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October 20th, 1999

[4:30 PM] Send A Mac Virtual Greeting Card

Our friends at PowerBookCentral have announced a new feature for their site. You can now send a virtual greeting card to your friends, loved ones, fellow Mac nuts, and your Wintel loving IT manager with their new Virtual Greeting Card. Better yet, you can send your card confident that your e-mail address will not be sold to any SPAMMERS, the bane of most online greeting card services. According to PowerBooksCentral:

Macintosh Virtual Greeting Cards is a new free service provided by PowerBook Central. Send a friend or associate, preferably one that uses a PC, one of these mouthwatering greeting cards!

Sending a card is easy with PowerBookCentral.Com's Virtual Greeting Card script. Just follow the instructions at each step along the way. I also want to let you know that the cards are stored in a non-indexed directory so only you and the recipient will know how to find the card. This directory is also pretty secure from spammers, so send your card knowing you will not end up on any junk list.

After you have completed the card, you will be shown a preview. If you do not like your card, you may edit it and then send it, or just cancel the request. The recipient will receive e-mail advising where to find the card.

Head over to PowerBookCentral and check out this service!

PowerBookCentral - Virtual Greeting Card

[5:00 PM] VersionMaster: Media 100, A Better Finder Rename, And Summary Are Latest Updates

Media 100 has been upgraded to version 6, A BEtter Finder Rename has been bumped to version 2.6, and Summary has been updated to version 1.4. 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

[3:45 PM] The Apple Stock Watch: Wall Street Rally! Apple up 9.67%!
by Wes George

Microsoft lead the tech stocks forward as the most heavily traded issue, soundly beating its earnings estimates today. Microsoft said that demand for PCs is "awesome" and that they expect blow out growth next quarter.

The Dow ended strongly up 187.43 or 1.84% to close at 10392.36. The Nasdaq roared back after a six day losing streaking up 99.94 or 3.72% to close at 2788.12. Today was the third largest point increase on the Nasdaq in history. Volume was strong.

Apple soared back today after yesterday's trouncing, up $6.5/8 or 9.67% to close near the day's high of $75.125 on very high volume of 9,632,700 shares traded. Apple's average shares traded is 5.7 million.

Finally, Wall Street took a time out from worrying about inflation and concentrated on what is shaping up to be a very strong earnings seasons. Reports of a narrowing trade gap also help boost trader's spirits today.

America Online (AOL) earnings, expected to come in at $ 0.13 per share, are due out this afternoon, Internet stocks were up. Computer Associates International (CA) reported higher earnings in its second quarter, $0.60 per share, a penny above expectations. Also, IBM reported earnings after the bell at $0.90 per share up from $0.78 per share last year at this time. IBM did warn that Y2K may slow its earning this quarter.

Apple related stocks, Adobe, Symantec, Motorola and IBM all ended up strongly today. However, Macromedia lost $1 5/32 to close at $52 15/32.

On the PC side, Dell, Gateway 2000, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel all joined Microsoft in closing with strong gains.

The 30-year bond rose 5/32 with the yield moving its highest level in several years at 6.34%, something not usually associated with a rally.

Transports hit a new low today, a bearish cross current in today's rally.

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 AM] MacMAll: MacOS 9 Ships On 10/22, "Midnight MacOS 9" Event To Be Held At Retail Location

MacMall's parent company, Creative Computers, has announced a big push for MacOS 9. The company will be shipping "thousands" of copies of MacOS 9 on 10/22 for delivery on 10/23. In addition, the company will be holding a Midnight MacOS 9 event, similar to the hoopla that surrounded the release of Windows 95. According to Creative Computers:

Creative Computers, Inc. announced today that its MacMall division will be shipping thousands of copies of Mac OS 9 on Friday, October 22nd for delivery on Saturday, October 23rd. Mac OS 9 is Apple's latest operating system and is the ultimate upgrade for anyone on the Internet or anyone who wants to be. With more than 50 powerful new features, Mac OS 9 offers a variety of capabilities for new and advanced users. These enhancements also provide strong benefits for home users, publishers and educators. Mac OS 9 offers voice activated security logins, enhanced Sherlock 2 with online shopping support, advanced 3D Graphics support and much, much more. MacMall also announced a Midnight Mac 0S 9.0 Kickoff event to celebrate the availability of Mac OS 9. The Kickoff event will be at Creative Computer's retail store at 1505 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA from 12 AM to 1:30 AM PDT on Saturday morning, October 23, 1999. The store will have special extended hours on Saturday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Mac OS 9 experts will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate the many new features and capabilities of the most Internet-savvy OS ever.

The store will display and sell many of the exciting new products that Apple has introduced in the last few months including:

  • The exciting new iMac DV which features Apple's groundbreaking digital video technology. There are two versions of the iMac DV. The first version features the 400MHz G3 processor with 64MB of RAM, a 10GB Hard Drive and it is available in Apple's 5 classic colors. The store will have some units in stock for immediate purchase. The special edition features the 400MHz G3 processor with 128MB of RAM, a 13GB Hard Drive and it comes in Apple's new color, Graphite, which matches the new PowerMac G4. The store will have many of these units in stock for immediate purchase.
  • The PowerMac G4, which is quite simply the fastest machine ever designed to run graphics applications like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and QuarkXPress. It draws its phenomenal power from the PowerPC G4 with Velocity Engine. The store will have the 350MHz G4 and the 400MHz G4 models in stock for immediate purchase.
  • The revolutionary new iBook which offers easy access to the Internet, a choice of two colors, tons of free software, and a personality. Although this unit has been in short supply, the store will have units in stock for immediate purchase on a first-come first-served basis.

"Our Santa Monica store, a favorite of many entertainment industry celebrities, features the latest products from Apple, IBM, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, and others. With great service, and a knowledgeable team of consultants, we invite everyone to this exciting event. Whether you are an expert or a novice, you'll be fascinated with this state of the art product. Don't be left behind! We'll see you at midnight!" said Dan DeVries, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is a cool announcement. It's great to see MacMall gettin' jiggy wit' it over MacOS 9. The Midnight MacOS 9 event in particular is refreshing in that the company obviously feels that they can profit by going to these lengths. A far cry from a couple of years ago when it took weeks for some retailers to bother to get their copies of OS 8.


[2:00 PM] XLR8 First To Ship G4 Upgrades, Include AltiVec Enabling Software

XLR8 has beat the rest of the upgrade manufacturers to market by being the first to ship a G4 upgrade card. The company has announced that its MACh Carrier G4 and MACh Speed G4z cards are shipping this week. XLR8 has also announced that they are including software with the cards that allow Photoshop 3 and 4 to take advantage of AltiVec, or Velocity Engine as it is now called. According to XLR8 (and there is a lot of information here):

XLR8 announced the imminent shipping of their latest G4 processor upgrades: the XLR8 350 MHz MACh Carrier G4 and, the XLR8 350 MHz MACh Speed G4z

These new upgrades utilize the new PowerPC 7400 (G4) processor to deliver supercomputing levels of performance for Apple PowerMac systems (7300 through G3) and most clones. Both upgrades provide high-speed 350 MHz G4 performance, with a 1 megabyte backside cache running at 233 MHz. XLR8 further delivers exclusive levels of performance with its own Photoshop extensions, the XLR8 Velocity Extensions.

This AltiVec enabling software boosts the performance Adobe Photoshop 3.0 and 4.0.

All XLR8 upgrades include XLR8 MVP

(Multiple Variable Processing) technology. This exclusive technology provides additional performance options, and allows a single card to be utilized across a wide range of systems. To change from the default system, MVP is easily configured for a different system simply by changing its switch/jumper settings. All other performance settings are configured automatically via XLR8's Auto Caching Technology.

The PowerPC 7400 (G4) is the most advanced personal computing CPU available today. The new G4 CPU is fully compatible with Mac OS versions 8.6 and above. It also delivers additional performance compatibility in Mac OS 9, by utilizing the G4's built in AltiVec performance unit (trademarked Velocity Engine by Apple). Additional information on the specifics of G4 performance and advancements are available via XLR8's G4 Upgrade White Paper. XLR8 further enhances performance of its G4 upgrades by including its own AltiVec extensions, which it calls XLR8 Velocity Extensions.

Currently, the Velocity Extensions provide increased performance for Photoshop 3.0 and 4.0, with Adobe's own extensions delivering performance for Photoshop 5.0 and up. XLR8 plans to continue development of XLR8 Velocity Extensions for other applications and technologies, further enhancing the value and performance of XLR8's G4 family of upgrades.

350 MHz MACh Carrier G4

This 350 MHz G4 upgrade joins the previously announced 400 MHz and 450 MHz G4 upgrades. As the first G4 upgrade shipping, the MACh Carrier provides instant access to G4 performance options. Its patent pending design allows users to upgrade later to even faster G4 speeds simply by swapping the ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) CPU daughtercard. The MACh Carrier G4 provides full G4 compatibility for the Power Mac 7300-9600, UMAX S900/J700, PowerComputing PowerTower Pro and PowerWave, as well as DayStar Genesis MP (720 up) and Millennium systems.

350 MHz MACh Speed G4z

The 350 MHz MACh Speed G4z upgrade joins the previously announced 400 MHz and 450 MHz G4 ZIF upgrades. These upgrades deliver full G4 compatibility for all Power Macintosh G3 systems including the "G4 challenged" Blue & White Power Macintosh G3. The MACh Speed G4z is a state-of the-art ZIF CPU daughtercard that follows Apple's standard form factor specifications. XLR8 includes performance and compatibility software that allows the MACh Speed G4z to out perform all existing 350 MHz G4 systems and upgrades running Adobe Photoshop 3.0 or 4.0. The MACh Speed G4z is also compatible with XLR8's CarrierZIF upgrade adapter, providing a low-cost CPU upgrade for owners of XLR8's MACh Carrier G3 upgrades.

The 350 MHz MACh Carrier G4 is priced at US$749 and the 350 MHz MACh Speed G4z is priced at US$649. Both cards are shipping this week. You can find more information at the company's web site, though the products page seems to be blank as of this writing.


[8:00 AM] New Asian US$160 iMac Knockoff May Get Past Apple Legal, Seriously
by Himitsu

Just when you thought Apple squashed all iMac wannabes along comes a new challenge. Is it from eOne? No the challenge comes from Hong Kong's Konka Co. Priced at 17500 yen (Around $160 US) this slick white and green box screams 'iMac" all over it. The front sports two stereo speakers. And you'll find a handy handle on top. The screen size is 14". It also has AV input/outputs. PAL and NTSC options too. Future models will feature a DVD drive and multiple colors.

But wait. How can it be ONLY $160?? Is it bundled with a 100 year Internet service contract? Actually, its not a computer! But first glance at this product would make you think so!! All over Japan, from dishes to CD boxes the iMac has inspired new industrial designs. You can now outfit your whole computer room in the same color as your iMac. But your TV too? Chinese computer maker Konka, hopes so. The number two maker of PC in China is ready to launch a new line of TVs that looks like the iMac.

The million dollar question is, what Apple will do in this situation. Its an obvious copy of their industrial design. But unlike the eOne, this is an entirely different product category. If Apple brings Konka to court, are other iMac inspired product makers in trouble? Only time will tell.

Ziff-Davis In Japan has coverage of this product that includes many pictures. We highly encourage you to check out their coverage to see the product.

Apple was unavailable for comment as of press time.

The Mac Observer Spin: You have to see this thing. This is one of the finest looking TVs ever made. With this product not being a computer at all, it is questionable whether Apple could sue on the grounds that the product could cause confusion in the market place. That's the tactic they have opted for so far in the battle against computer companies looking to rip off the iMac's distinctive look. While it is clearly a design that was utterly inspired by the iMac, it actually has a different overall shape. In our non-legal opinion, from a strictly appearance standpoint, Apple would have grounds to say that their design had been copied.

One thing is for certain, several Mac Observer staff members have said that they would like one.

Himitsu covers Mac events in Japan for The Mac Observer.

Konka - Apple

[Review] Computing With Bifocals - Nancy's Web Tips For The Holidays

[Review] Latest Norton AntiVirus Offers Significant Performance Boost

[8:00 AM] Microsoft Rolls Out Outlook Express, Offers iMac (5) Give Away As Promotion

Microsoft has released Outlook Express 5. Outlook Express is an e-mail client with a host of features. The new version sports performance enhancements, an entirely new interface, and all kinds of new features. Better yet, Microsoft is offering a way for potential users to test the product while still maintaining their previous e-mail client.

Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of Outlook(R) Express 5 Macintosh Edition, which introduces innovations that help solve real-world problems. New features such as Smart Attachments and Junk Mail Filter helped Microsoft(R) Outlook Express 5 capture a Best of Show award at Macworld Expo New York 1999. Built-in support for synchronization with the MSN.COM(TM) Hotmail(TM) Web-based e-mail service and 3Com Palm Organizers helps people bring information together into a single location. The new Test Drive feature in Outlook Express 5 makes it simple for people to try out this new version while continuing to use their current e-mail program.

Outlook Express is still a free product. You can find more information at the company's web site. Microsoft is also offering an iMac give away in conjunction with trying Outlook Express. The company will be giving away 5 iMacs, one of each of the original candy colors.

The Mac Observer Spin: Several Mac Observer staff members have commented that this new version of Outlook Express seems to be pretty nifty. Since we are a tough crowd, especially when it comes to Microsoft products, this is a very good sign. As news has swept the Net on this product, it seems lots of excitement over its release has been generated.

For its part, Microsoft is throwing some money and effort at its release. Offering a chance to win one of five free iMac just for trying out the free product is a nice touch.

Aspyr - Westlake Interactive - Eidos

[8:00 AM] Tomb Raider III Hits Mac Market In Double Blast Of Whoop 'Em

Aspyr and Eidos Interactive have announced that Tomb Raider III is at last out for the Mac. Aspyr did the conversion of the title for the Mac market, though Mark Adams and his fantastic team at Westlake Interactive did the actual work. For those 3 people on the planet who have not heard of Tomb Raider, or more specifically, Tomb Raider's heroine, Lara Croft, Tomb Raider III is a 3rd person perspective action game. It is also one of the most popular games of all time on both the PC and Mac platforms. The new title is the quickest one to make it to the Mac.

Lara Croft has returned to the Macintosh, bigger, badder and better than ever.

In a continued partnership with Eidos Interactive, Aspyr Media, Inc. has published the third edition of the classic Tomb Raider(R) series for the Macintosh platform, conversion completed by Westlake Interactive.

"Aspyr is thrilled to be bringing a new Lara to the Mac," says Michael Rogers, president of Aspyr Media, Inc. "The response of the Macintosh market to the first two Lara Croft adventures has been tremendous, and we're sure Tomb Raider III will excite current Lara fans, and bring new gamers to the series as well."

"Apple is committed to making the Mac a premier gaming platform and recently introduced a new family of iMacs that feature a high-end graphics accelerator for stunningly realistic visuals," says Clent Richardson, Apple's vice president of worldwide developer relations. "This is an exciting year for gamers, with Apple's new products and great new titles like Tomb Raider II featuring Lara Croft's triumphant return to the Mac."

Core design, the Eidos subsidiary and creators of the series, have added new gameplay elements, improved technical and visual elements and has improved the graphics engine making this the best-looking game available in the Macintosh Tomb Raider series.

In her biggest adventure yet, Lara must find an ancient meteor, rumored to have life-giving powers. Players travel through the Nevada desert, the mean streets of London, the jungles of India, an exotic South Pacific island and bitter cold Antarctica in any order. With great new moves, like a speed dash and monkey swing, and cool new vehicles, a hot quad bike and kayak, Lara is able to maneuver her way through every action-packed level.

Tomb Raider III also brings some great new additions to Lara's arsenal: a grenade launcher, a rocket launcher and a Desert Eagle. She will need everything at her disposal to do battle with enemies, old and new, who have become more menacing, with their remarkably upgraded artificial intelligence.

Aspyr is offering a free "official Aspyr Hanes' Beefy-T T-Shirt" while supplies last for orders placed now. The game is priced at US$49.95. You can find more information on Tomb Raider III at Aspyr's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: Ok, here's where the new iMac and iMac DV will hopefully start paying off in the Mac gaming market. Tomb Raider III should be a smash success for Aspyr, and this would be a good thing for other developers to see. With the cancellation of Mac Half-life announced yesterday, a big rousing profitable game would be a good thing. Note to software pirates: Go pay for this game if you want to keep seeing cool new titles come to the Mac like they have been for the last 12 months.

Aspyr - Westlake Interactive - Eidos

[8:00 AM] MacDaily Profiles Mac Observer Editor

The good people of MacDaily have profiled our own Editor-in-Chief, Bryan Chaffin. In a series called Making A Career of Macs, the profile includes a Q&A and other information. A good read if we do say so ourselves. :-) The link to the article can be found on the MacDaily home page.


[8:00 AM] Cross Platform Web Calendar/Scheduling Software Updated With New Features

Matador Design has updated their World Wide Web calendar program, WebEvent, to version 3.2b1. As internet and Web access becomes less a focus on the machine, and more on the person, scheduling programs like WebEvent have found a more useful place in our scheduling repertoire'. According to Matador Design:

Matador Design, Inc., today announced the release of WebEvent 3.2b1, a feature-rich upgrade for the most powerful Internet calendar and scheduling software available for UNIX, Windows NT, and Mac platforms.

WebEvent 3.2b1 features include:

  • multiple calendar views (year, month, 2 week, week, day, event)
  • two calendar formats (calendar and list)
  • event types (meetings, to-dos, special events)
  • conflict resolution (double-booking feature)
  • public event submission
  • repeating events (automatically repeats specified events)
  • reminders sent via e-mail
  • searchable calendars
  • meta-calendars (ability to view two or more calendars
  • simultaneously)
  • user authentication (ability to control user access)
  • style and color options (via pulldown menus)
  • source code

WebEvent is available for US$200 for a single user license. You can find more information at the Matador Design web site.

Matador Design

[8:00 AM] Get Your Photoshop Training From Alien Skin

Alien Skin Software, authors of excellent Photoshop effects such as Xenofex and Eye Candy, wanted to inform their users that is now offering free lessons for help with Photoshop 5.5. According to Alien Skin Software:

We would like to pass along information we think you might find useful. The folks at are now offering free lessons on Photoshop 5.5; we recommend them to any of our users who feel they might benefit from further instruction in Photoshop. also offers courses on a range of subjects of interest to graphic designers, including HTML, JavaScript, FrontPage 2000 and FrontPage 98. We recommend them.

You can find more information on the TrainingTools Photoshop packages at the TrainingTools web site. You can also find more information about Alien Skin Software at the Alien Skin web site. - Alien Skin Software

[8:00 AM] Meet The Crew From The PowerBookZone In World Without Borders Chat

World Without Borders and are sponsoring a chat at World Without Border with Doug Landry of The Powerbook Zone and the iBook Zone. According to MyMac:

Meet Doug Landry, author of 'The Powerbook Zone' and 'The iBook Zone.' Mr. Landry will be My Mac Magazine's featured guest on World Without Borders this week.

In the meantime, visit My Mac today! With its Mac user interviews, professional cartoonist, and some of the finest columnists in the Mac community.

The chat with Doug Landry will take place Wednesday, October 29th at 8:00 PM EST. You can find more information at both the World Without Borders and MyMac web sites.

World Without Borders -

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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