Mac Product Watch (8/7 to 8/11)

Summary:Monday, Aug. 7 to Friday, Aug. 11, 2000

MicroMat has released both TechTool Pro 2.5.5 (scroll down), an update to the hardware and system diagnostic tool, which includes various fixes and improved detection, and TechTool Pro 3.0.1, the latest version of the new generation of the utility. TechTool 3 gains a new conflict-detection feature as well as a new user interface. The Version 2.5.5 update is free. Upgrades to TechTool Pro 3 are $49.95 as compared with a retail cost of $97.98.

Casady & Greene Inc.'s Grammarian 2.1.2 is the latest version of the interactive, application-independent grammar checker. The update fixes problems working with RTF files in Microsoft Word, includes descriptions for Abbreviations Topics and improves the utility's speed.

Stefano Ghielmi has introduced Speed App 1.0, a $15 utility for quickly launching applications through keyboard shortcuts or by typing the application's name.

After months of anticipatory slobbering by gamers, it's finally here: 3dfx Interactive Inc. has officially released its Voodoo5 5500 3D accelerator card for the Mac. With this PCI card, the Mac platform begins to gain parity on the consumer 3-D front with the PC world. The card features twin VSA-100 graphics chips, providing an increased fill rate and advanced features -- including full-screen anti-aliasing -- for a price of $329.99.

Griffin Technology has released iMate Driver 2.3, which includes dongle compatibility and other fixes for the ADB-USB hardware adapter.

Murray Yar's Fresh Start 2.0 is a new version of the $15 utility for restoring settings upon startup. New in the update is compatibility with Mac OS 9's Multiple User feature and the ability to restore individual users' environments.

Voget Selbach Enterprises GmbH has updated its VSE My Privacy 1.2 data security software that allows secure storage of information via a 448-bit encryption algorithm. New to Version 1.2 are fast copy and automatic-save features. It's $19.95 for a single user; 10- and 50-user licenses are $149 and $499, respectively.

QuantumSoft has announced that a Carbon-based beta of Pro Fit 5.6, the company's data/function analysis and plotting application, will be available soon after the public beta of Mac OS X ships, whenever that is. It'll be free to owners of Pro Fit 5.5.

Mac Components Engineered has announced 20- and 30GB versions of the company's Xcaret Pro expansion hard drives for Apple's PowerBook line. The drives, which come in versions compatible with the current generation back to the "Lombard" series, have begun shipping in limited quantities at prices of $599 for the 20GB drive and $699 for the 30GB version.

Intego has released NetBarrier 1.5.3. The update to the security software for "always-on" Internet connections fixes various bugs and is available for no charge.

John V. Holder's Type Saver 1.0 is a new $10 shareware Control Panel that caches up to 1,000 keyboard keystrokes, enabling easy recovery of unsaved work in case of a crash. Site licenses are also available.

Mac-X-Software has released their Boolean Plug-In 1.1 for the REALbasic programming environment. The plug-in adds Boolean "and/or" functionality to REALbasic.

For your browsing pleasure: Whatever is emerging from the AOL buyout of Netscape has released Netscape Navigator 6.0pr2, while The Mozilla Organization has let loose Mozilla M17, the latest developmental version of the open-source, next-generation browser. The former gains support for skins and multiple e-mail accounts as well as new tabs for the "My Sidebar" feature. The latter includes an option to retain the Classic UI, e-mail notification, improved cookie support and more.

Greg Landweber of Greg's Shareware has updated his popular $25 shareware desktop customization utility to Kaleidoscope 2.2.4. The new version fixes memory errors, improves compatibility with various applications and more.

You can frag away with impunity as Westlake Interactive has updated MacSoft's first-person shooter to Unreal Tournament Version 425. This includes all the game fixes in the latest rev of the PC version of the game. Even if you don't update, however, you won't lose networking capabilities with the PC version.

Canon Computer Systems Inc. has announced its MultiPASS C755 multifunction printer, which combines a 1,440-by-720-dpi printer with a 24-bit scanner for copying and faxing. It will ship in September at an estimated street price of $249.

The market fills a need? MARGI Systems has released its 4MB Display-to-Go video card for PowerBooks. The $299 Type II PC card allows PowerBooks to output to Apple's DVI-based 15-inch Studio Display and 22-inch Cinema Display. Note that this does not include the most recent versions of the flat displays using Apple's proprietary ADC plug, for which there is no adapter.

Adobe Systems Inc. (adbe) has released six new OpenType font families. All these families are compatible with regular PostScript Type 1 and TrueType fonts and contain boatloads of glyphs. Prices range from $65 to $299 per family.

For those who aren't sick of hearing "To Infinity and beyond!": Disney Interactive and Pixar (pixr) have announced two new Buzz Lightyear games for first and second grades, complete with educational drills and features they say will promote creative thinking. Guess Woody's paranoia wasn't so unfounded. No pricing or release dates have been set yet.

Malcolm Haylock's new VSamp 3.0 is both an application and a VST plug-in that enables Macs to be "an OMS or FreeMIDI and Sound Manager compatible multitimbral sample playback module." If that makes sense to you, you just might want it. Single user cost is $25.

Public Access Software has released MacInstall 1.0, a new developer and administration tool for installing items in determined areas of multiple computers. Unlike some install software, MacInstall isn't limited to certain areas of the System Folder. It's $20 shareware.

Can't find a game that floats your boat? Why not make your own? The REAL RPG Engine from Split Software is a REALbasic-based tool for creating tile-based role-playing games.

MacEase has updated its WebPrint Plus (scroll down the page) utility to Version 3.1. The new edition of this document collection and printing tool fixes a problem when printing from Netscape.

MicroMat has released both TechTool Pro 2.5.5 (scroll down), an update to the hardware and system diagnostic tool, which includes various fixes and improved detection, and TechTool Pro 3.0.1, the latest version of the new generation of the utility. TechTool 3 gains a new conflict-detection feature as well as a new user interface. The Version 2.5.5 update is free. Upgrades to TechTool Pro 3 are $49.95 as compared with a retail cost of $97.98.

Casady & Greene Inc.'s Grammarian 2.1.2 is the latest version of the interactive, application-independent grammar checker. The update fixes problems working with RTF files in Microsoft Word, includes descriptions for Abbreviations Topics and improves the utility's speed.

Stefano Ghielmi has introduced Speed App 1.0, a $15 utility for quickly launching applications through keyboard shortcuts or by typing the application's name.

After months of anticipatory slobbering by gamers, it's finally here: 3dfx Interactive Inc. has officially released its Voodoo5 5500 3D accelerator card for the Mac. With this PCI card, the Mac platform begins to gain parity on the consumer 3-D front with the PC world. The card features twin VSA-100 graphics chips, providing an increased fill rate and advanced features -- including full-screen anti-aliasing -- for a price of $329.99.

Griffin Technology has released iMate Driver 2.3, which includes dongle compatibility and other fixes for the ADB-USB hardware adapter.

Murray Yar's Fresh Start 2.0 is a new version of the $15 utility for restoring settings upon startup. New in the update is compatibility with Mac OS 9's Multiple User feature and the ability to restore individual users' environments.

Voget Selbach Enterprises GmbH has updated its VSE My Privacy 1.2 data security software that allows secure storage of information via a 448-bit encryption algorithm. New to Version 1.2 are fast copy and automatic-save features. It's $19.95 for a single user; 10- and 50-user licenses are $149 and $499, respectively.

QuantumSoft has announced that a Carbon-based beta of Pro Fit 5.6, the company's data/function analysis and plotting application, will be available soon after the public beta of Mac OS X ships, whenever that is. It'll be free to owners of Pro Fit 5.5.

Mac Components Engineered has announced 20- and 30GB versions of the company's Xcaret Pro expansion hard drives for Apple's PowerBook line. The drives, which come in versions compatible with the current generation back to the "Lombard" series, have begun shipping in limited quantities at prices of $599 for the 20GB drive and $699 for the 30GB version.

Intego has released NetBarrier 1.5.3. The update to the security software for "always-on" Internet connections fixes various bugs and is available for no charge.

John V. Holder's Type Saver 1.0 is a new $10 shareware Control Panel that caches up to 1,000 keyboard keystrokes, enabling easy recovery of unsaved work in case of a crash. Site licenses are also available.

Mac-X-Software has released their Boolean Plug-In 1.1 for the REALbasic programming environment. The plug-in adds Boolean "and/or" functionality to REALbasic.

For your browsing pleasure: Whatever is emerging from the AOL buyout of Netscape has released Netscape Navigator 6.0pr2, while The Mozilla Organization has let loose Mozilla M17, the latest developmental version of the open-source, next-generation browser. The former gains support for skins and multiple e-mail accounts as well as new tabs for the "My Sidebar" feature. The latter includes an option to retain the Classic UI, e-mail notification, improved cookie support and more.

Greg Landweber of Greg's Shareware has updated his popular $25 shareware desktop customization utility to Kaleidoscope 2.2.4. The new version fixes memory errors, improves compatibility with various applications and more.

You can frag away with impunity as Westlake Interactive has updated MacSoft's first-person shooter to Unreal Tournament Version 425. This includes all the game fixes in the latest rev of the PC version of the game. Even if you don't update, however, you won't lose networking capabilities with the PC version.

Canon Computer Systems Inc. has announced its MultiPASS C755 multifunction printer, which combines a 1,440-by-720-dpi printer with a 24-bit scanner for copying and faxing. It will ship in September at an estimated street price of $249.

The market fills a need? MARGI Systems has released its 4MB Display-to-Go video card for PowerBooks. The $299 Type II PC card allows PowerBooks to output to Apple's DVI-based 15-inch Studio Display and 22-inch Cinema Display. Note that this does not include the most recent versions of the flat displays using Apple's proprietary ADC plug, for which there is no adapter.

Adobe Systems Inc. (adbe) has released six new OpenType font families. All these families are compatible with regular PostScript Type 1 and TrueType fonts and contain boatloads of glyphs. Prices range from $65 to $299 per family.

For those who aren't sick of hearing "To Infinity and beyond!": Disney Interactive and Pixar (pixr) have announced two new Buzz Lightyear games for first and second grades, complete with educational drills and features they say will promote creative thinking. Guess Woody's paranoia wasn't so unfounded. No pricing or release dates have been set yet.

Malcolm Haylock's new VSamp 3.0 is both an application and a VST plug-in that enables Macs to be "an OMS or FreeMIDI and Sound Manager compatible multitimbral sample playback module." If that makes sense to you, you just might want it. Single user cost is $25.

Public Access Software has released MacInstall 1.0, a new developer and administration tool for installing items in determined areas of multiple computers. Unlike some install software, MacInstall isn't limited to certain areas of the System Folder. It's $20 shareware.

Can't find a game that floats your boat? Why not make your own? The REAL RPG Engine from Split Software is a REALbasic-based tool for creating tile-based role-playing games.

MacEase has updated its WebPrint Plus (scroll down the page) utility to Version 3.1. The new edition of this document collection and printing tool fixes a problem when printing from Netscape.

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple, Browser, Hardware, PCs, Software

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