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MacEdition Pro News : February 4, 2003: Advice for the love-struck and those running amuck

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Roses are red...

Heads up, guys, it’s less than two weeks to go to Valentine’s Day and more than half the women out there expect you to show up with some sort of gift to mark the occasion, according to a survey done by Internet dating service

And if you plodding palookas of passion think that a nice romantic dinner will be the ticket to her heart (that’s about 30 percent of us, according to the survey) you might be surprised to discover that 36 percent of the women surveyed are longing for something nontraditional and unique. And before you think, “A coffee maker,” just be aware that 24 percent of those women surveyed say such an appliance will get you a one-way ticket to the sofa circuit where you can spend the rest of your days romancing such “hotties” as Betty Crocker, Mrs. Williams and Aunt Jemima.

So, what’s a ham-fisted, heart-throbbing, great big hunk of love like you going to do?

Well, if your sweetie is of the technically inclined sort, you can point your browser to Hollywood Greeting where for a mere US$7.95 you can pick up a greeting card which contains a DVD of 20 classic romantic moments set to the music of Andrea Bocelli’s Con Te Partiro.

Not only does “Hollywood Greeting” show a touch of originality, thoughtfulness and a completely modern way to say “I love you,” the DVD evokes an emotional feeling unlike any other greeting card. It’s the ideal present to sweep anyone off their feet and get your romantic partner “in the mood for love.”

The card and disk combo is available at Walmart, K-Mart and selected Hallmark Stores.

Or, for the more creative types

So, you’ve got iMovie 3 downloaded and you’re wondering if whipping up something with a more personal touch won’t set her heart all aflutter. Good idea, bucko, as a whopping 76 percent of those surveyed by said handmade Valentine’s gifts were more of a treasure than any store-bought goods.

So to help you out, Stupendous Software added two new effects packages to its dazzling array of iMovie plug-ins.

The new Time Effects 2 pack contains 13 effects which allow the user to accelerate or slow down the playback of a whole clip or affect the passage of time for a small section of the clip. The package also contains a plug-in which can create a ghosting effect on a moving object.

Stupendous also released a massive Label & Overlays pack more aimed at those who want to highlight certain elements in their clips. The package is aimed at those who wish to make QuickTime clips and drop them into presentation packages like PowerPoint and Keynote.

Both packages are available from Stupendous Software and cost US$25 each.

A more professional approach

Owners of Final Cut Pro and Adobe’s After Effects need not miss out on all the plug-in goodies. Virtix Inc. has revamped its 30-plug-in FCP pack to be compatible with Adobe’s After Effects.

Virtix Effects for Final Cut Pro and After Effects contains 30 special effects including: Blur Edges, Bubble, Cross-eyed, Edge Detector, Emboss, Extreme Black and White, Extreme Color, Funhouse, Glint, Heat, Laser, Point-to-Point Laser, Lightning, Median, Moonlight, One Color, Pixel Fixer, Rain, Scope, Smoke, Snow, Sparkle By Color, Spins, Spotlight, Stained Glass, Sunset, Topograph, Tunnel, Witness Protection and Zap.

Those who purchased the initial package can upgrade to the new version for free by downloading the upgrade from Virtix’s support page. Those interested in acquiring the package for the first time will pay US$124.99 for the software.

Manage those clips

If you’re a big fan of using the clipboard to drag and drop your multimedia clips between different applications, you just might take a shine to iClip, a new clipboard utility from Inventive Inc.

iClip can hold multiple clips, has resizable media bins, and can be oriented either vertically or horizontally on the desktop. While it usually floats on the top layer of your desktop, it can also be minimized to drop into the dock.

iClip allows users to quickly copy and paste. and drag and drop various clippings to and from its multiple “clipping bins” so that they can be easily accessed in the applications being used.

The shareware utility costs US$14.95 to register and can be downloaded from the Inventive Web site.

Getting it down digitally

Griffin Technology announced it has completed the beta process for Final Vinal. its audio recording software that allows the user to record music straight off a turntable or other analogue audio device connected to its iMic or PowerWave USB audio interface.

Final Vinyl is designed to work exclusively with the Griffin iMic or the new Griffin PowerWave. The iMic adds high quality stereo input and output to any USB based Macintosh. The Griffin PowerWave includes audio input and output plus adds an integrated 30 watt amplifier. With the combination of an iMic or a PowerWave and the new free Final Vinyl software, recording an entire album collection has never been easier or more affordable.

The free release would allow users to convert their stacks of wax into MP3 recordings or use them as audio tracks in applications like iMovie.

Griffin also announced it has developed a MIDI driver for its gPort family which allows people to use older serial MIDI interfaces to patch into OS X 10.2.3’s core MIDI services.

Both pieces of software are available from Griffin’s Web site.

Get computing power on demand

Belgian company Hemeris Computing announced it is renting out time on a high-performance cluster of 64 G4 computers for as little as US$1 per processor hour.

Clients define and pay their computing-power needs by determining, among other things, the number of processors and a time period.

Clients can concentrate on their core activities without having to mobilize their resources and investments in continually evolving technologies. They manage their computing power requirements via an expense budget, without having to take into consideration issues such as financing, obsolescence, depreciation, technical resources, maintenance, etc.

Hemeris has three clusters available running either Linux or Mac OS X. The company also announced it is in the process of building a supercomputer manufactured with 2,500 G4 PowerPC processors racked into a cabinet in a blade format. The company believes the super G4 will be one of the 20 most powerful computers in the world when the project is completed.

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