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MacEdition Pro News : December 3, 2002: Partitions, prints, projects and other potpourri

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Just like magic

Those users out there who like to toy with different operating systems on their Macs can play with all their favorite OSes on one hard drive thanks to the release of FWB’s Partition Toolkit.

The newly minted utility allows users to cut their hard drives into HFS, HFS+, MS-DOS and LinuxPPC segments that can be resized on the fly to allow for easier disk management.

“Normally a drive volume can not be easily resized without destroying the data contained within. Adding extra partitions or volumes to a drive usually involves the painful procedure of backing up the data, reformatting, partitioning the drive, and restoring the data,” said Marko Kostyrko, FWB’s Director of Product Development. “FWB Partition Toolkit was created to automate the procedure of resizing and creating new volumes on the fly without the need to move your data to a temporary storage.”

FWB believes the US$24.99 utility will be a boon to those who wish to separate their Mac OS 9 and 10 volumes, run Linux or require a read-only volume on their hard drives.

Like printing money

Pisces Print Imaging Sciences and Ultimate Technographics have teamed up to offer small printers and those in the on-demand market a tempting hardware-software bundle for their backshop.

The bundle consists of Pisces’ new JetPlate 7600 straight-to-plate system and Ultimate’s IMPress impositioning software.

The JetPlate 7600 is a new unit from Pisces which allows printers to produce 4-up plates without outputting from imagesetters to burn a metal plate for use on a printing press. The JetPlate system takes output directly from the computer and uses a chemical solution to etch the page image onto a standard metallic plate. While the details on the JetPlate 7600 were not available, the company’s existing line is built around the Epson 3000 print engine and handles output up to 18" by 25" (458mm X 635mm).

Hank Clifford, Pisces Vice President Sales & Marketing noted, “Our arrangement with Ultimate, as the industry leader in imposition software, allows us to package a very powerful imposition package at a very reasonable price. IMPress’ web based tutorial makes the product extremely easy to understand. It certainly is a great fit for shops who are moving into CTP with the JetPlate System.”

Robert Dumas, Director of Product Development at Ultimate, says: “The digital print evolution left out a large segment of our print market because of the complexity and the large investment CTP (Computer To Plate) requires. We are impressed with Pisces technology because it offers a real opportunity to bring a complete workflow solution at a price point really accessible to those printers. We believe IMPress and JetPlate will make significant inroad among small and mid-size printers.”

The dynamic duo made its runway debut at the recent Print Ontario 2002, held this past weekend in Toronto, Canada. The JetPlate system previously won the 2002 GATF InterTech Technology award.

The stage is set

Macromedia will be shipping Director MX in December, bringing the multimedia heavyweight to Mac OS X and a big sigh of relief to disabled computer users who struggle with multimedia content on their machines.

The new release will feature tight integration of Flash content, a simpler interface, streamlined workflow and gives projects made with Director the ability to fully comply with US government guidelines and accessibility standards for the disabled. Disabled users will not require any additional assistive technologies – like screen readers – to view presentations made in Director MX.

“Macromedia is entirely committed to the Mac, as all of the Macromedia MX authoring tools are built natively for Mac OS X,” said Rob Burgess, chairman and CEO, Macromedia. “Director MX includes support for QuickTime 6 and is optimized to take advantage of the Mac’s PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine. Developers are chomping at the bit to use this industry-leading multimedia authoring tool.”

Accessibility leaders and developers praised the accessibility strides made by Macromedia Director MX. Director MX enables developers to create self-voicing applications that don’t require assistive technologies such as screen readers. In addition, easy to use drag-and-drop accessibility behaviors can control speech and tab ordering, and enable captioning of spoken words.

“With the availability of Macromedia Director MX, all of the Macromedia MX authoring tools will support accessibility to ensure rich applications and content created with our software are accessible to people with disabilities,” said Bob Regan, accessibility product manager, Macromedia. “We are proud of the work we have done with community leaders to ensure the development of accessible content is practical, given that the need for this content is so crucial.”

Director MX will debut at US$1199.99, with upgrades costing US$399. While the Windows Version will support older environments, the Mac Version will be suitable only for Mac OS 10.1 and above.

Speak gooder English

Ever wish you had a spell checker, grammar checker, dictionary and all that other writing stuff available to pretty much any program on your computer?

Well then, dufus, get off your digital duff and direct yourself to Lingisoft, which has taken over distribution of Grammarian Pro X. For those not acquainted with the program, it loads as a service in OS X making its features available to most programs which make use of text.

Grammarian PRO X is an arsenal of professional writing tools to combat those embarrassing writing errors that everyone tends to make, a universal interactive spelling checking, grammar checking, dictionary, autocorrect, and autotype tool that works with virtually every program on your computer.

Grammarian Pro X also features an interactive dictionary with auto-type and auto-correct and conducts a statistical analysis of the document’s content for readability. The developer is selling the program for US$39.95 through electronic distribution.

Captain gets a promotion

Xnet Communication Gmbh has moved Captain FTP to Version 2, giving it the ability to segment downloads, restart interrupted downloads and a new, rejiggered core to handle increase download speeds.

“For the last couple of months our development team has been working very hard on adapting some of our top technologies into our Captain FTP. Don’t forget the FTP protocol was developed in the nineteen seventies, many years ago. Since that time the networking technology has gone through many changes. There are a lot of other protocols for file transfer and Xnet has been dealing with them for more than 15 years. Our company has implemented nearly every new technology, but these solutions were only available to our large accounts. Captain FTP 2.0 is the step into sharing our secrets with smaller companies and home users at an affordable price. It has been our dream for many years and now it is the day we can realize it” – said Mariusz Roznowski, CEO Xnet.

A free Version of Captain FTP can be downloaded from the company’s download site. The program carries a US$25 registration fee.

Update city

Well, not everybody has been munching on turkey and spending an afternoon watching the rather lame Detroit Lions conduct another exercise in futility this past weekend. Trinfinity Software updated Seagull Video Player to Version 2.3, giving the program the ability to use a fade transition between videos, improving its ability to scan folders for videos and fixing a fatal error which occurred when the user hit Play from Current Selection when no video was chosen.

Publicspace tweaked some of the settings in MacBreakZ, moving the program to Version 3.4. The changes make the ergonomic break program more suitable for first-time users, who aren’t used to the idea of taking a short break every hour in order to avoid RSI. The new Version of the US$24.95 shareware program can be downloaded from Publicspace’s product page.

Parker Software squashed a few bugs with its latest release of NewsHunter. Tops on the list was an issue where MasterSplitter files would be improperly reassembled under certain conditions. Other minor bugs got the Raid treatment, too, the company says.

Ambrosia Software took the big can of bug spray to its Pop-pop offering and gave the game a few new features in the process. Chief among the improvements were support for Apple’s Rendezvous and a network lounge for a better multiplayer experience. The game now sports a new two-player mode, where the second player can enter a game by adding a second mouse to the machine. Users can also join a Net-based game by hitting a Web Tracker link. The game is available from the site while the 2MB update is located on the macgamefiles updates page.

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