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MacEdition Pro News : June 5, 2003
Paling around with the Pros

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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In this issue

One’s loss is another’s gain

Oregon-based e-on software certainly can’t be accused of letting any grass grow under their feet.

The American 3D modeling vendor reacted to the Bytown Boys blasting of the Mac version of Bryce 5 by offering a discount on their Vue d’Esprit product to operators of the abandoned platform.

“In response to the recent reports of Corel Corporation’s discontinuance of Bryce for Macintosh, we want to reassure Macintosh users that e-on software is committed to supporting and developing current and future products for the Macintosh platform, especially Vue d’Esprit,” said Nicholas Phelps, president of e-on software.

Ottawa-based Corel Corp. put the blade in the Mac OS X version of Bryce recently citing poor sales figures. E-on, which already offers a competitive upgrade against Bryce, put more bait on their sales hook by discounting their Mac OS X offering of Vue by US$50, dropping the price to US$149 to the end of the month.

Adobe alters support programs

The House of Mud has expanded their hours of availability of their support people for users of the company’s wares and priced the extended service to fit almost every user scenario.

Understanding the unique demands of the creative workflow, Adobe has created three support packages to meet the individual needs of designers. Adobe Product Expert provides support for individual designers using one Adobe desktop software product and is available as an annual or single incident plan. Adobe Solution Expert supports creative professionals using more than one Adobe product; and Adobe Solution Expert for Workgroups is targeted at workplaces where teams use several Adobe products and want to improve workflow efficiency.

The extended service will see Adobe staffing support desks from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST on weekdays and from 6 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Web-based help, with a guaranteed one business day response, is also available.

Support can be bought on a per-incident basis at US$39 per call, or US$159 per product for a one-year unlimited calling contract. Those owning multiple Adobe products can opt for the US$299/year Solution Experts program while organizations might be tempted to buy into the $399/year for the workgroups option.

Adobe will make good-old-fashined free product support available to new product users for 90 days and for 30 days to purchasers of upgrades.

Light show for the boardroom

InFocus Corp. is starting to roll out their summer line up of projectors starting with a new unit aimed at the meeting room market.

InFocus unveiled a new 3,000 lumen projector that makes use of bayonet mounted lenses – allowing the image to be projected in almost any size of room – and is compatible with the company’s wireless projection technology LiteShow.

“The Proxima DP8200x provides our customers and our partners with an installation projection system to fit the needs of all meeting rooms,” said John V. Harker, Chairman, President and CEO of InFocus Corporation. “The DP8200x offers a projection solution that supports our wireless solution, which makes it is easy to set up, use and manage."

The DP8200x projector is expected to be available sometime later this summer. A larger version of the projector which will feature power zoom is also expected to be released by summer’s end. Pricing for the powerful projectors has not yet been made public.

Fire control

Those who just can’t get enough control of their world from their computer are doubtlessly going to be tickled pink at the release of a new gizmo from Adept Technologies.

The California-based company announced a motion control device that hooks up to a computer over FireWire. The FireBlox hook up will allow the computer to control a dual-axis servo amplifier and since FireWire is a serial technology, it will be much easier for a user to wire a series of the units together than it is to use more conventional means, says the product’s builder.

“Adept FireBlox is the latest example of how Adept Technology continues to lead the market for distributed motion control,” said Charlie Duncheon, executive vice president of Adept Technology. “Customers are demanding smaller packaging and miniaturization in everything, including the motion control systems. Our goal is to make motion control physically transparent and easy to integrate into the machine to reduce size and cost. The high-density electronics used in Adept FireBlox yields a product roughly the size of a deck of playing cards, that can be placed at the point of use – right next to the servo motors."

Adept also sees FireWire as the foundation of a simpler real-time network for control devices and robots without compromising safety and reliability of the controlled devices in industrial settings.

A smaller, better box

WiebeTech has brought FireWire 800 just a little closer to your desktop.

The company rolled out a fanless FireWire 800 hard drive enclosure that offers a smaller footprint and compatibility with FireWire 400 and USB 1.1/2.0 in a package that retails at US$169.95.

“We’ve nearly doubled the performance over our legacy FireWire 400 desktop products,” said James Wiebe, CEO of WiebeTech. “We’ve added features and ports, reduced the physical size, improved the design, and included four different types of interface cables while maintaining compatibility with all ATA-5 and ATA-6 (high capacity) drives. This has been accomplished with only a slight cost premium over our older enclosures.

The FireWire 800 case can be ordered on its own or with drives up to 250GB. Data throughput for the new case is rated as high as 60MB/sec.

The case comes with FireWire 800 cabling, convertors for FireWire 400 cards, FireWire 400 cabling and a USB cable. The product also ships with MacDrive 5, a formatting software that will allow Windows PCs to mount a Mac-formatted volume.

Fire her up

In yet another implementation of FireWire technology, Avid Technology is bring a video editing system to market that allows pros in that arena to work with uncompressed Standard Definition (SD) video over a FireWire connection

The Avid Media Composer Adrenaline system, was showcased a the NAB show last April. The US$24,995 video editing system released to market just days ago.

”When we unveiled Media Composer Adrenaline at NAB this past April, the reaction was unbelievable. Customers were not only impressed by the new features, such as HD expandability and enhanced color correction, but also by the real-time performance and responsiveness that the system delivers,” said Dana Ruzicka, director of product marketing for Avid. “And what really blew them away was the price. Never before has a product with this depth of functionality, compatibility and performance been so affordable.”

The Adrenaline system supports the capture of up to five uncompressed streams of SD video and works with every kind of video format on the market today and editors can import video from any format into one video timeline and render the video in an uncompressed format for output.

The hardware/software video editing system was also designed so projects developed on Adrenaline could be scaled up to HD format.

iCan iCal, says 4D

4D Inc. updated their 4D WebMail Pro server package by rolling support of Apple’s iCal calendaring app and given it and the other programs in the WebSTAR V server suite faster indexing, more flexible security options and a host of minor bug fixes.

“4D WebSTAR V is proven faster than Apache and is, without question, the easiest to administer Internet server suite on Mac OS X,” said Brendan Coveney, president and CEO of 4D, Inc. “Never before has it been so easy to check your mail and iCal calendars while on the road. Committed to continuous improvement, 4D WebSTAR V version 5.3 builds on previous advances, such as adding new security options that compliment the application integration capabilities from the last update, and more integration with 4D WebMail Pro’s iCal support.”

With the update iCal users can now display, publish and subscribe to both personal a group calendars produced by the Apple application and hosted on WebSTAR.

The platform’s search engine has been rewritten to use a new indexing technology that produces faster results, better results and supports accented characters.

The security plugin revamp combines authentication and allow/deny protection schemes to produce a more customizable approach for off-site and on-site access which can be managed through a GUI interface.

The update is free to existing users and the WebSTAR suite is available for purchase for US$399.

In a somewhat unrelated development, 4D also released a new business development kit for WebSTAR which incorporates dynamic synchronization for remote hosting and provides full integration for both 4D Back Office and Macromedia Dreamweaver MX.

The new US$499 kit also supports Sophisticated Circuits Upbeat technology and a revamped API allows for the integration of of the suite with other e-commerce systems. A new sales tax module is also included in the kit.

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