TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Sep 96 Newsbits
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:9
Column Tag:Newsbits

Newsbits

By Will Iverson

General Magic Sets its Cap at the Internet

On July 11th, General Magic announced Presto!Mail and Presto!Link, a Web browser and email application for Magic Cap. On August 30th, the ill-conceived PersonaLink service will cease, hopefully bringing an end to the proprietary nature of Magic Cap. Now that General Magic has discovered TCP/IP, PPP, POP and SMTP, we can only hope that MagicCap fares better in the marketplace.

This is actually a great move for General Magic and the PDA market in general. Both the Magic Cap and Newton OS featured brilliant software and hardware designs, but they were both completely incompatible with everything else anyone owned. This might have worked with a razor-blade strategy (sell the razor cheap, clean up on the blades), but with such a high entry cost, few bit onto the technology. By adhering to standards, these PDAs justify their cost without forcing users to absorb propietary formats. With luck, this will spark a renaissance of the PDA market (and perhaps get some return on that investment money).

General Magic: http://www.genmagic.com/

Paragraph Puts Up a VRML 2.0 Web Page

VRML enthusiasts will get a kick out of the VRML Power Friday Resource Page. Featuring transcripts and papers from the likes of Apple, IBM, Netscape, and SGI, it provides a great shot of the current state of the mind on this still nascent technology. Virtual reality is the promise, and VRML seems to be the path. You’ll know that 3D is really coming along when popular rendering programs export reasonably-sized VRML files.

VRML Power Friday Resource Page:

http://www.paragraph.com/960703/vrml_power_friday/

VOODOO Announces a New Version

UNI SOFTWARE PLUS has announced VOODOO 1.7, featuring Macintosh Drag and Drop, local file locking, printing of the project history, and “an assortment of other usability and performance enhancements, as well as some minor bug fixes”.

For a product description, see “Keeping Things Straight, Orthogonally” (MacTech Magazine 12.6 [June 1996] 61-70).

UNI SOFTWARE VOODOO:

http://www.unisoft.co.at/e/products/voodoo.html

Game Sprockets Goes Gold

On July 2nd, Apple announced the GM 1.0 version of Game Sprockets (with new versions slated to appear any time now). This excellent package features six primary components: NetSprocket, SoundSprocket, SpeechSprocket (speech recognition), InputSprocket, DrawSprocket, and QuickDraw 3D RAVE (a 3D API at a lower level than normal QuickDraw 3D). Each component provides higher-level access to these common tasks (with the exception of QuickDraw 3D RAVE, which provides a lower-level, performance-intensive API). DrawSprocket, for example, allows a developer to put together quickly a double- or even triple-buffering scheme which automatically takes advantage of any hardware support. By placing the burden of such things as worrying about what Performa supports which hardware on the Game Sprocket library, developers are free to concentrate on the game itself.

All of this does not come for free. The Game Sprockets are implemented as PowerPC shared libraries only; 68K developers and players are left in the lurch. Duplicating the functionality of the Sprockets yourself for the 68K completely destroys the point of using the Game Sprockets. Eliminating the 68K cycle is an excellent way to keep development costs down; it is up to the developer to decide if this makes sense financially. Among those who have decided that this is a price worth paying are Future Point (developing the forthcoming Warcraft 2), MacPlay, Bungie, and Wirehead Systems.

Although they are designed for use with games, certain Game Sprockets are decidedly useful in other applications as well. DrawSprocket is useful whenever high-speed animation is required, and NetSprocket is an excellent tool for general lightweight networking development.

The Game Sprockets do, however, raise the spectre of namespace collisions, which are always possible with shared libraries. This is not to say that you will have this problem, but rather to call attention to the inelegant, brute-force manner in which the problem is dealt with. With such function names as ISpElement_NewVirtualFromNeeds, it is readily apparent what library is being called (once you figure the scheme out); but it is also rather messy. Namespaces would presumably be a step toward resolving this, but at the time of this writing none of the currently shipping Macintosh compilers support them.

Apropos of nothing at all, readers might like to bear in mind that Sprocket™ is a trademark of Xplain Corporation, publishers of MacTech Magazine.

Game Sprockets (don’t try this with a monochrome monitor):

http://dev.info.apple.com/evangelism/games/games.html

Web Broadcasting Talks to FileMaker Pro...

On June 24th, Web Broadcasting announced support for FileMaker Pro 3.0, allowing you to easily publish databases on the Web. For intranet users, this may be the ideal way to develop client apps for inhouse production. This new version includes support for FileMaker Pro relational and portal fields, support for Infoseek-like “Next xx” records when performing a search, capability to mix “AND” and “OR” searches, and the capability to capture all passed http parameters (exceedingly useful for logging use).

Trial version of WEB FM 2.0v3:

http://macweb.com/webfm/

Current registered users of WEB FM 2.0 can download version 3 at:

http://macweb.com/webfm/airroom/live.html

...And Tango Dances With It

Hot on the heels of Web Broadcasting, EveryWare shipped Tango for FileMaker Pro 3.0 on July 1st. EveryWare emphasized the performance and drag-and-drop ease of development for this new version of Tango/FM. Although significantly more expensive than Web Broadcasting’s solution ($395 versus $195), Tango provides a better upward migration path (including another EveryWare product, the Butler SQL - read on), and appears to be more popular.

Tango for FileMaker Pro 3.0:

http://www.everyware.com/tangofm/

Butler SQL 2.0

EveryWare announced on May 13th Butler SQL 2.0, which now supports TCP/IP, Alter Table statements, ODBC AppleScript, default ODBC and DAL stored procedures, and tracing ODBC commands from client applications. Butler SQL now comes bundled with Sterling Software’s CLEAR:Access, a drag-and-drop SQL reporting tool. EveryWare claims that ODBC support gives users a three to four times speed improvement over version 1.5. The product includes four toolkits to access the database, including a C/C++ framework, an AppleScript package (which actually supports any OSA language, despite the name), an XCMD toolkit, and FirstClass integration.

Butler:

http://www.everyware.com/WWW_info_pages/Butler/Butler_SQL.html

Nisus Revives QUED/M with 3.0

Nisus is back with QUED/M 3.0, which boasts features such as unlimited undo and redo, syntax coloring, GREP, noncontiguous selections, and “Macro Programming Dialect” (users of the Nisus Writer word processor will know what this is). It includes macros for HTML authoring, and a builder which allows you to add macros directly to the menu structure. It is now PowerPC-native, supports Apple Drag and Drop, and supports both Symantec and Metrowerks development tools. Perhaps most interestingly, it supports “text folding”, allowing a user to treat code as an outline, collapsing and expanding comments and loops (a feature supported for years by Frontier). In addition, it comes with Celestin Company’s Apprentice 4 source code CD. All this for only $69. Can you say “price war”?

QUED/M information and free demo:

http://www.nisus-soft.com/QUED_M.html

VIP BASIC 2.0

Mainstay announced on May 8th the arrival of a new version of their BASIC tools. The Macintosh has long lacked a competitor to Visual Basic on the PC, and Mainstay looks to be positioning VIP BASIC 2.0 as such a product (to judge by their advertising). Featuring a forms-based visual development tool, Mainstay claims that users can export at any time to straight C (fully compatible with Metrowerks CodeWarrior) for the fastest possible executables. The tool includes a very small database which allows up to 32K of data; for larger databases, the user is required to purchase a separate VIP-BASIC Database Manager product. VIP-BASIC allows direct access to the Macintosh Toolbox, includes a framework, and generates PowerPC-native applications.

Mainstay VIP BASIC:

http://www.mstay.com/product_page.html

Tenon Revs MachTen: Price Subtraction, Ada Addition

The folks at Tenon have been busy developing software, and are getting much more aggressive with their marketing to boot. MachTen is a full-featured BSD UNIX for Macintosh; unlike Linux, however, it doesn’t take over your computer in the process. Rather, much like SoftWindows, it runs in a window on your Macintosh. The applications which run inside this shell are fully protected and preemptive. As of June 14th, the package includes NCSA httpd, DNS, POP3, IP forwarding, a complete UNIX-based C/C++ development, a high-performance X server, a complete X11R6 client development environment, and a Motif toolkit. The application is fully Macintosh-savvy, and supports mounting AppleShare volumes under NFS. As if that weren’t enough, a bundled version of BBEdit is included.

In addition, on June 24th, Tenon announced the availability of GNAT-Ada. Using the gcc back-end, combined with the GNAT-Ada front-end, Tenon has brought Ada 95 to the Macintosh and Power Macintosh. While not complete as of this writing, the package is available as a free update.

Both the 68K and PowerPC versions of MachTen are available now at a suggested price of $695 ($495 for the “personal” 68K version).

Tenon MachTen: http://www.tenon.com/

GNAT-Ada: http://gnat-mac.com/macada/

Blaze Tech Debugs Apple’s Debugging Course

Blaze Technology’s Malcolm Teas has just finished a revision of Apple Developer University’s course called “Debugging Skills and Strategies”. This revision provides a much needed update, to address PowerPC debugging and new debugging tools. If you are interested in learning more about low-level debugging, including such valuable tidbits as low-level knowledge of memory layouts, stack frames, and cross-fragment calls, you should absolutely check this one out. To cover the additional material, the class has been expanded to four days instead of the earlier three.

Apple Developer University: http://dev.info.apple.com/du.html

Blaze Technology: http://www.btech.com/

Altura Announces QuickHelp 4.0

Altura announced QuickHelp 4.0 on July 1, a tool for electronic indexed documentation. QuickHelp 4.0 adds support for the Windows95 version of WinHelp, including compatibility with Microsoft WinHelp 4.0 source.

Altura: http://www.altura.com

Quick Off the Mark

On July 2, Kelly Rowan Mark was born, at 8 lbs., 3 oz. Dave Mark, the proud poppa, announces that the beautiful baby girl and mother are both doing fine. While MacTech Magazine does not recommend the use of tobacco products, a round of virtual cigars is certainly appropriate. Rumor has it the young lass takes after her dad and is already babbling PowerPC opcodes as she naps.

 
AAPL
$119.00
Apple Inc.
+1.40
MSFT
$47.75
Microsoft Corpora
+0.28
GOOG
$540.37
Google Inc.
-0.71

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

HoudahSpot 3.9.6 - Advanced file search...
HoudahSpot is a powerful file search tool built upon MacOS X Spotlight. Spotlight unleashed Create detailed queries to locate the exact file you need Narrow down searches. Zero in on files Save... Read more
RapidWeaver 6.0.3 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
iPhoto Library Manager 4.1.10 - Manage m...
iPhoto Library Manager lets you organize your photos into multiple iPhoto libraries. Separate your high school and college photos from your latest summer vacation pictures. Or keep some photo... Read more
iExplorer 3.5.1.9 - View and transfer al...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.0.3 - Discover and i...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on macupdate.... Read more
SteerMouse 4.2.2 - Powerful third-party...
SteerMouse is an advanced driver for USB and Bluetooth mice. It also supports Apple Mighty Mouse very well. SteerMouse can assign various functions to buttons that Apple's software does not allow,... Read more
iMazing 1.1 - Complete iOS device manage...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
PopChar X 7.0 - Floating window shows av...
PopChar X helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to access any font's special characters. Expanded... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.0.3 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
ForeverSave 2.1.3 - Universal auto-save...
ForeverSave auto-saves all documents you're working on while simultaneously doing backup versioning in the background. Lost data can be quickly restored at any time. Losing data, caused by... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Make Way for Fat Chicken, from the Maker...
Make Way for Fat Chicken, from the Makers of Scrap Squad Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Relevant Games has announced they will be releasing their reverse tower defense game, | Read more »
Tripnary Review
Tripnary Review By Jennifer Allen on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRAVEL BUCKET LISTiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Want to create a travel bucket list? Tripnary is a fun way to do exactly that... | Read more »
Ossian Studios’ RPG, The Shadow Sun, is...
Ossian Studios’ RPG, The Shadow Sun, is Now Available for $4.99 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Mmmm, Tasty – Having the Angry Birds for...
The very first Angry Birds debuted on iOS back in 2009. When you sit back and tally up the number of Angry Birds games out there and the impact they’ve had on pop culture as a whole, you just need to ask yourself: “How would the birds taste... | Read more »
Rescue Quest Review
Rescue Quest Review By Jennifer Allen on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: PATH BASED MATCH-3Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Guide a wizard to safety by matching gems. Rescue Quest might not be an entirely original... | Read more »
You Can Play the Final Chapter of Lone W...
You Can Play the Final Chapter of Lone Wolf: Dawn Over V’taag Right Now Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Swords of Anima (Games)
Swords of Anima 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A new tactical turn-based RPG experience. Command the Savior Rex Squad in an epic journey of courage and deception. Can you... | Read more »
Audio Defence: Zombie Arena
Audio Defence: Zombie Arena By Lee Hamlet on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DRAGS ITS FEETUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad From the makers of Papa Sangre comes a defense game that forces players to listen carefully... | Read more »
Tales from the Borderland​s Will be Comi...
Tales from the Borderland​s Will be Coming to iOS by the End of the Year Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 26th, 2014 [ permalink ] Telltale Games has announced | Read more »
Sunburn! Review
Sunburn! Review By Campbell Bird on November 26th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DON'T DIE ALONEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Platform through the depths of space to make sure your entire crew dies together in this satisfying... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

2014 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $...
 B&H Photo has the new 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new model. Adorama... Read more
Early Black Friday pricing on 27-inch 5K iMac...
 B&H Photo continues to offer Black Friday sale prices on the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac, in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP... Read more
Early Black Friday sale prices on iPad Air 2,...
 MacMall is discounting iPad Air 2s by up to $75 off MSRP as part of their Black Friday sale. Shipping is free: - 16GB iPad Air WiFi: $459 $40 off - 64GB iPad Air WiFi: $559 $40 off - 128GB iPad Air... Read more
Early Black Friday MacBook Air sale prices, $...
 MacMall has posted early Black Friday MacBook Air sale prices. Save $101 on all models for a limited time: - 11″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $798 - 11″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $998 - 13″ 1.4GHz/... Read more
Why iPhone 6 Tablet/Laptop Cannibalization Is...
247wallst.com blogger Douglas A. McIntyre noted last week that according to research posted on the Applovin blog site the iPhone 6 is outselling the iPhone 6 Plus by a wide margin . Hardly a surprise... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Growth Expected to Slow to 7...
The global tablet market is expected to record massive deceleration in 2014 with year-over-year growth slowing to 7.2%, down from 52.5% in 2013, according to a new forecast from International Data... Read more
Touchscreen Glove Company Announces New Produ...
Surrey, United Kingdom based TouchAbility specializes in design and manufacture of a wide variety of products compatible with touchscreen devices including smartphones, tablets and computers. Their... Read more
OtterBox Alpha Glass Screen Protectors for iP...
To complement the bigger, sharper displays on the latest Apple devices, OtterBox has introduced Alpha Glass screen protectors to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The fortified glass screen protectors... Read more
Early Black Friday Mac Pro sale, 6-Core 3.5GH...
 B&H Photo has the 6-Core 3.5GHz Mac Pro on sale today for $3499 including free shipping plus NY sales tax. Their price is $500 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from... Read more
Early Black Friday sale price: 15-inch 2.2GHz...
 B&H Photo has the 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale today for $1699.99. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $300 off MSRP, equalling Best Buy’s price... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.