Expo Notes: Everything old is new again for Software MacKiev

Editor’s Note: All this week, Macworld editors will report from the Macworld Expo show floor on meetings with Mac developers, new product announcements, and anything else that catches their eye.

Software MacKiev, maker of The Print Shop and Kid Pix, has built a reputation over the past couple of years of successfully resuscitating aging or abandoned software titles and turning them into shiny new Mac programs that take advantage of all the power that Mac OS X has to offer. The company recently added two new makeovers to its list.

The first is Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, which helps you improve your typing skills. The $40 program runs natively on Intel Macs, and includes more than 221 practice lessons. You can compete against other players to see who types fastest and most accurately. A floating gauge lets you track your typing skills as you work in other programs. The program also include iTunes integration; select a song to play as you work and the program will automatically lower the volume when new instructions are given.

The second program is Roger Wagner’s HyperStudio 5, a ground-up rewrite of the popular education program that helps kids create multimedia projects that combine photos, drawings, text, and presentation features. HyperStudio 5 links with your iTunes and iPhoto libraries, as well as Keynote and PowerPoint presentations, and old HyperStudio stacks. The program’s editable drawing and painting effects make it easy to add a personal touch to photos or other designs. Students can even add live Webcam feeds into their projects. You can then export finished presentations for playback on an iPod. The program is currently in beta.

In addition to the two new additions, Software MacKiev is also showcasing the 2008 World Book encyclopedia, which now links to live Web cams from around the world and includes a Media Showcase widgets that quizzes kids and then links to the encyclopedia for the answers; and the 3D Weather Globe & Atlas Deluxe, which offers improved viewing controls for a better look at the terrain, a simulation of the current weather in a selected location, and accurate views of the stars and planets. The 2008 World Book is available for $50 and the 3D Weather Globe & Atlas Deluxe is available for $40.

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