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MacEdition Pro News : March 14, 2003

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The pitter patter of tiny feats

We’re having much more fun

Well, the boys and girls at Stick Software obviously believe you can never have too much. The gang has been busy over the past month whipping up new anti-productivity software for discerning Mac OS X users and brushing up its current stable of wares.

Stick’s latest effort, Emphemera, is a freeware screen saver which presents 60 landscape and natural art photos shot by developer Ben Haller.

Stick has also revamped BigFoot, its desktop critter, adding a new behavior to the program’s foot-stomping behavior and giving the program both a new icon and Dutch language localization.

Measles also got the language treatment, with Japanese being added in addition to getting a few bugs corrected. And finally, the company made a minor incremental revision to its cursor-watching desktop critter Eyeballs, apparently for nothing worth mentioning in the company’s press release.

You gotta think

Devon Technologies has updated DevonThink, its freeform database, while putting DevonAgent through the internal beta process.

DevonThink picks up some speed enhancements while shrinking the program’s memory footprint. The program also now allows the viewing of data in a different viewer or editor and picks up a Finder toolbar script to export the contents of the foremost window directly into the program.

The beta program for DevonAgent, an Internet search software, went to internal beta earlier this month with a first-quarter target release date. The software’s intention is to make queries of the Net’s major search engines and then sort the material out in order of relevance to the user. Screen shots and further information has been posted.

Long-distance love affair

Griffin Technologies is making it easier for Mac users to put a little distance between them and their machines by releasing a 10-foot ADC extension cable which sells for US$59.

This cable allows a user to place their Apple display up to 16 feet away from their PowerMac. This is often necessary in recording studios, A-V editing rooms, or anywhere a user wants a PowerMac further away from his or her desk.

Griffin also released a US$29 ADC-to-VGA adapter to allow the connection of older monitors to the newer generation of Power Macs or add a second display to the machines.

File navigation made easy

proFusion Software released QuickClick, a system-wide menu widget that allows users to launch applications and open documents in much the same manner as the old Apple Menu in Mac OS Classic.

QuickClick is both highly customizable and easy to use. Allowing users to customize their menu by including submenus, dividers, headers, and resolving folders, QuickClick also features more advanced functions such as multi-launches and plug-in support. Current plug-ins include a Safari plug-in which lists your Safari bookmarks in a submenu as well as a System Preferences plug-in that finally allows you to directly open any preference pane.

proFusion offers a 15-day demo of QuickClick and sells individual licenses for the software at US$15 per user.

An easier way to navigate files

For those still griping about the clumsiness of navigation in OS X, YostWorks Inc. is offering a dock widget that may alleviate some of the pain of drilling down through folder after structured folder in the hope of hitting paydirt.

YostWorks Dock Dispatcher creates a folder in your Dock containing your applications and utilities categorized in a logical array of subfolders. From this indispensable Dock hot button you can access your applications and utilities in a hierarchical menu format for fast and easy one-click launch – way faster and easier than clicking and scrolling through Finder windows and less cluttered than keeping a gazillion apps in the Dock. A hierarchical menu beats even Column View Finder windows any day!

Those interested in how the application works can view a QuickTime demonstration of the US$7.95 program at work on the company’s site.

iDVD gets plugin pals

Video software developer Virtix Inc. has branched out to add a two-CD set of themes for iDVD to its vast array of iMovie plug-ins.

Virtix Themes contains soothing gentle backgrounds such as Crystalline, Old Film, Smoke and Water. This package also contains bold science-fiction themed backgrounds such as Space Warp, Star Field and Techno. Geometric themes such as Lava Lamp, Rainbow and Ripples round out the package. Each theme comes with music or sound effects – you can use our soundtrack or replace it with your own.

The iDVD set works only with NTSC (North American standard television) video and sells for US$24.99 at the company’s online store. A demo of the backgrounds can be accessed on Virtix’s product page.

New effects for iMovie

Stupendous Software has revamped its line of iMovie plug-ins by adding a few new effects and updating the entire range of 258 plug-ins for iMovie 3 compatibility.

The new effects are included in an upgrade of the company’s SplitScreen & PiP effects package, adding four new picture-in-picture effects and allowing users to customize borders and add drop shadows on PiP windows. The upgrade is free to existing users.

Stupendous is selling the new package online for US$25 and has included it in its bundle of all ten effects packages. The bundle pack sells for US$200, a saving of US$50 from the $25 per individual package price.

Tune in the world

Rainjul LLC discovered that 95 percent of the friends and relatives of Mac users use Windows, and released a version of Aizai Web Tuner to accommodate them.

“We have had many requests from users seeking the ability to share their Aizai channels with family and friends on the Windows platform as well as from corporate and education customers seeking to use Aizai in mixed environments. Today we’ve made that possible with the release of Web Tuner,” said Steven W. Schuldt, creator of Aizai, “and now the audience for Aizai channels is truly global. With the video blogging phenomenon gathering momentum and the release of Web Tuner, Aizai is moving from strength to strength.”

In consideration of the new Windows client software, Rainjul updated the tuner and broadcaster components of the US$29.95 Aizai software for compatibility with the new Windows software.

Built to serve education

Fe77 Software LLC has launched an education program in the United States for its server manager software.

FE77 allows users to convert their desktop Macs into Web servers by running Apache and Jakarta Tomcat. The software will also support PHP, MySQL, Jakarta Cocoon (for XML publishing) and Personal Web Journal.

The aim of the education program is to allow students and teachers a quick way to configure their personal servers and get quickly up to speed to the business of programming.

For teachers, Server Suite allows you to quickly deploy the Web’s standard Web server, Apache, along with the industry standard Java environment for Servlet and JSP development, Tomcat, and begin programming within 10 minutes of putting the CD into your drive and clicking on our custom Installer package.

Student benefit from the same ease of use to get up and running and working on their first project without having to figure our complex Unix tasks before they understand the basics.

Used in conjunction, teachers and students can benefit from having identical working and development environments that can be kept up-to-date by participating in our 12 Month, non-cancelable, Software Update Service. Get every major update to Server Suite delivered to your school, automatically. You’ll love the convenience of always having the latest, most stable, sever software at your fingertips.

The education program puts the FE77 server suite into the hands of students and teachers for US$19.95 plus shipping, and is limited to personal and research use only. Regular pricing for the suite is US$60.

Updates galore

MacChampion has updated its notepad/scrapbook application Alepin, giving the program an automatic new page for drag-and-drop imports, adding the ability to change fonts in category and page displays, a new slider to display page names, and allowing users to drag and drop text from Microsoft Word to be displayed as properly formatted text instead of a “Word Art” graphic.

Dog Park Software has updated MacLoggerDX to include support for the Alinco DX-77 radio set, intergrated the memories and schedules data files with the log files so neither are overwritten by updates, and updated the DXCC database to display the location of the ham operator rather than the operator’s country of registration.

MacASP added a new core graphics engine, support for email attachments, pre-rendered pages and code checking to its server-side processing software which leverages technologies like QuickTime and AppleScript to allow Web developers to build dynamic Web sites using Apple technology.

Yazsoft has tweaked Speed Download by updating the program’s plug-ins for better performance and compatibility, and added support for .tar and .gz files.

24U Software has updated its SimpleDialog plug-in for FileMaker Pro to improve SSN validation and allow for special characters to be used in dialogue buttons.

Parker Software did a bug squashing session on NewsHunter, clobbering error dialogs which would interrupt newsgroup downloads. The update also addresses issues with the program’s inability to clear log files and delete raw files when prompted to do so.

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at http://old.macedition.com/news/. Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to pronewsnotes@macedition.com.

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