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MacEdition Pro News : April 25, 2003
Web wonders wing their way

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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Email wars anyone?

Back in the day when Mac OS X hit the streets it wasn’t too long before users of the brave new operating system had more browsers to pick from than any other platform.

Well, things might not be as competitive in the dreary world of email clients, but at least one Japanese company is stepping to the forefront with a unique product of their own in that category.

Infinisys Ltd. released an update to their product Mail Magic, an email program that lets the user create and send HTML emails.

Mail Magic 2 comes with a large number of HTML templates. The HTML template wizard guides the user through the process of inserting their own graphics and text, to create customized HTML mail. No knowledge of HTML is necessary. Template categories include Christmas Cards, Birthday Cards, Valentine’s Day cards, “We’ve Moved” notices, “We’ve had a Baby” notices, party invitations and free layouts that can be used for a variety of purposes. Those who have a basic knowledge of HTML can create their own layouts. Of course you can use Mail Magic 2 to send normal text mails as well.

While the manufacturer acknowledges the program could become a spammer’s delight, the templates that ship with the program are geared toward the home user who wishes to send out attractive greeting card type mails.

Although the program’s embedded database allows the user to conduct mail merges for mass mail outs, allowing business add that personal touch to mass mail communications with their clients.

There is a demonstration version of the US$18 program available which is limited to allowing two emails to be sent per session and tags an advertisement for the product at the bottom of the email.

What printer cable?

A printer company and a wireless vendor have teamed up to offer what they believe is the best unconnected wireless printing deal in the business.

Kyocera Mita and Buffalo Technology joined forces to provide a full array of 802.11b and 802.11g wireless adapters, routers and print servers to create a package they call Office Anywhere.

“The mobile workforce is quickly becoming a sign of the times,” stated Morikazu Sano, vice president of Buffalo Technology. “With Buffalo’s ‘office anywhere’ wireless solution, Kyocera Mita dealers can offer enterprise and SME users the ultimate network device allowing connectivity anytime from anywhere.”

“Kyocera Mita is the first company in the digital imaging industry to offer complete wireless connectivity for printers and multi-functional products,” said Mike Pietrunti, vice president, marketing, Kyocera Mita. “This partnership with Buffalo Technology will provide dealers with a vast array of reliable and cost-effective wireless products. Including an Ethernet Media Converter for wireless scanning and an AirStation Bridge Access Point for a flexible wireless network design.”

In making the deal Kyocera makes Buffalo their preferred vendor for wireless connectivity. Both companies offer an extensive array of Mac-compatible products in their respective offerings.

New toys for web slingin’ girls and boys

Macromedia has built some neat tools for Web developers using the company’s products.

Macromedia released the Flash MX Data Connection kit, a collection of prebuilt connections to various data sources to speed up the process of build data-rich Web pages.

“Developers have asked us to make it easier to connect to data sources within Macromedia Flash applications,” said Norm Meyrowitz, president of products, Macromedia. “This offering is part of an ongoing commitment by Macromedia to provide developers with higher level components and patterns to enable a simpler, faster way to build rich Internet applications.”

The Firefly components include a number of connectors and resolves that have been optimized for specific data sources such as XML, Flash, Java and SOAP-based services in order to speed data access. The connectors are also tightly integrated with Macromedia’s Cold Fusion.

The US$299 kit also includes a developer edition of Macromedia’s Flash Remoting MX. The connections kit is also available as part of Macromedia’s DevNet subscription service. Information on the connection kit is available on the company's site.

The DevNet service just recently released the third edition of their quarterly resource kits. The kits contain components, enhancements, utilities, tags and sample applications for a wide variety of Macromedia products. The latest edition is currently available only to DevNet subscribers ad will not be sold to the public for another three months.

Moving to another dimension

Swedish developer Demicron has brought its 3D Web graphics tool WireFusion to Mac OS X.

“The WireFusion OS X version is a major milestone for both Demicron and the Mac users,” says Stefano de Carolis, Demicron’s CEO. “Advanced Web3D tools have previously been available exclusively for Windows users, but as Apple has put a lot of effort and has succeeded to get the new Java to run well on OS X, the choice was easy for us.”

WireFusion relies on Java Virtual Machine 1.4.1 – now part of OS X – which means browsers can view 3D graphics in any browser that is Java 1.1 enabled with the need to download additional viewers.

There are downloadable extensions for WireFusion which give graphics created by the program real-time 3D capabilities, an interactive zoom, slideshow capabilities, and support for incorporating streaming video and MP3 audio.

WireFusion costs US$399 and the program is obtained via a download from the company’s Web store. The extensions also carry a price tag with the real-time 3D graphics module going for US$299, the slideshow, and zoom modules sell for US$49 and the streaming MP3 audio and video extensions are free.

Trial versions of all the software are also available from the company’s download page.

Keeping pace with the pack

FE77 released an update of their software which turns a desktop Mac OS X machine into server platform so Web designers and developers can test their products without having to upload to a remote server.

The company’s update bring a few of the components up to speed with the latest releases Included in the update is a new version of PHP and Apache Cocoon. FE77 is also offering free downloads from their website for updated components of phpMyAdmin and Postgre SQL.

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