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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Bookends 12.8 - Reference management and...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Apple iTunes 12.6 - Play Apple Music and...
Apple iTunes lets you organize and stream Apple Music, download and watch video and listen to Podcasts. It can automatically download new music, app, and book purchases across all your devices and... Read more
Default Folder X 5.1.4 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
Amazon Chime 4.1.5587 - Amazon-based com...
Amazon Chime is a communications service that transforms online meetings with a secure, easy-to-use application that you can trust. Amazon Chime works seamlessly across your devices so that you can... Read more
CrossOver 16.2 - Run Windows apps on you...
CrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office,... Read more
Adobe Creative Cloud 4.0.0.185 - Access...
Adobe Creative Cloud costs $19.99/month for a single app, or $49.99/month for the entire suite. Introducing Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications, including Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC... Read more
MegaSeg 6.0.2 - Professional DJ and radi...
MegaSeg is a complete solution for pro audio/video DJ mixing, radio automation, and music scheduling with rock-solid performance and an easy-to-use design. Mix with visual waveforms and Magic... Read more
Bookends 12.8 - Reference management and...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Adobe Creative Cloud 4.0.0.185 - Access...
Adobe Creative Cloud costs $19.99/month for a single app, or $49.99/month for the entire suite. Introducing Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications, including Adobe Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC... Read more
Default Folder X 5.1.4 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more

The best deals on the App Store this wee...
Deals, deals, deals. We're all about a good bargain here on 148Apps, and luckily this was another fine week in App Store discounts. There's a big board game sale happening right now, and a few fine indies are still discounted through the weekend.... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
It's been quite the week, but now that all of that business is out of the way, it's time to hunker down with some of the excellent games that were released over the past few days. There's a fair few to help you relax in your down time or if you're... | Read more »
Orphan Black: The Game (Games)
Orphan Black: The Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dive into a dark and twisted puzzle-adventure that retells the pivotal events of Orphan Black. | Read more »
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is now availa...
| Read more »
Ticket to Earth beginner's guide: H...
Robot Circus launched Ticket to Earth as part of the App Store's indie games event last week. If you're not quite digging the space operatics Mass Effect: Andromeda is serving up, you'll be pleased to know that there's a surprising alternative on... | Read more »
Leap to victory in Nexx Studios new plat...
You’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from a fiery death in Temple Jump, a new platformer-cum-endless runner from Nexx Studio. It’s out now on both iOS and Android if you’re an adventurer seeking treasure in a crumbling, pixel-laden temple. | Read more »
Failbetter Games details changes coming...
Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games' dark and gloomy sea explorer, sets sail for the iPad tomorrow. Ahead of the game's launch, Failbetter took to Twitter to discuss what will be different in the mobile version of the game. Many of the changes make... | Read more »
Splish, splash! The Pokémon GO Water Fes...
Niantic is back with a new festival for dedicated Pokémon GO collectors. The Water Festival officially kicks off today at 1 P.M. PDT and runs through March 29. Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their assorted evolved forms will be appearing at... | Read more »
Death Road to Canada (Games)
Death Road to Canada 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get it now at the low launch price! Price will go up a dollar every major update. Update news at the bottom of this... | Read more »
Bean's Quest Beginner's Guide:...
Bean's Quest is a new take on both the classic platformer and the endless runner, and it's free on the App Store for the time being. Instead of running constantly, you can't stop jumping. That adds a surprising new level of challenge to the game... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

2.6GHz Mac mini on sale for $559, $140 off MS...
Guitar Center has the 2.6GHz Mac mini (MGEN2LL/A) on sale for $559 including free shipping. Their price is $140 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
SSD Speeder RAM Disk SSD Life Extender App Fo...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced they are making their SSD Speeder app for macOS publicly available for purchase on their website. SSD Speeder is a RAM disk utility that prevents... Read more
iPhone Scores Highest Overall in Smartphone D...
Customer satisfaction is much higher among smartphone owners who use their device to operate other connected home services such as smart thermostats and smart appliances, according to the J.D. Power... Read more
Swipe CRM Free Photo-Centric CRM Sales DEal C...
Swipe CRM LLC has introduced Swipe CRM: Visual Sales 1.0 for iPad, an app for creating, managing, and sharing visually stunning sales deals. Swipe CRM is targeted to small-and-medium creative... Read more
13-inch 2.0GHz Apple MacBook Pros on sale for...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
Apple’s iPhone 6s Tops Best-Selling Smartphon...
In terms of shipments, the iPhone 6s from Apple bested all competitors for sales in 2016, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.... Read more
Logitech Rugged Combo Protective iPad Case an...
Logitech has announced its Logitech Rugged Combo, Logitech Rugged Case, and Logitech Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case for Apple’s new, more affordable $329 9.7-inch iPad, a complete solution designed... Read more
T-Mobile To Offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus...
T-Mobile has announced it will offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition in a vibrant red aluminum finish. The introduction of this special edition iPhone celebrates Apple’s 10... Read more
9-inch 128GB iPad Pros on sale for $50-$70 of...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ 128GB Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $70 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 128GB WiFi iPad Pro: $649 $50... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Starte Dein Karriere-Abenteuer in den Hauptst...
…mehrsprachigen Teams betreust Du Kunden von bekannten globale Marken wie Apple , Mercedes, Facebook, Expedia, und vielen anderen! Funktion Du wolltest schon Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.