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MacEdition Pro News : September 27, 2002, Big, knobby, bouncy, and supported

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When big isn’t big enough…

Ever get the feeling that a 120GB hard drive is just a tad too cramped for your style. Well, bucko, Maxtor’s got some big relief coming your way.

The company recently launched its new line of MaxLine II and MaxLine Plus II Ultra ATA/133 drives. The 5,400 RPM MaxLine II comes in capacities up to 320GB while the speedier 7,200 RPM MaxLine Plus II series tops out at 250GB. Maxtor rates the drives as being good for about one million hours of use.

But, if it’s revs and speed you want, then you’ll have to check out Maxtor’s new SCSI line of Atlas drives. The family of drives (acquired through their purchase of Quantum) now spin at 15,000 RPM and feature an Ultra SCSI320 interface. The new SCSI line offers a 3.2 millisecond seek times and a sustained data transfer rate of 75MB/sec.

The SCSI drives will be available in sizes up to 73GB and should start shipping sometime in early 2003. Those interested in further details on the new drives can check out the Maxtor site.

A whole new twist…

Griffin Technology has updated their PowerMate software to give the handy dandy USB multimedia controller a much larger array of tricks and other useful features. Most notably, PowerMate 1.5 now contains a “long click” (a user assignable key function) and an “eject key” so people still struggling with the dinky keyboards Apple used to ship with the original iMac and Blue & White G3 towers can have the multimedia savviness of the Apple Pro keyboard without giving up their power-on buttons.

“Version 1.5 completely re-invents the PowerMate,” says Paul Griffin, President of Griffin Technology. “It allows it to do things never imagined. The ‘long click’ feature adds a totally new assignable function and the ‘eject key’ is also a much-requested and useful feature – both now available for free. This release shows vividly that PowerMate still has several tricks up its sleeve. Now there are even more reasons to own a PowerMate.”

New features in version 1.5. include:

  • “Global Only” checkbox – used when a user wants PowerMate to function simply as a volume knob.
  • Special “Volume Up” and “Volume Down” key commands that activate the on-screen and audible Volume Status display.
  • “Apply” button – immediately applies any new settings or changes made in the Control Panel without closing it.
  • A direct link within the Control Panel to the Griffin Technology Website for help and further information.

Owners of the PowerMate (for both OS X and Classic) can update their existing software at www.griffintechnology.com. The device is available from most Mac retailers around the world or from places like the Apple Store or Amazon.com.

Beating back the bouncers…

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been telling you good folks about mass e-mail programs available for Mac OS X and Classic. Anybody using these programs has probably noticed addresses like nobody@home.com bouncing around in their logs. Well, the good folks at Max Programming have released a product that will put paid to that particular problem.

The company has released eMail Verifier, a handy utility that checks whether or not an e-mail address exists before winging a message down the wire. The utility chews through the recipients list at 10 addresses per second. Max Programming figures the utility will have plenty of legitimate uses.

If your database contains incorrect email addresses, this disadvantages you in two ways. First, you have to put up with annoying “undeliverable” messages. And second, you lose the ability to communicate by email with your contacts. Email Verifier checks the validity of your email addresses without actually sending emails. You can use the list of failed addresses to build a list for a “please update” campaign.

eMail Verifier can save time and money for businesses who send newsletters to their clients, nonprofit organizations who send bulletins to their members, or any person or business that needs to maintain a clean email contact list.

If you’re interested in trying out the utility grab the Classic flavor or the OS X version. Further information on eMail Verifier is available at the product Web site.

Ask someone who knows…

Free products usually provide all the support one pays for – which normally comes in one of three varieties: Zip, Ziltch, or Nada (Take your pick, we got lots!)

Opera Software ASA, makers of the alternative browser of the same name, have opted to use their forums, newsgroups and mailing lists as their primary support vehicle for users of the free version of the browser. Paying customers will still receive personal e-mail support. Corporate spokesman Jon S. von Tetzchner explained the switch to Opera users this way:

“There are now 15 million downloaded versions of Opera running around the world, and the number is growing by almost one million users every month,” said Jon S. von Tetzchner. “By encouraging our non-paying users to find the answers to their queries in our Opera forums and newsgroups, we are better able to serve all our users despite our limited resources.”

Users may find they will receive prompter replies through the forums, which are actively used throughout the day by members of the Opera community. In addition, Opera support staff will monitor the forums and newsgroups and answer questions whenever possible. The tutorials on the Opera Web site also contain exhaustive answers to problems users may encounter while using the browser.

As an incentive to become a registered user Opera will provide its new power kit which comes with a CD of the latest version of the browser, a mouse pad and an Opera sticker. Register now and Opera will toss in use of the OperaMail premium service for six months.

Opera’s user community can be reached at my.opera.com. Opera also provides support pages and forums. If you’re interested in giving the lightweight browser a try, head to www.opera.com/download.

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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