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MacEdition Pro News : January 3, 2003: Shapes of things to come

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With MacWorld San Francisco just around the corner it’s no surprise a few people are starting to thump the tub to drum up some enthusiasm for the wares that will be making their debut at the premier Mac show.

Floating its way to the top of this keyboard slappin’ monkey’s attention grabbing list is Contour A/V Solutions which will be using their booth at MacWorld as a launching pad for their newly released SpaceShuttle A/V, a five-button jog and shuttle controller modeled on the company’s ShuttlePRO controller.

“We developed the SpaceShuttle A/V as a means of bringing the power and productivity of the ShuttlePRO to a much broader audience,” explained Rick Muldoon, President and CEO of CAVS. “We’re delighted to learn that users are already moving beyond audio/video applications, and finding that the SpaceShuttle A/V is a great productivity booster across all kinds of multimedia and business applications.”

The new US $50 device is fully programmable through a control panel and the software ships with preprogrammed settings for most audio and video applications.

Waiting in the wings

French drive makerLa Cie Inc. will also be showing off its new 500GB Firewire drive when it comes time to boogie down by the bay.

The aptly named Big Drive is really two 250GB IDE mechanisms mounted transversely in La Cie’s new D2 CD enclosure. The drive sports a transfer rate of 40MB/sec will ship with software that will allow the user to format the mechanism as a striped array for high-speed data transfer or as a self-contained mirror-writing drive.

La Cie already offers a rack-mount kit that will allow owners of the new drives to plug as many as three units into a 1U space, making for 1.5 terabytes of storage in a space no larger than one of Apple’s Xserve boxes.

The US $999 monster mechanism will begin shipping shortly after the curtain lifts on the Jan. 7 showcase event.

Dream a little dream

4D Inc. couldn’t wait for the show to release their new Dreamweaver MX plug-in to allow Web designers to add 4D-specific tags to their pages in order to quickly build e-commerce sites around 4D’s Business Kit offering.

“Web designers can now develop full-featured e-commerce sites in Macromedia Dreamweaver with the greatest of ease,” said Brendan Coveney, president and CEO of 4D Inc. “Now, adding dynamic 4D Business Kit e-commerce functionality into a Dreamweaver HTML document is just a single click of an icon. With 4DBK Dreamweaver, the process of designing slick Web storefronts is more efficient and user-friendly than ever before.”

The US $499 4D Business Kit contains server and database software with a multi-store manager and tools to allow the inclusion of catalogues, shopping carts, payment systems, customer management and order tracking. The Dreamweaver plug-in can be obtained from 4D’s download server. A demo of the 4D Business Kit is also available there.

4D also recently revamped its 4D Today web portal to offer its news and information as an RSS (Rich Site Summery) feed. The RSS feed allows other web developers to automatically obtain updated information from the site and relay it onto other sites. The 4D Today RSS portal is available in English and French.

Handy tools make light work

Dutch FileMaker developer izi4u unleashed a couple of modules for FileMaker Pro that could be handy for those booking courses and events.

The developer’s first offering, izi-Event is an event management solution that handles sending invitations, managing participants, mailings, lists, invoicing and reporting.

Their second offering izi-Course allows users to compile course offerings, track registrations, send mail and handle billing.

Both modules require a copy of FileMaker and are available as license for one to an unlimited number of users.

A set of speedy wheels

We all know Apple’s PowerBook and iBook offering have some of the sleekest lines in the laptop business and the folks down at Postworx figured they’d slide a slick set of wheels under the speedy rigs.

Postworx’s offering is a set of removable wheels that fit onto the ’Books to make it the unit easier to glide around on a desktop while improving the angle of attack to make for a more ergonomic keyboarding experience. A set of Speedballs also makes it easier for air to circulate under the ’Book, keeping the unit cooler and preventing damage to electrical components from overheating, the company notes.

A set of Speedballs can be had for about US $14 and can also be used on other computing devices where ease of mobility is a desirable thing.

You sick puppy

Did you know your OS X system could get Measles?

Well, thanks to Stick Softwarethe infectious Measles 2.0 can be downloaded onto you system for a US $10 shareware fee.

Measles is a fun, bouncy desktop companion that can act as a CPU monitor if so desired. It provides the user with Aqua-style spheres on their desktop that bounce off of windows and each other, adding life and energy to the user’s environment. They are highly configurable in their appearance and behavior, and if desired, can change colors to indicate the load on the user’s processor, free memory or disk space. They even make sounds when they bounce!

Hey you gotta love a bunch of guys whose main goal in life is to produce “anti-productivity tools for the discerning user”. Measles 2.0 can be downloaded from the company’s download page.

Get your updates here

Linguisoft Inc. released an update to Grammarian PRO X, giving the program better interactive checking functionality and eradicating a small speed hit users took when using the program. Other minor bug fixes have been rolled into the update as well.

Glucose Development Corp. has tweaked their WeatherPop and WeatherPop Advance offering to add a wind-chill feature and address an issue when using WeatherPop with Unsanity’s Menu Extra Enabler.

Objectpark Development updated LetterWorks to version 1.1 to add Italian language support and address a number of minor bugs contained in the initial release.

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