DevonTechnologies on Thursday released DevonAgent 1.6, an upgrade to its Internet research tool that adds new plug-ins for searching TidBITS, MacUpdate.com and Version Tracker, as well as a new scanner for filtering and searching pages that link to files in the BibTeX and LaTeX formats. In addition, this update offers search keywords that enable users to, for example, type "google," followed by the query, and immediately view the results.
Version 6.0 of GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) was released on Thursday, its Italian-led development team announced. First developed in 1982 and under continuous revision by volunteers since 1997, GRASS is a geographic information system (GIS) that includes more than 350 programs and tools used to create, manage, store and visually display various types of data. It's currently used for spatial modeling, graphics production, map rendering and similar tasks in such fields as geography, urban planning, hydrology, geophysics and more.
Redlien Systems on Wednesday debuted Redlien Account Executive 1.3, a free update to the developer's contact management utility that offers more than 45 new and updated features. Changes in this version include an improved contact opportunity system with multiple invoice management and data export into delimited text format, greater flexibility in the custom product management tool, the addition of quotes and commission tracking, new preferences for viewing opportunities, user lists that can be reordered and more. The full software is US$89.99 and requires Mac OS X v10.2, or v10.3 if you want to synchronize your Address Book data.
Maplewood, N.J.-based CaptureWorks has released the latest version of JobCapture, the company's tool that tracks time spent working on documents as well as time spent away from the computer for other tasks. Version 5.1 adds CaptureConnect, a technology that enables third party developers to use the CaptureConnect SDK (software development kit) to create two-way connections between JobCapture and SQL, MySQL and other ODBC-compliant databases.
ColorWare has announced that starting March 14 it will sell colored Mac minis as well as offer to add color to customers' existing computers. The service will be US$99 whether it's added to a computer purchased from ColorWare or performed on a computer sent to the company. ColorWare will offer 20 shades to choose from and will service both the 1.25GHz and 1.42GHz versions of the Mac mini. The company already sells colored iPods, iMac G5s, PowerBooks and iBooks and can add pigments to existing MP3 players and computers. It describes its process as "a hybrid between the manufacturing and automotive painting industry."
SanDisk Corp. on Thursday unveiled its new Cruzer Profile, a USB 2.0 flash drive that includes embedded fingerprint identification technology. While the product isn't available on SanDisk's Web site yet, the company is displaying the Cruzer Profile at the CeBIT trade show being held this week in Hanover, Germany. SanDisk said that the drive is approximately the size of a pack of gum and will be available in 512MB and 1GB capacities for US$99.99 and $199.99, respectively, when it starts shipping in mid-April.
Terra Soft, which develops Linux solutions for use on Macintosh computers and sells Macs with Yellow Dog Linux pre-installed, on Wednesday announced support for bootable iPods and FireWire drives. The external devices, both of which are available from Terra Soft, contain a full installation of Yellow Dog Linux on a partition, enabling users to add their applications, data and /home directory information and boot from any G4 or G5 computer while leaving internal drives unchanged.
Zengobi on Tuesday released Curio 2.2, an upgrade to its brainstorming tool that breaks the software into four editions: Professional, K-12, Home and Basic. It also introduces such new features as one-click publishing to a .Mac account, sticky line endpoints for easier flowchart creation and an advanced grid with new styles, such as legal and engineering, as well as control over vertical and horizontal grid snapping.
VVI on Wednesday released version 9.8.6 of DAQ Plot, its voltage measurement tool that is used to analyze data obtained by external devices. With this update, the software can now measure up to 50,000 samples per second and can start and stop recording depending on user-specified changes to the data. In addition, it adds DAQ Command, a programming system for creating real-time control loops, real-time data windowing, performance meters that measure how well the computer handles data acquisition and dynamic switching between interface styles. Contact VVI for upgrade and full software pricing. DAQ Plot comes with data capture hardware that connects via a USB 2.0 or 1.1 port.
Objective Decision has released version 2.1 of OD4Contact, the developer's contact management tool. This upgrade, which is free for users of version 1.x or higher, adds several new features, including the ability to send e-mail in plain, rich-text or HTML format from within the application, as well as a templates manager for saving frequently-sent messages as templates. In addition, it offers a category column for contacts, "always-on" synchronization that immediately updates OD4Contact when changes are made in Mail, iChat, Address Book or other utilities.
The MathWorks on Tuesday released Simulink Verification and Validation, a new add-on for the Simulink simulation environment that enables continuous testing and verification of model-based designs during the development cycle. It also allows engineers to link their requirements to such formal systems as Telelogic's DOORS or even Microsoft Word or Excel or files in HTML format. Pricing starts at US$1,000. Mac OS X v10.3.2, a G4 processor, 256MB RAM (512MB recommended) and 300MB hard drive space, along with the technical computing problem-solving environment MATLab and Simulink, are required to run this tool.
24U Software on Tuesday released version 3.1 of 24U SimpleHelp, a plug-in for FileMaker developers who want to add interactive help to their custom databases. This upgrade, which is free for registered users, adds several new features, including the ability to create global tags that are active in all layouts, virtual layouts that simplify configuration switching, the ability to attach tags without needing to access the layout and more. In addition, bugs have been fixed and performance has been enhanced. Licenses cost US$48 for the first one and $12 for each additional user, with a bundling license available for $371. Mac OS X v10.2.8, a G3 processor and FileMaker Pro 7.0v1 are required.
Xinet Inc. has released FullPress 14.0 and WebNative Venture 7.0. The former is a server software suite for managing workflows that heavily use graphic media; the latter is a Web-based front end for FullPress that offers remote workflow tools, including database and file access. Xinet has added support for AFP (Apple File Protocol) 3.1 and Adobe's Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP), preview tools for Quark XPress and Adobe InDesign layouts, a Versioning plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop, a Linked Files Viewer tool and more.
Canadian developer ToThePoint Software on Tuesday released version 4.0 of The Fontz, a utility for browsing and organizing installed and uninstalled fonts. This upgrade, which is free for registered users, includes performance enhancements and better recognition of uninstalled fonts. In addition, it offers such new features as a toggle for switching between sample text and font names in the font list viewer, the ability to find fonts by name in the viewer, the ability to drag and drop fonts to create groups within groups, live resizing in the viewer and the Fontz Finder and more. The full software costs US$12 and any version of Mac OS X is required.
Chuck Joiner has posted his latest User Group Report on the Macintosh User Group (MUG) Center Web site. The new edition features discussions with Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus, Mesa Dynamics' Danny Espinoza and Portland MUG's Charles DeVore. LeVitus covers his new Dr. Mac Direct tech support service, Espinoza explains how his company's RSS newsreader Tickershock is different from the competition and DeVore delves into the upcoming MacCamp. Joiner mentions the MUG Center's recent makeover and solicits feedback.