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MacEdition Pro News : January 28, 2002

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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What? It’s the 28th already? That was some Macworld party [7 Mb Movie]! Better get back to it...

Edit those preferences!

Corrupted preference files can often be the pebble in the shoe of pro and Joe Mac users alike. To that end, a shareware utility called PrefsOverload piqued our curiosity. A maintenance upgrade for the utility was released the other day. More info is in the press release below:

PrefsOverload is a full-featured tool for managing the Preferences Folder, which contains your various “Preference Files”. Preference Files are those files in which applications store their settings and other information. After System 7, all these files have been enclosed in the “Preferences Folder”. Preferences are important files, but sometimes they can turn out to be completely unnecessary. This can occur, for example, when their mother application doesn’t exist – or no longer exists – on your computer. Over time the Preferences Folder will slowly grow and may become filled with files created by trashed demo applications, or applications used for a short time only or not used at all. The trouble is that all these unused or unusable files still continue to take up valuable disk space! Another problem is that sometimes an application may fail to start-up because it happens to have a Preference File that has become damaged, or “corrupted". In such a case you will need to delete this file, after which the application will create a fresh Preference File and will run as it did before the problem occurred.

PrefsOverload was designed to resolve both problems. It can browse the Preferences Folder, allowing you to detect unnecessary preferences files, thanks to the information it gives you. Or it can display a list of probably unnecessary or damaged Preference Files, allowing you to delete them or to put them into the trash. Also PrefsOverload allows to search for specific Preference Files, by their type/creator or their creation/modification date and so on.

MAIN FEATURES

  • Runs on MacOS Classic and MacOS X
  • Accurate scanning, based on mother application, modification date and internal preferences database.
  • Not only displays if a file is possibly unnecessary, but also displays a rating on the side.
  • Finds damaged preference files
  • VERY fast scanning
  • Scans for non-standard Preferences folder, so you can scan Preferences folders of all operating systems on your computer (including MacOS X) and of all MacOS X users, logging in as root user.
  • Full PDF help included
  • Runs on PowerMacintosh and 68k machines

WHAT’S NEW IN VERSION 3.5.1

  • Now folders are displayed correctly with a disclosure triangle after ordering lists.
  • Now PrefsOverload asks before viewing contents of files larger than 1 MB.

You can download PrefsOverload 3.5.1 here: http://www.ziksw.com/software/prefsoverload.html

PrefsOverload is a $15 shareware product, you can buy it via Kagi here: http://www.ziksw.com/buy/

Who wants to make games?

In addition to the recent release of Pillars of Garandell and Deimos Rising, one of the more interesting products to come out of Ambrosia Software is its Coldstone game engine. Don’t like the games currently made? Fine – make your own with Coldstone, says Ambrosia:

Rochester, NY – January 16, 2002 – Ambrosia Software, Inc. released today the Coldstone game engine that brings professional-quality game building tools to the masses. No programming is required to produce polished, stand-alone games that run on Mac OS, Mac OS X, and Windows – all that is needed is your imagination.

Imagine a set of powerful yet easy to use tools for constructing your very own stand-alone game... no rules... a completely blank sheet of paper on which to pen your masterpiece, your imagination is the only limit on what you can create. This is exactly what Beenox, in conjunction with Ambrosia Software, Inc., is bringing to you with the Coldstone game engine. Want to see for yourself? You can download a demo version and get started right now! http://www.AmbrosiaSW.com/games/coldstone/

Unlike generic media creation tools such as RealBASIC, Director, or Flash, Coldstone is specifically geared towards making games. By focusing on game creation, Coldstone streamlines the design process, creating polished, stand-alone games that run natively on Mac OS, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. Create once, and distribute on whatever platform you choose, with all of the technical details taken care of for you.

So what kind of games can you create with Coldstone? We’re waiting for you to answer that question. Coldstone is flexible enough to allow you to create games we’ve never even dreamed of, and we can’t wait to see what springs from your imagination. Download the demo and get started!

I lost on Jeopardy!

For those who just can’t get enough game shows, Sony Online Entertainment has made a stand in support of the Macintosh. According to its press release, the top games at The Station are now Mac compatible with the goal of making the entire site Mac-friendly.

In addition, SOE will become an official Mac developer, working to make household favorites such as Jeopardy! Online and Wheel of Fortune Online available on The Station compatible with the Mac. As a leader in its category, SOE is committed to delivering the best in online gaming to both Mac and PC users. With more than 11.5 million registered users, The Station is the first mainstream online gaming site to make a commitment to the growing Mac gaming audience. “We’re excited to extend our online gaming efforts to Mac users,” said Russell Shanks, vice president and chief technology officer, Sony Online Entertainment. “As The Station’s audience continues to grow, we know that the Macintosh platform will play a significant role.” “Mac OS X is an incredible platform for gaming with exceptionally stunning 2D and 3D graphics and has attracted the best game titles for both casual and hardcore gamers,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “We are thrilled that Mac gamers of all levels will be able to experience the power of The Station.” Mac users can enjoy games on The Station, including Jeopardy! Online, Wheel of Fortune Online, Yuetan?, Empyrean?, Bingo, 99s, Slots and Checkers. Over the coming months, SOE will be working to make all of its games available for the Mac.

Checking out the site, it’s a pleasure to see the phrase “Your Mac is welcome here!” front and center.

Morris Day and the Real-Time

John Brilhart of VVI wrote in to tell us about the availability of its Vving application as well as the Signal Framework. (The full release can be found at http://www.vvi.com/news/signal20020122.html).

The Signal Framework is a robust and optimized high-level API programming framework specialized to time signals. It can be adapted to nearly any time varying source in a matter of minutes. Data is stored in a circular buffer and graphed in real-time. The acquisition section is multithreaded to produce real-time results without sacrificing display quality. There can be many signal channels and the time bases can be nonuniform. The signal history can be scrolled back and forth for viewing in real time while new signal values are being acquired.

If you’re into signal capture and processing, more information can be found at its site: Vving and Signal Framework.

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at http://old.macedition.com/news/. Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to pronewsnotes@macedition.com.

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