Sometimes your friends open up a network port on their Macs and let you see some of what you’ve been missing. And no matter how savvy or cool you think you are with your shareware, workarounds and free programs, they demonstrate something that blows you away.
Recently, a friend showed me Perian, a set of open source QuickTime components that provide additional support for AVI, FLV, 3ivX, DivX, Sorenson H.263 and other video formats. The end result was QuickTime cleanly opening and working with file formats that had previously needed third party programs such as VLC to play back.
Perian 0.5 is a 944 kilobyte download courtesy of cachefly and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you’re interested, give it a shot and let us know what you make of the experience.
Perian is free yet backed by donations and the development group accepts tips via Paypal. If you like what they’re doing, chip in a little bit and support the effort or take a look at the project’s wiki to learn how to become involved with development and testing.
Adium, the free multiple-protocol chat client with support for environments such as AIM, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo!, Google Talk and Novell Groupwise, has been updated to version 1.0.4 and includes bells and whistles such as tabbed messaging and encrypted chat modes for privacy.
The new version, a 13.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
-Fixed a crash introduced in 1.0.3 which could occur when accounts disconnected or status changed.
-Fixed a crash introduced in 1.0.3 which could occur after a chat is closed.
-Fixed group chat when message history is enabled.
-Fixed incorrect updating of icons in an active chat when a contact’s icon changes or your own icon changes.
-Properly upgrade OTR fingerprints and private keys made in Adium 1.0.2 and earlier (#6891).
-Fixed deletion of temporary images when they are no longer needed (#4711 and #6732).
-Fixed a crash when command-dragging the message window (#6873)/
-Improved chat transcript viewer performance after finishing transcript indexing.
-Added ability for external processes to communicate with Adium via Distributed Objects (connection name: @”com.adiumX.adiumX”).
-We now follow updates to the system time zone (#5383).
Adium requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run and is coded as a Universal Binary capable of running at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’re tried the new version and have feedback about it either way, let us know.
Maybe a quick software update’s good for the ego. Or at least it keeps you honest. Less than two weeks after the widescale release of PageSender 4.0, SmileOnMyMac has released version 4.0.1 of its PageSender fax program, which functions as an extended set of tools for Mac OS X’s built-in fax features.
PageSender retails for US$39.95, allows users to send and receive faxes from any program as well as automate when faxes are sent and received.
The new version adds the following features and changes:
-Address Book panel works in Carbon apps (e.g. Word, FileMaker Pro, etc.)
-Live addressing works in Carbon apps.
-Cover page messages can have returns.
-Create new recipients by clicking in the address list.
-MaxEmail and EasyLink work as selected.
-Fixed problem with quitting PageSender Fax Center.
-Other minor fixes and improvements.
PageSender 4.0.1 is coded as a Universal Binary and can function at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware. The program is a 6.6 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and can offer feedback or impressions, let us know.
CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 6.1. The new version, a 38 megabyte download, offers the following changes and updates:
Mac OS X-specific changes:
-Added handling of mailto: links, both within and outside of CrossOver.
-Added support for installing a set of Windows-specific truetype fonts.
-Fixed a problem with Quartz-wm on new Tiger install disks. Previously this problem caused CrossOver to crash on some new Macs.
-Added a feature that will check for available updates.
-Improved support on Leopard.
-Added Japanese localization.
-Improved support for composed characters
-Some cosmetic changes to the GUI. No major redesigns.
-Improved the menu-syncing algorithm.
New application support:
-Ichitaro 2006 and 2007 (Japanese locale only)
-Ichitaro Viewer (Japanese locale only)
-IBM HomePage Builder 10 and 11 (Japanese locale only)
-Fixed some font problems in FrameMaker 7.1
-Added support for RPC over HTTP in Outlook 2003 when running in a Windows XP bottle. This allows use of HTTP mail in Outlook.
-Improved authentication support in Outlook 2003.
-Lots of widespread graphics improvements. Game rendering and performance should be much improved.
-Improved the Equation Editor installation process.
-The Half-Life 2 Intro now plays properly
-Several IE fixes: Wikipedia.org and Microsoft.com now load properly. Improved IE launch times.
-Improved Quicken window rendering.
-Lots of doc revisions.
-Fixed a problem with black icons in the Outlook shortcut bar.
-Fixed autocompletion in Outlook
General CrossOver fixes and improvements:
-Major update of DirectX support.
-Added the ability to automatically download and install localized versions of some installers and service packs, including IE.
CrossOver retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and Intel-based hardware to run. A fully functional 30-day trial version is available for download and testing for potential users.
If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback about the experience, let us know.
Adium, the free multi-client instant messaging application (or the Mac’s best answer as to how you can make a client compatible with AIM, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo!, Google Talk, Bonjour, Novell Groupwise and Lotus Sametime, still make it sound like a squawky bird and have it be cool), has been updated to version 1.0.3.
The new version, a 13.2 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and enhancements:
-Fixed a major memory leak after closing chats present since Adium 1.0.
-Updated to libpurple 2.0.0 (from libpurple 2.0.0 beta).
-Improved retrieval of MSN buddy icons.
-Fixed setting our own buddy icon in some situations in which it would not be set previously.
-Fixed determination of encoding for some AIM profiles and messages (#6839).
-Added NAT-PMP support, significantly improving AIM File Transfer, AIM Direct-Connect, and more when behind an Apple Airport Express or Extreme router.
-Fixed Direct IM images sent to iChat users after pasting from the clipboard.
-Fixed the dropdown menu shown when there are multiple destination contact. choices for an outgoing message. It previously could display a contact different form. the one to which the message would actually be sent.
-Fixed reversion of privacy settings to “Block Certain Contacts” for ICQ and Yahoo accounts (#4770).
-Fixed a crash which could occur when waking a system which had gone to sleep while Adium was conencting.
-Fixed import of logs via Spotlight (#6287).
-Fixed printing of logs (#5617).
-Fixed a crash which could occur after finishing indexing of chat transcripts.
-Fixed an exception when importing Fire contacts.
-Fixed display of bold in the Chat Transcript viewer.
-Fixed a crash which could occur with certain font related problems.
-Improved performance when pasting or dropping large images for use as contact icons or account icons (#6729).
-Fixed incorrect shadow drawing in some situations in the contact list (#5232).
-Suppressed a spurious warning message when connecting to ICQ in some situations (#6533).
-Fixed iTunes away status when nothing is playing (#5899).
-Fixed cascading a message windows when ‘open new chats in tabs’ is disabled. (#4451).
-Allow ` in Jabber / XMPP usernames (#6690).
-Improved icons for SIMPLE, QQ, and Zephyr, using Pidgin’s icons.
-Various localizability improvements.
-Switch to Smart Crash Reports for crash reporting. This will only do anything if Smart Crash Reports is installed (see www.smartcrashreports.com); Adium does not install it.
-(French) Fixed Encryption preferences.
-(German) Fixed advanced messages preferences (#6781).
-(Portuguese) Fixed Personal preferences.
-(Turkish) Fixed a crash on first launch.
-Updated Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, and Turkish translations.
The program requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.
On Tuesday, German software maker MapMemo unveiled MapMemo 3, the new version of its map-modification software. Similar to WYSIWYG HTML/image map editors, the program links files to map images. The new new version allows users to print to paper and PDF as well as add map layers on top of each other. A new “Export to text” function allows maps to be created with number-indexed memos as well as an indexed list of details.
For a demo video of how the program works, click here.
MapMemo 3 retails for US$25.00 and users who purchased a version of MapMemo after March 1st can acquire the upgrade version for free. Registered users will receive a complimentary second license that can be personalized to another user – an unlicensed version will allow three MapMemo files to be created or saved before reminding the user to register.
The software is a 3.5 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later to run. The program is coded as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
In other news, SmileOnMyMac has released PageSender 4.0, the newest version of its fax program for Mac OS X. Historically, PageSender has worked as a beefed-up version of Mac OS X’s internal faxing features, offering a browser and additional functionality such as automated/scheduled sending and receiving of faxes.
The new version offers the following changes:
-PDF cover pages.
-Direct lookup in Address Book (no launching).
-Preview faxes in PageSender Fax Center.
-Preview cover page in print dialog.
-More space for cover message in print dialog.
-Font and style support for cover message.
-Enhanced performance with Printer Sharing.
-Improved PageSender Fax Center user interface.
The new version retails for US$39.95 and can be purchased as an upgrade version for US$20.00 or for free if purchased from January 1st, 2007 to the present date.
PageSender 4.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is coded as a Universal Binary capable of running at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-native hardware. The software is a 6.6 megabyte download.
If you’ve tried the new version and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.
SpamSieve, Michael Tsai’s pretty-near-essential e-mail filtering utility, has just been updated to version 2.6.2.
The new version, a 3.9 megabyte download, adds the following changes and fixes:
-Made changes to prevent a crash on Mac OS X 10.4.9 when quitting in response to a mail program quitting.
-Slight changes for better accuracy.
-Fixed regression where the Import Addresses‚Ä¶ command didn‚Äôt always work for text files in the default encoding.
-Blocklist and whitelist rules that use Body (any text part) can now match text from the headers of bounced messages (which e-mail clients often display as part of the message body).
-The Software Update feature now checks whether the updated version can run on your installed version of Mac OS X.
-Better logging of messages that don‚Äôt have a sender.
-Fixed a threading bug.
-Made an optimization to the Apple Mail plug-in.
-Adjusted the setup instructions for Apple Mail to avoid problem with the Previous Recipients list.
-Modernized the crash reporter code.
-Updated the French and German localizations.
The program retails for a US$30.00 shareware registration fee and provides a 30 day trial period with which the test it. Spamsieve is currently compatible with Apple Mail, Emailer, Eudora, Entourage, GyazMail, Mailsmith, Outlook Express, PowerMail, or Thunderbird and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version and noticed any major changes, let us know.
Software and Internet search giant Google has updated its recently-released Google Desktop for Mac to version 184.108.40.206.
The new version, a one megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
-Speed of re-crawl (after restart) by about 20%.
-Memory use when quickly indexing a lot of data by compressing it until we can process it.
-Handling of UTF8 in Gmail.
-Support for datefrom: and dateto: query restricts.
-Display of search results when a document has been moved or renamed.
-Performance when indexing has been turned off in preferences.
-Detection of command-command key to reduce chances of activating it by accident.
-Thumbnails for image files in the Web UI.
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