions. Both products are available immediately.


MacMall Sees Growth: First Time In 2 1/2 Years!
[11:16 AM] MacMall's parent company, Creative Computers, Inc. announced that its Mac sales saw growth for the first time in 2 1/2 years

The Mac Observer Spin: Good news in the Mac world is steadily becoming old hat, which in and of itself is one of the best pieces of news there could be

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

Apple Grows 29% In Western Europe
[10:29 AM] Apple saw growth of 29% in Western Europe during their fiscal 4th quarter according to CONTEXT, a technology research company based in Britain. The report said that Apple saw unit sales of 141,793 some of which came from iMac sales which entered the picture late in the quarter. The report also suggests that Apple will see even better results during this quarter due to the iMac's full ramp-up. Apple's total market share for the quarter was 2.7%.


Kensington Releases Update To MouseWorks
[10:05 AM] Kensington has released an update to MouseWorks, its control software for the Kensington line of mice and trackballs. The update is a beta version meant to address compatibility issues with Microsoft Office 98. According to the company there are no new features added and only Office 98 users need download it. It can be downloaded from Kensington's web site.

Kensington MouseWorks

New Fabric Printing Technology Used By Mac
[12:17 AM] Apparel Technologies has introduced a new printing technology for printing on fabrics that can be run from a Mac. The new technology allows apparel manufactures to print at rates up to 200 yards per hour from a 3M Scotchprint 2000 digital printer which can be run from a Mac as well as Windows and Unix machines.


Headlines For Friday, October 23rd

The Apple Trader
by Wes George

Go Ahead And Pinch Yourself, It's Steve's Dream
Last week Steve Jobs and Co. announced their best quarterly numbers in years, $106 million profit for the fiscal forth. So what does AAPL equity value do? It drifts downward. Of course, the share price of Apple had been rising steeply for days in anticipation of Steve's press gathering which the PC centric mainstream press dissed as unorthodox in style.

Read The Apple Trader

The Hard Facts About Mac Gaming Hardware
3:17 PM] Mike Dixon at Mac Gamer's Ledge has written a fantastic column about the hard facts about Mac gaming hardware. This is an issue that effects all Mac users as games (like it or not) drive innovation and market direction in most of the Mac and PC world. Mr. Dixon has really nailed this issue squarely on the head.

Mac Gamers Ledge

Insignia's Foresail Prices Bring Increased Revenues
12:06 PM] Insignia Solutions announced 3rd quarter results yesterday with both good and bad news. The good news is that the company's sales were up some 55% from the previous quarter at US$3.06 million. The bad news is that that same figure was down some 73% against the same period from one year ago. The company had a loss of a little over US$2 million for the quarter. The company attributed some of that loss to an increased investment in its Java technologies for embedded systems. The company's flagship product SoftWindows 95 and its recent SoftWindows 98 have regained market share in the face of very stiff competition from Connectix's Virtual PC. Insignia achieved this in part by rolling out SoftWindows 98 itself as well as by heavily reducing the retail pricing structure for the products.

insignia Solutions

Kodak Announces Support For iMac
11:44 AM] Claiming to be the first manufacturer of digital cameras to support the iMac, Kodak announces Beta drivers for its DC220 and DC260 zoom cameras. The company also claims that these two cameras are the first to include built-in USB connectivity. The company also said the final version of the software would include an Adobe Photoshop plug-in to support legacy Macintosh products through "serial connections using off-the-shelf serial to DIN adapters."


The Mac Observer Spin: The vice president of Eastman Kodak Company, and president of Digital & Applied Imaging, Willy Shih said in a press release "This announcement is one more example of Kodak's continued support for the Macintosh platform. We wanted to move as quickly as possible to support Apple's adoption of USB in its highly innovative iMac with our top-of-the line cameras." This may be in response to the industry rumors that Kodak has abandoned support for the Mac in its high-end digital printers. While Kodak has denied these allegations, print-industry people have talked about receiving seriously negative attitudes from some within Kodak about the Mac. This announcement therefore not only capitalizes on iMac Euphoria, it also attempts to shore up the company's overall Mac image.


Apple Sued Over Newton
10:37 AM] Apple was sued yesterday by the Harris Corporation over the cancellation of the Newton. Harris is seeking damages of US$17 million from Apple claiming that the cancellation of the Newton product line left them in a lurch. The company also claims it lost a US$10 million contract with Ameritech Corp. the very day that Apple pulled the plug.

Harris had licensed the Newton technology from Apple in order to develop its own versions, the SuperTech 2000 and the AD2000. These products were more rugged than Apple's MessagePad products and they also included more software.

Harris Corp.


Headlines For Thursday, October 22nd

Boca Research Releases GlobalFax For G3s
[9:39 AM] Boca Research has released a version of GlobalFax that is compatible with iMac, G3 Series (PowerBook Internal Modems, Mini-tower Internal Modems, and Desktop Internal Modems), and all Global Village 56K internal modems. The product is expected to retail for US$39.95.

Boca Research

ATI Has Record Year, Passes Billion Dollar Mark
[10:40 AM] ATI has passed the billion dollar mark along with having a record fiscal 4th quarter. ATI is the maker of the RAGE, RAGE II, and RAGE Pro 3d chipsets that are used in most of Apple's current product line. The latest version of the iMac with the Rev. 2 motherboards using the RAGE Pro has just been released and is hitting some stores now. ATI is the largest manufacturer of video cards with most of those sells coming from the Wintel market. Other recent developments from ATI include support for OpenGL which when combined with Mac OpenGL drivers. OpenGL is currently one of the best 3D implementations in existence and the ability to use it for Mac games means a lot to the Mac market.



Headlines For Wednesday, October 21st

My First Mac Was A Typewriter
by Nancy Gravley

Creating Family Trees
The Mac particularly lends itself to producing graphic documents. I have used them for everything from organizational charts and floor plans, to complex computer operated slide shows. There are also several packages that are oriented toward family amusement and fun. A few years ago I created a simple family tree for a family reunion. It was a big hit and following the reunion, family members gave me additional information with which I was able to update the charts. I made the charts by drawing them, a lot of work, so I was intrigued with the concept of family tree software. The Internet has opened the world of researching family histories to a broad spectrum of people, not just to those who have had the time and money for long tedious searches. Now, anyone with a computer, modem, and Internet provider can perform complex searches from documents all over the world.

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter

IMG Has Exclusive Mac Gaming News
[12:36 PM] Inside Mac Games has an exclusive story from VillageTronic, the maker of the recently announced US$99 Mac Magic 3Dfx card. The new card is a 16 MB Voodoo 2 card and IMG has all the details. Mac gamers will find the story to be a must-read!


Lucas Learning Releases Mac Title
[11:06 AM] Lucas Learning has released a new Mac title called Star Wars DroidWorks. The program is an educational game that let's children construct their own droids on the planet Tatooine and then send those droids on one of 29 missions. The challenge is to create one of the many combinations that will allow the mission to be accomplished. From Susan Schilling, General Manager of Lucas Learning:

"We dare you to be smart. We want you to learn from experience. With our products, people learn by doing, by experiencing the consequences of their own decisions. After all, that is what real-life learning is all about."

Pricing is expected to be US$39.95 and is available now.

The Mac Observer Spin: Lucas Learning is going where LucasArts Entertainment no longer treads. Star Wars: DroidWroks is the first title from the newest arm of the Lucas Empire and it is a simultaneous Mac/PC release. With Apple dominating the education market, this might not be so surprising, but we hope that it may be an indication of things to come from the game centered LucasArts Entertainment.

Lucas Learning

The Mac A Guess Star On Home Improvement
[12:50 AM] Alright, not really. But a PowerMac G3 was featured in the new Tool Time Chevy Van on last night's Home Improvement. In addition to the table saw that doubles as a deli slicer, and a drill press that will also mix milkshakes, the van includes a "'Tool Time Data Work Station' with an exceptionally fast G3 powered Macintosh computer that can run various home improvement programs." The show aired last night on ABC.

Home Improvement

Musical Notation Software Announced For Mac
[12:32 AM] Sibelius, a musical notation application, has been announced for The Mac. The software makes it possible to enter notation through your mouse, keyboard, or even to play it into your Mac through a standard MIDI input. Sibelius also includes the ability to:

"publish their works directly onto the Web, allowing anyone to see and play your music whether they have Sibelius or not. The company offers a free, downloadable plug-in at, which allows scores to be viewed, transposed and played back from the Internet. Various Features"

While the PC version was just released, a Mac version will be hitting the US early in 1999, and is expected to debut for US$599.


Ages of Myst Announced: Commemorative Set
[12:19 AM] Red Orb Entertainment has announced a special boxed set of Myst and its sequel, Riven. In addition to the games, the boxed set will include a 14-minute "Making of Riven" video, a dedication from the game's creators, Rand and Robyn Miller, and a "special hardcover personal keepsake journal." The package will retail for US$49.95.

Red Orb

NEC Releases Mac LCD Monitor
[12:05 AM] NEC has announced a new 15" flat screen LCD monitor that will retail for only US$999. This marks the entry of one of the first sub-$1000 15" flat screen monitors in its class on the market. Called the MultiSync LCD1500M, the new monitor offers a 15" viewing area. It also features both built in speakers as well as 4 USB ports built into the base. Maximum resolution is 1024x768. The MultiSync LCD1500M is expected to be available at the end of October.



Headlines For Tuesday, October 20th

The Name of the Game
by The Idiots

It's Fun to Play the MDK!
Gary: Well, Randy, here we are. Seasoned veterans of the column-writing circuit. In our first four columns, we have tackled subjects as far ranging as our hopes and dreams (the fictional gMac), a dissertation on the state of Macintosh developer relations, and we even time-traveled back into the golden age of arcade gaming.

Randy: So this week, we thought we would write about the historical aspects of gaming, how society is changing in response to gaming, and how that in turn, affects the games we play. We will also talk about the societal ramifications of competition and how it has truly defined us as a culture, and as individuals who identify ourselves by how we are measured against each other.

Gary: Or, we could just write a review of MDK.

Read The Name of the Game

Metrowerks Ships CodeWarrior Discover Programming Edition 4
[1:38 PM] Metrowerks has shipped the personal edition of its industry-standard mac development suite, CodeWarrior Discover Programming Edition 4. This follows the professional version which was announced last month. CodeWarrior Discover Programming Edition 4 includes an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), development tools for C, C++, Java and Pascal, as well as Metrowerks's PowerPlant for application framework development. The package is expected to retail for US$79 and will be available later this week, including CompUSA locations and Metrowerks web site.


Language Learning Software For 13 Languages Announced
[11:02 AM] Transparent Language has announced version 7.0 of LanguageNOW!. Offering support for French, German, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, Swedish, Dutch, Arabic, Polish, Irish, and English for Spanish Speakers, LanguageNOW! features contextual-learning and progress tracking. Retail price is expected to be US$49.95.

Transparent Language

2400 DPI Printer Announced
[10:45 AM] ALPS Electric has announced a new printer capable of printing 2400 dot-per-inch (DPI) The MD-5000 Desk Top Print Shop(TM is a photo-quality printer that the company claims can print on almost any paper including some coated papers. According to APLS Electric's press release:

"The key to our technology is the fact that the MD-5000 is a 'variable dot' printer," said Dennis Steele, Senior Product Marketing Manager for the ALPS printer line. "We are able to size the pixel into three perfectly shaped dots, accurately registered. No other printer in its price class, or on the mass market, can attain this accuracy."

The MD-5000 is equipped with a SCSI port for Mac connectivity and a USB option is available. Retail pricing is expected to be US$599 and the printer should be available on November 1st at retail outlets.

ALPS Electric


Headlines For Monday, October 19th

Monday's Mac Gadget
by Dean Philo

It can launch any program you choose in order to provide an even more interesting backdrop. It can also put your monitor to sleep for energy savings. It can do any or all of the above, each at separate times.

Read Monday's Mac Gadget

Top Story
Big News For The Corporate World!
[11:25 AM] Computer Associates has announced support for Mac OS 8.5 under its Unicenter TNG enterprise management system. The system is designed to allow enterprise level companies to manage their computer networks in a unified fashion "as part of their heterogeneous computing environment."

The Mac Observer Spin: Computer Associates's press release reads like a fantasy for Mac Mangers and supporters in the corporate world. One of the long standing myths in the computer world is that supporting two (or more) platforms is more expensive than supporting one.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

Apple Still Tops In Schools
[12:26 PM] Apple was the number one education vendor in 1997 according to the School Technology Market Report conducted by SimbaNet. The report places Apple as the number one technology vendor with 23% market share. IBM came in at number 2 with 16% market share, and Dell placed 3rd with 12.8%. While Apple had US$1.44 billion in education sales for 1997, Dell's share increased by 50%. Apple's All-In-One as well as the iMac should see Apple retake market share for the first time in years during 1998.


Mac OS 8.5 Demo Days: Keep It Up!
[11:19 AM] Apple should consider making its "Demo Day" marketing model standard operating procedure for product launches from now on -- if crowd turnout and reaction were any indication (at least in the Alexandria, VA CompUSA), the launch of OS 8.5 on Saturday was a big hit.

The Mac Observer Spin: Mac OS 8.5 rocks, period.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

Agfa Releases USB Scanner For The (i)Mac
[10:30 AM] Agfa has released a USB scanner the company says it "specifically for the iMac" though it will work with any USB equipped Mac. Called the SnapScan 1212u, it features true optical resolution of 1200 x 600 ppi (pixels per inch), which can be interpolated to 9600 ppi, and 36-bit color depth to deliver greater sharpness and color detail. The maximum scanning area is 8.5 by 11.7 in.

Like many manufacturers that have released USB Mac products in recent weeks, Agfa has cited the success of the iMac as part of its reason to release a Mac version. The SnapScan 1212u is expected at retailers by the end of this month and will retail for US$129.



Headlines For Friday, October 16th

Apple Sells 40,000 iMacs In Japan
[1:26 PM] is reporting that Apple has sold 40,000 iMacs in Japan since its release last month. The story also reports that Apple sold 10,000 units the first day and has sold an additional 1,000 units every day in Japan. Some 40% of iMac buyers are 1st buyers, 14% are Wintel converts, and some 50% overall are women. These numbers beat the fantastic results from Apple's US study which pegged 1st time buyers and Wintel converts at a combined 41.4%

Apple- Story

Macromedia Announces Authorware 5 Attain Player For The Mac
[10:45 AM] Macromedia has announced a Mac version of Authorware 5 Attain Player. According to Macromedia's press release:

  • Engaging Learning Content through support for Flash(TM) animation's and Quicktime 3.0
  • Web-authoring and delivery through Knowledge Stream(TM) which provides intelligent streaming of learning applications for a CD-ROM like experience over low-bandwidth connections. It also provides Voxware support for high-quality low-bandwidth voice-overs as well as new Web-savvy run-time features such as calling a JavaScript URL or measuring available bandwidth.
  • Enhanced productivity by leveraging one development effort for deployment via Macintosh and Windows platforms, via the Web, LANs and CD-ROMs.
  • Learning Management through Knowledge Track(TM) which automatically integrates usage and results of Authorware-based learning content with an open enterprise learning system for tracking and reporting.

The Mac Observer Spin: Macromedia has been under increasing scrutiny from the Mac community when it announced a Windows version of Authorware 5 Attain without announcing a Mac version. This announcement today covers a Mac player only and is overdue in and of itself. The company has stated in the past that plans for a Mac version of Authorware 5 Attain could change, and it is possible that today's announcement is a precursor to such a change.


NEC To Build USB Clik! Mobile Drivec
[10:24 AM] NEC and Iomega announced that NEC would be manufacturing a USB version of Iomega's Clik! Mobile Drive. The Clik! Mobile Drive uses Iomega's Click! 40 MB disks. The 40 MB disks are very small and are designed to be used with electronic products from desktop computers to digital cameras. A USB version could be ideal for many iMac owners looking for removable storage options. The product should be available later this year and is expected to retail for US$199.

NEC - Iomega


Headlines For Thursday, October 15th

Apple Announces Quarterly Profits Of US$106 Million
[7:52 AM] At yesterday's press conference, Steve Jobs announced quarterly profits of USS$106 million. As expected, this caps off 4 consecutive quarters of profits for Apple, and the first full profitable year since 1995. In addition, Mr. Jobs announced that over 278,000 iMacs had been shipped in the first 6 weeks of its introduction.

Apple also released the results of a study performed on 2,000 iMac buyers. The study showed that some 29.4 percent of iMac buyers are first-time computer buyers and that 12.5 percent of iMac buyers are former PC owners. This combines to make 41.9% of iMac buyers first time Apple customers. This is perhaps the single most important announcement made during the press conference as ir shows that Apple can bring in new customers to the Mac and that will translate into increased market share.

With Apple being able to catch up to iMac demand, the company announced that the iMac is now available at the online Apple Store. This should further fuel the sales of the iMac, especially to business owners.


Apple Lowers Inventory To All Time Low
[2:13 AM] Apple has successfully lowered inventory on-hand figures to an all-time low. The company ended the quarter with only 6 days of inventory on-hand. This is a major accomplishment for Apple which has historically been plagued with inventory problems. Inventory on-hand is a vitally important aspect of any manufacturing concern as it reduces cash-flow. Computer manufacturers in particular have to be very careful because of the volatile nature of hardware and the large amounts of cash required to maintain it. On the other hand, a Just-In-Time manufacturing policy is necessary to maintain low-levels, and Apple instituted JIT in a remarkably short time. Current inventory levels for Apple are 6 days which beats Wintel leading Dell by 2 days. Dell is often praised as the most successful JIT manufacturer ever, a title which Apple may be able to claim if they can improve their ability to meet demand.


Mac Company Makes Inc. 500
[2:02 AM] Miramar has made the Inc. 500, the list of the 500 fastest growing privately held companies in America. Miramar is the maker of products like PCLan that allow Windows based systems to connect with Macs and share files, printers, and drives. Miramar comes in at 153 on the list which is compiled annually by Inc. Magazine.

Miramar - The Inc. 500

Apple Brings Best Buy Back Into The Fold
[9:51 AM] Apple made a surprise announcement yesterday that Best Buy would once again be a national reseller of Apple products. Best Buy will not have a Store-Within-A-Store like CompUSA, and will be restricted to selling iMacs.

The Mac Observer Spin: When Apple canceled their retail agreements with every national retail outlet almost one year ago, the reasons seemed somewhat obfuscated to many. As it turns out, it was the right move at the right time.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Headlines For Wednesday, October 14th

My First Mac Was A Typewriter
by Nancy Gravley

Trivial Thoughts From Me-Worthy Thoughts From Readers
While working on the column about my favorite reasons for preferring a Mac there was a slogan from back in the ‘50s that kept running through my head because it seemed to epitomize the substance of the Mac. It was for Timex watches and the slogan was “It takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'”. In subsequent days I have wondered about other slogans from those long-ago

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter

Apple Quarterly Results To Be Announced Today At 11:00AM PST
[11:39 AM] Much ado has been made of Apple's scheduled announcement of its Q4 earnings (Apple's fiscal year ended on September 30th), As covered by the Mac press as well as the mainstream press, Apple is expected to post a profit for the quarter and to finish its first profitable year since 1995. The presentation will be by Steve Jobs who is likely to spring a few surprises on us. Possible surprises include number of iMacs shipped, number of Mac products announced since May (look for about 2000), a stunning profit, market share info, and maybe a few other things as well. The Mac Observer will cover this event as it unfolds.


Medea Corporation Brings Raid Solution To Mac
[12:08 AM] Medea Corporation has announced it is brining its VideoRaid product to the Mac. The company claims that VideoRaid is optimized for video editing utilizing Raid 0. In a salute to the Mac, Stuart P. Mabon, president of Medea Corporation, said:

"The Macintosh is an extremely popular platform for videographers, and we're pleased to bring our storage solution to this important market segment."

Expected to be available in January of 1999, VideoRaid will start at US$70 per GB.

Medea Corporation

Mactell Unleashes iMacaccessories
[11:59 AM] Mactell has officially unveiled its product line of iMac accessories called iMacaccessories. Complete with its own domain and mini-web site, the new product line contains:

"a full line of iMac upgrades and peripherals including; USB connectivity, cables & connectors, input devices, networking connectivity and power protection. With Mactell's leadership in Macintosh upgrades Mactell promises to offer full iMaccentric line products and not just PC version of USB products, networking peripherals and accessories. iMaccessories will all feature iMac colors and themes and will come with all appropriate drivers and software to make installation as easy as the iMac itself."

MacTell is a Mac Observer sponsor.

Mactell - iMacaccessories

The Learning Company Announces New Madeline Products
[11:01 AM] The Learning Company has announced another new Mac educational product aimed at young girls. The Madeline 1st and 2nd Grade Reader is designed to help students improve their reading skills through fun exercises that challenge the users minds. According to The Learning COmpany:

"Madeline welcomes children ages six to nine to her Parisian boarding school where 16 delightful activity areas await, each designed to build essential reading skills and instill reading confidence in girls."

As with most of the Learning COmpany's educational titles, pricing is expected to be $34.95.

DVC Direct

DVC Direct Brings Hollywood On CD-ROM
[10:34 AM] DVD Direct has announced Digital Video Clips, its collection of extensive broadcast-quality stock footage captured and edited by award-winning talent from the Hollywood film industry. The product uses an HTML interface and utilizes QuickTime 3.0 for cross-platform compatibility. n The clips are also available in MPEG and Beta SP formats. All of the clips offered in the collection are royalty-free and can be ordered on CD-ROM or Digital Tape. Pricing varies (starting at US$199 for QuickTime format) and the catalog alone costs US$49 that will be applied to your first purchase.

DVC Direct

Adobe Announces Premier 5.1
[10:01 AM] Adobe has announced an upgrade for Premier to version 5.1. The new version includes core support for QuickTime 3.0 and Adobe claims that overall performance is "greatly enhanced." The upgrade is free to registered owners of version 5.0. According to Adobe's press release:

"Adobe Premiere 5.1 will be available free to registered users of Premiere 5.0 by the end of October 1998. Users who have registered prior index.shtml to October 1, 1998 will automatically be shipped the free update CD via mail. Users who have not registered prior to October 1 will have two options for obtaining the 5.1 update: 1. Go to the Adobe Web site at where they can register and instantly download the free 5.1 update, or 2. Call 888-724-4507 to register their current version and place their order for the 5.1 update CD, paying only $7.50 for shipping and handling."



Headlines For Tuesday, October 13th

The Name of the Game
by The Idiots

Giving Developers the Warm Fuzzies
Randy: You know, Gary, this may be the best Christmas for Mac gamers yet.

Gary: Uh, Randy…I think it's more PC to say the "Holiday Season". But why do you think so?

Randy: Hey, dude, Mac only. Don't say the P-word. It's bad luck.

Read The Name of the Game

OpenDoor Ships AppleTalk To IP Migration Suite
[1:55 PM] OpenDoor has shipped a product designed to ease the migration of AppleTalk networks to the much faster IP networks. The Suite includes: ShareWay IP Professional Edition, DoorStop firewall, AFP Engage!, and technical documents and files that are designed to answer what the company thinks are the most common problems associated with such a move. OpenDoor's founder is Alan Oppenheimer who was a co-creator of AppleTalk. Pricing is expected to be US$699 for the suite, US$499 for educational purchasers.


Duke Nikon: Atomic Edition
[11:12 AM] Nikon has teamed with that hero of photographers everywhere.....Duke Nukem. As strange as this pairing may seem, Nikon is bundling Duke Nukem: Atomic Edition with its Coolpix 900s digital camera. The camera comes with a whole slew of features that make it a great pick for anyone interested in digital photography, but we are just tickled pink by the Duke Nukem tie-in. You can read more about the product and the Duke Nukem bundle at the following link.

Nikon Coolpix 900s

Lucent Technologies Releases Wireless Mac PC Card
[10:45 AM] Lucent has released a wireless connectivity PC Type 2 Card that is Mac compatible. The card allows wireless communications between Macs, Peripherals, and servers that are also equipped with Lucent's WavePOINT II bridge. Lucent claims the card allows speeds typical of ethernet connections. The cards will support G3, 2400 Series, 3400 Series, 1400 Series, 5300 and 190 Series PowerBooks. Pricing was unavailable at press time.


More iMac Magic: HP Ships Printer Kit
[10:33 AM] Hewlett-Packard has shipped its previously announced HP Printer Kit For iMac. The HP Printer Cable Kit for iMac includes a parallel-to-USB conversion cable, a Mac OS 8.1 printer driver on CD-ROM, a Quick Installation Guide and a comprehensive User Guide provided on CD-ROM. HP has specifically targeted the HP 670C and HP 690C printers, but it specifically supports the DeskJet 670C/672C, the DeskJet 690C/692C/694C, and the recently announced DeskJet 695C and DeskJet 697C printers. Other HP parallel printers are just a Mac driver away from being Mac ready with the this Kit, and hopefully HP will find enough profit in this initial shipping product to bring more of their Parallel printers to the Mac market.


Macromedia Has Contest With..... Windows Magazine?
[10:20 AM] Macromedia is teaming with Windows Magazine in a contest that "Celebrates The Power of Great Design." While it is Windows magazine that is cosponsoring the contest with our good friends at Macromedia, the contest form gives you the power to express yourself as a Mac user by declaring your primary design platform as Power Macintosh. By entering the contest you are registering yourself to win a free Volkswagen Beetle and you can either download a trial version of Freehand 8 or request a CD with the trial software on it. Express yourself and enter now!

Macromedia Contest

The Learning Company Is At It Again
[9:31 AM] The Learning Company has released the latest of its Baby-sitters Club series. The new titles are called The Baby-sitters Club 3rd Grade Learning Adventures and The Baby-sitters Club 4th Grade Learning Adventures. according to The Learning Company's press release:

"The Baby-sitters Club CD-ROMs are the first multi-subject products designed for girls ages 7 to 10. More than 40 activities in each title build grade-based skills and promote real-life learning."

As with all of The Learning Company's children's software, these two new products are designed to make learning fun by challenging girls (in this case) in specific areas. Both of these new titles target language arts, social studies, math and science. Retail pricing is expected to be US$34.95 each.

The Mac Observer Spin: The Learning Company has released almost a dozen Mac software titles in the last 4 weeks alone. As such, they are surely one of the most prolific Mac publishing houses in the industry. So if you want to give The Learning Company warm fuzzies, buy a young Mac user one of their fantastic titles now. Showing support for those that support the Mac is of paramount importance.

The Learning Company


Headlines For Monday, October 12th

Monday's Mac Gadget
by Dean Philo

Click, There It Is: Have you ever burrowed deep into your hard drive looking for a file, then wanted to open it using a program other than the one it was created with? So you launch the program, hit command-O and see the open dialog list the files on your desktop. A tiny extension called "Click, There It Is" can save you loads of time...

Read Monday's Mac Gadget

SoftWindows 98 Gets Another Price Break
[2:46 PM] Insignia Solutions has announced yet another price break on SoftWindows 98. Citing the success of a similar promotion with SoftWindows 95 and the amazing popularity of the iMac, the company is offering a $40 mail in rebate if ordered between October 1st and December 31st, 1998. The current retail price of the product is US$169 before the rebate.

Insignia Solutions

Database For The Mac: NeoLogic Releases Nee Products
[12:50 PM] NeoLogic has released a new suite of cross-platform embedded object database management system products. These databases are designed to be embedded within other applications sight unseen. Citing such products as Encyclopedia Britannica, The X-Files Game, Netscape Messenger, NetObjects Fusion, America Online and Connectix' SurfExpress, the company claims to be the world's largest supplier of embedded database solutions. The new releases include many new features. According to NeoLogic's press release:

"The new NeoAccess, NeoShare and NeoOpen offerings provide a complete solution for building complex applications that can work in either single-user or multi-user environments -- and we allow these applications to interoperate with other software through standard interfaces like COM and ODBC."

The products run on Windows, Unix, and Mac machines and the company claims that a database can be created on any platform and opened on any other platform. pricing is expected to be: NeoAccess 6.0 single-user toolkit solutions begin at $749 per seat for a single platform. NeoAccess Professional, the advanced version of NeoAccess, is available for $1,499 per seat. NeoShare for multi-user environments is available for $2,999 per seat and NeoOpen for $199 per seat.


Apple To Release 4th Quarter Results
[11:09 AM] Apple will release 4th quarter results this Wednesday (October 14th) at 11:00am PDT. In the presentation, Apple will also release what it calls "the first large-scale research data on who is buying iMacs, and a major new release of the Macintosh operating system." MacOS 8.5 is the major new release of the Mac OS and it promises to be a fantastic upgrade.

Steve Jobs will be making the presentation and it is available through satallite downlink. More information can be found in Apple's press release.

The Mac Observer Spin: ComputerWare's poll of 500 of its customers who bought iMac's from it's Bay Area locations claimed that some 12% of those customers were 1st time buyers and another 13% were PC converts, Being the only definitive poll conducted, it has been quoted by many news outlets, many of them mainstream. Since Apple is making a production of its own data on the same subject, it is very likely to exceed ComputerWare's results showing higher numbers of 1st time users as well as PC converts.


Adobe Releases ImageStyler 1.0
[10:41 AM] Adobe has released ImageStyler 1.0. ImageStyler is a graphics creation application designed purely for the web. According to Adobe's press release:

"With Adobe ImageStyler, non-professional designers can be instantly creative using style editing and live objects; easily update their site with batch creation graphics; and provide efficient Web production with auto-layout and JavaScript effects."

ImageStyler has long been rumored to be a direct competitor with Macromedia's Fireworks which is aimed at the same crowd, but uses vector-based graphics for creation. ImageStyler is expected to retail for US$129.



Headlines For Friday, October 9th

The Apple Trader
by Wes George

This is my first financial column for The Mac Observer. In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit (before dispensing any so called sage investment advise) several facts about myself. The first is that I have about 10 percent of my portfolio invested in Apple. The second is that my portfolio, once flying high, is down about 8 percent. The third is that said portfolio would look much worse this year except for the fact that Apple is up more than 180%, while everything else I own is...

Read The Apple Trader

Macworld Makes Lara Croft Available
[3:01 AM] Macworld has made the demo for Tomb Raider II available for download. Tomb Raider is one of the single most successful games ever in the PC world and Tomb Raider II has been an eagerly awaited port for two years now. The game features a female character named Lara Croft who has accumulated what can only be called cyber-groupies since her dramatic burst onto the gaming scene several years ago. The action centers around a 3rd person view of Lara that sweeps around like a movie camera as she battles the various (and nefarious) forces of evil. Tomb Raider III will be coming out soon for the PC, so it is likely the gaming world will be following the success of this particular Mac port as decisions to make Tomb Raider III (and other games) available for the Mac are made. The company that produced the port is called Aspyr. Pricing for the game is expected to be under US$40.

Aspyr - Download The Demo From Macworld


Headlines For Thursday, October 8th

Millennium Systems Introduces USB xDSL Modem: Not For Mac...Yet
[11:51 AM] Millennium Systems has introduced a new USB modem that uses the xDSL protocol. The company may consider bringing the modem to the Mac market with enough feedback from Mac users.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

Sony Add New Mac Digital Printer
[1131 AM] Sony has added a new Mac compatible digital printer to its lineup called the SpectaPix. The printer is aimed at the high-end professional market for photo-printing. The company claims that the printer reaches new heights in color accuracy and allows for matte or glossy finishes without changing ribbons. According to the company's press release:

"Distinguishing the SpectaPix printer from other digital printers in its class are a host of innovative features, including a newly designed thermal head, low cost A4 and A4+ series self-laminating media, and Sony's picture quality controller technology."

The printer is expected to retail for US$6,700.


MacZone Takes Being Apple Reps Seriously
[11:15 AM] MacZone has announced that 100% of its sales force has earned "Gold Status" under Apple's Learn and Earn program. The program is designed to help retailers train their sales reps to be experts on Apple and Apple products. Sales reps work on online modules in order to complete the program which includes Apple products and technologies, Windows compatibility and Apple's advertising campaigns. "Rigorous" testing is performed for each of these modules. The end result is highly trained reps to handle customer questions.


Apple Sells Building In Singapore
[10:51 AM] Apple has sold one of its buildings in Singapore to National Computer Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications. The building sold is actually an annex to Apple's main singapore facility and Apple will continue to operate in that main building.



Headlines For Wednesday, October 7th

My First Mac Was A Typewriter
by Nancy Gravley

As opportunities permit I will review software packages that might be of particular interest to the readers of this column. This week offers just such an opportunity. We are going to look at a package designed especially for the Mac that generates needle craft charts for counted cross stitch aficionados. It is called Stitchcraft 2.32 and I found it to be a big help.

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter

Dantz Releases Retrospect 4.1 With Inernet Back Up Built In
[1:21 PM] Dantz has joined the internet back up trend with the newest release of Retrospect 4.1. Retrospect 4.1 includes the ability to perform your back up procedures across the internet to Internet Backup Sites or any other provider of internet storage.

The Mac Observer Spin: We are looking at the future of computing storage, just as Steve Jobs predicted it.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

Blue World Releases New Lasso 3 Product Line
[12:50 PM] Blue World Communications has released the latest member of the Lasso family, the Lasso 3 Product Line. The Lasso 3 Product Line is a catchall for their cross-platform web and database application development tools. The new products include a wealth of new features and abilities including: enhanced hooks into other databases, enhanced FileMaker Pro support, the ability to write scripts that can be dragged into WYSIWYG editors, and more cross-platform integration. Lasso 3 Product Line applications and modules are priced from US$125 to US$799.

Blue World Communications


Headlines For Tuesday, October 6th

The Name of the Game
by The Idiots

Randy: Hey, Gary, what's this new game over by the Battle Zone machine?
Oh, man! Check it out. It's new and it kicks butt! It's called Defender!!

Wow, this is unbelievable, and it's in color! This is the best game ever!
(Turning to the audience and breaking character.)

What you are witnessing is not a wrinkle in time or a psychedelic flashback induced by too much pineapple pizza and Fresca. You have just crossed over into the Emulation Zone.

Read The Name of the Game

Color Picker Pro Boosted To Version 2.5
[2:16PM] Color Picker Pro has been boosted to version 2.5. The new version fixes a few bugs and adds some new drag and drop capabilities. According to the author's press release:

"Color Picker Pro aids in finding color hex values for use with HTML production. It can literally pull colors out of windows, icons and Desktop backgrounds. You can just as easily utilize any of your System-level color pickers a lá the Color Picker Pro application. Color Picker Pro will also allow you to store frequently used colors, undo and redo color changes as well as finding the nearest Netscape 216 Palette color."

The price is US$5 and is shareware.

Color Picker Pro 2.5

IMG Posts Exclusive Dark Vengeance Slide-Show
[1:57PM] The great team at Inside Mac Games has posted an exclusive slide-show for the upcoming Dark Vengeance game. The images are spectacular and Mac gamers will definitely want to check it out!

IMG Dark Vengeance Slide-Show

Bit Jazz Ships Product For Lossless Compression
[11:12AM] Bit Jazz is now shipping its new compression technology for images. Designed for the high-end market where image sizes are a concern and quality must be maintained, the Bit Jazz format will attain a 2.5:1 lossless compression rate which the company claims is the highest lossless compression rate available. The product is available for download from the web and includes the BitJazz(TM) compression engine, the PhotoJazz(TM) plug-in to open and save PhotoJazz files in Adobe Photoshop, and the PhotoJazzXT(TM) module for QuarkXPress. The package will retail for US$149 and is coming out for the Mac now. Windows users will have to wait about a month.

Bit Jazz

Goldblum To Star In Next iMac Commercial
[11:08AM] Jeff Goldblum, the star of Apple-friendly movies like "Independence Day" will be in the next Apple commercial to be aired tonight on ABC's Home Improvement. Goldblum did the voice-over for the first iMac commercial and is also starring in a new movie called "Holy Man" that premiers on October 9th. Tonight's commercial will focus on beige boxes and consumer fears regarding e-mail and the internet.


8X CD Recorder Announced By Smart And Friendly
[10:50AM] A new CD recorder called the 8x20 CD Rocket has been announced by Smart And Friendly. It is the first 8X recorder to hit the market and the company claims it will produce a full length CD in about 9 minutes. Other features according to the company's press release:

"[The device has] 8X writing speed, 20X maximum CAV playback performance, CD-RW read capability, a 2 MB buffer, flash firmware, Disc-at-Once (DAO) writing capability and a high-performance SCSI interface."

The product is expected to retail for $1099.

Smart And Friendly

What A Guy: Kawasaki Signs Book Deal
[10:29AM] Guy Kawasaki has signed a new book deal with Harper Business to come out in February of 1999. The book is to be titled RULES FOR REVOLUTIONARIES: The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating New Products and Services and will feature everything we have come to know, love, and expect from Mr. Kawasaki. The book will center around the themes of Create Like a God; Command Like a King; Work Like a Slave, which Mr. Kawasaki calls the keys to leadership.

Harper Business


Headlines For Monday, October 5th

Monday's Mac Gadget
by Dean Philo

Often a file downloaded from the internet doesn't have its type and creator codes set correctly, and therefore either can't be opened or opens using the wrong application. Then there are times you want to work with a file that's either invisible or locked. FileTyper can help you fix these and other "attributes" of your files faster than ever before.

Read Monday's Mac Gadget

Role Reversal From Windows Company
[11:59AM] In an amusing role reversal, a Windows based company called TransCom is advertising the "Search Enging 'For The Rest Of Us.'" Comparing their product to Sherlock, Apple's new search technology based on the "V-Twin" search engine built into the upcoming Mac OS 8.5, the company said in a press release:

"When Apple Computer recently announced Sherlock for the Macintosh, Steve Jobs was describing what BeeLine can already do today for Windows users."

The Mac Observer Spin: Whether or not their product can hold a candle to Sherlock is a moot point. We find it ironically amusing that a Wintel company of any sort should issue a press release that is blatantly defensive. For years, most of the Wintel world has scoffed at or ignored the Mac world. Since the iMac's release and subsequent success, more and more people are paying attention to Steve Jobs, Apple, and the Mac. Welcome to "Computing For The Rest Of Us" TransCom, we hope you like it. :-)

Apple - TransCom

OpenTransport To Get A Boost
[11:43AM] Mentat TCP has been boosted to version 4.0 and now includes IPv6 and IPSec, a security feature. Mentat TCP is a low level communication layer that is currently part of OpenTransport. With the addition of IPv6 and IPSec, it will be an integral part of making the Mac OS ready for much needed expansion of the internet. According to Mentat's press release:

"Richard V. Ford, product manager for Networking and Communications at Apple Computer, said: 'Mentat TCP is a key component of Open Transport and the Mac OS' ability to offer a superior Internet experience. We look forward to the opportunity to integrate Mentat TCP 4.0 into future releases of Open Transport as we get Mac OS ready for Internet II.'"

Apple - Mentat

An iMac A Day Keeps Windows At Bay-Apple Honors Computer Learning Month
[11:30AM] Apple announced a program in support of the 1998 Computer Learning Month. Each day during October, Apple will give away an iMac in a drawing from Educator's registered at a special Apple web page. According to Apple's press release:

"Beginning October 1, educators, school board members and PTO/PTA members who register on Apple's website (, are entered in a daily drawing for an iMac as well as one of more than 1,200 software titles and computer peripherals. A random drawing is held each day and winners' names will be posted to Apple's web site. Entrants must register each day that they want to be eligible for the drawing with the final winner selected on October 31, 1998."

Computer Learning Month is a nationwide education initiative that fosters excellence in using technology for learning, hosted since 1987 by the nonprofit Computer Learning Foundation, based in Palo Alto, California.

Apple - Apple's Registration Page

Bell Atlantic Embraces The iMac
[11:01AM] Bell Atlantic has announced that the iMac is "Infospeed Ready." Infospeed is Bell Atlantic's DSL service which allows computers to transmit data much faster than standard modems and phone line connections. This is somewhat significant in that many of the Baby Bells have been somewhat slow to support the Mac with their services.

Bell Atlantic


Headlines For Friday, October 2nd

MacTell Announces $250 Investment For Manufacturing
Top Story [1:01PM] MacTell announced a $250 million investment by Mythos, a South Korean manufacturing concern, yesterday. We took the opportunity to talk to Pat Berry, MacTell’s VP of Marketing, about the new development.

The Mac Observer Spin: There are many reasons this contract came to be, it bodes well for the Mac community that MacTell was able to accomplish it without having to sell their corporate sould to the Wintel world.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

Knowledge Adventure Releases New Dr. Brain Thinking Game
[10:50AM] Billing the game as an ultimate test of the survival of the smartest, Knowledge Adventure has released Dr. Brain THinking Games: IQ Adventure and Puzzle Madness. Acording to the company's press release:

"[Thegame has] three skill levels, each mission is filled with richly rendered 3-D characters, challenging puzzles and obstacles that test a variety of abilities. A wide range of items and devices, each of which has different uses, can be discovered and collected along the way. Maps and puzzles are randomly generated every time, ensuring maximum replayability."

Knowledge Adventure

Got Codewarrior? Check Out Developer Depot
[10:36AM] Developer Depot bills itself as the premier mail order distributor of Macintosh programming and development tools. The company has released a new catalog that is receiving a very wide distribution for a Mac developer catalog. According to the company's press release:

"The new catalog offers not only the best source for Mac OS programmer and developer tools, but also dozens of new products, including web development and system administration tools. In addition, the Depot(SM) promises the lowest price possible on all the tools presented in the catalog."

The Mac Observer Spin: The main measure of success for a computer platform is the health of the platform's development community. While that goes hand in hand with such things as market share and profitability, the developers are what really make or break a platform. While developers were leaving the Mac (or putting products in "maintenance mode") in droves, the last 6 months has seen a dramatic turnaround, and efforts and products like Developer Depot are one of the surest signs yet that Apple and the Mac are back and in our faces.

Developer Depot


Headlines For Thursday, October 1st

Purple Moon Releases Rockett Adventure Maker
[10:01AM] Purple Moon has released the latest addition to their Rockett Series of girl oriented software. Rockett Adventure Maker allows girls to develop their own adventures through three different vehicles, "Make a Friend," "Yearbook," and the actual "Make An Adventure" module that allows the user to insert the new friend into a Rockett scenario. Pricing is expected to be US$29.95.

The Mac Observer Spin: Girls are a highly under targeted market segment in the current software industry. Just as women have made major inroads into the internet during the last 12 months, girls will become a major force as consumers of entertainment software during the next 12 months. Companies like Purple Moon that provide simultaneous Mac/PC releases of software for girls will be very important to Apple's continued recovery as this new market segment becomes a force that more mainstream companies start paying attention to. With an established foothold on the Mac for the early customers, new companies will be compelled to do their own Mac development.

Purple Moon

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