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MacEdition ProNews : May 4, 2003
Oodles of kits and caboodles

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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New iPod, new goodies

Griffin Technology and Dr. Bott are leading the parade past the first post to put new products in the paws of those who possess a pretty new iPod.

Dr. Bott leads the charge with a new adaptor which let those who bought the Burton AMP ski jacket stealthily slide a new ’Pod up the sleeve their sporty attire. The U$24 adapter, Dr. Bott’s AMP Interface, bridges the connection between the new iPod docking interface on the bottom of the device and the SOFTswitch sewn into the sleeve of the ski jacket.

While late in the announcement derby, Griffin Technologies is vying to be the first company to actually get an iPod III compatible accessory to market. The company announced its US$20 PowerPod car charger is already compatible with the newly released MP3 player. The Griffin auto adapter plugs into the new iPod dock and powers the device from there.

Belkin Corp. has a product for those you find themselves draining all the power from their ’Pods. The company is putting out a battery pack that connects to the back of the unit to provide an additional 15 to 20 hours of playtime. The US$69.99 power pack uses conventional AA batteries and has a battery level indicator to let people know how much juice is left in the pack.

Belkin’s second item is a US$49.99 auto adapter that clips directly to the bottom of the new iPods. The company’s TuneCast FM transmitter will also work with the new iPods.

Look up, look waayyy up

With all that great sound in one’s ears it’s only natural one would look for a good light show to go with that music. Well, if you’re looking for a natural high then independent developer Ruedi Schmid will only be too pleased to show you where to find it.

Schmid has a new version of Stargazer’s Delight, a desktop planetarium and sky simulator that acts as a guide to the night sky.

Stargazer’s Delight offers views of the sky for any date and for any location on Earth. You can see all the stars up to magnitude 10 (over 260,000 stars), the Sun, the Moon, the planets, the brightest asteroids and hundreds of deep-sky objects such as galaxies, clusters and nebulas.

Moreover, Stargazer’s Delight contains all the constellations and their boundaries, provides lots of information on every star, shows the phases of the moon and the apparent brightness of the planets. Animated graphs illustrate the length of night and day. You can animate the sky and see the motions of the planets through the sky. There are also great pictures of the planets, animated tutorials on selected astronomical topics and much more

The US$29 software title runs in both OS X and Mac Classic. An evaluation copy is available from the Stargazer site.

I’m all thumbs

Runtime Revolution Ltd. has a new version of their Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor out.

Ten Thumbs teaches the skill of touch typing in an accessible, fun and step-by-step way. The program is suitable for learners of all ages, and is used in schools, at home, in colleges, universities and industry.

Ten Thumbs is built from Runtime's rapid application development suite Revolution.

As time goes by

GeBE Computer & Peripherie GmbH has issued an update to iStopMotion giving the program a new time lapse feature.

“Time lapse has been the No. 1 feature request”, says Oliver Breidenbach, CEO of GeBE Computer & Peripherie GmbH, the developer of iStopMotion. “Its implementation opens iStopMotion to a larger range of uses. Time-lapse recording in the high image quality typical for iStopMotion is now possible with any DV camera.”

The program, which is still undergoing beta development, can be downloaded from the company’s download site. The program now requires the user to apply for a prerelease license key, which can be obtained on-line.

A record of the action has released a new version of their screen capture utility ScreenRecord, which grabs clips of screen activity as QuickTime movies.

ScreenRecord is a screen recording tool that allows the user to capture continuous images on the screen as a QuickTime movie. It is useful for creating training CDs, visual tutorials, and many more. It can even be used as a monitoring device.

ScreenRecord has customizable action keys and allows the user to change the program’s settings during a capture. It also allows the user to adjust panning from a fixed position to smooth panning or automatic panning on the fly and allows the user to narrate events while the capture is in process.

Those wishing to download the US$20 utility can do so by pointing their browsers to the company’s product page.

A little program with a big punch

Nisus Software released a low-cost word processor that packs a slate of big-ticket writing features.

“Nisus Writer Express is built to be easily expandable in its feature set,” said Jerzy Lewak, Nisus Software President and CEO. “This will enable us to continue releasing timely incremental upgrades, in response to the needs of our customers.”

Nisus Writer Express comes with a new, user-friendly interface that takes full advantage of Aqua, industry standard RTF, plain text and Unicode support, a customizable interface, fully scriptable (AppleScript, menu based and Perl macros), an exclusive tooldrawer and the ability to open and save as Microsoft Word documents (.doc).

There are also Classic Nisus Writer features such as multiple, editable clipboards, noncontiguous selection, the trademark Nisus Writer powerful find and replace, user definable keyboard shortcuts and Classic Nisus file format support.

The US$59.95 program – currently in beta release – is written in Apple’s Cocoa programing environment and is available from the Nisus site.

Mariner ships new version

Mariner Software rolled out an incremental update to Mariner Write, adding the ability to cut, copy and paste via a contextual menu and a one-click contextual spell check.

The program also picked up the ability to change file extensions in the save dialogue and an option to launch a vertical toolbar from a drop down menu.

Mariner Write is available as a demo from the company’s download site and costs US$69.95 to register as a download or US$79.95 if you want a boxed version of the program.

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