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MacEdition Pro News : February 15, 2002: Be blunt, be quick, be optimistic, be plugged-in, be cheap

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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Telling it like it is

A word of warning about Microsoft Office v.X from the folks at OSXFAQ.com, told by Bob “Dr. Mac” Levitus about as bluntly as it gets:

“Microsoft Office v.X’s Lame Network-Aware Anti-Piracy Mechanism Opens Your Mac To Mayhem. Dr. Mac Explains How He Dealt With The Microsoft “Updater From Hell” And Made His Mac Safe From The Borg Menace Once More.”

What can we say but, “Go Bob!” Read more about it at http://www.osxfaq.com/dailytips/02-2002/02-11.ws.

You heard it here first

Well, not necessarily at ProNews, but at MacEdition, anyway. Late last year we noted some of the shenanigans occurring with Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel, America’s largest online radio provider, aside from acting like a monopoly, wasn’t exactly acting Mac friendly. Not only was it being less than Mac friendly, it was doing it badly by claiming it couldn’t support the Mac when it was more a case of it just wouldn’t.

Well, all good things come to those who wait. It seems that Clear Channel may be getting a little attention from the law itself. We think it couldn’t happen to a nicer monopoly. Well, maybe one other...

A Mac online games renaissance?

Perhaps we’ve been sipping the Kool-Aid a bit too much of late, but there does seem to be an increasing momentum to the number of Mac gaming announcements. Between Sony Online Entertainment, a heap of new stuff from Ambrosia, Warbirds and this latest announcement from NCsoft Corporation, one could be forgiven for thinking Mac developers are remembering the age-old adage: “What sells computers most? Games.”

Anyway, the latest announcement is that Lineage, self-described as a “massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG)” is now a public beta for Mac OS X.

NCsoft Corporation, the world’s largest independent online game company, today announced that Lineage for the Mac is now available for beta play. Gamers wishing to participate in the beta can download the full version of the game from http://www.lineage-us.com/macdownload. All Mac users who wish to participate will be accepted into the beta. For those who do not prefer to download the game, a free game CD may be requested from the Web site and NCSoft will ship the disc via U.S. mail. Anticipation for the Macintosh version of Lineage has intensified in the last month. The game received a Best of Show award at last month’s Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco, one of only two games to capture the honor.

The beta will allow players to enter into the actual Lineage world, not a separate “test server,” and all beta participants will be provided with free game access for the duration of the beta period. This will allow beta players to experience all of the elements of the most popular online game in the world. The game currently boasts more than four-million active subscriptions and 330,000 concurrent users worldwide.

[...]

Subscribed customers will receive future CDs free as part of the service. The www.lineage-us.com Web site has helpful information about playing Lineage and also includes online manuals, account management tools, news, game support areas and community message boards. After the beta periods ends Lineage for Mac will come with a 30-day free trial. After the trial period, players are charged US$15 per month. Players can save money by purchasing four months at a rate of US$11.25 per month. An Internet connection is required to play Lineage.

The game is now also available directly from your iDisk, but it is a hefty download (almost 400MB). Given the size of the download, beta testers who’ve taken the plunge please let us know what you think before others chew up their bandwidth.

While we don’t want too get excited, as this is just a beta, there does seem to be an expanding market for games where the client is freely available but online play is subscription-based. Presto! No Pirates!

Prêt-à-plug in

Just when the runway was about to leave Mac folks behind, Dr. Bott, LLC comes to the rescue with the fashionably short-hemmed gHub USB Hub in the iMac White. Not familiar with the gHub? According to Dr. Bott:

Features include:
  • Compact space saving design. (3.5" x 2.5" x 1.25")
  • Self powered or bus powered.
  • Over current protection LED & device indicator on each port.
  • Supports both full-speed & low speed transfers.
  • Support for Macs or PCs.

And in the words of Dr. Bott:

“With the dozens of USB hubs on the market we’ve been proud to see our gHub set itself apart in both functionality and design. We’re also excited to be the first company with a product designed in honor of the new flat panel iMacs.” Said Eric Prentice, CEO of Dr. Bott LLC “The hubs look amazingly clean and also provide a great way to bring peripheral access around to the front of your new iMac."

For more information, check out the Dr. Bott Web site.

Sonnet, simply cheaper

While upgrade card vendors seem to have ongoing difficulties in obtaining processors above 500MHz, the prices for what they do have keeps on dropping.

Sonnet’s new lower prices on Piccolo USB Flash Drives are as follows:
  • Piccolo 32MB $69.95 (was $99.95)
  • Piccolo 64MB $99.95 (was $149.95)
  • Piccolo 128MB $169.95 (was $249.95)
Sonnet’s new lower prices on Crescendo/PCI upgrades are as follows:
  • Crescendo/PCI G3 500 1M $249.95 (was $299.95)
  • Crescendo/PCI G4 450 1M $299.95 (was $399.95)

Sonnet’s new lower price on the Crescendo/L2 G3 500/1M upgrade is $299.95 (was $349.95).

Sonnet’s lower prices on Crescendo/7200 upgrades are as follows:
  • Crescendo/7200 G3 400/512 $229.95 (was $249.95)
  • Crescendo/7200 G3 400/1M $259.95 (was $299.95)
  • Crescendo/7200 G4 400/1M $299.95 (was $399.95)
Sonnet’s lower price on Tempo RAID66 is $149.95 (was $199.95).

Sonnet has also recently released a firmware update for the Crescendo/WS, allowing Wall Street users to expand beyond the previous 192MB limit, up to 512MB of RAM. Finally, it has also released a Tempo RAID133 ATA drive controller for those who want faster hard drive performance on the cheap.

For more information on product compatibility, check out http://www.sonnettech.com

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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