We ask, Quark answers

Last week, in this space, we noted that Quark hosted an Expo session in which it was looking to talk to media, customers, and partners about its new Quark Interactive Designer. In the spirit of dialogue, we posed a couple of questions we wouldn’t have minded hearing the answers to.

We didn’t have to wait long for Quark to get back to us with answers. Here are responses to each of our questions, courtesy of Jürgen Kurz, Quark’s senior vice president of desktop products. (His italicized answers follow our questions.)

• Since QID looks very similar to QuarkImmedia, how much of QID’s code is actually derived from QuarkImmedia, and will QID support QuarkImmedia files or assets, such as buttons, animations, and so on?

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Completing the Challenge

Last week I gave you a small taste of the MacBrainiac Challenge —the Apple trivia contest I host at each Macworld Expo. You’ve had the weekend to mull over the questions posed. It’s now time to see how close you came to the correct answers. I’ll reprint the questions below with the correct answer on multiple choice questions in bold .

Q. The Stickies widget can use all of these fonts except:

A. Geneva
B. Marker Felt
C. Optima
D. Gill Sans

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The 360-degree view

One thing I’ve enjoyed most about the Expo coverage here at Macworld.com is something that Macworld editors weren’t all that involved in producing. It’s our Expo photo group at Flickr where Expo attendees could post whatever photos of the show they wanted to—and often did. There’s nothing like attending an Expo in person, but if you couldn’t be in San Francisco last week, the 643 (and counting) photos from your fellow Macworld.com readers could at least give you a flavor for what the show was like in a way that mere articles could not.

Besides, we finally got an answer to the question that has dogged mankind since the dawn of time: just how many photos of an iPhone encased in glass can be taken in one week?

The answer: not nearly enough.

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Strike up the band

I had just finished up a breakfast meeting with Bare Bones Software’s Rich Siegel—Bare Bones was a might bit busy leading up to Macworld Expo—and was scurrying off to Moscone Center to attend the next in a series of day-long drop-ins with assorted Mac developers. Which is when I saw the glitter of crashing cymbals and heard the thunder of rolling drums and the shimmer of trumpets.

“Expo week taxes all of my mental faculties,” I thought to myself. “But surely I am not so far gone that I am imagining a revival of The Music Man has spontaneously broken out before my eyes.”

And it hadn’t—it was an honest-to-goodness marching band parading in front of the South Hall of Moscone Center, just as the show floor was opening up to the general public.

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Take the MacBrainiac Challenge

Of the many things I get to do during the week of Macworld Expo, one of the most entertaining is hosting the annual MacBrainiac Challenge—a battle of wits between two competing teams of Macintosh luminaries. Set in a game show format, these two teams do their best to establish their superior mastery of Mac and Apple trivia.

This year, the MacBrainiac Challenge featured a team of developers versus a team of Mac media personalities. Brute Camp, the developer team, was led by Bare Bones Software’s Founder & CEO, Rich Siegel and included Rogue Amoeba Software’s CEO/Lackey, Paul Kafasis; Google’s Scott Knaster; and NewsGator’s Product Architect, Brent Simmons. The Justice League, captained by the Chicago Sun-Times and Macworld ’s Andy Ihnatko, also included TidBits’ Adam Engst, Macworld ’s Mac Gems columnist Dan Frakes, and founder of MacFixIt and Mac troubleshooting guru, Ted Landau.

As usual, it was a tight contest. Following what has become a typical pattern, the two teams were tied until the final question. Ultimately, the developer team carried the day by cracking a particularly devilish three-point stunt, but it could easily have gone either way.

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Pretty sketchy

The longest line I’ve seen at Expo so far was at the Google booth. The search company had been giving away socks to Expo-goers, but it ran out of the hosiery pretty quick. People were still lined up to get copies of the latest version of SketchUp, Google’s 3-D modeling software. I was impressed: They came for the socks, but stayed for the software.

Impressed but not that surprised: SketchUp is one of those gee-whiz apps that you’ve just got to play with. It lets you create 3-D drawings using a simple, drag-and-draw interface. A couple of drags-and-clicks, and you’ve got a cube. A couple more and you’ve added doors and windows. You can then view your model in 3-D, rotating it in every dimension. You can “paint” your models with different surface textures.

Because it’s from Google, SketchUp integrates nicely with Google Earth. That means you could actually create a model of, say, your dream home, and see how it’d look on your real-life lot. The version that everyone was leaving the booth #S616 with, SketchUp 6, adds the ability to base models on photographs, and a few other tweaks.

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Avoiding double trouble

Ever since Apple started introducing Macs with Intel CPUs last year, we’ve received innumerable letters from readers asking the same question: If I run Windows on an Intel Mac (using Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, or, more recently, VMWare Fusion ), do I need to install some kind of security software to protect me from all those Windows nasties? Our answer: You betcha !

But saying is easier than doing: Installing and running Windows security software inside a virtual machine on a Mac isn’t exactly a no-brainer. That’s why Intego’s announcement at Macworld Expo is so welcome: The Internet security and privacy market is now offering “Dual Protection” editions of its VirusBarrier X4 antivirus utility and Internet Security Barrier X4 security bundle (which includes protection against viruses, spyware, phishing, and other hazards). “Dual Protection” means you get Mac and Windows software in the same box. Install it all once, and you’re protected from the virtual Vandals during your occasional Windows session as well as when you’re using OS X.

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