MacEdition Logo

MacEdition ProNews May 15, 2001

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

Mac OS X + older machines + Sonnet = success!

The Sonnet folks wrote on to tell us about their compatibility with Mac OS X now for certain processor upgrade cards of theirs as well as some from Newer Technology. You can read the full press release, but of note:

Effective immediately, the Sonnet Encore/ZIF and Encore/ST G3/G4 processor upgrade product lines are completely OS X compatible in all Power Macintosh G3 and G4 desktops and Minitowers. Those who are running a Sonnet Encore G4 upgrade in a beige Power Macintosh G3 will need a software update, now available at no cost at


In those same Power Macintosh G3 and G4s, users of Newer Technology’s MaxPower G3 and G4 ZIF products will also have a complete OS X solution from Sonnet. Newer Tech left thousands of users without future OS support when the company closed its doors in December 2000. MaxPower ZIF users will require a software update to attain full compatibility and performance with OS X. Sonnet is developing these MaxPower OS X solutions, and expects to have them posted by the end of May 2001. The MaxPower ZIF software will carry a download fee of $29.95.

There’s more to it, so check out the announcement for yourself and see how it might help you!

Windows-only to Mac and Windows? Count one in the Mac OS X camp!

e-on Software jumped onto the Mac OS X bandwagon by announcing Version 4 of their Vue d’Esprit software.

Do you need volumetric atmospheres, planets, ice rings, terrain editors or hyper-realistic tree and plant generation, and direct import of Curious Lab’s Poser scenes (among other graphical goodies)? Visit their site, ask them questions, let them know if you’re in the market for what they offer.

The full press release is not currently available on their site, so here it is:


May 14, 2001. Beaverton, OR. Europe and France-based e-on software announces Vue d’Esprit 4 (Vue 4), the next version of its award winning 3D scenery animation and rendering software. Vue 4 advances a new ease-of-use architecture and adds a long list of advanced realism features for the creation of ultra natural 3D graphics.

“The user community has been clamoring for a Macintosh version of Vue d’Esprit for years. The advanced architecture of Apple’s Mac OS X 10.0 operating system provides both stability and ease of use that 3D graphics designers love. We are very excited to finally be bringing Vue d’Esprit to the Macintosh, a platform we have long admired for its ease of use,” said Nicholas Phelps, president of e-on software.

Vue d’Esprit 4 for Macintosh will include hundreds of new features over the previous Windows only Vue d’Esprit 3.1. Some of these new features include:

  • A whole new volumetric atmosphere system that closely captures the complex interactions of air and light; volumetric clouds, materials and lights
  • Lens flares, stellar and Atmospheric objects
  • Planets (moons and other planets of the solar system), stars, rainbows and ice rings
  • A new Terrain Editor with real-time 3D preview, random rock generator, symmetrical terrains
  • SolidGrowth 2, an advance on e-on software’s amazingly realistic tree and plant creation and rendering technology that creates unique natural objects within a click, all within an extremely small memory footprint
  • Direct import of static Curious Lab’s Poser Scenes for inclusion of complex animal and human models

Other new special effects and new functions include: Luminous and glowing materials, light gels, unlimited transparency depth, several new shadow features, backlighting and anti-aliasing options for higher quality rendering. Vue 4 will add MPEG 1, MPEG 2, Quicktime™, RealMovie™, Quicktime™ VR, PICT and TIFF import/export filters.

“The Poser team at Curious Labs is excited that Vue 4 will allow immediate inclusion of Poser scenes. We are sure the Poser community will be excited about how well Poser and Vue work together to create complex, naturalistic scenes with humans, animals, vegetation and atmospheric phenomena,” said Steve Cooper, President of Curious Labs, Inc.

Long-time Vue users will welcome a new interface with even greater ease of use features, such as high quality OpenGL scene previews and a real-time thumbnail render of the scene. Vue 4 will also feature a completely rewritten rendering engine that will increase rendering speed by 40%.

The Vue 4 interface underwent a complete redesign so that design environment is so easy to use, very few users will have to open the Vue d’Esprit 4 manual.

Vue d’Esprit 4 will be available in English, French, German and Japanese language versions, with an estimated street price of $199. The Mac OS version has a target release date of Q4 2001.

Additional information about Vue d’Esprit and other e-on software products is available on the e-on software website at See some preview screen shots from Vue 4 at, including a sample rendering with some of the new effects.

Information about Curious Labs Poser 4 is available at

Let me stand next to your Fire(Wire tape drive)

FireWire. Tape drive. Apple Store. Mac-compatible. Not all descriptions you’d expect in the same sentence, but here we are anyway. Ecrix has graced us with a press release (excerpted below) telling us about the new arrangement the company has with Apple to sell the Ecrix VXA-1 FireWire tape drive through the Apple Store. If you’re in the market for tape backup and storage systems, this would be a system to evaluate.

VXA-for-Mac Bundle

Ecrix initially entered the market with a version of its VXA-1 tape drive in a sleek translucent housing that matches the award winning design of Apple’s Power Mac Servers. This complete backup solution includes Dantz Retrospect, the #1 backup software for the Mac market. The VXA-1 drive, with its Mac-enabled SCSI interface, backs up 33 GB at 3 MB/second (66 GB at 6 MB/second with compression). An individual VXAtape cartridge stores as much or more data than 40 CD and seven DVD disks, making it ideal for the storage of high-end graphic design and multimedia data.

FireWire Tape Drive

Ecrix extended its product offerings with the first high-capacity, high-performance FireWire tape drive for the Mac market with availability announced in January 2001. In addition to all of the benefits of the initial VXA-for-Mac bundle, the VXA-1 FireWire drive offers ’hot plug’ capabilities and automatic configuration. This drive is an ideal solution for those Mac users who are taking advantage of the FireWire environment.

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to

E-mail this story to a friend