Kai's Power Tools, which launched a revolution in Adobe Photoshop plug-ins, is back. Kai's Power Tools 5 , $199 from MetaCreations (805/566-6200, http://www.metacreations.com ), lets you create a wide range of special effects from within Photoshop. You can use KPT FiberOptix to create furry text or shag carpet; KPT Blurrrr for zoom, spin, and blur effects; and KPT FraxPlorer for new fractal styles. You can also create objects with reflective glass edges or explode an image into thousands of spheres.
BBEdit 5.0 , the latest edition of Bare Bones Software's (781/687-0700, http://www.barebones.com ) text and HTML editor, features a more accurate HTML syntax checker, along with Tag Maker and Edit Tag commands that prevent you from inserting incorrect code. The $119 program (upgrade, $39) also strips white space and unneeded text from HTML code and includes an SGML parser that lets you write and validate XML tags.
That's the Stuff
Are garbled e-mail attachments ruining your productivity? StuffIt Deluxe 5.0 , Aladdin Systems' (831/761-6200, http://www.aladdinsys.com ) upgrade to its $79.95 compression software, adds Microsoft Outlook Express and Bare Bones' Mailsmith to the e-mail programs it supports. The upgrade also offers better compression and smoother cross-platform file exchanges than before.
Adobe Systems (408/536-6000, http://www.adobe.com ) has released a free update to Adobe Photoshop that addresses two major complaints: color management and text kerning. Photoshop 5.0.2 , available from Adobe's Web site, changes the working color-space default from sRGB to None. (Previously, Photoshop 5.0's default settings converted images to sRGB when you opened them.) A new Color Management Assistant helps you set color preferences when you first launch the update. The update also fixes kerning and tracking problems in version 5.0's Text tool.
Get the Edge
MagicMask 2.0 , an upgrade to the $99.95 Adobe Photoshop plug-in from Chroma Graphics (650/685-6800, http://www.chromagraphics.com ), now lets you convert masks and selections into straight-line clipping paths for easier printing. The new version also offers presets for common color-range masking and blue-screen knockouts and gives added control over color settings.
SyQuest Closes Its Doors
SyQuest Technology, maker of the SyJet and SparQ removable-media devices, has shut down and filed for bankruptcy due to low sales and share value. The move followed major layoffs in August 1998. The 16-year-old company's 44MB and 88MB cartridges once represented the standard for removable storage in the Mac market.–Ed;ted by Michael Gowan
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