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MacEdition Pro News : December 2, 2002: The answers to life’s little questions

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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Know where you’re going?

Well, if you don’t, now would be a good time to link up to James Associates and download its new version of MacGPS Pro.

MacGPS Pro is the premier Macintosh program for communicating with a Garmin GPS receiver. It allows import of background maps from a wide variety of sources. Maps show the user’s current location and velocity, GPS Waypoints, Track logs, and Routes.

GPS data can be graphically generated and edited for transfer to all Garmin GPS receivers. GPS data transferred from the receiver to the Macintosh can be examined in far greater detail than you could using the receiver alone.

Variations of the US$39.99 program run on any Mac OS from System 6.0.7 to OS X. While the program interfaces only with the Garmin line of GPS receivers, which use the 9-pin PC serial connection, the company’s Web site sells adapters to connect the receiver to either USB or Mini DIN 8 interfaces.

James Associates also sells a handful of USGS maps to help guide outdoor enthusiasts traveling in some of the national parks in that country. The program is compatible with a variety of maps from a range of other sources, according to the company’s product information.

Where’d that graphic go?

Web designers and content managers will likely want to look over the newly released English-language version of WebEdition from Astarte New Media AG.

WebEdition is a groundbreaking, professional database-grounded web content management system based on PHP4 and MySQL. It runs on all hard/software platforms that support PHP4 and MySQL. WebEdition’s capabilities are easily expandable through a variety of add-on modules. And WebEdition’s sources are open, allowing the development of personal extensions and modules. 100% server based with no special client application necessary.

While the US$159 program is chiefly aimed at smaller design studios, there are licensing options to allow as many as 20 client domains to access to the studio’s graphics server to independently update their sites and about a half-dozen modules to aid in such tasks as user management, scheduling, online store management and workflow control.

Need a little more control?

Fans of the shareware application A Better Finder Rename will be cheered to know Publicspace has completed the beta process for a new version of the file handling utility.

After going through five successful beta releases, Version 5.0 is now ready to be downloaded from our Web site. This major upgrade to the popular file renaming tool introduces a host of new features and improvements:

  • create stand-alone “droplet” applications to automate frequent renaming tasks
  • file names and extensions can now be renamed separately or together
  • new icon designs
  • full support for 255 character file names
  • correct sorting for file names of more than 64 characters
  • preferences stored as Carbon property lists
  • improved installer
  • rewritten renaming engine
  • improved “remove anywhere” feature
  • revised date formats
  • improved registration assistant
  • Mac OS X installer no longer requires restart, but Finder is restarted by the installer

A Better Finder Rename is available from Publicspace’s download page and carries a US$14.95 price tag.

Can we get coordinated?

Those who have downloaded Apple’s new iCal application now have their very own corner of the net where they can find out how to make more effective use of this new piece of Jaguar joy and swap calendars to track a variety of different events.

iCal World was created to be THE destination on the Web where Macintosh users (and PC users too) can go and learn how to take full advantage of the power of Apple(R) Computer’s revolutionary new iCal(R) application.

iCal World maintains a vast calendar library with hundreds of calendars in dozens of categories, all organized by US State, Canadian Province and Country for their international users.

iCal World offers free public and private calendar hosting that can be subscribed to, or viewed over the Internet in any Web browser, on any Macintosh or Windows computer.

iCal World will also offer secure hosting to groups wishing to share their calendar within their circle of users. To kick off the Web site, iCal World will be giving away a shiny new iPod to one lucky calendar contributor. Details on the drawing can be found on the Web site.

More iMovie madness

Virtix Inc. upgraded its Spectra iMovie effects package to Version 2.0. The upgrade features four new effects: Extreme Contrast, Bubbles, Cross-eyed and – this season’s favorite – Snow.

Snow, one of our most requested effects, adds a wintry look to your scene. Extreme Contrast spreads an image evenly through the brightness spectrum, brightening a dark room, toning down an overexposed image and giving new life to washed-out scenes. Bubbles can be used for simulating an underwater scene or giving an interesting look to titles. Cross-eyed conveys the viewpoint of a person passing out or waking up.

Virtix Spectra contains 3 Color Correctors, 3 Advanced Black & White filters, Color Spot, Color Bleed, Color Filter, Color Offset, Enhanced Photo Negative, Extreme Black & White with Color, Extreme Color Blend, Moonlight, Phasing Colors, Phasing Light, Rotate Colors (RGB), Rotate Colors (RBG), Strobe Light, and Sunset.

The package costs US$24.99 and free upgrades are available to owners of the previous version. Further information on Spectra can be found on Virtix’s product page.

Working with an appreciative audience

If you’re one of those people who is constantly wondering where their cursor went while mousing around the desktop in OS X, you may appreciate Eyeballs 2.3 from Stick Software.

Today, Stick Software released Version 2.3 of Eyeballs, a fun Mac OS X application that gives you a set of eyeballs in your menu bar or on your desktop. The eyes watch the cursor move around as you work. They get sleepy depending on how busy you’re keeping the cursor, and they blink periodically. They are extremely configurable, in terms of the colors they use, their eyelid and pupil style, how sleepy they are and a bunch of other things.

Eyeballs is a US$10 shareware program which can be download from the developer’s Web site.

Gettin’ into the groove

Musicians who want to layer a couple of short samples into a rhythmic track might want to grab Minimal Music Plug (MMP) from the Polyfractus Web site.

MMP is an original multi-loop player. This free VST plugin allows the user to synchronize four sample loops (up to five seconds) and to control the drift between the loops. Inspired by Steve Reich, whose music work triggered a few musical patterns together and made them gradually move out of synch with each other, MMP creates effects from phasing to polyrhythmics.

The OS 9 plugin can be obtained from the macmusic.org site.

Toppin’ the charts

Griffin Technology put another feather in its audio cap after winning a Best of Show award from the organizers of the recently completed Macworld UK show. The PowerWave USB audio amplifier won one of the ten awards handed out by MacWorld UK.

The PowerWave was recognized by MacWorld UK Magazine as an extremely adaptable USB audio device capable of dozens of uses. The unit includes high-quality RCA stereo inputs and outputs, as well as providing real-time headphone monitoring and stereo microphone input for recording scenarios. The PowerWave’s compact 20-watt amplifier adds further functionality by powering any set of un-powered speakers directly from the desktop. It also is the only non-Apple device capable of driving the popular Apple Pro Speakers.

The darling US$99 device will begin shipping in January of 2003.

Time for tea and biscuits

While we weren’t able to send our beloved little mole rat to jolly ole England (he balked at the travel arrangements our accounting department would allow), we thankfully can provide you dear readers with a fistful of snappies from the shindig, thanks to our gli amici molto buoni at MacCity, Italy’s most widely-read Mac site.

Hey, it’s getting positively international out there. Now, where’s The Vapors when you really need a theme song?

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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