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October 18th, 1999

[4:40 PM] VersionMaster: Icon Machine, Yer, And Authorware Are Latest Updates

Icon Machine has been bumped to version 2.01, Yer has been released at version 1.0, and Authorware has been raised to version 5.1. 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

[4:00 PM] The Apple Stock Watch: The Stock Market Feels for a Bottom, AAPL retraces $1 5/16 closing at $73 1/4
by Wes George

The Nasdaq continued the downtrend it started a week ago today closing at 2688.83 down 43. At one point the Nasdaq was down almost 100 points, but cut that loss by more than half in a late afternoon rally.

The Dow fared better closing up 96.57 at 10116.28. The Dow's rally today, after the 630 plus point drop last week, was hindered by low volume. The Nasdaq suffered a decided loss as it closed at 2689.15, down 42.68.

Many investors sat the day out waiting for tomorrow morning's release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September before jumping back in. The CPI represents the amount of inflation in the cost of consumer goods, a strong surge will be further incitement to the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

The various tech sectors were among the hardest hit in today's Nasdaq sell off. Apple closed down 1.84% to $73 1/4, a loss of 1 5/16, after being down $3 points. Among the Apple related stocks Adobe was one of the few bright spots as it closed higher by 1/4. Macromedia, and Symantec bother closed lower. Apple's PowerPC partners were mixed as Motorola closed higher and IBM ended the day on a negative note.

On the PC front, Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Compaq, Gateway 2000, and Hewlett-Packard 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.


[3:30 PM] Track Auctions At Popular Auction Sites With Auctioneer Pro

MBM Designs has released Auctioneer Pro for the Mac. Auctioneer Pro will surf the most popular auction sites and track items in which you are interested. According to MBM Designs:

Auctioneer Pro is a powerful application that tracks online auctions from the top three sites: Amazon, eBay, and Yahoo.  It tracks both buy and sell auctions and allows the users to record contact, payment, and shipping information after the auction closes (you can also track shipments online automatically).  A free 30 day demo is available immediately.

The demo is free while the full version is priced at US$24.99. You can find more information on the product at the company's web site.

Auctioneer Pro

[2:30 PM] California Quake Delays Release Of Y2K App Checker

Blueline Studios has announced that the recent quake in California has caused an unavoidable delay in the public beta release of Y@K App Checker. The project will hopefully be back on track shortly. According to Blueline Studio:

The beta release of "Y2K App Checker", the free utility to check Macintosh applications for year 2000 compliance is delayed due to some problems caused by the recent 7.0 magnitude Southern California earthquake.

The software implements the database from, the currently most complete resource available regarding applications with y2K issues. Y2K App Checker scans the user's hard disk for applications and when finds any corresponding entries in the database, it will describe the problem, the solution, and the companies' URL, along with other useful information.

The final version will be released one week after the Beta. System requirements are any Macintosh, iMac, or Mac clone, 4 MB of available RAM, and system 7 or above.

You can find more information on Y2K App Checker at the company's web site.

Sonnet Technologies

[1:45 PM] Clock Your iMac's Or iBook's G3 Up A Notch

Danbo from The Mac Treasure Tracing Club, an Asian Mac web site, wrote to tell us that Mystic Room, another Asian Mac site, has figured out how to bump the clock speed of iMac DVs and iBooks. According to Mystic Room, the motherboard will support speeds as high as 1 GHz on the iMac DV, thought it is unlikely that any shipping iMacs come with G3s that could operate at those speeds. Heat factors will probably have a major impact on top speeds as well. The process involves making changes to components on your motherboard, so it is not for the faint of heart. Please note that this process would probably void your warranty with Apple and could seriously damage your iMac, perhaps making it unusable. For that reason, The Mac Observer recommends that you do not attempt this process, nor have we tested it in any fashion. However, we know that performance junkies and the curious will want to check it out just like we did! :-)

The site is in frames, so we can't link directly to the pertinent page. These are instructions for finding the right page. Click on the English link at the bottom of the page. When the new frame comes up, click on the "Macintosh Tune Up" Link, and then the iMac DV link at the bottom of the list of Mac computers. That is the page with images and instructions for doing this.

The site has tips for tweaking your G4 as well.

Apple was unavailable for comment as of press time.

The Mac Observer Spin: Being able to fiddle with your Mac at the hardware level is one thing that is less easy than it is on the PC front. Of course, that very aspect of the Mac is one of the things that makes it attractive to many Mac users. With the iMac DV making iMacs truly powerful machines for the first time, they are most likely becoming more attractive to those looking for high performance. The urge to tweak that performance in order to get the last ounce of processor juice will be great for many.

Mac Treasure Tracing Club - Mystic Club

[8:45 AM] Apple Comes Full Circle Announces They Will Honor All G4 Pre-orders Before 10/13!

In a fantastic change of corporate heart, Apple has announced its full policy regarding the G4 pricing/availability issue. Apple will now honor all orders taking before 10/13/1999, the day before they announced the new product line, including those from resellers. As of Friday, Apple had agreed to honor pre-orders from Apple Store customers only. Also in a surprising move, Apple made this announcement, which amounts to a full-blown apology, in a press release open to the public. According to Apple:

Apple® today announced it will honor all orders for its Power Macintosh® G4 computers placed before Wednesday, October 13, at the originally quoted prices, including those placed with the Company's resellers which were accompanied by a purchase order, or a cash or credit card deposit.

“We aim to delight our customers, and we clearly dropped the ball in this instance. We apologize to our customers for upsetting and disappointing them during this past week,” said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. “Our actions today will hopefully set things right. As the old business proverb says: Good companies make mistakes. Great companies fix them.”

Customers who ordered the 400 MHz and 450 MHz models will receive their Power Mac™ G4 systems as ordered at the originally quoted prices. Customers who ordered the 500 MHz model, which has been delayed until early next year, will be offered a 450 MHz model at its originally quoted price. Since Wednesday, October 13, Apple has only taken orders for its reconfigured Power Mac G4 line which includes processors running at 350 MHz, 400 MHz and 450 MHz, priced at US$1,599, US$2,499 and US$3,499, respectively.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is such good news! Apple has stepped up to the plate under withering fire from the Mac press, the mainstream press, and, most importantly, their customers, and done the Right Thing. Even more importantly, Apple has done so publicly. This is a far cry from many similar actions in the past where Apple has never actually apologized for widespread customer snafus, and only dealt with those customers affected.

While this may have been influenced by the mainstream press and even the financial press commenting and reporting on this issue, we prefer to look at this as more responsive Apple. In any event, Apple gets a big Mac Observer Salute for taking the high road on this contentious issue.

Glucose Software

[Column] The Apple Trader - Happy Black Monday!

[Column] Monday's Mac Gadget - Protect Your Mac from Evil

[Review] MacAlly's iHub, A Great Choice For USB Hubs
by Michael Munger

[8:00 AM] Win A Free Copy Of Tomb Raider 3!

MAC-O-RAMA and Aspyr Media have announced a contest to celebrate the release of Tomb Raider 3, the award winning adventure game featuring the buxom and tough female adventurer, Lara Croft. MAC-O-RAMA and Aspyr Media will be placing game pieces on popular Macintosh sites, giving readers a chance to win copies of Tomb Raider 3 and other prizes. According to MAC-O-RAMA:

Lara is back on the Mac in Tomb Raider 3 and it's time to celebrate! In her honor, MAC-O-RAMA and Aspyr Media are having a Tomb Raider 3 Adventure! Find the Lara "game piece" then click and enter to win a FREE copy of Tomb Raider 3, cool t-shirts and more! The Lara "game piece" will appear on two featured sites each day... doubling your chances to win.

The adventure begins Monday, October 18, 1999 and ends Friday, October 22, 1999. Two Lara "game pieces" will be posted each day on two of these web sites:

Mac Gamer's Ledge
Mac Gaming
The Mac Observer

Each of the 10 winners will receive 1 copy of Tomb Raider 3, a way cool Aspyr t-shirt, a totally awesome MAC-O-RAMA t-shirt plus other nifty stuff! One Grand Prize winner will be drawn (from the 10 winners) to receive a Lara Croft doll!

For more information and full contest rules, you can visit the MAC-O-RAMA web site. In the meanwhile, visit those 5 sites, including The Mac Observer of course :-), and look for the game pieces!

MAC-O-RAMA - Aspyr Media

[8:00 AM] Sonnet Drops Prices On G3 Upgrade Cards

Sonnet Technologies has jumped on the G3 upgrade price slide by announcing price cuts across their G3 upgrade line. Joining some of the other upgrade manufacturers in dropping prices, Sonnet is making it easier to extend the life of current Macintosh computers. According to Sonnet:

Sonnet Technologies, Inc. has dropped prices by as much as 17% on G3 processor upgrades. Sonnetís new lower prices are as follows:

  • Crescendo G3/PCI 300/1M $349.95 (was $399.95)
  • Crescendo G3/PCI 333/1M $399.95 (was $449.95)
  • Crescendo G3/PCI 400/1M $499.95 (was $599.95)
  • Crescendo G3/PCI 466/1M $699.95 (was $799.95)

The above cards are compatible with the following Macintosh models:

Power Mac 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8515, 8600, 9500, 9515, 9600
Workgroup Server 7350, 8550, 9650
Power Computing PowerCenter, PowerCenter Pro, PowerTower, PowerTower Pro, PowerWave, PowerCurve
UMAX J700/S900
DayStar Genesis 360, 400, 528, 600, 720, 800, 900, 932
Mactell XB-Pro

  • Crescendo G3/NuBus 266/512 $249.95 (was $299.95)
  • Crescendo G3/NuBus 266/1M $299.95 (was $349.95)
  • Crescendo G3/NuBus 300/1M $399.95 (was $449.95)
  • Crescendo G3/NuBus 400/1M $599.95 (was $649.95)

The above cards are compatible with the following Macintosh models:

Power Mac 6100, 7100, 8100
Performa 611X
Workgroup Server 6150, 8150, 9150
Radius 81/110
Power Computing Power 100, Power 120

  • Crescendo G3/L2 300/1M $349.95 (was $399.95)
  • Crescendo G3/L2 400/1M $499.95 (was $599.95)

The above card is compatible with the following Macintosh models:

Power Mac 4400, 5400, 5500*, 6400, 6500*, 7220
Performa 54XX, 6360, 64XX
20th Anniversary Mac*
StarMax 3000, 4000
Power Computing PowerBase

* The Crescendo G3/L2 400/1M will only support the models that are indicated with an asterisk.

You can find more information at the Sonnet Technologies web site.

Sonnet Technologies

[8:00 AM] New QuickTime 4 Image Viewer Enters Public Beta

SearchWare Solutions has invited the public to test their upcoming QuickTime viewing application, Pix Lite. Pix Lite will support many of the same features as Apple's QuickTime, while improving flexibility and ease of use. According to SearchWare Solutions:

SearchWare Solutions is proud to announce a public testing period for its newest product, Pix Lite.

Pix Lite is a powerful, QuickTime 4 compatible image-viewer with many advanced capabilities, including:

  • Image Viewing (any QuickTime supported format)
  • QuickTime and AVI movie viewing
  • Fully Customizable Slide Show capabilities
  • Full-Screen presentation of movies
  • Extensive AppleScript support-most actions in Pix Lite are AppleScriptable.
  • Exporting of Images in most QuickTime supported formats.

The testing period will be open to the public and will consist of two stages. The first stage will be to finalize the feature-set of the software. Testers will be able to provide feedback as to what other features they would like to see included in the final release of Pix Lite. The second stage will consist exclusively of extensive bug-finding/fixing. Anyone is free to take part in either stage of testing.

Although Pix Lite will be released as shareware, testers will be able to freely use the software during the testing period.

SearchWare Solutions is very excited to offer this testing opportunity to the public, and looks forward to working with the testers to make Pix Lite the best image-viewer on the market.

Those interested in testing Pix Lite can find more information at the SearchWare Solutions web site. This public beta is a free download.

SearchWare Solutions

[8:00 AM] GIF Screenshot To Animation Utility Adds Japanese Version

Pedagoguery Software has updated Gif.gIf.giF to version 1.52. Gif.gIf.giF simplifies the creation of GIF animations for World Wide Web presentation. This version adds Japanese interface capabilities. According to Pedagoguery Software:

Gif·gIf·giF is a small shareware program for producing GIF animations from screen captures. It is especially useful for producing animated software demonstrations or tutorials. GIF animations produced with Gif·gIf·giF are automatically displayed by web browsers, such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, without requiring any add-ons, plug-ins, or helper applications.

Changes since the previous version:

A Japanese interface is now available. (The user may choose an English, a Danish, or a Japanese interface.)

Gif.gIf.giF is available for US$28. You can find more information at the Pedagoguery Software web site.

Pedagoguery Software

[8:00 AM] Data Hammer Updated To Include MacOS 9 Compatibility

Glucose Software has updated Data Hammer to version 2.2.6, giving the popular web search/news summary tool OS 9 compatibility. Version 2.2.6 also includes bug fixes and stability enhancements. Data Hammer allows quick summarization of World Wide Web news articles, and allows those summaries to be reported in an easy to read format. According to Glucose:

Whenever Data Hammer encounters a page that appears to be an article, it automatically flips into summary mode. All unnecessary navigational links are stripped away, leaving only a short abstract. Then, you can simply use Data Hammer's slider to increase or decrease the page's level of detail.

We have released Data Hammer 2.2.6, an important bug fix release to our information abstraction/summarization tool.

Version 2.2.6 fixes problems multiple crashing bugs and corrects issues with Mac OS 9.

Data Hammer is available for US$24.95. You can find more information at the Glucose web site.

Glucose Software

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