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MacEdition Pro News : November 5, 2002: Speedy engines, water-tight skins, tweaks and T-shirts

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Making the Net connection

Paradigma Software has issued a new release of its speedy, lightweight relational database engine Valentina.

According to the company’s press release the updated Valentina engine has better Net hooks, more flexible language skills and speedier runtime improvements:

  1. Improved SQL-based engine support for complex multi-table joins, including joins based on multiple field keys;
  2. Improved support of international characters;
  3. Numerous improvements in the Valentina kernel runtime

News on other enhancements to Valentina can be found at the company’s site.

The update affects all Windows and Macintosh development platforms including CodeWarrior, Java, Visual C++, Visual Basic, PowerBuilder, RealBasic, Macromedia Developer, WebSiphon and COM- and XCMD-compatible products.

Be reckless with that Pepsi, Eugene

Anybody who’s ever seen the magic happen after dropping their favorite beverage on a keyboard will appreciate this offering from AckNowledge. The crafty Canucks have expanded their line of protective coverings for products of le Pomme to include iBook and PowerBook G4 keyboards.

Made of a durable high-grade translucent silicone, the iSkin Keyboard Protector offers protection against damage caused by spills, dirt, crumbs and other unwanted elements that may get in between the keys of the keyboard. The iSkin Keyboard Protector also prevents keyboard keys against wear and tear.

The iSkin Keyboard Protector is specifically designed to form-fit the iBook/PowerBook G4 keyboards and does not restrict typing. The protector can be left on the keyboard at all times even when the laptop is closed. It is also easily removed and is hand-washable.

The keyboard skin is available online for US$24.95 and the company reports that it is close to signing distribution deals with various retailers in the US and Canada.

Messin’ with the brand

Those who like to tinker with the look and feel of their Mac OS X operating system can find a bevy of new trinkets when they point their browsers to the Max Themes page.

The uncredited efforts contain a collection of nine themes for Mac OS X which the creator has been steadily polishing since last April. The author of the themes doesn’t specify a particular price for his/her efforts, but does request a payment to a PayPal account for whatever the user thinks the hack is worth.

Jeopardy! question: Who is Apple Legal?

Well, apparently somebody out there hasn’t got their finger on the buzzer this week. August Schultz, a member of the UK-based ZenBubblegum, obviously hasn’t heard the phrase "trademark infringement" as applied by Apple’s legal department. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be offering his limited-edition T-shirts for purchase at his Web site at US$32 a pop.

The 250 T-shirts come with the old Apple six-color logo on the front and a Happy Mac on the back. The artist says in his press release that he was inspired to create the T-shirts as a homage to the original icons of the Mac OS.

“I was sure someone would be selling something along these lines, but I couldn’t find one anywhere,” Schultz said. “So I decided to do it myself. While I was sorting out my original design idea [the Rainbow-Stripe Apple] with the screen-printer, the death of Happy Mac came to light, killed by a Jaguar!

“Combined with all the other OS 9 news recently, the T-shirt then became a tribute to two much-loved Classic icons, with the Rainbow-Stripe Apple on the front and Happy Mac on the back. I just wanted to produce something in honour of these two graphic icons that encapsulated the ethos and, I think, definitely contributed to the success and reputation of the Macintosh platform.”

One wonders whether the artist’s efforts will become the last great act of defiance or whether the guy merely wishes all Mac users were dressed to kill. Either way, order those T-shirts now before the big guy orders them gone.

Update city gets busy

Griffin Technology has taken Final Vinyl a step further down the road by adding cue marking, dynamic leveling and quick saving to the analogue-to-digital converter software. Final Vinyl is intended to work with the company’s iMic microphone-to-USB adapter.

4D issued a patch to its WebStar V product that fixes a few bugs, including one that could prevent WebStar V from running in non-demo mode after the first year of free updates has lapsed.

24U Software has updated its Appearance OSAX to improve user interaction with its AppleScript-based dialogue boxes. You can download the update or get additional information on the update.

Smile Software has updated Page Sender, adding German language support, an editable Get Info box, landscape printing support and a manual-receive hot key to its fax software. You can download the patch in either English or German.

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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