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MacEdition Pro News : May 30, 2003
Gettin’ down in Print

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In this issue

GIMP X gets rev

OpenOSX has released a new version of their implementation of the open source image editing tool GIMP.

This is the first version of the OpenOSX Gimp product that supports Mac OS X Print Center support directly from The Gimp by utilization of the open source software “Gimp Print 4.2.6 Pre 1”. The new product also features a customizable single-click installer that will install the long list of requisite software libraries required to run The Gimp on Mac OS X effortlessly, along with complete documentation (in both PDF and HTML formats), tutorials, over 100 fonts, brushes, patterns, 600 megabytes of Plug-Ins and a mirror of the official Gimp website.

The latest version has also been rebuilt for Mac OS 10.2 and features a 200 per cent speed increase as a result, according to the company’s release. The software is available on CD for US$35 from the OpenOSX product page. The are also bundle deal available with an O’Reilly manual and a six-month update subscription.

A boxed set and special Ts

Bare Bones Software is celebrating the company’s 10th year of providing the premier HTML-based Web development program for the Mac with a limited edition collector set of software and a commemorative T-shirt.

The boxed set – available for US$249 – contains every final commercial release of BBEdit, including the latest version 7, which normally carries a US$179 price tag. With a production run limited to 1,000 individually numbered units, the company figures the BBEdit Anthology will become something nostalgia driven web developers will be clamoring to get.

“The BBEdit Anthology is a collectors’ item – something that no true fan should be without,” said Rich Siegel, the founder, president and CEO of Bare Bones Software. “The BBEdit Anthology celebrates a product history rich in engineering excellence and technological leadership, and we look forward to another decade of development and advancement.”

The older editions of BBEdit are single user copies and come with liner notes and bonus tracks. The company is quick to point out that the older software – while authentic in every respect – may not work on newer operating systems. They are provided for “entertainment purposes” only.

Those wishing to mark the product’s 10th anniversary, but not wanting to spend 250 bucks on largely outdated software, can opt for the US$15 10th Anniversary T-shirt. Both items are–I kid you not–available from the Bare Bones store.

Photoshop help

Now if I had a nickel for every time somebody asked me “How do I do..” something in Photoshop I’d make Robin Leach look like a flophouse diver.

Well. Photoshop guru Scott Kelby obviously had the same thought and–unlike this card carrying member of the lumpenprolitariat - went out and did something about it.

Kelby teamed up with Proteron LLC to create and market a Photoshop plugin called Kelby’s Notes, to provide those answers at the click of a mouse.

Kelby’s Notes makes the expertise of world renowned Photoshop guru Scott Kelby available within Photoshop through the innovative programming of Proteron. It offers concise answers to the 100 most commonly asked Photoshop questions as gathered by Scott at his seminars. Proteron’s president and co-founder Sam Caughron said, “We’re thrilled to be able to offer Kelby’s Notes at the Proteron Store. It delivers Scott’s practical, down to earth advice in a simple, functional style.”

The US$24.95 plugin, which drops a How Do I menu into the program, is available for download from the Proteron store.

xCat springs on competition

Printshop and graphics houses wrestling with extensive collection of materials may be happy to note that there’s another player on the content management field looking to offer their wares to your organization.

A2i released a new version of xCat which targets Quark Xpress 5.0 and Adobe InDesign 2.0 files and serves those documents up in a cross-platform environment.

The xCat system is a modular server-based set of softwares which handle the collection, standardization and distribution of content files for both print and web usage. The database-driven system stores data in MS SQL Server, Oracle, DB2 and a number of other SQL products.

“Version 4.0 of xCat represents a significant advance in our technology,” said Paul Weinberg, president of A2i. “We have continued to push the product envelope to meet the detailed requirements of our customers, who represent some of the largest and most respected companies in their industries. While other technology companies have downsized during these difficult economic times, we are proud to have maintained our market leadership.”

In addition to adding support for Quark 5 and InDesign 2 files, the new version of xCat improves the program’s handling of larger files, provides application driven searches for automotive parts catalogues with a hotspot drill-down search tool to drive through exploded parts illustrations, improved support for product relationships and search performance that is up to 1,000 times faster than other SQL-based systems.

Bring back the classics

Purgatory Design has done a couple of revs to its Intaglio drawing program.

The company added EPS importing abilities, multiple layers, horizontal and vertical guides, measurement tools and the ability to convert PICT files to a Quartz-based format.

Intaglio is a program which seeks to recapture some of the straight forwardness of the earlier Mac drawing programs in a program that runs in Mac OS X.

Cinema 4D gains atmosphere

e-on software released Ozone 2.0, an atmospherics plugin for Maxon’s Cinema 4D, giving the 3D program a volumetric atmosphere rendering tool that simulates the interaction of light and air with a high-speed rendering capability.

“Ozone 2.0 for Cinema 4D integrates beautifully into the Cinema 4D environment. Making a tool that was both powerful and enjoyable to Cinema 4D users was a primary concern throughout development. Ozone 2.0 for Cinema 4D is a pleasure to use, doesn’t get in the way of designer creativity and produces rich, natural skies and atmospheres,” said Nicholas Phelps, president of e-on software.

The software contains 100 presets based on atmospheric conditions for earth and off-world environments allowing users to quickly create animated clouds and sunsets for a wide variety of conditions. The software carries a retail sticker of US$249 and is available to owners of e-on’s Vue d’Espirit 4.0 for US$199.

Why do it yourself?

Businesses and other non-graphic professionals who need to produce standard documents like brochures now have access to an on-line service that handles all the niggly bits without causing anybody in the firm to bust a brain.

StockLayouts LLC has posed an on-line library of layouts which small businesses can use to help visualize how their brochure will look and hand over the responsibility of making sure the printed product will be produced as envisioned to the StockLayouts design team.

“There are over 25 million small businesses in the U.S. and each one of them needs to promote itself,” said President and CEO, Tami Cooper. “With advertising and marketing budgets tight these days, StockLayouts is a smart alternative to the expensive, traditional design process or, worse, low quality do-it-yourself design. Businesses need to market themselves more than ever in down times. And those that look professional have a competitive advantage.”

The company has posted designs for brochures, direct mailers, newsletters, menus, ads, posters and identity packages. StockLayouts has also pledged to turnaround projects within 48 hours of submission. The final product will be delivered on a press ready CD.

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