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MacEdition Pro News : September 12, 2002:Goodies, goodies, and more goodies (Games, Graphics, and Gamuts)

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One for the money, two for the show

As the Apple Paris Expo kicks into high gear, the Mothership and O’Reilly Press have helped prime the pump for the next big Mac show in San Francisco. The two companies are throwing some lovely trinkets into the pool of goodies (worth $12,000) up for grabs in the uDevGame 2002 contest, being run by www.iDevGames.com.

Hot off the PR wires comes this little release:

All entrants to the uDevGame 2002 Contest, which honors excellence in Macintosh game design, will receive a free copy of O’Reilly’s “Building Cocoa Applications: A Step-by-Step Guide”, and the developer of the “Best Overall Mac OS X Game” will be awarded an Apple Developer Connection (ADC) Select Membership, as well as the opportunity to showcase their winning game at Macworld Expo San Francisco in the Mac OS X Game Arcade.

If you haven’t gleaned the gist of this contest by now, iDevGames runs the now annual contest to help promote game development on the Mac. All entrants to the contest are required to create an original game and then open-source their code so that other Mac programmers may learn from it. The bonus for Mac users is that we might get some great unique games out of the effort.

Other companies backing the contest include: Aladdin Systems Inc., Eovia, FaceSpan, IK Multimedia, Metrowerks, Onyx Technology Inc., REAL Software, Replica Technology, STAZ Software and Strata Software. Entrants must have their submissions in by November 17 Tokyo time.

Fixing the photo fixer

Well the House of Mud (adobe is, after all, a mud-based building material) has been doing more than a little renovation to its flagship program Photoshop. Among the bug fixes and other fine-tuned elements of the new 7.0.1 version of this Carbon creation:

Photoshop now saves alpha transparency data in Targa files as it did before.
File Browser performance has been enhanced.
If the color settings color management policy is set to “Off,“ Photoshop no longer asks to save changes unless other edits have been performed.
The total ink now defaults to 300% as it did previously.
The color of white areas in CMYK files saved as JPEG no longer shifts.
TIFF files with LZW compression are now written correctly.
Photoshop offers better compatibility with older model G4 computers.
When installed on a hard drive whose name contains extended characters, Photoshop no longer reports that certain required files were not found in the Adobe Photoshop required folder.
Metadata is better preserved in certain JPEG files.
Picture Package no longer locks up when it encounters incorrect file types while using custom page layouts.
Photoshop now defaults to the last saved directory when saving new files. It no longer defaults to the TWAIN directory if one is present.
Changing monitor configurations no longer causes problems while Photoshop or Adobe ImageReady is running.
Photoshop no more program errors when resampling certain large 16-bit files.
An issue that prevented Photoshop 6 from opening files containing layer effects and edited in Photoshop 7 has been fixed.
The Maximize Backwards Compatibility for Photoshop Files preference now correctly sets the state of the Maximize Compatibility checkbox in the Photoshop Format Options dialog box when you save a file as Photoshop (PSD) format.

You can hammer Adobe’s servers now for the update or get the update on CD-ROM – in the US and Canada – after slipping a double sawbuck (US$20) through the door of the muddy people. Folks living elsewhere must call their local Adobe office for availability and pricing of the CD-ROM update.

Meanwhile, back in Paris ...

Keyspan and Detto Technologies have teamed up to create a new Move2Mac product aimed at helping owners of non-USB and Windows 95 boxes (where USB is another TLA for an available IRQ) migrate to a better solution. (What ’ you expected us to say something different?)

The parallel-to-USB networking solution celebrated its coming-out party on the runways of Paris this week. The two parties in the venture believe the combination of their talents offers switchers a painless way to jump from the dark side and into the light.

“Because the PC-to-Mac migration process has been known to be a difficult process, it was important for us to choose a connectivity vendor that intimately knows the Mac and is a trusted name in the Mac community,” said Larry Mana’o, CEO of Detto Technologies. “Detto’s expertise in the PC market and Keyspan’s expertise in the Mac market gives Move2Mac users the confidence that their information will be safely and seamlessly migrated from their PC to their new Mac.”

Soaring no more (thank God)

If I had a nickel for every time I saw a Soaring background on a PowerPoint presentation I would no longer be an ink-stained wretch condemned to banging out this freakin’ column.

Obviously, somebody at Blue Worx has the same sentiment towards the tried-and-tried-again backgrounds offered by Microsoft. Blue Worx recently announced a series of 2,000 background screens in its just-released Slide Alchemy. From the Arizona-based company’s release:

The dual PC/Mac CD of presentation backgrounds offers users a great variety of looks from the most basic templates to inspirational works of art to enhance the presentations of novices as well as seasoned professionals. An html thumbnail viewer, opened with your own installed Web browser, Explorer/Netscape, facilitates easy selection. All the background offerings come in convenient .ppt file format for PowerPoint users as well as .jpg format, which provides for usage in many other software programs.

Those interested in not boring their audiences can order the US$49.95 collection from www.powerbacks.com. You can also grab an evaluation series from office.microsoft.com/Downloads/ouvp.aspx or scoop the goodies from free-ppt.com. PowerPoint presenters, please make use of the links.

It’s not dead yet, dammit

Those of us still married to the officially dead OS once offered by Apple Computer (pay attention, Quark users) might want to make use of the following products now being offered ...

Those of you who find the registration markers offered by Quark to be something less than optimal – particularly if you generate smaller pieces of printing work – might want to check out this offering from 24U:

24U Crop & Registration Marks is an XTensions software that will enhance options of your QuarkXPress to allow you to create a plenty of different marks. These are registration marks, crop marks, folding marks, gamuts and guides marking the final crop. These objects can either be created individually for a box or for a group of frames. Gamuts created by 24U Crop & Registration Marks can either be color and/or black-and-white. You can create also the CMYK sign through an easy selection in the exactly same way as you know from cromalin.

Detailed information on: www.24uSoftware.com/infoCRMa2.php
Download: www.24uSoftware.com/downloadform.php?id=CropMarks2_0

And Tredje Design offers a new Trash info utility while looking for beta testers to try out a new HTML creator.

This press release, from the creator of the US$10 trashy utility, outlines the program’s features:

Version 2.3 introduces statistical information that is viewable from with in the TrashLater Setup application. When enabled through the new View menu, the user can review statistics on the number of files that are being tracked by TrashLater. Also shown are the number of files that were moved or trashed.

The HTML compiler converts SimpleText files into Web-ready documents, provided the user has inputted certain keywords in key places. The 30-day beta is available at www.tredje.com .

Stuck in the middle with U

August Software has updated its ODBC (Open Data Base Connectivity) router to take advantage of OS 10.2’s iODBC driver bundled with Jaguar. August says in its press release that ODBC Router is now the first middleware product that hooks up with iODBC and provides ODBC support to FileMaker versions 4.1 through 6 and MS Excel in addition to other mainstream Mac programs.

ODBC Router enables applications and Web servers such as FileMaker Pro and Apache on Mac OS X, Classic Mac OS, Windows, Darwin and Linux to utilize mainframe, UNIX and Windows databases by way of standard Windows ODBC drivers running on an NT/2K server.

Pricing for the program starts at US$99 and is available at odbcrouter.com

Added to our ferment of featured FileMaker foundations files is another feathered friend from 24U, formerly featured further up in this fine forum. (Betcha never figured you could see this many F words not flounder upon a friggin’ profanity amongst the lot!)

Anyway, 24U would like to announce its new plugin for FileMaker which makes adding complex dialogue boxes as easy as calling upon a standard Show Message window in your database code. From the company’s press release:

In comparison with standard functions of FileMaker Pro 6.0, the 24U SimpleDialog Plug-In offers the following benefits:

  • Up to 5 buttons in custom dialog
  • Unlimited number of input fields
  • Input field of the type text, password, checkbox, radio button and pop-up menu
  • Compatibility with FileMaker Pro 4.0 and 5.0
  • Optimization of the displayed dialogs appearance

Those interested in having a closer look at the plugin can point their browsers to www.24usoftware.com or download the item from: www.24usoftware.com/downloadform.php?id=SimpDia

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at www.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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