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October 12th, 1999

[4:45 PM] VersionMaster: ViaHTTP, IPNetRouter, DHCP Server, and FretPet updated today!

All these software updates and more are listed, detailed, and constantly updated at The Mac Observer's Version Master! Go see for yourself at

The Mac Observer's Version Master

[4:45 PM] MAC-O-RAMA Sale Salutes High-Flying Mac Games

Our good friends at MAC-O-RAMA have announced another sale. This one salutes those high-flying Mac games that really make you soar... [Editor's Note: I apologize for that joke, but it was inescapable. ;-) ] According to MAC-O-RAMA:

It's time to "take off" with some great flying games for the Mac! MAC-O-RAMA has what you need to help you fly the friendly skies. So, return your seat back to its' upright position and log onto MAC-O-RAMA before Sunday, October 17, 1999.

Check out all this great gear...

  • 8MB Game Wizard for the iMac $179
  • CH Jetstick (FREE SHIPPING) $49
  • CH Pro Throttle(FREE SHIPPING) $69
  • F/A-18 Hornet 3.0 $10
  • F/A-18 Hornet 3.0/Korea Bundle $27
  • Falcon 4.0 $29
  • Flight Unlimited $24
  • Fly! $38
  • iFlight for Mac $19
  • Macally USB iStick $39
  • Saitek Cyborg 3D Stick USB $58
  • Skydive! $19
  • Top Gun: Fire at Will $14

If you are in the mood to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, you will want to pick up a couple of these hard-to-find classics! Hurry, quantities are limited.

  • Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Collector's Edition $15
  • Adventures for Kids 2 $15
  • Bad Day on the Midway (Jewel Case) $15
  • Diamonds 3D $15
  • Indiana Jones- Fate of Atlantis $15
  • S.P.Q.R. The Empire's Darkest Hour $15
  • STAR TREK: Omnipedia $15
  • Zork Nemesis (Jewel Case) $15

One more thing! ProPinball: Big Race USA has shipped and is in stock for $28.50... finally!

Remember: you earn MacBucks every time you shop at MAC-O-RAMA! Every purchase earns a discount on your next order!

All prices good while supplies last. FREE gift wrapping available upon request. Free shipping is via US Priority Mail or UPS Ground. Free shipping offer is valid in the US only, international orders receive a $4 discount.

So head over to MAC-O-RAMA and check out the sale prices!


[4:30 PM] ACTION Files Updated With Major New Features

The good people of Power On Software have released an update to ACTION Files. ACTION Files is their popular utility that improves the Open and Save dialogue box among other things. The new version, 1.5, contains major new features including compatibility with Navigation Services. According to Power On:

Power On Software announced today a new release of its Eddy Award nominated productivity utility, ACTION Files™. ACTION Files 1.5 provides seamless integration with Apple Computer's Navigation Services to offer the ultimate in file access management and organization. ACTION Files automatically keeps track of a user's favorite and most recently accessed files and folders so those files are always just a click away. ACTION Files enhances productivity through the addition of a custom menu bar in every standard Open and Save dialog. It also permits resizing and movement of these dialog boxes and allows users to customize the manner in which file and folder information is displayed.

Features of the new version include:

  • Seamless integration and support for Apple's Navigation Services (new style Open/Save dialogs in OS 8.5 and later) by adding a menu bar containing more than forty essential commands to the Open and Save dialog boxes. Users can now take advantage of Navigation Services, if supported by an application, while maintaining all the power of ACTION Files even if an application does not support Apple's Navigation Services.
  • Expanded functionality of the compatibility pane in the ACTION Files Control Panel to give the user greater control over factory default settings
  • Modified Recent/Favorite items database to allow ACTION Files to share information with upcoming Power On products
  • Added Previous Drive, Next Drive and Volume's free space to Navigation Services volumes popup menu
  • Implemented View menu in Navigation Services
  • Added a named separator to the Documents menu
  • Increased compatibility with Kaleidoscope
  • Improved handling of aliases and volumes larger than 4 Gigabytes
  • Numerous performance enhancements
  • Compatible with Mac OS 9
  • In addition, ACTION Files offers the following features:
  • Adds views containing information about each file, including a file's size, date, label, and kind
  • Provides ability to sort the list of files and folders by name, size, date, kind, and label in either ascending or descending order
  • Moveable and resizable Open and Save dialogs to take advantage of larger monitors
  • A convenient Find command, in the Open and Save dialog that enables users to find files quickly and easily without switching to the Finder or opening a separate utility such as Sherlock™
  • Search by name, size, kind, label, creation date, modification date, file type, creator and more
  • Access to file management commands which allow users to get more information, create new folders, make an alias or duplicate any file, or move any file to the trash and empty the trash without leaving the Open or Save dialog
  • Menus which provide instant access to recently used and favorite items
  • Extensive keyboard navigation and user-assignable command keys for immediate access to needed files

ACTION Files is priced at US$49.95 at the retail level. The company offers an electronic download for US$29.95. The update is free to registered owners of version 1.x. You can find more information at the company's web site.

Sonnet Technologies

[3:45 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Wall Street Gets the Jitters but Apple Trends Up
by Wes George

Apple bucked the trend on Wall Street today surging over 3 points before noon for an intraday high of $70 before settling back to close at $67.11/16 up $1 on a second day of strong momentum. Savvy investors are buying but few are selling on the day before Apple announces forth quarter earnings

The Dow suffered a sell off at the opening, and just kept going, closing down 231 to 10417 on low volume. Selling restrictions went into effect late in the day. The news today included fears of higher interest rates due to an expected spike in inflation. The dollar was soft in Europe. A coup in Pakistan, an unstable nuclear power, also added uncertainty to all of the world's markets today.

Third quarter earnings growth is strong at 20%, but most believe that this is already factored into the market and may feed into a decision by the Fed to hike rates in November.

A major defense contractor Raytheon's (RTNb) stock price closed down 19% today dragging a number of Dow components with them, accentuating an already bad day for the market.

The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 43.5 to close at 2872.45 due, in part, to profit taking after yesterday's record high for the Nasdaq. Internet stocks were strongly down as a group.

Motorola--the world's third largest semiconductor manufacturer-- will announce third quarter earnings after the market close today. Analysts expect the producer of the G4 coprocessor to post a profit of 53 cents per share. The whisper number is 56 cents per share. Investors are watching closely to see how the Iridium bankruptcy in which Motorola holds an 18 percent stake will effect earnings. However, most investors expect Motorola to beat estimates due to strong digital handset sales.

Most Apple related stock trended down sharply today with the market. This included Adobe, Symantec, and Macromedia, as well as Apple's AIM partners, IBM and Motorola. On the PC front, Dell, Microsoft, Gateway, and Hewlett-Packard all closed lower. Intel and Compaq.

Tomorrow is a big day for Apple. At 2 p.m. (PDT) Apple will announce fourth quarter results in a conference call with Fred Anderson. Apple has already announced earnings to analysts who follow the stock. This may explain AAPL's surge against the general down trend of the market this week as institutional investors buy ahead of the earnings announcement tomorrow.

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 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.


[2:30 PM] Sonnet Announces Blue & White Compatibility With Their G4 Upgrades

Sonnet Technologies has announced that their G4 upgrade cards will now work with Blue & White G3s. Sonnet is the second company to announce a workaround for the G4 ROM block installed into Blue & White G3s with a firmware update. According to Sonnet:

Sonnet Technologies, Inc., the leading manufacturer of performance upgrade products for Apple Macintosh computers, announces that its Encore G4 processor upgrades are now compatible with all versions of Blue & White G3 machines. The Sonnet card ships with a software utility that will disable a G4 ROM block in the Blue & White G3 computer if present.

Like Sonnet's Encore G3 products, Sonnet Encore G4 cards have the unique ability to be installed in any Power Mac G3 without requiring any switch or jumper change. In a Blue & White G3, the 400MHz Sonnet Encore hardware will self-configure to run at 4x the 100MHz bus. In the G3 Desktop, Server, Mini Tower, or All-in-one, the 400MHz Encore will auto-sense the 66 MHz bus and configure itself to run at 6x bus speed.

While Sonnet is excited to be offering the G4 technology to increase performance for specialized applications, the company remains committed to the Macintosh G3 upgrade market as well. Sonnet will maintain its robust product lines of G3 upgrade cards and will continue to introduce ever-higher speed G3 products as the processors become available. Power Mac owners can now upgrade to 500 MHz with Sonnet's G3 product line.

The company says that they Encore G4 400/1M upgrade card will ship in November. The card is priced at US$999. 450 MHz and 500 MHz versions will not ship until the 1st quarter of 2000. Pricing on those models has not been announced. The company has not yet added information on this product line to their web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is good news to the thousands of Blue & White owners who will be looking to get extended use out of their machines, especially those who recently purchased their Blue & Whites. With two companies having broken through the barrier, it is likely that the other G3 upgrade companies will be following suit soon.

Sonnet Technologies

[Column] Wasting Time With The Idiots - When Idiots Talk, Apple Listens (Sort Of)

[Column] On The Flip Side - Are We Geeks And Nerds? Hell No!

[12:45 PM] Small Batches of Mac OS 9 Are Delivered to Users After All

Reports on MacOS 9 are again flooding in, this time from customers who have actually received their copies. These orders seem to be limited to educational customers and were originally placed in early September. This is contrary to our story on Friday in which we reported that Apple had informed us that the product was not going to ship until the originally announced date of October 23rd. Last Thursday we reported that The Apple Store was preparing to ship the product as early as Friday.

The Apple Store is now reporting that it is out-of-stock and backordered until October 15th, when they expect to resume shipments in larger quantities. Initial reports are positive, and we'll have a full review online shortly.

The official line from Apple is still that will begin shipping on October 23rd, the original shipping date.

The Mac Observer Spin: This appears to have been a simple miscommunication between the Apple Store and the PR department, but the good news is that a few thousand copies of Apple's new operating system have been shipped! As we said in our original story on this issue, it is great to see Apple actually beat their initial shipping date.


[11:15 AM] New Video Editing Solution Hits Market

iREZ Software has released a digital-video editing program called Reel-Eyes. Reel-Eyes follows on the heels of Apple's new iMac DV, and the personal digital-video editing program, iMovie. Reel-Eyes provides some of the basic features of the new iMovie, which is handy for those wanting to delve into video editing, but can't buy a new iMac. According to iREZ Software:

Today, iREZ is releasing its revolutionary new Reel-Eyes software, which is a sophisticated, value-priced software application for professional, home and business use that can transfer high-quality, 30 frames-per-second analog video to and from computer RAM or disk memory.

With Reel-Eyes, users can playback feature-length movies from a computer, export video to DV stream, and save a selected portion of a video clip as a self-contained .avi movie. Source video can be cropped to a predetermined fixed-frame size for transfer to RAM or disk. In addition, bmp, flc, image sequence and QTC format video, as well as other low data rate movies, can be played in the background in a multitasking environment.

Reel-Eyes is available for the very affordable price of US$39.95. You can find more information at the iREZ web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: With the new iMac DV and iMovie, products of this type are going to flourish. Entry level products like Reel-Eyes allow everybody to get into the digital-video editing field, which will certainly help the popularity of digital-video editing grow.

iREZ Software

[11:15 AM] PowerMail Updated With OS 9 Compatibility And New Features

CTM Development has updated the e-mail application PowerMail to version 2.4v7. PowerMail provides a powerful alternative to the usual array of e-mail clients available for the Macintosh. Version 2.4v7 adds OS 9 compatibility, as well as a number of new features and bug fixes. According to CTM Development:

PowerMail is an e-mail client for Macintosh that combines powerful features with a clear, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface. PowerMail supports multiple e-mail accounts, both POP and IMAP, has advanced indexing and searching capabilities, and supports multiple languages and script systems.

New in version 2.4v7

  1. Fully tested and compliant with Mac OS 9, including with the new text encodings in Text Encoding Converter version 1.5, as well as the version of Stuffit Engine now included in the standard OS install
  2. Fixed bug in decoding attachments with filenames greater than 32 characters (such as attachments coming from Outlook under Windows 98)
  3. Fixed a bug when stuffing a file and encoding it with base 64 or uuencode: the file would get sent as octet-stream with an invalid type and creator instead of application/x-stuffit; the file would therefore not be unstuffed on the other end, nor be associated with Stuffit Expander
  4. Upon receiving, Stuffit 5 files could have trouble unstuffing - this is no longer the case
  5. Made fixes for users on Japanese-language systems in preparation for the Kanji version of PowerMail, such as displaying truncated address book names with three periods instead of an ellipsis or eliminating some curly quotes in progress dialogs
  6. Dragging of several addresses in encodings other than US ASCII was causing some update problems in the address book
  7. Decision was made is to only fill the x-sender field in case the account name (i.e. "joe" as in "") would be different from the e-mail address' name, i.e. if an address were "" on that same account.
  8. Improved importing from Emailer-J, especially for mixed-encoding messages
  9. Option-dragging an address into a group could lock the address book up
  10. Removed references to Internet Config and replaced them with Internet instead (as in the new Internet control panel) everywhere but in the menu bar (which still offers to launch Internet Config if it can find it) since most of our users now run Mac OS 8.5 or above
  11. Clarified terminology of POP account option "Delete messages after FETCHING" rather that after READING.
  12. A POP3 fetch transaction could hang if there were no messages on the server but the server answer -ERR instead of an empty list
  13. In the French version, the bottom left button of the Mail Accounts dialog was incorrectly titled "Annuler" instead of "Créer"
  14. The default encoding for incorrectly encoded messages is now assumed to be IS0-8859-1 in the US and French versions (which encompasses US ASCII perfectly as well) and Shift-JIS for the Japanese-languageversion

PowerMail is available for US$49, and a time-limited demo is available. You can find more information at the CTM Development web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: The Macintosh e-mail client market is dominated by huge companies with essentially unlimited budgets and resources. Seeing a quality program like PowerMail come out of a small development house shows that the Macintosh platform continues to foster originality, and, with that, superior products for Mac users.

CTM Development

[8:30 AM] New Developer Program Promotes Developers Who Promote RealBASIC

REAL Software Inc., the makers of REALBasic, have announced a program supporting developers who design their applications with REALBasic. The Made with REALBasic program will help users, and developers, find and support REALBasic use and development. According to REAL Software:

Purpose of the Made with REALbasic program:

The purpose of the Made with REALbasic (MwRb) program is to promote the products created using REALbasic and the people who create those products. The program is a cooperative effort between the users of REALbasic and REAL Software, Inc. There will be at least two vehicles for promotion: listing the users' products and information about them (including links to the developers' sites) on the REALbasic web site and through inclusion on the REALbasic CD-ROM.

Of course, it will be reciprocal! REAL Software asks that any product created using REALbasic use the MwRb logo in their splash screen or about box, on their web site, and use the phrase "Made with REALbasic" in descriptions of the product.

Developers who meet these criteria will be regarded as "Premier" Made with REALbasic Partners. Premier Partners can expect a listing in the Premier Partner section of the REALbasic web site. This section will list the products, a link to the developers' web sites, a description of the product, room for links to reviews, and room for the logo of the product. The goal is to have a deluxe presence for the developers' product. Their products will also be eligible to be included on other CD-ROMs REAL Software participates in (these include magazines, Apple CD-ROMs, and more) as space allows.

Should the developer elect to not include the MwRb logo on their web site, in their splash screen or about box, on their web site, and use the phrase "Made with REALbasic" in descriptions of the product but instead only link to the REAL Software, Inc. web site from their site will be regarded as "Select" Made with REALbasic Partners. Select Partners will be eligible to have a brief description of their product in the Select Partner section of the REALbasic web site along with a link to their site. Select Partners will also have the opportunity to purchase space on the REALbasic CD-ROM for their products. The third tier of REALbasic developers (others) are those that have no link to the REAL Software web site or other indications that their product was created using REALbasic. There will be a third section with the name of the product as a link to the developers' sites. They will be ineligible for CD-ROM space.

REALBasic is currently at version 2.0, and is available for US$99.95 for the Personal Edition. You can find more information about REALBasic, and the Made with REALBasic program at the REAL Software web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: Programs such as this foster development in the Mac community, and encourage new developers, or those thinking of developing a product, to go ahead and do so. Guaranteed support from a company like REAL Software is a bonus to potential developers, and thus to the Mac community in general.

REAL Software

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

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