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November 1st, 1999

[5:00 PM] Video Capture Software Updated With New Features

The makers of BTV have bumped the video capture software to version 3.2.4. The new version offers several improvements despite the incremental version number increase. According to BTV:

BTV is the essential software for anyone with video input hardware. It allows you to easily view and capture video from any video digitizing source, either full screen or in a window. It has been successfully tested with a number of video sources including various video input cards, TV cards, built-in video hardware, USB and FireWire video sources.

Features of BTV are as follows:

  • Full-screen video with no menu bar
  • Video in a window which can be dragged around the screen or resized
  • Automatic monitor resolution switching to the resolution of your choice (usually 640x480 or 800x600) and back to the original resolution on quit
  • Multiple monitor support - play full screen video on one monitor while you work on another
  • AppleScript support - main commands are scriptable
  • Can capture a PICT file, either straight to the desktop with an automatic file name or through the normal save dialog box
  • Can record a movie to disk using custom video and sound settings
  • Easy access buttons to control record, PICT capture and muting
  • Can black out other monitors on a multi-monitor system
  • Can disable screensaver and powersaver
  • Can adjust size of picture with arrow keys and sound volume with + and keys
  • Can hide the mouse (this can be done automatically on startup)
  • Can spin down hard disks for less noise (this can be done automatically on startup)
  • Saves all video and sound settings

BTV 3.2.4 has a number of improvements over version 3.2.3:

  • Fixed capture problems with Miro DC30 card
  • Better capture performance with an ixTV (TurboTV) card
  • Added option to turn off video (and/or sound) while capturing, resulting in better frame rates
  • Added option to not remember sound volume

BTV 3.2.4 can be downloaded from the BTV web site:

BTV is priced at US$15 as shareware. You can find more information and download links at the company's web site. The update is free to registered owners of version 3.x. As of press time, we were unable to access the company's web site.


[4:45 PM] Text Cleaner Lite Cleaned Up With Update

Studio 405 has announced anoth3er update to Text Cleaner, in this case the Lite version. The new version, 1.6, include enhanced performance and other improvements. According to Studio 405:

Studio 405, Inc. announced the immediate availability of Text Cleaner Lite 1.6, an update to the Freeware text utility for the Macintosh. New features include a speed increase, improved cleaning sequences and the option to remove PC line feeds.

Text Cleaner was designed to eliminate the need for common search-and-replace routines to prepare text for print or World-Wide Web publication. Correct typesetting marks and input error correction is handled in one pass. Text Cleaner Lite is compatible with any application that allows copy and paste.

Text Cleaner Lite has much of the same cleaning abilities as the full featured commercial release, Text Cleaner, with some limitations.

Text Cleaner Lite feature highlights:

Removes multiple spaces, returns and tabs Creates curly or straight quotes Corrects foot and inch measurement marks Corrects apostrophes for year abbreviations Creates or removes en and em dashes Removes spaces before and after tabs, returns, hyphens and em dashes Creates or removes ligatures and ellipses Removes PC line feeds Removes email quote symbols Converts line breaks to wrapped text Performs all cleaning operations in the best possible sequence Uses the clipboard for easy copy and paste operation

You can find more information on Text Cleaner and Text Cleaner Lite at the company's web site. Text Cleaner Lite is freeware.

Rantic Labs

[4:40 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Mixed Markets Hold On to Last Week's Gains, But Apple Sags
by Wes George

The stock markets held on to last week's gains today. However, midday news of a 6.9 earthquake 28 miles northeast of Taiwan in the Pacific Ocean, spooked some semiconductor and computer hardware stock investors. September's Taiwan earthquake measured 7.6 on the Richter scale, making it about 10 times the size of today's smaller quake.

The Dow sagged lower steadily all day to close near the session low, down by 81 points (0.76%) to close at 10648 on strong volume. Financial stocks sold off today after last week's stellar performance and the Transports were off by 2.6%.

The Nasdaq almost broke the 3000 point mark at 11:00 am, but dropped back to close at 2968 up only 1.2 points or 0.04% with just over a billion shares traded. Today was yet another Nasdaq record high.

The S&P 500 closed down 8.8 points, or 0.65% to close at 1354.

The 30-year US Treasury bond yield rose to 6.17% from 6.149% last Friday.

Apple saw some profit taking today closing down 2 1/2 to end at 77 5/8. The earthquake in Taiwan may have added to Apple's weakness in the afternoon.

In Apple related stocks, Akamai (AKAM) had another good day up 29 1/8 points to close at 174 5/16 after gaining 458% on Friday, AKAM's first day on the Nasdaq. Investor's also ran up Arm Holding (ARMHY) today by 6 13/16 points to 91 9/16.

Pixar (PIXR) had its first up day in a while, advancing 2 1/16 to close at 40 1/8. Adobe, Macromedia and IBM all closed lower. Motorola was up 4 15/16 to close at 102 1/4 on the news that it has introduced a single chip to deliver the Internet over cellular phones.

Apple's PC rivals had a mixed day. Compaq, Dell and Hewlett Packard were up, while Gateway, Intel and Microsoft all ended lower.

Oracle (ORCL) advanced 3 5/8 today to close at 51 3/16, a new high, on heavy volume. Investors learned that Oracle expects to grow rapidly in 2000. Merrill Lynch analyst Chris Shilakes raised his 12-month price target on Oracle to 60 from 55.

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.


[4:00 PM] Email Merge Brings Outlook Express 5.0 Compatibility

Sig Software has released an update to Email Merge. Email Merge allows mass mailings, for such legitimate uses as press releases, that are customizable per individual. The new version, 1.8, brings compatibility with Outlook Express 5.0 and other features. According to Sig Software:

Sig Software is proud to announce Email Merge version 1.8.

Email Merge is an intuitive Macintosh program for creating mailings of individualized email messages. It takes a database of information and a message template, and merges the two to create customized email messages. On high-end Macs, over 1000 messages per minute can be queued for sending.

Email Merge includes directing importing from FileMaker Pro (3.0 or later), verification of outgoing messages, recipients and attachments, and database features including sorting and finding duplicates.

Version 1.8 adds support for Outlook Express 5 and Bare Bones Mailsmith. Email Merge also supports Claris Emailer and Eudora Light or Pro.

The update is free to registered owners of version 1.x. You can find more information on Email Merge at the company's web site. The full version is priced at US$30.

Sig Software

[3:00 PM] VersionMaster Latest Updates: GrayAmp, NetFinder, And Email Merge

The MP3 player GrayAmp has been updated to version 1.1, NetFinder has been upgraded to version 2.0.2b4, and Email Merge has been boosted to version 1.8. These are the most recent updates listed at The Mac Observer's VersionMaster. You can find all the most recent Mac software updates with this service.

The Mac Observer's VersionMaster

[2:15 PM] iBook Halloween Costume Is Way Too Cool

Aaron Swartz dropped us a note about what we think is a way too cool Halloween costume. It seems he and his mother made an iBook costume for 'Trick-or-Treating" and were a big hit to boot. According to Aaron:

Following on the success of the iMac costume of last year, we decided to create an iBook costume for this Halloween. Pictures and a behind-the-scenes look are available at the web site.

Oh and by the way, we got more candy this year.


Aaron Swartz

They have pics of the costume for all to see at their web site, so go and check it out. Way too cool! :-)

Aaron Swartz's iBook Costume

[2:00 PM] More Details On Who Is Picking Up Mactell's FireWire Product Line

Inside sources have confirmed that the company picking up the FirePower product line from Mactell is named Rantic Labs. We expect that an official press release announcing the company is imminent. Details on the new company or their product lines has still not been confirmed. This includes whether or not the EvilEye Voodoo3 card will also be picked up by the new company.

Interesting to note is that a search on The Bottom Line, the Mac online retailer, includes 12 Rantic branded FirePower products. The Bottom Line is set up so that one can not link directly to a search, so if you are interested in checking it out, head to The Bottom Line and search for Rantic.

The Rantic Labs web site is very cool looking, though it gives no hint to the company's purpose.

The Mac Observer is following this story closely and will be bringing you more information when we get it.

Rantic Labs

[8:30 AM] Apple's Halloween Home Page A Treat (With Pic)

Apple's home page on Halloween may have left many visitors thinking they were being tricked, but we thought it was a treat. The company took down their usual product shots and replaced it with this very cool picture we have below. We thought it was cool enough to take a screenshot so that you could see it, so check it out. Unfortunately, the company went back to its normal home page this morning.

We have the Screen Shot of Apple's Home Page taken on Halloween Day in the Full Story.


[Column] The Apple Trader - Apple Expects a 71% Increase in Unit Sales for Christmas

[Column] Monday's Mac Gadget - Get Organized and Drop Your Drawers

[8:00 AM] Just In Time For Mac OS 9, Clean-Install Assistant Updated

Marc Moini has released Clean-Install Assistant 1.2. Clean-Install Assistant automates the tedious task of manually moving third-party files into the proper folders when performing a "Clean Installation" of system software. This release is just in time to save many headaches switching over to Mac OS 9. According to Mr. Moini:

Clean-Install Assistant makes it easier to migrate third-party and personal items to a new Clean-Installed System Folder, and it may also be used to:

Save space and backup your valuable additions and preference files only, instead of the whole System Folder.

Install the same set of additions on multiple Macs.

Remove extra files and folders from your System Folder to restore it to a previous state: you can take a 'snapshot' of the System Folder and have Clean-Install Assistant extract any items added since.

Version 1.2, released today, adds support for Mac OS 9.0.

Clean-Install Assistant is free for personal and educational use, with business site licenses starting at US$50. You can find more information at the Mark web site.


[8:00 AM] Key Swapping Utility For USB Keyboards Swapped Out For New Version

John Holder has updated the wonderfully simple utility, Key Swapper, to version 1.11. This is a minor update that offers support for more keys. However, for those frustrated by the lack of certain keys on the new Macintosh keyboards, most noticeably the forward delete key, KeySwapper allows unused keys to be set to function as any missing key. According to Mr. Holder:

Are you missing any keys on your new iMac, G3, G4, PowerBook or iBook keyboard such as the Forward Delete key, End key or the function keys F13-F15? Wishing you had these keys? Well, now you can have those keys with KeySwapper!

KeySwapper will allow you to use any key(s) you like to emulate other keys that your computer may not have (such as the Forward Delete key, the Page Up key, the End key, function keys F13-F15, etc.)

This program performs functions that will benefit any Mac user and is extremely simple to set up and use. You can now define all those useless function keys on your extended keyboard (or any other keys) to perform extremely useful tasks!

New Features in 1.11

  • Added support for standard delete key and the arrow keys.

KeySwapper is available as shareware for only US$5. You can find more information at the John Holder Software web site.

John Holder Software

[8:00 AM] CDFinder Finds Several New Features

Norbert M. Doerner has released CDFinder 2.7. CDFinder allows users to catalog various types of removable and permanent media. According to Norbert M. Doerner:

CDFinder is a very fast and powerful tool to create catalog files of your hard disks, floppies, ZIP's and anything else that spins. It has a great user interface and very useful search functions. CDFinder supports drag&drop and requires at least a 68020 or PowerPC CPU. While System 7 is required, CDFinder is also fully compatible to MacOS 9. A special feature is the multi-lingual user interface (German/French/English/Italian/Swedish).

New features in CDFinder 2.7:

  • CDFinder is fully compatible to MacOS 9.
  • A brand new Contextual Menu Module (CMM) tightly integrates CDFinder into the MacOS. (PowerPC only)
  • All preferences can now be set and read by AppleScript.
  • The Find operation can also be started by AppleScript.
  • CDFinder won't delete catalog folders anymore if they contain foreign files.
  • Some serious bugs are fixed and more minor features added.

CDFinder 2.7 is available as shareware for US$20. This version is free to registered users of CDFinder. You can find more information at the CDFinder web site.


[8:00 AM] Atomic Mac Reacts To Bugs In Version 3.5.5

Black Cat Systems has release version 3.5.5 of the Atomic Mac. The Atomic Mac is a periodic table of the elements on steroids for the MacOS. Version 3.5.1 is a maintenance release adding new features while addressing and correcting known bugs. According to Black Cat Systems:

This version adds alpha particle energies.

The Atomic Mac is a periodic table of the elements for the Macintosh. In addition to the usual information found in such programs, The Atomic Mac also contains a wealth of nuclear information on each isotope, including half life, decay mode, and daughter products. X-ray data (fluorescence and binding energies) is also available. A molecular weight calculator makes it easy to find the molecular weight of compounds. A shaded diagram showing the ranges of physical properties makes it easy to visualize relationships across the periodic table.

The Atomic Mac is available as shareware for US$25. You can find more information at the company's web site.

Black Cat Systems

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