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November 17th, 1999

[5:30 PM] Injection Pro Updated With Mac OS 9 Compatibility
by Staff

Glucose Development Corporation has released a new version of Injection Pro, bringing the META tag generator to version 2.2.1. The new version brings improved performance and other enhancements. According to Glucose Development Corporation:

This new version of our automatic META tag creator and HTML Equalizer includes several Mac OS 9 related fixes. In addition, Injection 2.2.1 Pro fixes problems with directory paths containing slashes.

The update is free to registered owners and Glucose Development Corporation is offering a free demo. The full version is priced at US$55. You can find more information at the company's web site.

Glucose Development Corporation

[5:00 PM] The Apple Stock Watch: Rest and Test Day on Wall Street, Apple Closed Down
by Wes George

The stock markets turned negative after recently bounding to new highs on the Nasdaq and S&P 500. Wall Street is relieved to see the market take a break and regroup after reaching a strongly overbought condition yesterday. Most analysts see further advances coming soon. The only dark cloud on the horizon is the price of crude oil which hit a 9-year high today clobbering the transports and instigating higher bond yields. Higher yields draws money off the stock market and into bonds.

The Dow lost 49 points (0.45%) to close at 10883. Volume was strong with 950 millions shares traded. The financials were weak, while the oil stocks boomed.

The Nasdaq pulled back 26 points (0.79%) to end the session at 3269. Today was the heaviest volume day in stock market history on the Nasdaq with 1.6 billion shares traded.

The S&P 500 lost 9.14 (0.64%) to close at 1410.69.

The 30 year bond was down 29/32 to close at 99 31/32, the yield rose to 6.12%.

The Commerce Department said the Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in October and the core CPI rate rose 0.2%. Both numbers met the expectations of economists. Housing starts were up only slightly at 0.1%, but applications for building permits showed signs of renewed strength in the spring, jumping 5.2% last month.

Apple was up most of the day, but ended down 15/16 to close at 90 1/4 with a continuation of the less than average volume trend we have seen the last few days.

Hewlett Packard (HWP) announced 4th quarter earnings after the bell that were in line with analysts' expectations of $0.73 per share. HWP rose 1 5/16 to close at 77 7/16. Applied Materials (AMAT) also beat earnings this afternoon with actual earnings of $0.75 per share, $0.02 better than expected.

It was a good day for Apple related stocks, Akamai, Arm Holdings, Macromedia and Symantec ended higher, while Adobe showed signs of profit taking, down 1 9/16 to 75. Apple's Power PC partners, IBM and Motorola went different directions. IBM closed down 1 5/8 to 93, while Motorola rose 1 3/16 to 119, on the news that demand for it cell phone components is too strong to meet.

Compaq rose 1 5/8 to end at 23 3/8, after announcing a high performance supercomputer that boasts multi- TeraFLOP power.

Oracle leapt 6 3/4 to close at 71 1/4. Yesterday Oracle's CFO Jeff Henley predicted that 2nd quarter revenue could be strongly higher because of renewed e-business software purchases after Y2K.

Dell, Microsoft, Intel, and Gateway all closed lower.

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.

The Mac Observer Spin: Go figure, the Fed raises rates and stocks close at all time highs. Analysts have speculated that many traders were just relieved that the rate hike was no longer an unknown issue.


[3:30 PM] MP3 Portable Player Goes Elite
by Staff

ADS Technologies has released a new portable MP3 player called the Elite MP3. The Elite MP3 is cross platform compatible and features 192 MB of expandable RAM. The device will also allow users to make their own voice recordings. According to ADS Technologies:

ADS Technologies, a Southern California-based manufacturer of multi-media products, announced the Elite MP3, a portable MP3 music player with 192MB of expandable memory, USB connectivity and file storage capabilities. The PC and Mac-compatible Elite MP3 features more than three hours of high-quality music playback.

Audio Playback And Voice Recording Features

ADS Technologies' Elite MP3 player features 192MB of expandable memory, 64MB on-board with a 128MB removable storage cartridge allowing users to store and play back more than three hours of high-quality digital music. The USB connection enables users to upload MP3 files from their PC faster than through a parallel port. The electrically-charged external bus also enables users to recharge the Elite's MP3 player's batteries while plugged into the USB port.

The Elite MP3 player features a user-friendly interface, easy-to use buttons that control features such as volume, equalizer and playback functions. High-fidelity earphones will also be included.

The built-in microphone allows users to record up to 32 hours of ADPCM-quality spoken audio content for voice recordings and memos.

Portable Storage Functions

With the 192MB memory and USB connectivity, the files can be easily and quickly uploaded from the PC to the Elite MP3, then downloaded via USB to another PC. The Elite MP3 is the first MP3 audio device of its kind with data upload and download storage capabilities built into its main interface.

System Requirements

Includes: Elite MP3 Player, USB cable, instruction manual, software and drivers

Requires: IBM-compatible PC or Mac with available USB port. Windows requirements: Windows 98 or 2000. Mac requirements : Any USB equipped PowerMac or iMac with available USB port and Mac OS 8.6 or above.

The company has not yet announced pricing or a shipping date. We did confirm with the company that any USB equipped Power Mac would work, though their press release originally quoted only an iMac. The company also told The Mac Observer that the Elite MP3 does indeed require Mac OS 8.6 and above and will not work with Mac OS 8.5 or Mac OS 8.5.1.

The Mac Observer Spin: Another cool MP3 product coming to the Mac. It's great to see companies paying attention to the Mac market, and this product in particular looks fairly sexy. The portable MP3 market is gaining critical mass at a rapid pace. Unlike the initial MP3 storm itself, the Mac is right in the think of things with the portable players.

Apple Canada

[3:00 PM] Rantic Labs Goes On A FireWire Rampage, Mactell Product Line Not Involved
by Staff

The story of Rantic Labs has taken a twist from our originally reported story that they would be acquiring the FirePower product line from MacTell. The company has announced a new FireWire product line called Rampage. The Rampage line includes hard drives, DAT drives, MO drives, two ORB devices, and two CD/RW drives. According to Rantic Labs:

Rantic Labs, Inc. today announced that the company is launching a complete line of FireWire(TM) (IEEE-1394) storage products under the Rampage(TM) brand and the products will begin shipping in the US on November 24th.

Rantic Labs has developed a complete line of storage products including the following new products:

  • Rampage(TM) HDD FireWire(TM) Hard Disk Drives from 8.4GB to 37GB
  • Rampage(TM) DAT FireWire(TM) DAT Backup and Desktop VCR Solution
  • Rampage(TM) CD/RW FireWire(TM) CD/RW 4x4x16 bundled with Adaptec's Toast
  • Rampage(TM) MO 640MB FireWire(TM) MO 640MB Drive
  • Rampage(TM) ORB 2.2GB FireWire(TM) ORB 2.2GB Removable Media Drive

The company plans to expand the product line beyond mass storage with the aim of developing a comprehensive FireWire line for both the Apple and PC markets.

As President of Rantic Labs, FireWire market pioneer, Reed Hinkel, brings to the company his vast experience in the development, marketing, and sales of FireWire(TM) products throughout the world. Also, long time Macintosh market veteran, Clint Giles, Vice President of Sales, contributes his long standing expertise in channel and retail sales management, and Shaun Mohle, Chief Technical Officer, and his team bring an the world's most extensive knowledge of FireWire(TM) technology.

Interestingly enough, this announcement comes at the same time that a story about MacTell and Rantic Labs ran in the Austin American Statesman:

The Macintosh peripheral maker known as Mactell Corp. may be no longer, but its products are being revived by former employees.

Rantic Labs Inc., incorporated by former Mactell executive Reed Hinkel the day that Mactell closed its doors, is advertising FirePower storage devices under the same names and pictures once used by Mactell. A sales rep at Austin's Bottomline Distribution, one of the computer supply sites running the ads, said the Rantic products won't be available for a couple of weeks but would be "similar" to what Mactell once sold.

An incensed former Mactell Chief Executive Roy Stocker said last week that Rantic does not own the rights to manufacture or market any Mactell products.

Mr. Stocker was not available for comment.

As of now, the company is no longer advertising the FirePower product line and is instead advertising the Rampage product line. We contacted Shaun Mohle, CTO of Rantic Labs, and former Mactell employee, who told us that the company is no longer selling the FirePower line. According to Mr. Mohle:

"The Rampage product line utilizes our own drivers, though we too are working with IBM. We are using some remaining cases that had been intended for MacTell, but we will be switching to a new form factor when those supplies are gone."

There is no information on what may be happening to MacTell orders and products that were open when the company closed its doors. Mactell stockholders and customers have been discussing this in our Forums.

The Mac Observer Spin: We are not sure what happened to the arrangements between Mactell and Rantic Labs, though we are certain that our information that Rantic Labs would be using the FirePower line was accurate at the time. At some point, a breakdown in the agreements between Rantic Labs and Mactell must have occurred, though we do not know why.

One thing is certain; The more FireWire devices on the market, the better for Apple and PowerMac G3/G4 owners.

Rantic Labs

[1:00 PM] Our Tour Of the Apple Canada Software Tour
by Oliver Dueck

On November 9, we had the pleasure of attending the Apple Canada Software Tour, in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The event took place at the Wu Conference Centre, located on the University of New Brunswick campus. The presentation was given by Pierre Mason, a senior systems engineer with Apple Canada.

While the audience of sixty or so was not exactly huge, they appeared to be interested and attentive. There were only a handful of students; most seemed to be professors or local business people. The facilities employed were excellent; the projector and speaker system made the presentation all the more enjoyable.

Mr. Mason began by describing the new line of Power Mac G4 systems. Clips were shown from Steve Jobs' introduction of the product, and impressive benchmarks were presented that put the Pentium III processor to shame. Next on the agenda was the new line of iMacs, and new features such as the addition of DVD and FireWire were touted.

The demonstration of iMovie (included with the iMac DV and iMac DV Special Edition) was very impressive. Mr. Mason simply dragged and dropped video clips, sound effects, and movies into the timeline, and then easily added various transitions and text, resulting in a high-quality QuickTime movie. This package is amazingly easy to use, and the output was excellent.

Also demonstrated was AppleShare 6.3, the latest incarnation of Apple's venerable server software package. Mr. Mason showed us how easy it is to administer the latest version, either via the admin software or remotely through the web. It was also stressed that AppleShare offers file sharing via TCP/IP, and features seamless integration with Windows NT client machines.

After a short break, the presentation continued with a thorough demonstration of Mac OS 9's new features, such as FontSync, Sherlock 2, Multiple Users, voice print passwords, and AppleScript over TCP/IP. Despite reports of customer problems with OS 9, the demonstration went off without a hitch, and the audience seemed very impressed by the new OS.

The Mac Observer Spin: We were somewhat disappointed that the iBook and PowerBook lines were hardly mentioned; it would also have been nice to actually see a Power Mac G4 in action. However, we can't complain too loudly, as it was called a Software Tour. Unfortunately, FinalCut Pro and Mac OS X Server were also ignored; a demonstration of these products, or even a mere mention, would have been appreciated.

Nonetheless, the presentation was quite impressive. It is good to see Apple putting effort into events such as this one, as it is a great way to show current and potential customers the latest products. So if a similar event takes place in your area, we advise you to check it out!

Apple Canada

[Column] Computing With Bifocals - Update: The Septuagenarian Computer Novice And His iMac

[9:00 AM] Whether You Like Weather Or Not
by Staff

Trexar Technologies has updated the desktop weather forecast application, WeatherTracker, to version 3.0.4. WeatherTracker allows you to have a constant, dynamic weather report on your desktop. The new version includes bug fixes and performance enhancements. According to Trexar Technologies:

WeatherTracker is a Shareware Application for the Mac that provides an easy-to-use Interface to the Internet Weather Servers at the Weather Underground. Hourly Weather Conditions, Local Forecasts, Climatic data and more for over 8,000 cities Worldwide. Daily Observations are also available for many cities worldwide.

WeatherTracker is available as shareware for US$29.95. You can find more information at the Trexar Technologies web site.

Trexar Technologies

[9:00 AM] Sweeping Up Your Dirty Text Just Got Easier
by Staff

Blue Line Studios has released the final version of their text manipulating software, TextBroom. TextBroom 1.2.3 allows users to "cleanup" text files by searching for, and replacing, annoying strings of text. According to Blue Line Studios:

TextBroom is a utility that handles nightmarish text files. Suppose you receive a list containing 3,796 e-mail address lines and you suspect it to contain duplicate entries. TextBroom lets you remove all duplicate lines easily with just one click. Or perhaps you have just saved a spreadsheet from within Excel "As plain text"; the resulting document now contains no less than ten thousand tabs; 10, 12, 17, 31, etc. tabs in a row. TextBroom can replace the superfluous tabulators with just a single one, or with the character you specify.

Other features include the smart finding and replacing of "funny" number separators. For example, TextBroom can replace the apostrophe within "10'000", while the string "you're", also containing an apostrophe, will not be changed. TextBroom also features the automatic removing and adding of space characters where required; the removing of annoying e-mail quotes, as well as smart upper/lower case functions like word caps, sentence caps, and the fixing of two-letter caps.

Also very valuable is the picking of words or lines containing certain characters. Perhaps you have a large text file with e-mail addresses littered everywhere; just specify "@" as the search character and TextBroom will dutifully collect all the e-mail addresses found in the text.

TextBroom is available as shareware for US$15, and a time limited demonstration version is available from the Blue Line Studios. For more information, you can visit the Blue Line Studios web site.

Blue Line Studios

[9:00 AM] New Title Optimizes Your Mac For Any Emulator (VPC, Virtual Game Station, MacMAME, Etc.)
by Staff

AuctionMac Software has released ResourceFree 1.1. ResourceFree helps simplify the task of optimizing your system for use with resource demanding applications such as games and emulator packages. According to AuctionMac:

AuctionMac Software has released ResourceFree v1.1! ResourceFree stems from our popular 'VPC Helper' software for Connectix' Virtual PC. But while 'VPC Helper' is specifically designed for Virtual PC alone, ResourceFree offers more and can be used for virtually any emulator, game, or program. ResourceFree is especially well-suited for emulators... Such as other high-performance Windows, Super Nintendo, Sega, PlayStation, and console game/OS emulators.

ResourceFree allows you to easily customize a preferred resource-saving setup... Virtual Memory, extensions/control panels, quitting background apps & the Finder... All to save RAM and processor cycles. Without ResourceFree, you have to tediously set, remember, and reset these options (and you can't easily quit the Finder, which can slow up emulators). ResourceFree takes care of these frustrating maneuvers with safe, one-click configuration and reconfiguration! And ResourceFree can give new life to otherwise 'outdated' PPC and 68K Macs (even G3s)! Milk those frames-per-second for all they are worth... Run your emulator that much faster... Increase disk-performance and offset the drawbacks of Virtual Memory by saving more RAM by other methods! On 68K and 'slower' PPCs, the difference can be astonishing.

ResourceFree is available as shareware for US$12.95. You can find more information at the AuctionMac web site.


[8:00 AM] Horror Of Horrors, Stephen King Title Coming To The Mac
by Staff

Blue Byte Software today released more information on the upcoming entertainment release from horror author Stephen King, F13. The product falls somewhere between a game and a utility, but certainly is generating significant interest. According to Blue Byte:

Stephen King's* F13*, which is designed to "take over" a user's computer, features the previously unpublished (in book format) King novella, Everything's Eventual; numerous interactive "King-esque" games and customizable desktops; "screamsavers" and more. The web site relaunched today, also features product screen shots, audio/video clips, links, product news and updates, and the opportunity to sign up for the Stephen King's* F13* newsletter.

"'Stephen King's* F13' is an Interactive Timekiller with a difference, stated Thomas Hertzler, CEO of Blue Byte. "The product will visually enhance the desktop environment in a very 'Stephen King' like way. We are thrilled to be working with such a legend in the horror world. Also, avid book readers will certainly not be left out, as they'll be getting an audio and visual experience with Everything's Eventual, turning their computer into a customizable personal theater/library." This product has been rated Teen (13+) [Animated Violence] by the ESRB.

F13 is expected to ship in January, and will be available for US$29.95. Customers who reserve an advanced copy at the Frightware web site will also receive a special mouse pad with their order. F13 is expected to be a simultaneous Mac/PC release. You can find more information at the Frightware web site.

Blue Byte Software - Frightware

[8:30 AM] The List, The List, The List Is On Fire
by Staff has recently added a comical new feature simply known as "The List". The List is open for everybody to view and modify, and can be an excellent way of truly getting to the bottom of what Mac users think. According to

It's a fun, sometimes irreverent look at life as a Mac user where anyone can add to The List, and vote yea or nay on all The List items until the best answers filter up to the top, and the worst fall to the bottom. Everyone gets a voice, everyone gets a vote.

The list topic changes each Monday and the old lists are saved for your viewing pleasure. The topics are always pro-Mac or computer related in nature. Some of the past list topics were:

  • Ways to tell if someone is a Windows user.
  • Marketing slogans you wish Apple would use.
  • Things you'd never hear a Mac user say.
  • Most revolutionary Macs of all time. is excited to announce the current list topic is:

  • The Top New iMac Colors You'd Like To See.

And will soon switch over to:

  • The Top Unusual Features Of OS 9.

To experience The List for yourself, head over to the web site.

Today's Mac Headlines

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

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

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