[4:30 PM] More Minsweeper Madness In The Form Of A Public Beta
In what is turning into a bonanza week for Minesweeper fans, another Minesweeper game has hit the market. Carrot Software has released a public beta of their version called Mega Minesweeper. Mega Minesweeper is a feature packed collection of Minesweeper games, and the company even provides a list of reasons for you to try it. ;-) According to Carrot Software:
Carrot Software is pleased to announce the availability of Mega Minesweeper in a public beta release. It is now available for download. This game is being released to the Macintosh community as freeware!
Some of it's features:
Supports fields sizes of up to 32,767 x 32,767
Thousands of colors for great looking graphics!
Fully optimized for Appearance Manager (proportional thumbs, theme compliant dialogs, live scrolling, etc.)
Offscreen drawing to support flicker-free updates and FAST scrolling.
Allows user interaction while playing.
Save and Open Games via Navigation Services or Standard open/save boxes.
Floating Window containing Statistics.
Floating Navigator window.
Choose from Small, Medium, or Large field sizes.
Customize the appearance of Mega Minesweeper with Theme based plug-ins.
Customize the sound effects with plug-ins.
System Requirements: - PowerPC running 8.1 or newer (8.6 recommended) - Monitor that supports thousands of colors (16-bit)
Reasons to try it:
"Ah, I can finally get rid of Virtual PC!"
"Perhaps the most convincing argument to date against running Windows"
"The best of Windows is now available on the Mac... FREE!"
"The best of Windows is now available on the Mac. Only better. As usual."
"Because Mac users have down time, too. Sometimes."
"One less reason for PC Weenies to bash the Mac."
"Do not exceed daily dosage without a prescription."
"Warning: Contents may be extremely addictive."
"For people who want to have even less of a life than they do now."
[4:10 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Markets End Week in Rally Mode, Apple Roars to $ 88 5/16!
by Wes George
The rally continued today on Wall Street boosted by the tame employment report this morning. Although unemployment dipped to 4.1%, its lowest since 1971, wages only climbed 0.1% indicating no inflation on the horizon. The financial stocks lead the Dow higher to close up 64.84 at 10704.48. Volume was high at 977 million shares. The Dow was up more than 200 points at the beginning of the session, but as the pattern has been all week, settled back down for more modest gains later in the day.
The Nasdaq continued its winning streak, up 46.34, (1.52%) to close at 3102.29 for the sixth consecutive record high.Volume was very heavy at 1.295 billion shares trading hands.
The S&P 500 advanced 7.59 points, (0.56%) to close at 1370.23.
The 30-year U.S.Treasury bond was up 24/32 to close at 101 1/32, while the yield fell to 6.04% from 6.09% on Thursday.
AAPL opened this week at $80 and closed this afternoon at $88 5/16, advancing 4 11/16 for the day or 5.61% on less than average volume. Of course, today was yet another all time high. Wall Street is waking up to the fact that Apple is going to do very well this Christmas and all of next year. Apple appears to be entering a new higher trading range.
Apple's average volume is skewed higher than it should by the week of high churn volume AAPL experienced back in late September.
In Apple related stocks, Akamai (AKAM) on its sixth day of trading has stabilized at $174 1/4. Arm Holdings (ARMHY) traded down 5 1/4 to $95 1/4. Oracle advanced another 1/2 to close at $58 11/16. Macromedia continued to sag while Adobe showed strength, up 1 13/16 to $70 11/16. Symantec and Pixar had a down day.
Apple's Power PC partners were mixed, IBM extended its downtrend today, but Motorola leaped 7 3/4 to end at 114 1/4.
In a conference call with analysts, Motorola said that its semiconductor business is set to grow strongly next year and that they have solved the G4 chip shortage that disrupted Apple in September.
Yesterday, PaineWebber Inc. hiked its price target for Motorola to $146 from $125 based on its earnings per share estimate for year 2001 of $4.18. PaineWebber suggested that, "Motorola is the least expensive way, in our opinion, to play the high growth wireless industry."
Gateway, Compaq, Hewlett Packard and Intel all closed higher, Microsoft continued to weaken as MSFT investors brace for a DOJ decision in Microsoft's antitrust case which could come as early as later this evening.
Warburg Dillon Read on Friday raised its price target on Gateway to $80 a share from $60. Analyst Charlie Wolf speculated that, "Gateway's alliance with America Online has the potential to significantly enhance Gateway's revenues and earnings."
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.
[3:30 PM] Firestorm At Fantom Yields New Storage Devices
Fantom Drives has announced a new Firewire based product line of storage devices called Firestorm. The Firestorm line brings the heart stopping speed of Firewire to mass storage devices for Firewire equipped Macintosh computers. According to Fantom Drives:
Scheduled to ship before Thanksgiving, FireStorm Hard Disk Drives are the perfect companion to Apple's iMac DV with Final Cut Pro. Proudly continuing the tradition of high quality drive assemblies that are standard in their SCSI and USB based products, Fantom Drives has built the FireStorm Hard Disk Drive product line around high quality 5,400RPM and 7,200RPM drives from industry-leader IBM. Fantom Drives has also chosen to bundle CharisMac Engineering's Anubis Formatting Utility with the FireStorm Hard Disk Drives, creating the most compatible FireWire based hard disk drive on the market today.
"Digital Video consumes tons of storage. iMac DV owners need an easy and efficient way to expand the stock drive-capacity of their computers," explained Ryan Stern, Director of Research and Development at Fantom Drives. "The FireStorm Hard Disk Drive products offer the perfect DV solution - large drive capacities; industry standard software; simple installation - while maintaining a great performance edge."
Fantom Drives also began taking immediate orders for the FireStorm CD-ReWritable 4x4x20 Recorder. With a high-quality Ricoh mechanism at its heart, the FireStorm CD-ReWritable drive is designed to address the shortcomings of similar USB and SCSI-based CD-Recorders by providing a reliable, easy-to-use solution that can be used by novice and professional users alike. As FireWire provides a bandwidth over 33 times faster than that of USB, this drive can record and rewrite CD-ROM and audio CDs at a solid 4x (600KB/Sec), and can read CD-ROM media at up to 20x (3,000KB/Sec). The FireStorm CD-ReWritable 4x4x20 Recorder will be bundled withCharisMac Engineering's Discribe CD-Mastering Software.
"Recent events in the data storage industry have created a vortex in the availability of FireWire storage peripherals," commented Rezza Zaimi, General Manager at Fantom Drives. "Fantom Drives intends to aggressively fill this void by empowering the creativity of our End Users with the introduction of our FireStorm CD-ReWritable and Hard Disk Drives.
The Firestorm CDRW is scheduled to ship next week, and will be available for US$449. The Firestorm hard drives will be available in 15, 25, and 34 Gig capacity. Pricing was not available at this time. You can find more information at the Fantom Drives web site.
[1:30 AM] Two Upgrade Companies Are Shipping 400 MHz G4 Units
Powerlogix and XLR8 have both announced they are now shipping 400 MHz G4 upgrade cards. In addition, Powerlogix announced a record month in October. According to Powerlogix:
PowerLogix R&D, the first manufacturer to ship G4 processor upgrades, today announced the completion of their biggest month in the history of the company and the shipment of the PowerForce G4 400MHz card.
"Due to the continued success of our award-winning PowerForce G3 card and the introduction and shipment of the revolutionary PowerForce G4 cards, we have seen a steady increase in sales over the last several months, culminating in October which netted PowerLogix's best sales month to date," said Rick Estes, VP of Sales for PowerLogix R&D, Inc. "In addition, we have expanded our sales force in the Wichita office and will soon be moving to larger facilities."
XLR8 also announced shipments of a 400 MHz G4 card. According to XLR8:
On the shoulders of its shipping of 500 MHz G3, and 350 MHz G4 Upgrades, XLR8, the award-winning Mac developer begins shipments of a new high speed duo of PowerPC 7400 (G4) Upgrades at 400 MHz.
Included with XLR8's upgrades are the MACh Speed Control for automated compatibility, XLR8's Velocity ExtensionsTM for AltiVec performance in Photoshop 3.x/4.x and XLR8's PowerPackTM for testing, benchmarking, performance and graphics.
"Not only are we delivering the fastest upgrades available, we've also ensured that our customers receive the latest and most compatible revisions of the G4 CPU and software," said Gary Dailey, Director of Marketing for XLR8.
About XLR8 400 MHz MACh Carrier G4
This new performance upgrade utilizes XLR8's patent-pending Carrier TechnologyTM to deliver full compatibility, and exclusive ZIF upgradeable options. The upgrade provides plug & play functionality, with additional performance optimization utilizing XLR8's MVP (Multiple Variable Processing). The MACh Carrier G4 simply replaces the existing CPU card and is compatible with OS 8.6 and 9.x in the PowerMac 7300,7500,7600,8500,8600,9500,9600; the PowerComputing PowerWave, PowerTower Pro; the DayStar Genesis MP 720 up, Millennium; the UMAX S900, J700. SRP for the MACh Carrier is $999, although street pricing may be lower.
About XLR8 400 MHz MACh Speed G4z
This is the G4 ZIF offering, for ZIF based systems. The compact upgrade provides plug & play functionality simply replacing the existing CPU daughtercard and is compatible with OS 8.6 and 9.x in the PowerMac G3 Desktop, All-in-One, MiniTower; The PowerMac G3 Blue&White; The 350 MHz and 400 MHz PowerMac G4. SRP Pricing for the MACh Speed G4z is $879.
You can find more information on XLR8's and Powerlogix's products at their respective web sites.
[12:45 PM] New Mac Retailer Hits The Internet
A new Mac retailer has hit the Internet, though the company behind the web site has been selling Mac stuff for 10 years. The company, called The MacSmith, is offering lots of Mac games and other Mac supplies. According to The MacSmith.
After months of preparation and anticipation The MacSmith store is now available on-line at
www.TheMacSmith.com. The MacSmith has been servicing the local Macintosh community for the past ten years and is pleased to offer its low prices to Mac users everywhere. With prices like $13.99 or less for Epson compatible ink cartridges, Tomb Raider III for $45.99. We are also taking pre-orders on Myth: The Total Codex-which includes the following, Myth: The Fallen Lords , Myth II: Soulblighter, Myth II Expansion: Chimera, plus Myth and Myth II Strategy Guides for only $19.50 and is due out on 11/17. Giveaway contests are also featured at least once a month for "Idea of the Day" subscribers, so every Mac user should stop by.
Owners Stan and Scott Smith are committed to the Mac platform, "You will never see a PCSmith store from us", says Stan Smith. Though many of our products such as Epson compatible ink cartridges, various USB devices, and hybrid software can be used in any platform, we guarantee that all products are 100 percent Macintosh compatible. Standing firm by our motto "If it is not for Mac, it is not here".
The MacSmith has offices in Cornish and Hollis, Maine.
So run over to The MacSmith and check out their selection!
The Mac Observer Spin: The company offers lots of games and their prices are competitive. It's great to see another online Mac retailer hit the market, especially one that offers Mac games. Besides, anyone offering deals on something that is Myth related is ok in our book! :-)
[11:30 AM] MAC-O-RAMA Celebrates Season Premier Of X-Files With Contest
MAC-O-RAMA is celebrating the season premier of The X-Files by having a contest. The company has put together clues on their web site for you to use to solve the "sick tale of conspiracy." According to MAC-O-RAMA:
"A global conspiracy that will reach every man, women and child" Grab your badge, get your flashlight, watch out for bees, and get ready for MAC-O-RAMAs X-Files Premier Party. The countdown to the X-Files has begun and MAC-O-RAMA will be posing it's own mysterious, quirky, X-File for X-philes to solve with the hopes of winning fabulous prizes.
During the days of November 5-8th, you will be presented the most twisted X-File ever! Can you be one of the first to correctly solve this sick tale of conspiracy, lies, and alien insurrection? Come to MAC-O-RAMA during this time, rise to the challenge and you may take home a spine tingling X-Files Game from Fox Interactive and more!
You may have Mulders rugged good looks, or even Scully's intellectual prowess, but can you solve MAC-O-RAMAs X-File?
So head over to MAC-O-RAMA and good luck with the contest!
[11:15 AM] VersionMaster Latest Updates: WarBirds, WhatRoute, And uCalendar
The WWII flight combat simulator WarBirds has been updated to version 2.7.4, the network monitoring software WhatRoute has been moved along to version 1.6b4, uCalendar gets a maintenance release to version 2.0.3. 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.
[8:00 AM] More On The iMac Alarm Clock (With Pics)
We have more information and pics of the Timex Alarm clock. While we have still not heard directly back from Apple or Timex, an Observer named Cannibal forwarded us a note he says came from Apple's Trademark department. Also, credit where credit is due, we were told that Nobeige, the excellent site from Jason O'Grady, has mentioned this item in the past.
From: Apple Trademarks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Cannibal" <email@example.com>
Thank you. Yes, we are aware of this one.
APPLE COMPUTER, INC.
Unfortunately, we still don't know if this design was licensed by Timex or not. However, we have some fabulous pics from Tadd Torborg. Each thumbnail leads to a larger version of the image.
I've fallen and I can't get up!
Call Apple Tech Support!
From the side, it's just an
A view from the top.
Mom? Can I go out and play?
This is our favorite one! :-)
The Mac Observer Spin: These are going to be hot items for Macheads this Christmas (or other holiday buying period). Our advice is to get 'em quick while you can until we find out whether they are officially licensed products. They are certainly way too cute. :-)
VST Technologies has upgraded their Firewire software, VST Format, to version 2.0. The VST Format software allows VST Firewire devices to be used on Macintosh computers, and controls the set-up and functionality of these devices. According to VST:
Major new features included with VST Format 2.0 include improved data transfer rates, password-protected partitions, data encryption on a per partition basis, write protection on a per partition basis, and DOS formatted volumes from a Macintosh.
A significantly improved user interface also adds many ease-of-use features that integrate the installer, firmware updater and even a throughput test utility built-in to the new formatter. One-click setup options are also provided, simplifying the formatting process with the most common set up options - preset for the user. This initial release supports English, German and French languages. A Kanji version for Japan is expected later this quarter.
The new software also includes electronic versions of the User Manuals for the Formatter and FireWire products, ReadMe updates, Apple's latest FireWire Support and Enabler files, VST's new FireWire CardBus Card Enabler for the PowerBook and an intelligent installer.
VST Format 2.0 is available as an updater from the VST web site. VST will also be shipping the new version with all of their Firewire devices effective immediatly. You can find more information at the VST web site.
[8:00 AM] Snak Update Helps With Large Channels
Ken Sorensen has updated the Mac IRC client, Snak, to version 3.1. The latest version includes several new features, along with a number of bug fixes. According to Mr. Sorensen:
This version provides full control of what activity messages are displayed in each individual channel. This helps make large channels more useful, because the frequent leave and join messages can now be suppressed.
Crashes when closing an active DCC connection have been fixed.
Columns in the various tables can now be resized, nicks can be dragged from the user list to the address book or the ignore table, ignore dialogs close after 2 minutes, and the KickBan command now works properly.
Snak now comes with the powerful PurePak script package written in the ircII scripting language which provides many useful functions to the serious IRC'er as well as the casual user.
Some of Snaks main features are:
Connection files makes it very easy to start an IRC session
Much less window clutter than other IRC clients
A dedicated input field per channel
Multi connections and multi channels
Integrated /notify support
Address Book to store information snippets
Connection records can specify multiple servers, which allows the
program to try each server until it finds one that will connect.
Customizable menus holds frequently used commands and shortcuts
Font and background color can be set for each individual channel
Manual and Automatic logging
International character sets are supported
Command-clicking URLs is supported
Fully searchable channel list and channel text
Guardian feature lets parents limit what channels a child can use
Fully customizable multi line aliases
Extensive scripting capabilities
File transfer and chatting via DCC
Snak is available as shareware for US$20. You can find more information at the Snak web site.
[8:00 AM] Select A Better Finder With A Better Finder Select 2.0
Frank Reiff has released version 2.0 of A Better Finder Select. A Better Finder Select allows enhanced search and selection features from the Mac OS's contextual menus. According to Frank Reiff:
A Better Finder Select is a contextual menu plug-in for the Macintosh Finder, which allows users to quickly select all files matching a given criterum. The utility supports selection based on the name, type and creator of a file. Linux type wildcard based selection is also supported.
A Better Finder Select is a simple, yet surprisingly powerful utility which is fully integrated into the Macintosh Finder.
This new version contains many improvements and new features:
Selection based on file type
Selection based on file creator
Redesigned user interface
Minor bug fixes
A Better Finder Select is available for US$10 for a single user lisence, and US$25 for a site lisence. You can find more information at the Frank Reiff web site.