You'll get your Mac news here from now on...

Help TMO Grow

Subscriber Login

Advertising Info

The Mac Observer Express Daily Newsletter

More Info

Site Navigation

Columns & Editorials
Mac Links

Today's News On One Page

October 15th, 1999

The Week's Top Stories For Week Ending 10/15/1999


The Apple Stock Watch: The October Boogey Man Hammers Wall Street But AAPL Stands Tall
Apple Reverses Position On Existing G4 Orders In Letter From Apple Store


The Apple Stock Watch: Holy DogCow, AAPL closes up 14.3% to 73 1/16!
Analysis: An Embarrassment of Riches, A Brief Analysis of Apple's Earnings Report

Apple Reportedly Reversing Decision To Cancel Existing G4 Orders
Complete Transcript Of 4th Quarter Conference Call


Apple 4th Quarter Results Beat The Street, Sales Up From 1998
Apple Announces Speed Reductions In G4 Lines, Prices Stay The Same

Live Coverage Of Apple's 4th Quarter Press Conference
Sneak Peak: CNBC Reports Apple Crushes Street Estimates
Apple Gains 4 Spots In September Web Rankings (With No PC Manufacturers To Be Seen)


Small Batches of Mac OS 9 Are Delivered to Users After All
Apple Stock Watch: Wall Street Gets the Jitters but Apple Trends Up


Apple Stock Watch: Apple shows strength on a slow Columbus Day
The Mac Observer Expands Financial Coverage


Agfa SnapScan 1212u Brings Easy Scanning To Your USB Mac
Orbit USB 2-Button Trackball, Solid Low-end Offering


Has Apple Shifted From The High End To A Low End Focus?


The Back Page - Apple: 2 Steps Forward, 49 Back
Ask Dave - USB Tips, Faster Internet, And MacOS 9
Computing With Bifocals - Tips For The Web
On The Flip Side - Are We Geeks And Nerds? Hell No!
Wasting Time With The Idiots - When Idiots Talk, Apple Listens (Sort Of)
The Apple Trader - How Windows Costs The World Economy Billions In Lost Productivity Each Year

Monday's Mac Gadget - Experience the Amazing Automated Mac

[5:05 PM] VersionMaster: IconMacher, AMPCaster, And Mac CallerID Are Latest Updates

IconMacher has been upgraded to version 1.5.2, AMPCaster has been raised to version 1.1, and Mac CallerID has been updated to version 1.3.2. These are the most recent updates listed at The Mac Observer's VersionMaster. You can find all the most recent updates with this service.

The Mac Observer's VersionMaster

[5:00 PM] Aladdin Systems Announces ShrinkWrap 3.5 Is Turning Japanese

Aladdin Systems has released the Japanese version of ShrinkWrap 3.5. The new version brings all of ShrinkWrap 3.5's features to the Japanese markets and includes several major upgrades from the previous version. According to Aladdin Systems:

Aladdin Systems, Inc., developer of the worldwide compression standard StuffIt(R), and act2 announced today that ShrinkWrap 3.5(tm) Japanese is now available. This new version easily creates segmented images and exact duplicate disk images for developers and a convenient disk distribution to iMac users via the Internet or for IS professionals for setting up Macs.

New Key Features and Benefits:

Easily create read/write/mount support for Apple's segmented images without using scripting software- ShrinkWrap Japanese is the fastest and easiest way to create segmented images. ShrinkWrap automatically creates segmented images based on the media that is being used. Users don't need to know how to write scripts in order to use this feature. It also includes segment checksum for added verification-making multiple CD package back-ups easy.

Support for HFS+- This allows ShrinkWrap Japanese to create large volume images, that result in up to two gigabytes of compressed data per image. For HFS+ users, creating a back-up image has never been easier or more reliable.

Option to not copy unused blocks of a volume- A volume can contain many deleted files which, though not visible without a disk utility program, are normally copied to an image file. ShrinkWrap will allow users to copy just the currently used blocks of a volume. This benefits users by assuring that only information they choose to include is copied, and saving media and hard drive space when the image is compressed.

Supports Navigation Services- Mac OS 8.5 (and higher) and ShrinkWrap Japanese users see Open/Save dialogs using Navigation Services. These Open/Save dialogs are now movable, support multiple selections where possible, and allow easy access to recent, favorite and network folders and servers- even those not already mounted in the Finder- integrating ShrinkWrap even more with the Mac OS.

Interface Improvements- ShrinkWrap Japanese is Appearance Manager savvy and has an updated Preferences window (similar to other Aladdin products like the popular compression access tools, DropStuff and Expander). This unites the ShrinkWrap interface with the System software and makes ShrinkWrap more familiar to new users.

"Distributing disk images over the Internet, a network environment, or to iMac users is easy with ShrinkWrap Japanese," said Mikiya Kato of act2. "Using ShrinkWrap disk images assures you that all files have been duplicated correctly and completely. Also, iMac users don't need to worry about a floppy drive, they can use ShrinkWrap images-they can receive ShrinkWrap images of floppy contents and use them like they would any other file or disk."

ShrinkWrap Japanese's easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface simplifies the creation of an exact disk image of the original source disk or CD-ROM for easy transmission over the Internet. With ShrinkWrap 3.5, users gain support for all commonly-used image file formats, making ShrinkWrap usage transparent and convenient.

Requirements and Availability

ShrinkWrap Japanese supports Mac OS 7.5.5 and higher, including Mac OS 8.6 for Macintosh and Power Macintosh. It contains both 68K -and PowerPC- native code, is AppleEvent aware, 32-bit clean, AV- '040 cache- and virtual memory-compatible. Although a Macintosh SE or better is required for full functionality, the Mac Plus can still use ShrinkWrap to mount, convert and verify disk image files. The Component Manager, available with QuickTime 1.5 or System 7.1 or later, is required to handle compressed or encrypted disk images.

ShrinkWrap Japanese is available online and is priced at ¥3900. You can find more information at the same web site.

Aladdin Systems - Act 2

[4:45 PM] Macho, Macho Mac: New Mac Web Site Launched

A new site has been launched by the name MacMachismo. Before you think that this new site is for Macho guys named Rico Suave, listen to the rationale behind the name from the site's creator, Ryan Vesler:

Mac: A personal computer developed by Apple Computer, Inc. First unveiled in 1984.

Machismo: An exaggerated or exhilarating sense of power or strength.

MacMachismo: The single most "powerful" and up-to-date Macintosh news site on the web.

The site has a great look, and a cool logo. The news is up to date as well, so go check it out!


[4:00 PM] The Apple Stock Watch: The October Boogey Man Hammers Wall Street But AAPL Stands Tall
by Wes George

Fed chairman Alan Greenspan set the markets off to a bad start with his comment last night about the risk associated with stock market investing at these price levels. Things only got worse when the wholesale price data came in higher than expected.

Apple was one of the rare stocks to beat the down draft. AAPL closed at $74.5 up $1.4 with twice the normal volume at 10.5 million shares traded.

Wall Street dipped below 10,000 briefly today for the first time in six months as money flowed from the stock markets to bonds due to the higher bond yields. 30-year bond yield lowered to 6.27%

The Producer Price Index (PPI) was announced this morning at 1.1%, way above the over-optimistic 0.5% estimate Wall Street was hoping for. The PPI indicates that inflation is a very real threat.

The Dow closed down 266.90 to 10019.71. Today was Sixth largest point loss in the Dow's history making this week the single worse week for the Dow since 1987. The Nasdaq closed down 75.05 to 2731.79. The Dow lost 5.8% and the Nasdaq lost 6.6% for the week.

The sentiment among traders on Wall Street is that selling climaxes never conclude on Fridays especially in light of the low volume today. Expectations are set for an ugly open on Monday.

(BKX) Banking Index set a new 52-week low.

Among the Apple related stocks Adobe, Macromedia and Symantec all closed down. Apple's PowerPC partners closed mixed with Motorola closing down and IBM ending the day on the plus side. Apple's PC competitors Dell, Compaq, Gateway, Intel and Microsoft all took a beating as well. Hewlett-Packard bucked the trend to end the day in positive territory with Apple.

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.


[Editorial] Has Apple Shifted From The High End To A Low End Focus?
by Kyle D'Addario

[2:00 PM] Apple Reverses Position On Existing G4 Orders In Letter From Apple Store

Apple has apparently reversed its decision to cancel existing orders for PowerMac G4s. In a letter sent out to customers who had previously been told their orders were canceled, Apple took a remarkably contrite tone and asked customers to allow them to reinstate the order. The following was forwarded to us by an Observer.

Dear Valued Apple Store Customer,

Yesterday the Apple Store decided to cancel all G4 orders placed before October 13. After a good night's sleep and digesting e-mails from many upset customers, we have decided to reverse this decision. Please give us an opportunity to reinstate your order.

If you ordered a Power Mac G4 configured with a 400 MHz or 450 MHz processor prior to October 13, we will honor the original price quoted for your order.

If you ordered a Power Mac G4 configured with a 500 MHz processor prior to October 13, you can choose either the same configuration with a 450 MHz processor at $350 less than your original order price, or you may substitute any other configuration with a 450 MHz processor at the original prices in effect before October 13.

Please call us at the Apple Store at 800-MY-APPLE for assistance in reinstating your original order. We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused you.


The Apple Store

Unfortunately, Apple is still not ready to make official comment on this issue.

The Mac Observer Spin: Wow, this is great, simply great. What is stunning is the tone of the letter. Apple has never been known as a company that publicly acknowledged their mistakes. This letter clearly is an exceptiion. We applaud Apple's decision and commend them on this course of action. They have shown a commitment to their customers, and that is a very good thing.

A Better Finder Attributes

[Column] The Back Page - Apple: 2 Steps Forward, 49 Back

[12:30 PM] Swap Your G3/G4 Internal CD-ROM With A CD-RW

EZQuest has announced a new internal CD-RW drive to replace the CD-ROM drives of PowerMac G3 and G4 units.

EZQuest, Inc introduces the first internal ATAPI CDRW InternalKit for the Macintosh G3 and G4 computers. The Boa will replace the existing CD-ROM and allow users to write and rewrite at 4x speed and read at 20x. The Internal Boa is now shipping to Apple dealers worldwide.

The Boa Internal 4x4x24 CDRW Kit and is shipping with one ATAPI CDRW internal drive, burning software, installation manual and one disk each of CDR and CDRW media. For information in finding an authorized EZQuest reseller near you, please contact

The drive is priced at US$249 with immediate availability. The company has not yet posted information on the product to their web site.


[11:00 AM] Griffin Technology Updates Mac Connect And iMate Connectors

Griffin Technology has released an updated version of their video adapter for G3/G4 models, Mac Connect. For those using Apple's latest hardware offerings, but are still have older Apple monitors, Mac Connect can be a lifesaver. They have also updated their iMate USB to ADB adapter. According to Griffin Technology:

The adapter provides improved compatibility with many Apple Displays on the G4 models. It is targeted for users with AppleVision, ColorSync, and Studio Displays that are using the new G4 models or PowerBook G3 models. When combined with the iMate USB to ADB adapter it provides the existing Monitors and Sound software controls for geometry, brightness and contrast, and calibration to be used with the G4 and PowerBook models.

Griffin also posted the iMate driver version 1.7b2. The new version has several improvements. It provides a method for passing ADB Ops to unused ADB addresses which solves a problem with some Rainbow dongles that use the Eve INIT. Also this version fixes a small memory error and has other small bug fixes for Mac OS 9.

The iMate universal USB to ADB adapter allows hundreds of existing ADB devices to be used with iMacs, Lombard PowerBooks G3s, G4s, and iBooks. It supports a wide range of devices including, mice, keyboards, trackballs, trackpads, joysticks, hardware protection dongles, keyboards, bar code readers, drawing tablets, AppleVision/ColorSync/Studio Display monitors, special education and handicap devices, and many other specialized devices.

Mac Connect is available in a bundle with iMate for US$49. You can find more information at the Griffin Technology web site.

Griffin Technology

[11:00 AM] A Better Finder Attributes Updates Adds Increased Date/Time Manipulation

Frank Reiff has updated his file information manipulation utility, A Better Finder Attributers, to version 1.4. The latest release add feature improvements. According to Mr. Reiff:

"A Better Finder Attributes" is a contextual menu plugin for the Macintosh Finder, which allows users to quickly change attributes such as creation and modification dates as well as the Finder flags of single or multiple files or folders. Up to now changing these attributes meant "hacking" them individually in ResEdit.

The new version extends the date and time manipulation abilities of the tool.

"A Better Finder Attributes" allows users to change the following file and folder properties:

  • creation time and date
  • modification time and date
  • backup time and date
  • name locked
  • file locked
  • the invisible flag
  • the ignited flag
  • the shared flag
  • the stationary flag
  • the alias flag
  • the use custom icon flags
  • the no inits flag
  • the bundle resource flag

A Better Finder Attributes is available as shareware for US$10 for a single user license. You can find more information at the A Better Finder Attributes web site.

A Better Finder Attributes

[11:00 AM] Video Gogh QuickTime Effect Hits Market

RE:Vision Effects Inc. has released their QuickTime Effect, Video Gogh, coming in at version 1.0.1. QuickTime Effects allow manipulation and enhancement of QuickTime movies, much like filters in Adobe Photoshop allow images to be manipulated and enhanced. Video Gogh is no exception. According to RE:Vision Effects:

The Video Gogh QuickTime Effect transforms pictures and video into painted works of art. Video Gogh is different than other painterly filters on the market because Video Gogh actually tracks objects in movies for an unparalleled smooth result.

This QuickTime effect brings the power of Video Gogh technology to any application that supports Apple's QuickTime Effects. This list includes Premiere 5.1a (Adobe), Final Cut Pro (Apple), EditDV and RotoDV (Digital Origin), Media Cleaner (Terran), Commotion (Puffin Designs) and VideoShop (Strata), among many others.

The Video Gogh QuickTime Effect is available for US$29.95. You can find more information at the RE:Vision Effects web site.

Vision Effects

[9:00 AM] Powerlogix Adds 500 MHz G3 Upgrade Card To Product Line

Powerlogix has joined the ranks of companies offering a 500 MHz upgrade card for PCI based PowerMacs. The new card becomes the high end of Powerlogix's product line and comes in at a very attractive price point. According to Powerlogix:

PowerLogix today announced the shipment of new models of the award-winning line of PowerForce G3 processor upgrades. Following IBM's announcement of their 500MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) chip, the PowerForce G3 500MHz is now the fastest processor available for Power Macintosh.

The PowerForce G3 500 includes 1 Mb of backside cache rated at 250MHz. Like the previously announced 466MHz chip from IBM, the 500MHz model will also take advantage of the 10x bus multiplier which will allow owners of older PCI-based PowerMacs with slower bus speeds to run at faster clock speeds.

The PowerForce G3 cards, given the honor of "Editor's Choice" by MacWorld Magazine, can be used to upgrade the 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8600, 9500, and 9600 models from Apple as well as Power Computing clones and the S900 and J700 from Umax.

The PowerForce G3 500MHz ZIF is compatible with all PowerMac G3s, including the new "Blue & White" G3s as well as the G3 "All-in-One", the G3 500 brings Macintosh performance to levels unavailable from Apple or any other vendor.

"Even though all eyes have been directed to the G4 chip and Apple's recent announcement of the G4 machines, quantities on the higher end G4 models will be severly constrained and high end G4 upgrade cards will not hit the market until early next year," said Robin Sharp, Director of Marketing for PowerLogix R&D, Inc. "We are very excited about our upcoming G4 processor upgrades but, unless the user has the software that will take advantage of the Altivec (Velocity Engine) technology, the G3 chips are just as fast and significantly cheaper."

The two new 500MHz PowerForce G3 models replace the existing PowerForce G3 466 and PowerForce G3 ZIF 466 models.

Powerlogix will be shipping the PowerForce G3 on Monday, October 15th. The product is priced at US$799. Youcan find more information on the PowerForce G3 at the company's web site. The ZIF 500 will be available in "two weeks," although a specific date has not been given. This card will ship at US$749. You can find more information on this product line at the comapny's web site too, though Powerlogix has not yet added information on the 500 MHz card.


Today's Mac Headlines

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

We also offer Today's News On One Page!

Yesterday's News


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

We also offer Yesterday's News On One Page!

Mac Products Guide
New Arrivals
New and updated products added to the Guide.

Hot Deals
Great prices on hot selling Mac products from your favorite Macintosh resellers.

Special Offers
Promotions and offers direct from Macintosh developers and magazines.

Browse the software section for over 17,000 Macintosh applications and software titles.

Over 4,000 peripherals and accessories such as cameras, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice and more.

© All information presented on this site is copyrighted by The Mac Observer except where otherwise noted. No portion of this site may be copied without express written consent. Other sites are invited to link to any aspect of this site provided that all content is presented in its original form and is not placed within another .