Windowscentric? Not Agfa

As you may be aware, many big corporations are relentlessly Windowscentric. For example, many big sites have their video contents only available in Windows Media Player format. Such disdain for other platforms hardly seem necessary when you consider how easy it is to make a QuickTime film, which is cross-platform.

One company that rises above that is Agfa, at least in their fine newsletter.

The newsletter contain many tips and links, and not just about Agfa products. It is evenly divided between Windows and Macintosh tips, and they obviously take great care to find equivalent tips on both platforms. This is well done. We know that many Mac users are also enthusiastic photographers, and it seems like some of them work at Agfa.

Here is a quote from the latest newsletter, giving a tip on how to make an auto-running slideshow.

On the Mac, you can use "Kaiis QuickShow" to run your slideshow - a classic piece of freeware by graphics guru Kai Krause that has a file size of just 29 kilobytes. Although it is hardly available officially these days, it is still to be found on a number of software sites (see below). QuickShow automatically plays all the digital images contained in the same directory as the program itself, displaying the files in alphabetical order. Although it doesnit have brilliant effects for fading from one image to the next, it presents the images smoothly in a given period of time. Note that all the photos must be in either JPEG or Macintoshis own PICT format.
Taking the example of the commonly used Adaptec Toast recording software, the procedure for producing an autostart CD on the Mac is as follows:

1. First switch Toast to the production of a "Mac/ISO Hybrid" CD. 2. Then use the "Tools/Create Temporary Partition..." command to create a virtual drive into which you copy all the images and the "Kaiis QuickShow" program.
3. You then have to change the name of the program file (to QuickShow, for instance), as the Hybrid CD setting only permits program names with a maximum of 11 characters (8 plus 3 for the extension). 4. Finally, drag the icon of the virtual drive onto the Adaptec Toast window, after which you can select the Autostart function in the "Data" dialogue, defining "QuickShow" as the start program. 5. You can now record the CD, which then immediately starts the digital slideshow when you put it into any Apple Macintosh - provided the Autostart option hasnit been deactivated in the QuickTime settings of the computer in question. * Agfais Newsletter site is one of the places where you can still download Kaiis KTP QuickShow for free.

I would also like to point out the advantages for companies, artist, etc of being willing to give things away for free, to mention products from others, and in general being large. If this newsletter had only been promotion for Agfais products, and only a push to get you to buy now, I would never have signed up, and I would certainly never have written this plug for it, now would I?:) But it isnit, and I did, and it is excellent free promotion for Agfa.

If you are interested in signing up for the newsletter, you can find more information at their Web site.

Yours, Eolake

PS: It seems that the sample newsletter they give on that address is deliberately a month old, so the current one is probably available in late February.

Eolake Stobblehouse is a contributing editor to the Mac Observer, specializing in cultural matters, and comes to us by way of MacCreator. Send your comments and tips here.