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MacEdition Pro News : March 7, 2003

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Work, work,’s about being productive

AppleWorks gets a sidekick

DMG Software has created a nifty menubar widget for AppleWorks which lets users open of create documents without first launching the program.

Sidekick is a Mac OS X menu bar item for AppleWorks 6. It makes AppleWorks easier to use, helping you to be more productive. Now you can quickly access many of AppleWorks features from a single point without cluttering your Dock with icons or searching through the Finder for frequently used documents.

Sidekick works with AppleWorks 6.2.4 and requires OS 10.2. An evaluation copy of the US$8 shareware widget can be download from the DMG website.

Building a better Finder

CocaTech and YazSoft have teamed up to rewrite the Finder in Mac OS 10.2, giving users up to 50 per cent faster performance and the ability to customize many elements of the application that runs the desktop.

We give you a Finder on major steroids. Path Finder has all the default functionality of the standard Mac OS X Finder, but also packs tons of additional must-have features not found anywhere else. Path Finder puts an Aqua user interface on many powerful Unix tools for operating on files and can be customized in more ways to suit your working habits.

Path Finder puts an application menu in the top right-hand corner of the screen, reintroduces file and folder color labeling, enhances contextual menus, allows for window transparency and puts the Trash Can back on the desktop. It also loads in Unix tools to provide better file reporting, view package contents and invisible files, while rolling a path navigator to let the user know where they are in their system at a glance.

PathFinder is available from the CocoaTech site and costs US$35 for a single user license. Site licenses are also available.

Time is money

Logiciels Malus Softwares released an update to Sambucus, the company’s well-regarded time tracking software.

Sambucus is a time-tracking application that is flexible and easy to use, aimed at freelancers, small businesses or anyone else who might have the need to track the time spent on various tasks and then report about it. Through a simple interface, the user can manage the time spent on different projects, each divided into one or more tasks. Furthermore, notes can be saved for each task and each project. Like all Malus products, Sambucus is offered in both english and french versions, and the “Undo” function is only limited by the amount of memory allocated to the application; this way the user can safely tryout features, knowing that the action can be undone.

Sambucus 2.1.1 adds the ability to attach contact information to any project, attach notes to the project file, charge out different rates for different projects, and comes with a customizable reporting module.

The software is available as a 30-day demo and a registration code for either the Mac Classic or OS X version costs US$20.

Time Track goes on a bug killing spree

Trinfinity Software went on bug hunt and rolled in some new features in a recent update of their cross-platform time billing software Time Track.

This update fixes a bug that caused Time Track to crash when printing all logs and a bug that caused Time Track to quit when being sent to the background on launch.

This update also fixed the Undo & Redo code so that it does not fill up the application’s memory and cause it to quit when editing large files. It fixed bugs in the Rate Calculator, the Log File selection dialog, and the Main Window as well. The pop-up menus on these windows previously showed invisible files from the Logs folder. All of these pop-up menus now use the same code, which does not show invisible files.

Time Track also now incorporates an auto-update feature (which can be disabled), new pop-up menus for accessing log files and descriptions and the rate calculator has been improved to allows the user to tally the total time, rate and costs to their logs.

Time track can be downloaded from the Trinfinity product page and a US$24.95 license for the program can be bought via Kagi.

Niche market browser released

appMac Software has target three niche markets with three specialized browsers built upon Netscape’s Gecko engine.

The browsers are aimed at Internet kiosks, children and corporate desktops with each incorporating its own feature set to make the browser ideal for its intended user environment.

The company’s flagship product is wKiosk, which provides a full-screen environment with controls that lets the administrator disable downloads, force quit, lock out toolbars and URL addressing, manage home page settings, bookmarks, block URLs, and can be set to return to the home page after a set time of inactivity. The program will also work with a server administration software to limit time access to the net.

appMac is also offering wKids, a full-screen browser which lets parents block out specific URLs or enable blanket blocking by setting the browser to reject pages which use certain words or phrasing in their URLs. It also features a larger icon set aimed at children.

The company’s third browser is wDesk which is more of a traditional browser, but does let the administrator disable downloads and block URLs. The preloaded list is developed around sexual content, but sporting phrases can also be blocked.

The trial versions of the browser quit after one hour’s use and can be downloaded from the appMac page. Pricing for the browsers start at US$50 and climbs to US$150. The server software kicks off at US$1600.

PowerPoint with a global reach

Road warriors used to humping their gear from boardroom to boardroom might find a new service offered by to an attractive way to get the job done without leaving their home base.

The company is offering web meetings build around the ubiquitous Microsoft PowerPoint presentations and incorporating chat services, whiteboards, Voice over IP for up to 100 participants as well as traditional telephone conferencing (with a recording option) and audio playback for those who couldn’t take in the meeting.

Web Conference is a service that enables you to instantly share your desktop with multiple guests over the Internet at the same time. It allows business professionals to communicate more effectively and economically through interactive online meetings. Web Conferencing can be rapidly implemented without or very little IT involvement and with no start-up costs. Use Web Conferencing to increase productivity while lowering costs typically associated with business meetings such travel and sales overhead.

Pricing for the service (for Macintosh users) starts at US$69 per month with a 30-user cap and climbs to US$99 per month for the full-meal deal with unlimited reach. A live demo of the service can be arranged by contacting the company.

A window opens

It may be an accident of timing, but Microsoft’s acquisition of Connectix hasn’t given the 800-pound gorilla of the computing industry a stranglehold on the Windows on Macintosh market.

Not long after the ink dried on the purchase contract another little upstart company released an open-source product that lets Mac users drop a Windows OS on their machines to run those odd little programs some businesses insist on standardizing upon.

OpenOSX issued their first version of WinTel for OS 10.2, built around the Bochs code to allow x86/Pentium based operating systems to run on OS X. The CD version of the software comes with 10 ready to use open source operating systems including Red Hat, FreeBSD and FreeDOS. WinTel has been successfully tested using factory loads of Windows 95/98/NT 4.0/2K/XP Pro and installation instructions for those operating systems have been placed in the OpenOSX site.

Pricing for the emulator starts at US$30 and a six-month update subscription with an O’Reilly manual is available.

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