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MacEdition Pro News : April 15, 2003

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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Little shops with killer chops

Budget branches out

Snowmint Creative Solutions released a new version of Budget – the company’s personal finance planner – giving people the ability to use money from different bank accounts.

“The release of Budget 4.0 has been a big achievement,” said Snowmint Creative Solutions LLC founder, Ron Hooper. “Handling multiple bank accounts has been the most requested feature from our swiftly growing list of satisfied customers. Plus the new setup assistant will make it much easier for new users to get started keeping to a budget. The feedback from our beta testers has been very positive about the new UI.”

Budget 4.0 also sports a new setup assistant, an integrated preferences and settings window, text file reports and additional keyboard shortcuts.

The update is free to registered users and costs US$29.99 to acquire the software from the company’s on-line store. A demo version of the software is also available.

More HAMware for OS X

Dog Park Software has a handy tool for amateur radio operators under development.

The company issued iSpectrum Analyzer 0.2, a program that allows the user to plot audio in a standard frequency plot like an oscilloscope view or a waterfall display. The program allows the user to adjust resolution, center the frequency and save the image to disk.

The downloadable demo runs for five minutes and those wishing to register the program are required to pay US$29 via Kagi.

The company also released an update to EchoMac, their port of echoLinux, which allows users to log onto the Echolink system.

What’s New in v1.1

NEW:
  • “Connect To:” box: Type in a call sign or node number to connect directly.
  • CMD+RETURN to toggle transmit/receive.
  • Clear Info file button in the preferences panel. Upon launch, if the Info file you specified is gone, remove the private copy used by internal processes. Password and Call sign minimum length is three characters.
CHANGED:
  • Now works with six-digit node numbers (or longer).
  • Server messages are no longer truncated.
  • Better manage which controls are active when you are connected/disconnected/etc.
  • The preferences menu item is now disabled if online for technical reasons.
  • VOX mode has been removed at the request of the Echolink system operators.

Dog Park also updated MacLoggerDX, a program that allows the operator to track and schedule SWL programs, DX Net, and W1AW Bulletins.

New additions to the program are: QSO Finish Time and CQ call entry logs (requirements for UK operators), a Save Reminder for when log records are modified, a VFO menu item to quickly connect and disconnect the radio and support for Griffin Technology’s PowerMate controller knob.

Drivers have been added for the Kenwood TS-790, Icom IC R9000 and IC-970 radio sets and an update of the IC-746Pro driver.

What would Rembrandt do?

Corel Corporation announced it will add 400 new brushes and give artists using the program to create their own custom brushes and mix their own colors in a new version of Painter, due to start shipping in May.

“Corel Painter 8 replicates the subtleties of an artists’ hand with stunning accuracy,” said Brett Denly, vice-president of global marketing at Corel Corporation. “This realism makes Corel Painter 8 an essential tool for digital artists and technical illustrators as well as story-boarding and production artists. These professionals require dependable tools that accelerate the creative process and deliver flawless results.”

To ensure Painter 8 replicates the experience and output of traditional media tools, Corel worked closely with professional artists during the development of the product. Corel Painter 8 gives artists freedom, power and flexibility, offering compatible tools that allow them to remain competitive in their industries.

Painter 8 will also give artists the ability to convert photographs into pencil drawings while allowing for the manipulation of paper grains and heaviness of the pencil lines. Painter 8 will also feature a new Digital Water Color for painting line drawings, touching up photos, or throwing in a splash of watercolor wherever one feels it appropriate.

Painter 8 will come with a redesigned interface, a brush tracker, Photoshop file compatibility – including layer sets, masks and channels – and will come with the ability to create layers and masks.

The program is expected to carry a retail sticker of US$299 and upgrades will be offered to current users and owners of Adobe Photoshop (that’s like everybody – right?) for US$149.

Sources inside the Ottawa oligarchy will not comment on the possibility the program’s release might be delayed if the Senators make it round two of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s hockey, they’re Canadians, this is their religion, don’t mess with it (especially on Saturday nights!)

Locking down

Mere Mortal Software has released a title that promises to do the Herculean task of keeping sensitive information on your Mac locked away from the horde of hackers out there.

Safe Place is a Mac OS X shareware application designed to securely store passwords, credit card numbers, software registration numbers, and any other information that needs to be kept safe from prying eyes.

Safe Place stores its data using industry-standard encryption algorithms and uses a user-supplied password as the encryption key.

The US$10 program comes preconfigured with seven categories which users can change, or opt to create new categories where to bury their sensitive information. A 30-day of the software is available for download.

Boss those folders around

Derman Enterprises released FolderControl, a utility which allows a user to control sizing and organization of OS X Finder windows.

Numerous preferences give you control over: which folders participate in the processing; how folder windows are sized, both vertically and horizontally; how sub-folder windows are arranged, relative to their enclosing folders; how various folder-window attributes, such as sorting and view kind, are set; the permissions on the files that control these capabilities.

A trial version of the program can be downloaded from the company’s website and registration for a full version costs US$13.95.

Animation made easy (and cheap)

A Frankfurt, Germany company is enticing prospective developers to check out their wares by releasing a Software Development Kit (SDK) of their realtime animation software called Klagfarben.

SONOLUCA says the software is essentially a multimedia authoring tool which uses a realtime programming language and an advanced rendering engine to allow users to compose animations up to 6400x6400 pixels.

Klangfarben comes with a unique programming language based on simple graphical objects. It’s easy to use, even if you are not a professional programmer. Offering comprehensive capabilities for realtime analysis of audio and complex 2D animations, Klangfarben is able to produce very high resolution images.

Klangfarben can incorporate audio, video, bitmap images, text and fontstyles. It also supports clustering of video servers and is cable to play back productions over 100 monitors. Anybody interested in giving the software a whirl should pint their browser to SONOLUCA’s download site and grab the 5MB file that appears at the top of the list.

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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