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MacEdition Pro News : February 20, 2003

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Teaching old dogs new tricks

FreeHand joins the MX crowd

Macromedia Inc. is shipping FreeHand MX, giving the venerable desktop publishing program better integration with the company’s other products and boosting performance under OS X.

Added to the MX version of FreeHand are: a new object panel which displays all editable properties of graphic and allows for changes to be made through the panel; support for an unlimited number of multiple attributes in a graphic, eliminating the need to stack various versions of the graphic to affect its appearance; and an Actions tool which allows the user to drag and drop scripts into a graphic to be used as page links, or to enable the launching of multimedia content from a page.

“Macromedia FreeHand MX enables graphic designers to streamline their workflow and easily move from concept to design to production in a single file, multipage environment, empowering them to meet today’s needs of doing more with less,” said Norm Meyrowitz, president of products, Macromedia. “Macromedia FreeHand MX contains a powerful set of illustration and design tools to help users realize their creative vision, whether the end result is print, the Web or a Macromedia Flash MX project.”

FreeHand MX is priced at US$399, with upgrades from Version 9 being priced at US$149. An upgrade from Version 10 is also available and carries a lower US$99 price tag.

Drawn to the program

A small American software company is hoping to attract some brave souls to a beta program for a simple drawing program it has under development.

Purgatory Design is working on Intaglio, a 2D drawing program for Mac OS X that will leverage the Quartz drawing engine, ColorSync and Apple Type Services to give the program a host of features usually found in more upscale design packages.

Anybody interested in signing up for the program is asked to email the company at

Endless play

With MP3 being an all-but-ubiquitous file format with most new CD players these days it’s no surprise that somebody has developed a utility that allows Mac users to burn a MP3 CD suitable for use in one of these devices.

Mireth Technology launched MacMP3CD, a utility which can pack up to 10 hours of tunes on a single CD. The software also doubles as a playback device and supports both auto-play and auto-eject.

MacMP3CD’s burning capability supports features that make MP3 CD creation and re-creation easy. With the burn list feature, you can store the list of what MP3s you burned, so that you can easily re-create a CD, in case the first is lost. Easy navigation of all the folders on your hard drive (including across multiple users) allows you to find and choose from all the MP3s on your computer when building a burn list. MacMP3CD also supports folders (a feature available on the latest MP3 CD players), which allow for easier navigation of an MP3 CD, since you can skip from folder to folder, as well as from song to song. With the built-in CD-RW erase feature, you can easily erase and reuse CD-RWs.

MacMP3CD runs on OS X and costs US$19.95. A demo version of the software – which only allows the user to burn a 10-minute CD – is available from Mireth’s Web site.

Sign on and sign up

4D developer HD Industries Inc. has created a new Web-based registration system that promises to take a load off program administrators.

The company’s product, RecEnroll, runs on top of Mac OS 8.6 and allows users to connect with it via any browser. Besides being rather modest in its server requirements, the program will track registrations and allows administrators to manage class loads, waiting lists and handle instructor payments. The program also supports product sales.

RecEnroll Makes Recreation Department Management Easy

Designed to drastically streamline program registration processes and record keeping, RecEnroll manages class schedules, brochures, rosters and waiting lists, keeps track of instructor and other payments, produces administrative reports and connects remote offices with the central office. A fully integrated Web-enabled registration system, RecEnroll is extremely easy to use through any modern browser, and offers secure remote browser-based administration. The included RecEnroll templates seamlessly incorporate brochure and enrollment pages into the district's existing Web site. Walk-in registrants are managed within the same system.

A Windows version of RecEnroll is also available, and a Mac OS X version is in development. Single server pricing is US$9,000 per year with successive annual licenses costing US$2,250.

Get your stuff faster

For those impatient beings who can't download their goodies fast enough, a nifty utility has been cooked up by a developer who claims to improve throughput as much as 600 percent compared to the download managers in most common browsers. Yazsoft explains that its product - Speed Download - optimizes network connections to give users the fastest downloads possible over the ’Net.

Speed Download is an extremely fast and powerful download manager for your Macintosh. Packed with a clean Macintosh interface and tons of valuable features, such as turbocharged downloading, resumable downloads, URL management, scheduling, scripting and much more, Speed Download becomes a very powerful and indispensable download manager. Speed Download accelerates all your downloads and is 4 to 6 times faster! (Broadband connections).

Speed Download runs on Mac OS X, can support simultaneous downloads from different browsers and incorporates a feature that allows the user to drag a download from the program's window and drop the file anywhere in the user’s system. The US$20 program supports resumable downloads, scheduling and is scriptable. The program can be found at Yazsoft’s Web site.

Show me the money

If you’re one of those people who owns a magic wallet that makes money disappear, then maybe Max Programming’s latest little release may be of interest to you.

The shareware developer has issued iCash, a new personal finance manager that tracks revenues and expenses without the user being required to have any knowledge of accounting practices.

iCash is versatile and user-friendly. For this reason it doesn’t use the principle of double-entry bookkeeping making it much easier to use for people with very little or no accounting knowledge at all. Simply create accounts for all your expenses, incomes, banks ... and start moving money between them! iCash will then allow you to find out where all your money comes from and where it goes. All accounts are well organized according to user-defined categories and built-in types so reports can be tailored to include all records or only ones meeting specified criteria. iCash also allows you to have as many money manager documents as necessary so you can control almost anything from Clubs, associations, home and so on at the same time.

The $US24.95 title runs on either Mac OS X or OS 9 and is localized for English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The software can be obtained from the MaxProg download site.

An iPod living space

Anybody who owns an iPod has surely discovered by now that the glamorous device has something of an inelegant solution when it comes to a charging station.

With that in mind, the people at Bubble Design created Habitat, a clear polycarbonate cradle to hold the iPod while it is charging. The stylish cradle is also designed to hold the FireWire cable and earbuds, giving the Pod a nice neat home on your desktop.

“When I first bought my iPod I was as happy as a kid with a new toy. I could now have all of my favorite music at my fingertips. However, I soon became frustrated whenever I tried to download or charge my iPod. It was getting buried under papers or I was catching on the cords. Okay, I'll admit the problem was the mess on my desk,” said Wayne Calco, Principal of Bubble Design.

“When I later noticed my iPod’s case was getting scuffed I thought to myself, ‘This thing needs a home.’ The Bubble Design team was impressed with the look and feel of the iPod,” said Calco. “So Bubble Design went to work creating what we thought would be the perfect habitat for the iPod. We focused our efforts on developing a high style, yet functional cradle that would compliment Apple's iPod design.”

Habitat is US$24.95 and is available for purchase through Bubble Design’s eBay store. A locking device will also soon be making its way to the store to allow iPod owners to lock down their Pods in the stand. The locking clamp will sell for US$39.99 and is compatible with standard PC locking devices.

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