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MacEdition Pro News : October 8, 2002: Disco dimensions and a wampum load of prepress wallops for Quark

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For platters that really matter

Hey, all you old farts with your extensive record collections – you know, those flat 12-inch black things that we younger dudes use to make scratch disks with? Well, if you want to move to the digital age, Gramps, the folks at Griffin Technology are workin’ on something you geezers might find – how do you old folks say it – really groovy!

Griffin is putting up a beta version of something it’s calling Final Vinyl – a utility that allows you to hook up an old-fashioned turntable to Griffin’s sweet iMic USB audio adapter and slap down that old stax of wax on the hard drive of your Mac so that you, too, might be able to Rip, Mix and Burn your own CDs of that good ole Rock ’n’ Roll.

“Our users have always loved the ease of use and affordability of iMic, but when they wanted to record their old records a lot more effort was required to just hook up the turntable. Now with our Final Vinyl software, all a person has to do is plug-in and record. We’re thrilled to offer this simple and free solution to our iMic customers.’ said Paul Griffin, President of Griffin Technology.

And as those old K-Tel commercials used to say: “But wait, there’s more...”

Final Vinyl does more than just record old albums; it is a fully functional general audio recording application as well. It can be used to record instruments, microphones and reel-to-reel tapes plugged into the iMic. It includes a 10-band equalizer that is capable of significantly altering and enhancing a user’s sound input. For example, inexpensive microphones could be improved by tweaking the base response. Old worn records can be fine tuned and tonally corrected. All this and more can be done using the completely free Final Vinyl combined with the Griffin iMic.

That’s right, Pop, no need to adjust your bifocals. If you want to be the Mac Daddy of the senior set, just shuffle your walker on down to Griffin’s site and download your beta today! Servers are standing by.

From another dimension

If you’ve ever had a hankerin’ to get knee deep into 3D, but didn’t want to pop a load of cash on something like Maya, then you just gotta head over to Pixels Digital Inc. and pre-order your copy of Pixels 3D Version 4 for Mac OS X.

Pixels Digital is taking prerelease orders for its forthcoming offering at cut-rate pricing until October 31, when the product is expected to be released. As Andrew Bryant of the Pixels Digital team puts it in his press release:

We know many in the Mac community have been anticipating the OS X version of PiXELS 3D. We’ve listened, we’ve heard you and appreciate the enthusiasm. To show our appreciation, we’ve decided to reward Mac 3D enthusiasts with an offer so incredible it can’t last indefinitely!

PiXELS 3D 4.1, fully OS X compliant, fully animatible, ShaderMaker Pro is included, the amazing Tempest micro pixel renderer is included, Power Particle System is included along with all the other innovative, industry shattering features for two exceptional pre-purchase prices.

Prerelease orders can be booked via Pixels Digital’s store, while those looking for more information might want to check out the company’s main site.

Presto change

Those who want to gear up for one of Microsoft’s next big changes for the Net but don’t want to ditch their Mac to get there might want to check out this little offering from MacASP.

MacASP makes it possible to easily turn your Web pages into a fully dynamic site, using any PPC Macintosh computer. It is a versatile system at all levels, ie. setting-up, hardware/software requirements and programming. MacAsp incorporates a lot of functionalities enabling dynamic and faster development. The cost of MacASP ranges from free to US$299, depending on your needs or commercial goals.

The software is designed to run on any PPC machine using Mac OS 8.6 or later and plugs into servers using WebStar 3/4, MacHTTP, QuidProQuo or the venerable AppleShareIP. A Carbon version is available for those running Apache or the newly released WebStar V on OS X.

Those crafty Canucks

No, we’re not talking about that overpaid shinny squad from Vancouver. We’re talking about Ultimate Technologies, who would doubtlessly bristle at any association with any sports team other than Montreal’s cherished Les Habs.

Ultimate Technologies released a handful of products that help move the backshop of prepress operations from Classic to OS X. First up is Impostrip 6.7, an impositioning front end for handling EPS and PDF output. That product is followed by ImPress 3.2, a widely used impositioning software designed for the on-demand print market.

David Watson, President and CEO of Ultimate, says, “Impostrip was the first digital imposition application on the market and the first for the Mac. The majority of our customers are Mac users, so it was extremely important for us to bring Impostrip 6.7 and IMPress 3.2 to Mac OS X. Our new imposition workflow applications harness the incredible power and stability of Mac OS X, allowing our customers to work faster and more efficiently.”

“Mac OS X delivers state-of-the-art features like ColorSync, OpenType fonts, protected memory, and preemptive multitasking, for creative professionals to run a smooth publishing and prepress workflow,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “Impostrip 6.7 and IMPress 3.2 leverage the advanced capabilities of Mac OS X to enable faster imaging of films and plates in a prepress environment.”

Not content with addressing the needs of imagesetting output on OS X, Ultimate also found time to punch out an OS X version of SkinnyEPS, a utility which compresses EPS image files to as much as a fifteenth of the size without affecting image quality, according to the company’s press release.

Makes one wish Extensis would get its butt in gear and allow the DTPers to go OS X from front to back. Who cares about Quark when you can get InDesign 2.0 for next to nothing?

More bad news for Quark

While we’re putting the hammer down on Quark, we couldn’t help but notice that Helios is taking its soon-to-be-released fourth-generation wares on the road for a showcase at Graph Expo in Chicago.

According to the company’s press release, Helios will be showcasing its Mac OS X workflow management sever software.

To ship in October on HELIOS CD018, the new versions incorporate advanced server technologies developed by HELIOS over 10 years. A key component of HELIOS’ 4th generation products is a new server foundation called HELIOS Base, which includes Server Fail Safety, Unicode support, networking and imaging libraries, and more. From installation and configuration to system administration and platform migration, HELIOS’ 4th generation products deliver mission-critical performance, reliability, scalability and ease of use.

Key Benefits:

Server Fail Safety monitors all HELIOS services via the HELIOS Service Controller, to provide mission critical reliability and process security.

Advanced printing system supports TCP/IP, AppleTalk PAP, Postscript, and PDF, and includes extensive input & output options. The new HELIOS TCP Printer driver offers three times faster printing support than AppleTalk-PAP!

Mac OS X support of all supported Macintosh applications to run native on Mac OS X True Win/Mac Cross-Platform Compatibility including shared Unicode volumes, printers and passwords, with full support of cross-platform file and record locking. New imaging capabilities.

HELIOS ImageServer (formerly EtherShare OPI) supports server based image transformation, ICC-Color Management, and OPI replacement, as well as Internet optimized PNG previews.

“HELIOS’ expertise delivers the highest performance servers for Macintosh and Windows clients, and the most advanced prepress servers available,” noted Helmut Tschemernjak, president of HELIOS Software GmbH. “The HELIOS Base foundation plus the extensive list of product enhancements to each of the server products translates into increased productivity and ease of use.”

Whether or not Quark’s QPS suffers the bad mojo of a go-slow transition to OS X, the one thing that is certain is that the sharks are in the water and they’re circling. And those Windows NT 4 servers running QPS definitely look aged compared to a shiny new Xserve.

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