Crossover for Mac 6.0 Final Candidate Beta Released

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Date: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

A recent post on VersionTracker.com points out that CodeWeavers has released the latest beta of CrossOver for Mac, its Windows-emulation software for Mac OS X.
Like Parallels, CrossOver for Mac allows users to run a Windows environment within their Mac OS X operating system without needing to create and boot into a new partition a la Apple’s Boot Camp. The new beta, a 28.6 megabyte download, the new version of the software includes the following fixes and changes:
-Modified handling of Mac Suitcase fonts so that they are avalable to more Windows applications. In particular, fonts should now work properly in Visio 2003.
-Altered menu generation so that Managed bottles produce usable menus.
-Extensively revised the documentation and online help.
-Cut/Copy/Paste keyboard shortcuts (Command-X,C,V) work better.
-Added several general printing fixes.
-Fixed several Half-Life 2 crashes.
-Improved support for non-American keyboards.
-Improved support for non-English versions of some applications.
-Adjusted the GUI in numerous small ways.
-After this version, it will no longer be necessary to quit the CrossOver CD Helper in order to overwrite CrossOver.
-Macs with integrated Intel graphics chips (MacBook, Mini) can run DirectX 8.x graphics.
-Fixed crashes and install failures due to libraries in /usr/local.
-Fixed crashes due to certain font files.
-Tool palette windows are now movable.
-Improved scroll-wheel responsiveness.
-Fixed Create Icon to preserve working directory and command arguments more reliably.
-Fixed handling of Caps Lock.
-Fixed the IE screen-flicker that appeared for pages with Flash content
-Many other improvements to Internet Explorer’s behavior.
-Improved handling of CD detection and ejection. Installers that require multiple CDs should now install more graciously.
-Some fixes to Outlook 2003 behavior, including printing fixes.
Improved support for Equation Editor
-Corrected display of fonts in DirectX 8.x games, like Half-Life 2.
-Changes resolution in full-screen games should work better.
-Numerous other Direct3D improvements.
CrossOver for Mac requires Mac OS X 10.4 and an Intel-based Mac to run. The software retails for $39.95.
If you have any comments, suggestions or feedback, let us know.

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WebcamTweaker Allows Easy Filters for Captured Video

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Date: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

A quick entry on The Unofficial Apple Weblog points out WebcamTweaker, a nifty piece of shareware available for a $15.95 registration fee that essentially works like Apple’s PhotoBooth for video files.
Users can import and create movies using different filters as well as create time lapse movies. WebcamTweaker also supports the Apple Remote control and is a Universal Binary program capable of running natively under both Apple’s PowerPC and Intel-based hardware. The shareware registration fee includes free upgrades for life that aren’t simply limited to a current version.
WebcamTweaker requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and a G4, G5 or Intel processor, 256 megabyte of RAM and costs $15.95 (though that includes free upgrades for life). A free demo, a 2.8 megabyte file, can also be downloaded to try out the software.
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this, let us know.

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Legend of the Dogcow Posted

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Date: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Fun

Technology blog Uneasysilence.com has posted an abridged history of Apple‘s legendary Dogcow, the cult favorite icon originally designed as part of the Cairo font by Susan Kare when Apple was designing its own fonts back in the 80′s.
dogcow.png
In 1986, the Dogcow image became more prevalent as Apple was looking for an image to demonstrate what its Laser printer line was capable of. The printer development team decided to incorporate the dogcow image, in various positions, to show different page orientations such as Portrait, Landscape, Invert, Flip, etc.
The icon was used in every iteration of the Macintosh operating system until Mac OS 7.1 and was officially dubbed “Clarus”, complete with her own backstory and origin as well as a distinctive “Moof!” sound when necessary.
The Dogcow was present in Apple’s Icon Garden from 1993 until 1998 and remains the mascot of the Apple Worldwide Developer Tech Support Group.
If you’ve seen the Dogcow in any hacks, web sites or other locations, please let us know.

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Apple Shipping Misprinted MacBook Replacement Keyboards

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Date: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Sighting

An article on digg.com points to a possible misprint on replacement MacBook keyboards. The left parentheses symbol above the “9″ on the keyboard is marked as a right parentheses.
keyboard.jpg
Although the key itself is said to function perfectly well, it’s an odd printing error that others commenting on the article claim to have experienced for themselves.
Not the end of the world, but it’s a little strange and I’ve never seen an error quite like this in my years of owning the following Apple laptops: PowerBook 145B, PowerBook 150, PowerBook 5300C, clam shell iBook, iBook G3, iBook G4 and currently a white MacBook.
If you’ve had a similar experience or have any comments or suggestions, let us know.

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MiniBatteryLogger Receives Update, Bug Fixes

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 14:16
Category: Software

Claudio Procida, author of MiniBatteryLogger, has released version 1.5.4 of the shareware program. The new version, a 3.2 megabyte download by way of MacUpdate.com, brings new Panther-specific fixes as well as German language localization.
The program, which is available as shareware for $15, monitors power charge and amperage through any Macintosh laptop over time and can keep logs as to significant events such as brownouts, power surgest and battery failures. The saved data can be shared through the MiniBatteryLogger program and compared with that of the program’s other users.
The new version offers the following changes:
-Bugfix: preferences window won’t show on Panther.
-Fixed ugly looking HUD inspector title in Panther.
-Added German localization.
MiniBatteryLogger requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 and a laptop computer to run.

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Apple Updates First Generation iPod Shuffle Reset Utility

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 14:10
Category: Software

Apple Computer has recently released version 1.0.1 of its Reset Utility for the first generation of its iPod Shuffle music player. The utility, when activated, erases all music and data from the iPod Shuffle and installs version 1.1.4 of the software.
shuffle.jpg
The software, a 2.1 megabyte download through VersionTracker.com, applies only to the first generation of the iPod Shuffle, which shipped in 512 megabyte and one gigabyte capacities. Later generations of the Shuffle, including current, smaller versions, are not supported by the Reset Utility.
The Reset Utility repairs the following issues:
-With the iPod shuffle switched on, pressing the Play button will cause amber and green LEDs to flash for a few seconds, and the unit will not play any music, nor can you sync music to it from iTunes.
-On a Windows PC, the iPod shuffle will appear in My Computer as a “Removable Disk,” however the iPod shuffle volume will not mount correctly. The unit is listed in Device Manager under “Disk Drives” as “Apple iPod USB Device.”
-On a Mac, the unit will only be recognized in Apple System Profiler under Hardware -> USB and will not appear or mount in the Finder.
-When attempting to restore, the unit may not be recognized at all. However, if it is recognized, the restore may fail with an error dialog “Firmware update failure. Disk write error” or another error. It may take three restore attempts before the error appears. Note: iPod shuffle may take several minutes to be recognized.
The iPod Shuffle Reset Utility requires a first generation iPod Shuffle and Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later to run.
If you’ve had experience with this utility, either positive or negative, please let us know.

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CoolBook Tester Beta Released

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 13:04
Category: Software

Magnus Lundhold, creator of CoolBook, a battery testing and configuration utility for Intel-based MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, has released a beta version of a dynamic frequency stepping utility called CoolBook Tester.
Once installed, CoolBook Tester can experiment with different parameters such as voltage and temperature settigns. Users can easily install and uninstall the new feature and CoolBook Tester can help improve the detection of AC/DC power modes.
The CoolBook Tester beta is a 159 kilobyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Macintosh to run.
A license for CoolBook, Lundholm’s main program, retails for $10.
If you’ve had any experiences with CoolBook or CoolBook Tester, both positive or negative, please let us know.

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MacHeist Raises Over $190,000 for Charities

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 08:34
Category: News

MacHeist, creators of the MacHeist Bundle (a bundled combination of software from 10 different developers) has announced that their MacHeist event is over and that the firm was able to raise over $190,000 for charity.
The effort, which sold the bundle (worth over $356 if the items were bought individually at full price) for $49, contributed 25% of money earned to United Way International, Direct Relief International, AIDS Research Alliance, PreventCancer.org, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, The Hunger Project and Save the Children.
Shareware developers involved in the project included firms like Delicious Monster, unsanity, Realmac Software and Pangea.
In order to round out the total to an even number, MacHeist will be contributing an additional $10,000 to the effort, bringing the total to $200,000.

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Comcast Tech Mistakes Power Cable, Destroys PowerBook

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 08:48
Category: Sighting

An article over at MacWork.com describes the full story of a PowerBook being destroyed back in November when a Comcast cable technician arrived to install a broadband connection, mated a rooftop power cable with a similar-appearing coaxial cable.
powerboom.jpg
The resulting explosion, which the user described as a “bright flash of light accompanied by a very loud explosion at the work desk. It was as loud as an illegal M-80 on the Fourth of July,” managed to damage or destroy a connected 15″ PowerBook, three external hard drives, video tapes, papers, CDs, floor, wall, radiator and desktop.
Although the user’s data was successfully recovered by Mac consulting firm OnDeckTech, Comcast, which acknowledges their fault in the incident, has been slow to repay the damage caused.
At least no one was hurt, but remember to be careful in the future.
If you have any comments, suggestions or have encountered similar incidents, let us know.

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Updated Parallels Build Adds USB 2.0 Support, More

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 07:13
Category: Software

A new beta build of Parallels Desktop for Mac has been released featuring full USB 2.0 device support as well as other improvements according to an article over on Macworld News.
The new beta, a 33.6 megabyte download (thanks to Versiontracker.com), is available for registered users of the $79 program who’d like to give the new build a try. Parallels Desktop For Mac is similar in functionality to Apple’s Boot Camp and allows users of Intel-based Macintosh systems to run Windows and other X86-compatible operating systems on their Macs. The primary difference is that Parallels Desktop allows these operating systems to be run simultaneously alongside Mac OS X without having to boot into a different partition to begin the process.
Parallels Desktop for Mac has managed to gain a steady following in spite of the fact that the software is being steadily developed. A recently release build provided better support for USB 2.0 devices such as disk drives, printers and scanners, which will run at full native speeds. Parallels has mentioned that they’re currently working on better support for “isynchronous devices” such as Bluetooth peripherals and webcams and users will see this in a future build.
The new build of Parallels Desktop offers an improved “Coherence” mode, a technology which lets Parallels run Windows applications from the Mac OS X’s Dock and kicking in when needed. Users can press the command-tab key combination to cycle through both Mac OS X and Windows applications that may be running at any given time.
Other changes to the build include the following according to the program’s listing on Versiontracker.com:
-Full-feature virtual CD/DVD drive: Burn CDs and DVDs directly in virtual machines, and play any copy-protected CD or DVD.
-Better Boot Camp support – Using your Boot Camp partition in Parallels Desktop is now easier than ever. Beta2’s Boot Camp support includes:
-Full support for FAT32 and NTFS partitions.
-Easy offline configuration. Simply tell Parallels Desktop that you want to create a virtual machine from a Boot Camp Partition and click start.
-Parallels Transporter Beta2 bundled – migrate your real Windows PC, or existing VMware or Virtual PC VMs to Parallels virtual machines.
Please let us know how your experience has been or if you have any ideas or comments on the new build

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