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November 19th, 1999

[5:10 PM] The Week's Top Stories For Week Ending 11/19/1999

[5:00 PM] A Conspiracy Of Dunces: MSNBC Blocks Mac Access To Video Files
by Staff seems to not Mac users to traffic their site. Observer Scott Richardson noticed that MSNBC arbitrarily blocks Mac users from accessing the Windows MediaPlayer video files. According to Scott:

The video on (Windows Media Format only now) is being blocked from Macintosh users. If you look at the javascript on this site, you can see the Macintosh filter and the error message you get if you try to play any of the video.

I got the video to work, but submitting the html link in the javascript that the PC users see, and it worked just fine. I have no idea why they are doing this. Since MSNBC does not use Real Audio or Quicktime, all video on this site is now PC only.

Here is a sample of the javascript from the MSNBC site:

if(sUa.indexOf("mac")==-1) { ... alert("Windows Media Player for Macintosh in not currently available.");

Since there is a Macintosh version of Media Player (I am using 6.3 beta), I don't understand the logic behind this site.

Scott Richardson
Multimedia Developer
Blue Ridge Media
Boone, NC

The mystery here is that Microsoft, the "MS" in MSNBC, does indeed have a Mac version of the MediaPlayer. It is in beta, but it actually seems to be a stable product.

The Mac Observer Spin: Is this subterfuge to make Mac users feel inadequate (THink DR-DOS), an outdated warning, or does simply not care for our traffic. Since Microsoft is the developer of MediaPlayer, there is no reason whatsoever for to disallow us access to the files. A warning that the Mac version is in beta would be sufficient to let us know about the lack of full Mac support. Mind you, Scott was able to watch the movie on his Mac once he bypassed their warning.

Mind you, there is no reason for MSNBC to offer QuickTime or RealVideo considering they are competing technologies. Mac users don't expect Apple to make Star Wars trailers available in MediaPlayer format for instance.

Still, needs to stop the artificial boundaries to access by Mac users.

What do you think? Talk back in our Forum.


[4:00 PM] The Apple Stock Watch: Apple Finds Support Level Heads Back Up
by Wes George

The stock market ended its very impressive performance this week with an attempt at profit taking, but the technology bulls would have none of it. Interestingly, some of the tech stocks that have taken a beating recently, like Xerox, IBM, Compaq, and Unisys were back on investors' buy menu as stock bargains become more difficult to find.

Today was a double witching Friday, expiration day for quarterly stock and index options, and this accounted for the early session volatility as investors squared their portfolios. Next week is a shortened week. The markets are closed Thursday, and open for half days on Wednesday and Friday. November 24th (next Wednesday) the gross domestic product numbers are released.

The Dow sagged 31.8 points (0.29%) to close at 11003.89. Volume was strong with 880 million shares traded. The Dow, up about 2.0% for the week, now stands only 3.0% down from a new all time high.

The Transportation average continued to diverge strongly from the Industrials as airlines responded with a sell off to the recent leap in crude oil prices, which are the highest they have been since 1991. Analysts are quick to point out that higher oil prices are the result of OPEC's fidelity to its self-imposed quotas and not a sign of an inflationary trend. Other commodity prices show few signs of inflation.

The Nasdaq moved forward 22.14 points (0.66%) to end the session at 3369 with 1.4 billion shares traded, making today the 9th heaviest volume day ever. The Nasdaq was up about 140 points this week, and 13% this month, that brings us to a 53% gain year over year. Nine of the ten heaviest trading days ever have occurred in the last five weeks. Not surprisingly, bullish sentiment has soared recently, a contrary indication of a short term market top.

The S&P 500 lost 2.94 (0.21%) to close at 1422.

30-year Treasury bonds were down 6/32 to close at 99 14/32, the yield was flat at 6.16%.

Apple made a healthy bounce off the support level in the 89 range which it touched yesterday, gaining 2 13/16 (3.14%) to close at 92 7/16 on weak volume. This morning there was a bullish article about Macs at Comdex from Macweek, and the iMac was named "design of the decade" by Business Week. "Good product design in and of itself can have a strong business impact. But good design that is integrated with packaging, advertising, and marketing has the greatest effect on the bottom line."

IBM was the comeback king today rising 6 1/2 to close at 104 1/2, after languishing in the low 90s for the last month.

In Apple related stocks, Adobe, Akamai, Arm Holdings, Macromedia, and Symantec saw profit taking after this week's big advances. Motorola gained 1 5/16 to close at 125 1/8.

Apple's competitors ended mostly higher. Hewlett Packard gave back 15/16 to close at 93 3/8 after Wednesday's 13 point gain. Compaq was up 1 3/16 to close at 26 1/4. Intel rose 1 3/8 to end at 79 7/8. Gateway, Dell and Microsoft were also in the green.

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.


[Column] The Back Page - Home Is Where The Mac Is?

[3:45 PM] Jerry Needs To Get Some Kids, But Instead Releases Update To Jerry's Finder
by Staff

Manual Labor has released an update to Jerry's Finder, the freeware Finder enhancement utility. Jerry's Finder 9, the update, brings Mac OS 9 compatibility to the program and other enhancements. According to Manual Labor:

In an event that deserves more exclamation points than we consider decent in a family press release, Manual Labor released Jerry's Finder 9 Patch today, generating much hoopla, hullaballoo, and other words that begin with "h."

Jerry's Finder 9 Patch is the successor to the popular Jerry's Finder 8 Patch, which adds command keys, convenience features, and cosmetic enhancements to the Finder in Mac OS 8.0 through 8.6. As the name implies, Jerry's Finder 9 Patch brings all those cool things and more to Mac OS 9.

What's "and more," you ask? Jerry's Finder 9 Patch includes:

  • A much simplified installation procedure
  • An all-new patch that improves the naming of text clippings
  • Tweaks to a few of the existing patches
  • An attractive new graphic for the "About This Macintosh" window
  • Updated documentation and links

And, of course, it's still absolutely free. FREE, I tell you!

Some poor deprived souls reportedly consider Jerry's Finder 9 Patch to be BETTER THAN SEX! Try it and find out how it can enrich _your_ love life.

We can't comment on whether or not Jerry's Finder is better than sex, but you can find more information on the product at the company's web site. The product is freeware.

Manual Labor

[Editorial] Mac Games and the iMac
by Oliver Dueck

[1:30 PM] Internet Radio On Your Mac
by Staff

Subband Software has launched, a portal type site allowing Mac users to tune into the wide array of internet-centric "radio stations." utilizes Shoutcast and Icecast protocols through their own software application, AMP Radio. According to Subband:

Subband Software has opened its doors, showing off the specs of its first new product, AMP Radio. Targeted at all Macintosh users with an internet connection, AMP Radio let's users quickly tune into the 750-1500 "Internet Radio Stations" playing at any time of day, using the Shoutcast and Icecast protocols.

"Listening to Internet MP3 streams should be one of the most basic things to do on a computer." said Dmitry Boldyrev, lead programmer on AMP Radio, "Yet the current methods for playing Shoutcast on the Mac are unnecessarily complicated, at best. AMP Radio will revolutionize the way you listen to streaming audio." AMP Radio will feature an intuitive interface, similar to that of a car stereo, providing tremendous power without compromising screen real estate. Under the hood of AMP Radio, the famous Millennium playback engine has been improved by the world-renowned AMP engine, producing music with gorgeous crisp sound.

AMP Radio will even feature local playback of MP3 files, allowing it to be used as a basic MP3 player. "This thing is really incredible," said Paul Kafasis, AMP Radio's conceptualizer. "I'm amazed at what's been done here. AMP Radio is the perfect solution for playing Shoutcast and Icecast radio streams, and I couldn't be happier with how things have turned out, and I think the users will feel the same way."

AMP Radio is expected to be released the first week of December. Until then, the entire project appears to be very hush-hush. While there are no active links at this time, you can keep visiting the web site, as more information should be posted shortly.

The Mac Observer Spin: This site, and ones like it, should prove to be a popular, especially as high bandwidth connections become more common.

[Review] Total Annihilation: Was it worth the wait?
by Cory Harrison

[9:30 AM] Mac Stalwart MYOB Rolls Out MYOB Plus 9 For The Mac
by Staff

MYOB has released a new version of MYOB Plus. MYOB Plus is a cross-platform full accounting package, and this new release brings the software to version 9. The new version contains a slew of new features and other enhancements. According to MYOB:

As an off-the-shelf, competitively priced product, MYOB Accounting Plus Version 9 offers phenomenally powerful features, including the ability to e-mail forms and reports, multiple currency accounting and strong inventory, among others. MYOB Accounting Plus is the first accounting solution in its class to offer this combination of productivity features.


MYOB Accounting Plus Version 9 offers small business owners and managers the ability to send invoices, purchase orders and reports directly from Accounting Plus via e-mail. No more printing forms or addressing and stamping envelopes, MYOB Accounting Plus users with e-mail accounts need only click the "e-mail" button to be able to bill customers, order from vendors or send reports. Melding the speed and efficiency of e-mail with the power and functionality of MYOB Accounting Plus allows businesses to receive payments and products faster than ever, putting money in the bank and product on the shelf in record time. Accountants will be happy to receive reports from Accounting Plus users immediately upon request!


MYOB Accounting Plus version 9 gives users the ability to buy and sell goods and services in foreign currencies. It tracks exchange rates, calculates and posts realized gains, and keeps an easily accessible record of both the foreign and the local currencies for any given transaction. The popularity of multi-currency accounting is increasing with the growth in electronic storefronts, and MYOB Accounting Plus is here to service the need!


MYOB Accounting Plus makes efficient inventory management quick and easy with features including an item-pricing matrix consisting of 6 price levels and 5 quantity breaks, 7 years of item history, a 30-character item number, user defined lists and fields and a graphic on the item card. The pricing matrix allows users to select special pricing for customers according to volume purchased, customer loyalty, special sales, or whatever criteria the user decides -- and to have this pricing appear automatically on invoices. For users taking advantage of Accounting Plus' multi-currency, the six price levels per item can be assigned to different countries and priced accordingly, making it easy to invoice foreign customers.


Mostly user requested, MYOB Accounting Plus offers several other new enhancements designed to hasten the accounting process, including:

  • Users can mark unused cards, items, accounts or jobs as inactive, with just one click of the mouse. Once marked, they will not show up in pop-up lists. This not only speeds up data entry by slimming the list, but it also helps avoid mistakenly using invalid accounts or cards.
  • Unlimited sales tax codes - users can set up and track collections for as many sales tax codes as needed. Plus, users can now consolidate tax codes for reporting sales to multiple taxing authorities. MYOB also tracks import duties.
  • Add bank service charges and interest earned directly from within the Bank Reconciliation screen. MYOB Accounting Plus version 9 also provides drill down arrows on the reconciliation screen so users can easily access the originating transaction.
  • Advanced Inquiry -Accounting Plus users can save tremendous time finding transactions by searching through a date range, a dollar amount or a range of amounts, on one account or all accounts, and even on any text within a memo field. When you need to find something, MYOB Accounting Plus' job is to make it easy - and it does its job well.
  • Expanded Import/Export fields - MYOB Accounting Plus has just added considerably to its import/export capabilities by including time billing, enhanced inventory and additional customer and vendor payment terms information.
  • MYOB Accounting Plus users can now select which network protocol they want to use; NetBIOS/NetBEUI and TCP/IP for Windows and AppleTalk or TCP/IP for Macintosh. Supporting TCP/IP makes Accounting Plus one of the only cross platform products in its category. This means that users can have employees with both Macintosh and Windows systems use the same MYOB datafile at the same time!

You can find more information on MYOB at the company's web site. Pricing is set at US$199 for the Mac version and US$179 for the Windows version. Workstation versions are priced at US$99.

The Mac Observer Spin: With Intuit abaonding the Mac market with QuickBooks and QuickBooks Pro, MYOB is the big-bad-mamma-jamma in the accounting world for the Mac. The comapny has been producing Mac versions of their software for many years and stands out as the best accounting solution in the Mac market.


[9:00 AM] MACWORLD Expo SF Turns On The Charm With Conference/Seminar Details
by Staff

IDG Expo, the organizer behind MACWORLD Expo, has turned on the marketing machine to push the MACWORLD Expo conferences and seminars to be featured at the next event. MACWORLD Expo San Francisco, to be held at the beginning of January, looks to be one of the biggest Expos yet with new conferences and other features. According to IDG Expos:

MACWORLD Expo/San Francisco 2000, the "Ultimate Macintosh Experience", features the most comprehensive conference program for Mac users. Consisting of more than 100 conference sessions plus full day workshops, the week-long program will continue its 15 year tradition of educating users on all things Macintosh, from the most basic skills to the hottest and newest topics. January's MACWORLD Expo includes such hot workshops and session topics as, the new iMac DV's and iMovie, Mac OS 9, QuickTime(TM), Music and Audio on a Mac, Final Cut Pro, FileMaker 5, Macintosh networking and administration, Internet computing and web design.


Seventeen Pre-Conference Workshops, including eight never-before-offered at MACWORLD Expo, feature a broad array of beginner and professional level full-day sessions ranging from Desktop Publishing: The Big Picture, Getting Started with AppleScript, to RealAudio and MP3 on the Mac, The QuickTime Professionals Workshop, and an advanced FileMaker Pro Workshop.

Tuesday, January 4, 12:00pm - 7:00pm

Macworld/Pro Conference, for professional users, offers 45 technically advanced sessions in five tracks: Networking and Communications, Digital Video School, Web Master, Art Director and Mac Administrator.

Wednesday, January 5 through Friday, January 7

MACWORLD Expo Users Conference, features sessions for Mac users who want to master the top Mac tools and get answers to problems common to non-technical users. New for 2000, "Recommended Itineraries" have been developed within the program by industry experts. These suggested itineraries are offered for: Educators, Mac Musicians, Small Office/Home Office, Cool Tools, Creative Professionals and Mac Technicians.

Thursday, January 6 through Saturday, January 8

MACWORLD Expo Warm-Up Rally features industry insiders Bob "Dr. Macintosh" LeVitus, David Pogue and other guests. They will inform, entertain and intrigue attendees with their predictions for the week of MACWORLD Expo, and for the New Year.

Tuesday, January 4, 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., Room 103

The MACWORLD Expo Town Meeting has moved to a new day and time to allow for industry analysts and insiders to discuss the state of the Mac industry as well as major announcements from the exhibit floor.

Thursday, January 6, 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m., Room 103

Vision Thing Live! Macworld magazine editors and special guests go on the firing line to answer probing questions from the audience about controversial issues of the day. Andy Gore, Macworld Editor-in-Chief, hosts the West Coast debut of this very popular general session!

Friday, January 7, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., Room 103

"January's MACWORLD Expo conference programs truly will provide the ultimate Macintosh experience to Mac users at all skill levels," emphasized Paul Kent, MACWORLD Expo Conference Chairperson. "Combined with all the new products and technologies attendees can test drive on the exhibit floor from more than 400 companies, the MACWORLD Expo/San Francisco 2000 conference program offers topnotch educational opportunities for everyone that wants to do more with their Mac."

You can find more information on MACWORLD Expo at the event's web site.


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