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November 4th, 1999

[4:10 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Apple's Third All Time High in a Row
by Wes George

The Nasdaq had another good day advancing 27.6 points (0.9%) to close at 3056.11. This was the fifth record high session for the Nasdaq in a row and today's volume of 1.315 billion shares traded was the fifth largest trading volume on record. The Internet Index (IIX) hit a new all time high and the online brokers were especially strong on the news that 18% of US investors have traded securities on line.

The Dow closed up by 30.5 points, (0.29%) to end the day at 10639.57.

The S&P 500 advanced 7.72 points, (0.57%) to close at 1362.65.

The 30-year US Treasury bond was up 18/32 to close at 100 14/32, the yield fell to 6.09% from 6.131% on Wednesday.

The European Central Bank raised interest rates by half a percentage point, while the Bank of England raised its repo rate by a quarter of a point to 5.5%. Both moves were widely expected.

A story suggesting that the Federal Reserve may not raise interest rates November 14th because the economy seems to be peaking appeared in the Washington Post today. Tomorrow morning's employment figures will set the mood of the market.

Apple continued its rally to yet another record high closing at 83 5/8 up 2 1/8 or 2.61% on less than average volume.

Yesterday, Lou Mazzucchelli, an analyst with Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co., said he has a price target of 90 on Apple's stock. "I think people are getting the message that something real is going on," Mazzucchelli explains. "There are no earth-shattering announcements coming out of the company. Everything is doing well."

In Apple related stocks Akamai (AKAM), on its fifth day of trading, suffered a fit of profit taking to close down 17 5/8 at 173 1/4. Arm Holdings (ARMHY) extended its uptrend by 3 1/2 to 100 1/2. Oracle advanced another 7/8 to close at 58 3/16.

Apple's Power PC partners were mixed, Motorola was up strongly while IBM closed down again. Adobe, Symantec and Pixar all closed higher. While Macromedia closed fractionally down.

Apple's PC rivals had a good day too. Gateway, Dell, Compaq, Hewlett Packard and Intel all closed higher, only Microsoft weakened by 1/4 to close down at 91 3/4.

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] N2MP3 Now Compatible With Mac OS 9

Proteron has released an update for its MP3 app, N2MP3, that brings Mac OS 9 compatibility. The new version, 1.0.3, also brings other enhancements. According to Proteron:

Proteron, LLC today announced an update to N2MP3, its industry leading Macintosh MP3 encoder. The latest release of Proteron's highly acclaimed encoder addresses compatibility with Apple's Mac OS 9 and improves support for Escient's CDDB(R). It is a free download for all users available immediately at:

Since its introduction two months ago, N2MP3 has moved quickly to the top of the Macintosh MP3 market. (MPPP) rated N2MP3 5 Stars for its quality and ease of use. In separate independent reviews, N2MP3 was rated both the fastest and highest quality MP3 encoder for the Mac, making it a clear choice for users looking to digitize their music collection. In another review N2MP3 received high acclaim for its powerful ease of use, making it an easy pick for newcomers to MP3.

N2MP3's key features include:

  • Seamless Finder integrated Copy-to-MP3 from audio CDs
  • High quality, fast MP3 encoding with support for VBR
  • Play As You Encode(TM) technology
  • Live CDDB support for desktop naming of discs and tracks
  • Support for ID3v2 tags
  • Integration with Panic's Audion MP3 and CD player
  • CD ripping for lossless audio capture
  • Unlimited use of encoded MP3 files

N2MP3 contains the Proteron MPEG encoder for MPEG1 layer III format. The quality of Proteron's encoder is of the highest caliber and is fully licensed from Fraunhofer-Thomson. Although based on the International Standard source for MP3, the Proteron encoder includes proprietary improvements making it substantially better-sounding than plain ISO psy-model based encoders. On most G3 Macintosh computers, including all iMacs and iBooks, Proteron's MP3 Encoder is capable of encoding 128kbps, better quality (psy-model) MP3s faster than real time.

You can download a free trial version of N2MP3 from the company's web site. The full version is priced at US$34.95. The update is free to registered users. You can find more information on the product at the company's web site.

N2MP3 - Proteron

[3:40 PM] Team Mac Observer Still Pushing Against #21

Team Mac Observer, our SETI@home team, continues to nudge up against the #21 Club Team. The Team has grown to 313 members during the last week and our team average time has fallen below 17 hours at 16 hr 59 min 09.6 sec per work unit! This makes Team Mac Observer the fastest Mac team in the Top 100 Club Teams. Congrats to all Team Members! Check out the Top 10 Fastest Times to see our speediest Team members. If you need more information on SETI@home, read all about it.

If you are not a member yet, it's easy to sign up for and a fun project to be involved with. We have all the instructions you need to get signed up in a few minutes. If you are signed up, get your friends on board! You can also get your company's logo on the Team home page just by signing up 2 computers in their name.

Team Mac Observer

[2:30 PM] NewTek Announces LightWave Support For, Boasts About Performance In, Mac OS 9

The makers of LightWave 3D, one of the premier 3D solutions, have announced that the two most recent releases of LightWave 3D support Mac OS 9. The company also boasts about the performance of the packages when running in Mac OS 9. According to NewTek:

NewTek today announced that LightWave 3D 5.6, and the recently announced LightWave [6], are completely compatible and run seamlessly under Apple's new MAC(R)OS 9.

"The Macintosh is a very important platform for NewTek and LightWave 3D, and the speeds we see on the new machines are incredible," said Brad Peebler, vice president of marketing for NewTek. "The Macintosh has always been a computer for the artist and creator. Just like Apple, we have created LightWave 3D with the artist in mind, making it faster and easier to create stunning works of art.

Mac(R) OS 9, the major new release of the Macintosh(R) operating system, hit retail stores in mass last month. New advantages for LightWave 3D users include:

LightWave 3D 5.6

  • Apple OpenGL 1.1 for faster real-time creation, manipulation and viewing

LightWave [6]

  • Re-written from the ground up to be Carbon compliant for OS X


  • New Floating Windows
  • Input Sprockets for better USB mouse support
  • Quicktime 4 support
  • Apple OpenGL 1.1 for faster real-time creation, manipulation and viewing.

LightWave 3D 5.6 is available now through authorized dealers worldwide for a suggested retail price of $1995.00. LightWave [6] will be available in Q4 1999 for a suggested retail price of $2,495. Registered users of LightWave 3D 5.6 can upgrade to LightWave [6] for $495; upgrades are available through authorized NewTek dealers.

You can find more information on LightWave [6] and LightWave 3D 5.6 at the company's web site.


[1:30 PM] VersionMaster Latest Updates: A Better Finder Select, NetBarrier, And Snak

The file manipulation utility, A Better Finder Select, has been moved to the next generation with version 2.0, NetBarrier has been updated to version 1.2, and the IRC client Snak has been bumped to version 3.1. 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

[1:30 PM] It's An iMac! It's A Computer! No, It's, It's... A Clock?

A very cool clock seems to have surfaced with a familiar design. Two Observers wrote to tell us that this clock is selling in at least one retailer, Staples, and has surfaced on eBay. The design is an *exact* reproduction of the iMac and is manufactured by Timex. According to Observer John Patsfield:

I was in Staples, shopping for cool paper, and I turned the corner to see alarm clocks shaped like the ever lovable iMac.

They came in 4 out of the 5 flavors, tangerine being left out in the cold.

Odd, huh?

Nowhere in the packaging does it mention any permission given by Apple, so I thought it was odd.

John Patsfield

An Observer named "Jack" sent us the URL of an auction on eBay. That, in turn, led us to the other flavors on auction from the same person.

Unfortunately, we couldn't find any information on this product from Timex, so if you want to see it (which you do), you have to see the images on the auction. Those images being owned by the auctioneer, we can not re-post them here. Timex would not return our phone calls for more information. Apple too, was unavailable for comment.

The Mac Observer Spin: The interesting thing will be whether this clock was licensed from Apple. The design is not similar to the iMac's, it's an exact copy. It would be clever of Apple to leverage the iMac's distinctly look to make money from merchandising (and wouldn't that be a first! Merchandising a computer!), but it isn't their modis operandi. If that is the case, then Timex has lifted the design, but that too seems unlikely. Hopefully, one or both of those companies will tell us more shortly.

In any event, go check out the images on eBay. If you like the iMac, you will likely want one of these clocks.

Timex - Apple

[Column] Ask Dave - Mac OS 9 Compatibility, And The G3 Vs. The G4

[Column] iTeen - The Ultimate Clean Computer

[Reviews] PowerPrint USB 4.5 Brings Wintel Printers To Your USB Mac

[8:00 AM] Tick Off The New Features In MacTicker Update

Aladdin Systems has updated the desktop stock ticker applictation, MacTicker, to version 1.6. MacTicker is the leading application for receiving up to the minute, customizable stock information. According to Aladdin Systems:

The newest release of this popular desktop stock ticker features support for the latest versions of America Online and CompuServe. MacTicker users receive information on stocks, mutual funds and market indexes, delivered in a scrolling stock ticker directly to their desktop, without launching a Web powser. Customers of AOL and CompuServe, the two largest online services, can now utilize MacTicker to gather and update their stock information as frequent as once a minute for optimum financial tracking.

MacTicker works in the background, and displays a scrolling ticker that can be placed anywhere on the desktop. MacTicker updates information as often as every minute, and can easily be customized to provide each user with exactly the investment information needed.

The new version also includes a "Look Up" feature that allows users to look up stock symbols by entering the company name. MacTicker will then add the company name, stock symbol and stock exchange to the user's portfolio with a single click.

"America Online and CompuServe subscribers can now enjoy easy access to quotes on their favorite stocks and mutual funds," said Matthew Covington, MacTicker product manager. "With this information always available on the desktop, millions of people can make better, faster investment decisions."

Several new display options and Web-based features are in MacTicker 1.6:

  • A floating ticker option allows users to float the ticker bar in front of other running applications, keeping stock information always visible.
  • A Control Strip module allows quotes to be displayed in the user's Control Strip, leaving the rest of the screen free for other applications.
  • MacTicker can also display quotes in succession at five- to ten-second intervals with the Control Strip feature.
  • The new version has the option to open a PPP connection, retrieve the requested stock quotes, and close the connection once the update has been completed.
  • Users will be automatically notified of the availability of a new version of the product when they go online.
  • Enhanced "Support" menu allows users to connect directly to Aladdin's support Web site for help.

MacTicker is available for US$29.95. This version is free to registered users of version 1.5. You can find more information at the Aladdin Systems web site.

Aladdin Systems

[8:00 AM] Manic Minefields Sweeps In With Minor Changes

The aptly named software development company, Addiction Interactive, has released a new version of the not-so-subtely addictive puzzle game, Manic Minefields. Version 1.3.1 is the akin to the Windows native Mine Sweeper, but on steroids. The latest version features improved optimization and minor bug fixes. According to Addiction Interactive:

Manic Minefields is really 10 (!) different minesweeper games in one program, each with its own unique set of graphics, sounds, special rules, game plots and hi score tables.

You might have played a game called "MineSweeper" (MicroSoft), "Landmines" (Atari Corp), or anything else with the word "sweeper" or "mine" in it. Then you probably know how to play, since the rules of those games and Manic Minefields are very similar.

Changes in version 1.3.1:

  • The program has been optimized to run faster.
  • Some minor bugs have been fixed.
  • The address to Kagi has been updated.
  • Info on how to pay online has been added.

Manic Minefields is available as shareware for US$7, while the unregistered version allows access to 2 of the 10 game variations. You can find more information at the Addiction Interactive web site.

Addiction Interactive

[8:00 AM] Add Up The Notes In MusicMath Update

MacMusic has updated the music measurement and manipulation utility, MusicMath, to version 2.1. MusicMath simplifies the process of converting and measuring tempo changes and other modifications. According to MacMusic:

Written by Laurent Colson, MusicMath converts values for musical use. You can calculate the time stretching to use on a sample if you change the tempo for another, or the number of semi-tone to transpose, the time stretching to apply if you transpose a sample and you don't want to change the duration, the delay in ms to synchronize with BPM, and a tap delay function. Tap the beat on you keyboard, and the software tells you what is your tempo.

New in version 2.1:

  • Freq module added to convert BPM to hertz.
  • Tempo value is the same for all tempo parameters.
  • Tap Tempo calculate the tempo after the first tap, but estimate real value after 8 taps.
  • Windows positions are keeping between opening/closing application.
  • PPC code added with 68 k (FAT).

MusicMath is available as freeware. You can find more information at the MacMusic web site.


[8:00 AM] PopUpCD Update Spins Higher Performance

Brochu Software has updated the popular CD player application, PopUp CD Audio Player, to version 1.5.1. The new version allows greater flexibility in the type of disk used for play, as well as fixing a problem with performance on PowerBooks. According to John Brochu:

This update allows unrestricted use on PowerBooks with hot-swappable drive bays, as well as fixes a CD insertion problem present in the earlier release. This release also removes all dependencies on specific drive types or drivers, and recognizes any audio CD as soon as it is mounted on the desktop.

PowerBook users can now boot with no CD drive installed, and PopupCD will properly recognize any drive installed after boot. This release also fixes a problem with 1.5.1 that required popping up the remote control for newly inserted CDs before keyboard hotkeys, the control strip display, and the autoplay function would work. All CDs are now properly recognized immediately upon insertion.

PopupCD is a unique popup remote control that allows instant control of audio CDs from within any application. No longer do you need to launch another program and leave it open just to play audio CDs. PopupCD installs at startup as a control panel, using less than 100K of system memory! When you want to play an audio CD, just tap the mouse button while holding a predefined combination of modifier keys (shift/control/option/command), and up pops the CD remote control, instantly, right under the mouse.

PopupCD also includes configurable hotkeys for all functions for instant control directly from the keyboard. Now when the phone rings there's no need to go fumbling for the volume or the CD player app, just a quick keypress is all it takes to pause playback. There's also a unique direct track access feature that allows keypad entry of the track number for instant access to any track on the CD!

Any CD player would not be complete without a track list, and PopupCD has that as well, available from the remote or directly from the keyboard. Disc and track names are displayed using the same database that the Apple CD Player maintains.

Included with PopupCD is an optional Control Strip module that works with PopupCD to display the playback status of the CD right in the Control Strip.

PopUP CD Audio Player is available for US$15. Version 1.5.1 is free for registered users. You can find more information at the Brochu Software web site.

Brochu Software

[8:00 AM] EMS Releases 256 MB & 528 MB RAM Modules For G4s

Enhanced Memory Systems has released a new line of PC133 memory for the Macintosh G4 machines. The new memory is targeted at the true high-end user, and is optimized to take advantage of the new architecture in the G4 machines. According to Enhanced Memory Systems:

Enhanced Memory Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ramtron International Corporation, today announces a family of 256 and 512MB unbuffered PC133 High-Speed SDRAM (HSDRAM) DIMM modules. The modules allow high-end Apple Power Mac G4 systems based upon the new Sawtooth motherboard to expand memory from 256MB to 1.5 GB total memory capacity.

Large memory capacity is particularly useful for Apple desktop publishing, video production, and Web server applications. The PC133 HSDRAM provides the low cost, high capacity, and extra performance margin for Apple professional memory upgrades.

The 256MB DIMM (x64) is available for US$995, and the 512MB DIMM (x64) is available for US$1990. You can find more information at the Enhanced Memory Systems web site.

Enhanced Memory Systems

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