MacCentral Week in Review

Editorial: My Decade with Eddy
By Jason Snell, jsnell@macworld.com

This is the time of year when we hand out our annual Editors' Choice Awards -- the 20th consecutive year that the Eddy Awards have honored the best Mac products. Sometimes it's hard to get interested in awards if you're not receiving one yourself, but our Eddy Awards are different. This week, you'll read about the 35 most innovative products to be introduced to the Mac in the past year.

It's pretty daunting to think that I've been with Eddy for more than half his life, but this is the 11th year I've spent serious quality time with the little golden guy.

Eddy, like me, got his start not at Macworld but at MacUser. In fact, on my first day on the job as a MacUser editor in January 1994, I had to dress up in a rented tuxedo in order to attend the 10th annual Eddy Awards ceremony. A tuxedo on the first day? Talk about a unique job.

When I first met Eddy, we were awarding a company run by Steve Jobs -- but it was Pixar, the maker of 1994 Eddy winner Typestry 2.1. We also gave a Power Mac an award back then: the 6100/60 (remember that pizza box?). Photoshop 3 was a winner, as was a gigantic time-waster known as SimCity 2000. I still map out Commercial, Residential, and Industrial zones whenever I'm in my car, driving around.

Both Eddy and I made the switch to Macworld in 1997, and haven't looked back. Although I've added a few pounds, Eddy remains as toned and metallic as ever. He continues to effortlessly hoist that Mac SE above his head -- I think he'd make a great finalist on Survivor.

These days, the Mac world is quite different. Back in the old days, big companies walked off with most of the Eddy awards. Today the Eddy is an equal-opportunity player, rewarding the big shots as well as numerous underdogs, small Mac developers who are creating some of the most innovative programs around. For every iPod and GarageBand, there's a NiceCast and a netTunes. As someone who always championed the little products, it's gratifying to see small developers lugging around that surprisingly heavy Eddy statue.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to playing one of this year's Eddy winners for Best Game (Halo). I haven't spent quite as much time with this game as I did with SimCity 2000 ... but give me time.

The 20th Annual Editors' Choice Awards.

Apple News

Apple sues over Internet info leak

Apple has filed suit against unnamed individuals who it says have tipped Apple's hand about new products by posting details on the Internet. The seven-page civil complaint -- filed on Dec. 13 with the Santa Clara County California Superior Court -- raises more questions than it answers, however.

Apple releases Mac OS X v10.3.7

Apple Computer Inc. on Wednesday released an update to Mac OS X Panther, bringing the current version of the operating system to 10.3.7. The update includes "enhanced functionality and improved reliability" and is recommended for all users.

iTunes Music Store tops 200 million downloads

Apple's Tokyo store turns one year old

Apple releases iCal 1.5.5

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Hardware News

PowerBooks burn dual-layer DVDs with new MCE drive

Irvine, Calif.-based MCE Technologies LLC on Wednesday announced it is shipping the 8X SuperDrive, a replacement for the optical drive in Apple Computer Inc.'s PowerBook G4 laptop. The new drive is capable of burning dual-layer DVD discs, capable of storing up to 8.5GB of information. The same drive also fits in Apple's Power Mac G4 Cube.

Blackmagic ships Multibridge video converter

Kanguru Audio Flash hops into the MP3 player market

Toshiba to make 80GB 1.8-inch drives

Media 100 HD video editing system released for Mac

DMC 8270 music player records FM, encodes MP3

FastMac intros SuperDrive upgrade

Concertino for iPod features tube-based amp

NEC develops CD, DVD, HD-DVD drive prototype

Resonator amplifies music over headphones

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Software News

Playlist: Music Download Services Compared

Every time someone figures out a successful formula, the market floods with wannabes hoping to surf the slipstream all the way to the bank. Think of the current avalanche of reality shows, or lingerie-clad former-Mouseketeer pop stars or dot com venture capital firms. Think of low-carb diets, animated sitcoms, or politicians who pander to special interests in exchange for votes. And, these days, add music download services to that long line of bandwagons everyone's jumping on.

Aspyr's Game Agent checks Mac specs vs. game reqs

QuicKeys X3 adds new shortcut triggers, more

Musicbed DV: real-time music track creation

Mindawn offers DRM-free music downloads

"Atari Arcade Classics" come to Mac OS X

Mobile High Speed 3G expands cell phone support

WebSTAR security update fixes HFS+ exploit

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Around the Web

RealNetworks promises iPod lockout fix

Apple Computer Inc. has updated the software for some of its iPod music players so that songs bought from RealNetworks Inc. won't play. RealNetworks says they're not sure why it's happened, but they're working on a fix. Apple suggests that it's what to expect if you use music that isn't officially supported on the iPod.

Time Warner/AOL cuts DOJ deal, SEC may follow

Fight against phishing moves to a new level

Boosting the volume on Apple's iTunes

Maine student iBook funding to return

Apple takes Xserve hypersonic

iTunes trouble down under

Tool time at Pixar

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My Decade with Eddy

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