You'll get your Mac news here from now on...

Help TMO Grow

Subscriber Login

Advertising Info

The Mac Observer Express Daily Newsletter

More Info

Site Navigation

Columns & Editorials
Mac Links

Today's News On One Page

December 8th, 1999

[5:00 PM] MacHack 2000 Seeking Speakers
by Staff

MacHack 2000 is seeking speakers for the annual conference. According to MacHack 2000:

As developers in the Mac market wrap up a successful year, the time has come to start developing presentations for MacHack 2000, the Annual Conference for Leading Edge developers.

The conference, now in its fifteenth year, features a peer-to-peer format, where participating developers are all invited to lead sessions on cutting edge technologies. These, plus presentations on how best to take advantage of existing technologies are needed for sessions at the upcoming conference.

MacHack solicits and accepts sessions on a wide variety of topics related to software development. For example, sessions from the last few years include topics ranging open source projects, database development and design, and legal and business issues. Each accepted speaker gets discounted admission to the conference, and the opportunity to share with -- and learn from -- the other attendees.

MacHack has tentatively set four tracks for the upcoming sessions year. Yoot sessions are aimed at a student and beginning developer audience. Mac OS sessions target the seasoned developer and generally contain the latest news on developing of Apple's platform. Cutting Edge technologies sessions light the road ahead (previous years have included Open Source, Linux, reverse engineering and other leading topics). Finally, the Business Track is made up of sessions presented by engineering friendly professionals who can point the way for better managing a small software company or simply deciphering the messages from the suits in a corporate environment.

It is easy to do -- submit your proposal by January 31st, 2000. MacHack sessions typically run about an hour. Speakers present to a "hands on" audience, an audience ready to test new ideas and try them out. For that reason, supporting code examples are strongly encouraged. While many new technologies are commercial, overt marketing is strongly discouraged.

MacHack is a unique gathering of a cross section of developers from across the globe and all aspect of the industry. So, why wait? This is a chance to introduce new technologies to receptive community of developers, shape the future of software development and share ideas.

Proposals are required by January 31, 2000. So submit your session proposals, ideas, and outlines today to with a subject field of "MacHack Proposal"

MacHack 2000 will take place June 22-24, 2000, in Dearborn, Michigan. More information is available on the Web.

For attendees, discounted registration is available for early action. Full attendees can register for $425 online, a savings of $100 of the regular registration rate, students can register for $50 which includes all-access to the conference as well as a special meal package. Total attendance is limited to 400. Student attendance is limited to 50. More details are available on the conference web site.

You can find more information on the conference at the MacHack 2000 web site.

MacHack 2000

[4:30 PM] Scrolling, The Smart Way
by Staff

Marc Moini has updated SmartScroll to version 3.6b2. SmartScroll offers proportional scroll bars and live scrolling on System 7 on up. The change include Mac OS 9 compatibility and other new features. According to Mr. Moini:

Apple has now adopted 'Smart Scrolling' in Mac OS, but only the original Smart Scroll brings Proportional Thumbs and Live Scrolling to applications such as Netscape, Emailer, AppleWorks, Word, and most system add-ons such as control panels.

Version 3.6b2 now also allows adjusting Scrolling Speed to user-selected rates, for comfortable scrolling on all Mac models. Support for Mac OS 9.0 is featured as well.

Smart Scroll runs on Mac OS 9.0 and previous versions (going back to System 7.0). It is shareware, so you can try it for free then buy only if you like it. The shareware fee is $12, registered users of previous versions may upgrade for free.

You can find more information on the product at Mr. Moini's web site. SmartScroll is priced at US$12 while the update is free to registered owners.

Marc Moini

[4:30 PM] TextBroom Sweeps Away The Bugs
by Staff

Blueline Studios has released an update to their text cleaning software, TextBroom. Blueline's press release is so to-the-point, we include it word for word:

Some bugs including the opening and closing of files bug have now been fixed.

You heard it! You can find more information and download links for the product at the company's web site. The update is free to registered owners. The full version is priced at US$15.

Blueline Studios

[4:30 PM] GrafEq Goes Korean, Updated WIth Other Improvements
by Staff

Pedagoguery Software has announced an upgrade to GrafEq. The new version includes a Korean version, as well as improvements to the entire package. according to Pedagoguery Software:

GrafEq is a relation graphing utility that mathematically proves its generated graphs are correct and can subsequently reliably graph a wider range of algebraic relations than any other graphing program.

The previous version was GrafEq 2.08, released September 6 1999.

Changes since the previous version:

  • A Korean interface is now available (in addition to the already available English and Dutch interfaces).
  • Relations and custom ticks may now be removed from graphs by closing their defining windows.
  • The interface now dims controls in non-foremost windows on macs which have the Appearance manager.

You can find more information and download links for the product at the company's web site. The update is free to registered users. The full version is priced as follows: US$105 for a Physical License, US$60 for an Electronic License, and US$36 for a Student Electronic License.


[4:30 PM] Win A Free iMac!
by Staff

The good people of TechWorks have announced a new contest and the 1st prize is a free iMac with a PowerCDR already installed in it! All you have to do is guess who Dr. Memory is. According to TechWorks:

TechWorks is offering a free iMac with their internal PowerCDR installed. To enter the contest go to our web site and click on the mug shot that you think looks most like Dr. Memory of TechWorks Tuesdays (posted on TechWorks has 21 mug shots displayed and one of them is Dr. Memory. Your contact information will be used in the drawing, which will be at MacWorld 2000. Additional prizes include a FireWire Hard Drive, a USB Hard Drive, 10 PowerUSB 4-port Hubs, and many MacWorld T-shirts. Even losers are winners--all entries will get 10% off web prices for memory through the end of the contest.

To enter the contest, head over to the TechWorks web site where they have set up a special contest web page.


[3:40 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Linux Stocks Soar, Apple Falls To Profit Taking
by Wes George

The stock market endured a bit of profit taking today which created a choppy and volatile session for many stocks. As usual, this rally is creeping higher only on the backs of a few high tech leaders. More than half of all Nasdaq stocks are down for the year.

Apple gave back 7 3/4 or 6.58% to close at 110 1/16 in a bout of profit taking after Apple's recent 22 dollar gain in the last seven trading session. Volume was below average

The Dow sagged 38 points (0.35%) to close at 11068.

The Nasdaq saw its first down day in 28 sessions, off 0.82 points (0.02%) to close at 3589 on 1.65 billion shares traded. Today was new high volume record for the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 lost 5.55 points (0.39%) to close at 1403.

The bellwether 30-year Treasury bond lost 17/32 to close at 98 12/32, the yield rose to 6.23% from 6.20% on Tuesday.

In Apple related businesses volatility was the norm. Adobe soared 7 1/8 to end at 67 3/4. Macromedia was up 8 3/4 to 86. Symantec was up 9 5/16 to close at 63 11/16.

Apple's Power PC partners, IBM and Motorola, were mixed. IBM was up 1 1/4 to close at 118 1/4, while Motorola was down 2 1/16.

Apple's competitors were mostly down, Gateway, Dell, Intel, and Microsoft all got hammered again today. Hewlett Packard beat the third day of the Wintel down draft to close up 3 1/4 at 109 11/16.

The Linux hype heated up today pushing Corel (CORL) up 5 5/8 to close at 28 5/16. Corel is marketing a version of the linux operating system. Yesterday, Dell announced that it will start shipping Linux installed on some of their high-end servers, and that Red Hat Inc. (RHAT) will provide customer support.

For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. We also have many of these same quotes reported live (20 minute delay) on our home page. For other stories regarding Apple's stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.


[Review] A Turning Point For Digital Photography?
by Bill Troop

[Column] Wasting Time With The Idiots - Santa, Please Forgive Me. I Want Games for Christmas.

[Column] Computing With Bifocals - Useful Apps For Your Mac

[11:30 AM] Mac Star Wars Podracer Game Goes Gold
by Staff

One of the most touted and anticipated games of the year is finally on the horizon for Mac users. Based on this summer's smash hit, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Lucas Arts is prepared to ship Episode One: Racer. The game has been available on N64 and Windows for a few months, and now the Mac version has gone "Gold." We can expect to see the Mac version in stores by the end of next week. According to Lucas Arts:

Star Wars: Racer brings all the intensity and high-speed thrills of the Podracing sequence from the motion picture Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. The game dares players to take control of sleek and blindingly fast Podracers in a series of electrifying and dangerous races throughout the Star Wars galaxy. Inspired by Anakin Skywalker's epic race against the nefarious Sebulba in the motion picture's Boonta Eve Classic, the game challenges players to compete in the perilous outlaw sport of Podracing, where the object is to win at all costs.

Each Podracer is propelled by two massive jet engines and controlled from a small cockpit that hovers behind, connected by 15-foot cables. Speed is the name of the game in Star Wars: Racer as the lightning quick vehicles are capable of reaching simulated speeds of up to 600 miles per hour, while skimming a mere 4 feet above the ground.

"Star Wars: Episode I Racer for Macintosh delivers an incredibly immersive gameplay experience, allowing players to relive all the drama and exhilaration of the film's do-or-die Podracing sequence," says Tom Byron, product marketing manager for LucasArts. "The game brings a level of realism that allows us to closely replicate and immerse players into one of the most amazing moments in Star Wars film history."

"The Mac platform offers a tremendous opportunity for developers, and we're thrilled that LucasArts is bringing their cool products to the Mac," says Tony Lee, senior director of Worldwide Markets for Apple. "With Apple hardware such as iMac and Power Macintosh G4 optimized for gaming, we strongly believe our game-hungry customers will turn out in force to own a copy of Star Wars: Episode I Racer."

Star Wars: Racer allows players to contend as Anakin, reigning champion Sebulba, or more than 22 other Podracer pilots in the ultra-competitive multi-race Galactic Circuit, or jump right into single race mode. Each beautifully detailed Podracing vehicle can be upgraded with a variety of parts to increase acceleration, cool engine boosters, and enhance maneuverability.

Offering more than 21 race courses spread among eight worlds, Star Wars: Racer is highlighted by a faithful recreation of the treacherous Tatooine circuit, site of the Boonta Eve Classic. Each track features a variety of potential hazards unique to the world's environment, such as methane lakes, meteor showers and Tusken Raiders. One course is located on Oovo IV, a prison mining colony. The mine transports ore through antigravity tunnels, which Podracers must negotiate at breakneck speeds while dodging giant rocks that are hurling toward them. Another track is based around a volcano where pilots race over rivers of searing lava forcing them to make split-second course corrections. All courses feature a variety of branches and shortcuts that clever Podracers will learn to use to their advantage in order to win.

For more information, visit the Lucas Arts web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: A few members of The Mac Observer staff got to see an early build of the game at Mac World NY, and graphics and gameplay were breathtaking. For those craving a great new action game, and not into the intensity or concept of the first-person shooter genre', Episode One: Racer provides an outstanding option to the Unreal/Quake titles. The pod race scene was among the most intense in the movie, and is rumored to have been the scene in which the movie, visually was built around. Lucas had to have that scene in the movie, and had to find a way to fit it in. Perhaps to make a great game out of it? :-) Whatever the reason, be prepared to completely enjoy this title.

Lucas Arts

[8:30 AM] Into The Maelstorm (Under GNU Open Source License)!
by Staff

Ambrosia Software has jumped on the open source bandwagon by releasing the code for Maelstrom 3.0 under the GNU license. The company is seeking to propagate their creation by letting others port the title or build new versions of the game. According to Ambrosia:

Ambrosia Software, Inc. embraced the burgeoning open source movement with an early Christmas present when it released the source code for its first arcade smash hit, Maelstrom, under the GNU General Public License. For the first time, users can peek at the programming which makes an Ambrosia game tick.

Maelstrom, the classic rock-smashing game that launched Ambrosia to fame, was called 1993's Best Shareware Game by MacUser and ZiffNet/Mac. It received 4 stars in MacWorld, and the ShareWare Industry Awards Association pick for Best New Macintosh Product. It also took first place in the 1994 Mac Home Journal Reader's Choice Awards, and MacUser UK's Best Entertainment Software Award.

In the heart of the Maelstrom, you must pilot your United Planet Border Patrol recon craft. It's a trusty ship that has earned medals for few and deaths for most others. If the storm of asteroids doesn't faze you, enemy Shenobi ships and autonominous mines are waiting to blast you into space dust. Additionally, there are other natural space disasters such as vortexes and supernovas that have a habit of ruining even the best space pilot's day.

Maelstrom, which was originally written by Ambrosia's el Presidente Andrew Welch, was ported to Linux by Sam Lantinga in 1995. The 17,000 lines of C++ code can be freely edited, modified, and compiled on any platform, from Red Hat Linux to Windows NT.

Version 3.0 of the game contains additions and improvements by Sam, such as networked multiplayer deathmatches, screenshot capability, gamma correction, and a worldwide high score reporting mechanism. Of course, once the code is in the hands of developers everywhere, there's no limit to the number of modifications possible in the future. The software also contains no registration or payment mechanisms, making it a totally free version of Maelstrom.

The General Public License, or GPL, was created by GNU in 1989 "to guarantee freedom to share and change free software". By encouraging open development standards, developers share code for the betterment of all free software. While the GPL was used mainly for application, utility, and operating system development, the release of Maelstrom's source code should remedy the relative dearth of action software code available to the free software community.

You can find more information, and a peek at the source code, at the Ambrosia Software web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: Programmers wanting to get into higher-end game development will find this is a perfect opportunity. Of course, seeing the game grow and improve would benefit gamers everywhere. Ambrosia is one of the brightest spots in the Mac game and shareware market and should be applauded for making this code-base available.

Ambrosia Software

[8:30 AM] Take Your iMac/PowerBook G3 To 512 MB RAM With New Module
by Staff

Trans Intl has released 256 MB low-profile memory modules for iMacs and the G3 PowerBook series. The new modules raise the maximum amount of RAM from 384 MB to 512 MB. According to Trans Intl:

Trans Intl today announced the availability of a new high density low profile 256 MB SDRAM SO DIMM memory module for Apple Powerbook G3/333-400 Mhz series, these low profile SDRAM SO-DIMMs are also compatible with Apple's earlier Powerbook G3s (Wallstreet) and iMacs [233-333]. Trans Intl memory modules provide broader availability of high-performance memory specially designed for systems based on PowerPC G3 processors running up to 400 megahertz. The new Powerbook G3 series gives users the ultimate combination of desktop memory capacity in a notebook computer.

Maximizing these systems main memory up to 512 Mb with Trans Intl new low profile 256 Mb low profile DIMM enables users to take full advantage of the latest technological innovations in Apple Powerbooks. Digital Video Professionals using Final Cut Pro software, Photoshop Users, Adobe After Effects Users and Adobe Premier Users will all benefit from the power and price/performance that these systems deliver. And with the addition of Trans Intl memory modules they are assured maximum performance.

New PowerBook G3s have two memory expansion slots for main memory expansion. The system can be upgraded with conventional high and low profile 256 Mb and 128 Mb SO-DIMMs available in the channel, up to 384 Mb maximum. With Trans Intl new 256 Mb low profile SDRAM SO-DIMMs the system main memory can be upgraded up to 512 Mb.

Trans Intl 256 Mb low profile DIMM fits in both memory expansion slots (Top and bottom). Two memory expansion sockets imposes a different height limitation on the physical size of the memory expansion boards used to upgrade the main memory of the system. The upper slots allow memory boards up to 2.0 inch height and the lower allows memory boards up to 1.5 inch high or less. Trans Intl. 256 Mb Low profile SO-DIMM is well under 1.5 inch height limitation and can be used universally in the top and bottom slot. This low form factor feature allows user beside having more memory (512 Mb) than possible by conventional board designs, but also gives and opportunity to move this to bottom slot or any other standard application. since this memory module conforms to industry standard height specification.

The new 256 MB memory module is available for US$699. You can find more information at the Trans Intl web site.

Trans Intl

[8:30 AM] AMP Radio Is (Unofficially) Here
by Staff

Subband Software Inc. has made the unofficial release of their new application, AMP Radio. AMP Radio allows users to tune into the vast array of "Internet radio stations" with what the company says is the highest quality sound clarity. According to Subband:

Subband Software today announced its entry into the software world, with the unofficial premier of its first product, AMP Radio. Targeted at all Power Macintosh users with an internet connection, AMP Radio let's users quickly tune into the 750-2000 "Internet Radio Stations" playing at any time of day, using the Shoutcast and Icecast protocols.

Subband also released their first visual product, Entheogen, to complement AMP Radio. Entheogen provides music-synchronized eye candy for users to enjoy, much like the plugins of other MP3 players. Plugin developers are encouraged to take a look at Entheogen and consider writing plugins for it.

Amp Radio is available for US$10. You can find more information on Amp Radio and Entheogen at the Subband Software web site.

Subband Software

Today's Mac Headlines

[Podcast]Podcast - Apple Weekly Report #135: Apple Lawsuits, Banned iPhone Ad, Green MacBook Ad

We also offer Today's News On One Page!

Yesterday's News


[Podcast]Podcast - Mac Geek Gab #178: Batch Permission Changes, Encrypting Follow-up, Re-Enabling AirPort, and GigE speeds

We also offer Yesterday's News On One Page!

Mac Products Guide
New Arrivals
New and updated products added to the Guide.

Hot Deals
Great prices on hot selling Mac products from your favorite Macintosh resellers.

Special Offers
Promotions and offers direct from Macintosh developers and magazines.

Browse the software section for over 17,000 Macintosh applications and software titles.

Over 4,000 peripherals and accessories such as cameras, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice and more.

© All information presented on this site is copyrighted by The Mac Observer except where otherwise noted. No portion of this site may be copied without express written consent. Other sites are invited to link to any aspect of this site provided that all content is presented in its original form and is not placed within another .