Software

New Eamon Reviews Online Now

Eamon

Two new Eamon reviews from Thomas Ferguson are now available on the Eamon Adventurers Guild website.  The Reviews of Adventure # 253, The Prisim of Shadows and # 254, Dawn of the Warlock, both of which were written by Wade Clarke and James Anderson give the new offerings high praise and marks.

Eamon is an Adventure design system developed by Don Brown in 1979 and has over 255 adventures currently written for the system.   Recently, the system has made its way onto modern platforms in the form of the Eamon Deluxe system by Frank Black.

For more information about the Eamon system, go to the Eamon Adventurers Guild at http://www.eamonag.org.  To read the reviews of the recent offerings Eamon Adventurers Guild review page at:

http://www.eamonag.org/columns/Reviews251-300.htm

Scrambler 1.2 for OS X – A Simple Encryption App for the Mac

Scrambler

Scrambler 1.2

Stockholm, Sweden – Coding Turtle today is pleased to announce Scrambler 1.2, a major update to their simple encryption app for the Mac. Scrambler makes it convenient to encrypt files before sending them along unsafe places, such as to other Macs over untrusted email, instant messaging or cloud-based services. Scrambler resides in the menu bar – providing a small icon in the upper-right area of the screen.

To encrypt a file with Scrambler, users drag the file on Scrambler’s menu bar icon and type in a password via a small and non-intrusive pop-up window. The result is, of course, an encrypted file.

To decrypt the encrypted file, users drag it back on Scrambler’s menu bar icon and type in the same password. The result is, of course, the original file.

Scrambler 1.2 is available on the Mac App Store for $2.99. It is also available as a shareware from the developer’s website, where a free and fully functional 5-day trial can be found.

Find out more about Scrambler

Apple Releases Update for Safari

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Apple has released an update for the Safari Browser.  Version 6.0.3. includes a number of fixes and improvements accrding to the release notes:

Safari 6.0.3 contains improvements to stability, usability, and security, including changes that:

  • Fix an issue that could cause Safari to mistakenly display an alert that bookmarks can’t be changed
  • Fix an issue that could cause duplicate bookmarks to appear on an iOS device

For detailed information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

You can download the update through the Software Update function of the Apple Menu on your Mac, or from the Apple support page at:

http://support.apple.com/downloads/

Lord British Returns with New Game

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Lord British, A.K.A. Richard Garriott, has returned to the gaming scene with a new RPG entry. Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is a combination online / offline game which looks to change the way that RPG games are looked at and played.

Lord British is known in the realms of the Ultima world among others. Starting with his first game on the Apple ][ computer, Akalabeth, he soon became an overnight sensation with more than 30,000 copies of the game sold. Ultima I and beyond also became bestsellers within the gaming world. Between Garriott and the team working with him on this new game, they have more than 50 commercial success titles between them.

Shoud will not be your typical RPG game according to Garriott. While many games want you to complete certain tasks or get enough points within a level to move on to the next one, this game according to will use an ever changing world as well as story lines to move the player through the world. Playable both as a massive multi-player online game as well as offline, this will mark the first game that Garriott has personally attached his name to since 1993.

For more on the production and the kickstarter project which at the time of press was already nearly halfway to it’s 1,000,000 USD goal, go to the Lord British Presents website at:

http://www.lordbritishpresents.com/

Original Version of Angry Birds Now A Free Download

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The Original Angry Birds has been marked to Free by Rovio Entertainment Ltd.  Normally, Angry Birds is a $0.99 cent download. The company has also updated the app with 15 new levels, marking the first update in the app in a long while.   Upon updating it, they also released the game to the public for free download, although no timeframe has been specified for this giveaway.

You can download the original Angry Birds game from the Apple iTunes store at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/angry-birds/id343200656?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D6

What Is The Apple II GS Adds Home Brew Mean 18 Collection

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WITA2GS has added a bevy of home brew courses for the Apple IIgs Golf Game from Accolade, Mean 18.  According to the posting on the website,

“Sorting through many miscelleous archives forwarded on from Antoine as he comes into contact with random collections and images each disk from them, I came across 8 disks worth of golf courses for Mean 18, the excellent golfing sim from Accolade.”

For more information check out the WITA2GS website posting at:

http://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/homebrew-helpings-lots-of-courses-for-mean-1/

Evernote Hack Exposes 50 Million User Passwords

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A security breach with Evernote’s servers has exposed more than 50 million users passwords, causing the Evernote Corporation to issue a complete password reset.  The announcement by the Evernote Corporation states that there was no data exposure but to be safe, the company is forcing all users of the popular note taking service to reset their passwords.

The full announcement is at:

http://evernote.com/corp/news/password_reset.php

MacMate Now Includes Filesharing for Large Files

New York, New York – MacMate, the Mac cloud storage and hosting service, which launched to replace Apple’s MobileMe service in 2012, has added its sixth key feature into the growing MacMate cloud service: FileSharing, the ability to easily send any file, any size, to anyone. With a few clicks, users can drag or select a file to share, add a message and send securely.

With a few clicks, users can drag or select a file to share, add a message and send securely. There’s no file-size limits, no bandwidth restrictions and no limit to the amount of files that can be shared. It’s quick, secure and has some innovative features like low-resolution previewing, expiry date and download notification, as well as being able to share a file with multiple users (cc’d or bcc’s) and mailing lists – so a file can be shared with the whole company, school or an entire customer base for example. The really great news is that this unlimited file-size sharing service starts at just $29.00 USD per year, compared to $99.00-plus for comparable services.

Gary Hall, founder and CEO of MacMate said “We’re continuing to add amazing services to MacMate. FileSharing works amazingly and is the most exciting new feature since we launched MacMate. It addresses problems customers have sending large files via email or FTP – offering them an elegant replacement – at an amazing price. FileSharing is quick, simple and secure.”

MacMate was designed specifically as an alternative to MobileMe and to fill the gaps left by iCloud, namely Mac cloud storage, iWeb hosting and galleries. Since its first launch in April 2012, new features have been added and improved and it’s gathered a loyal following around the world. MacAce owns its own network based in both London and Bristol in the UK, New York and Boston in the US – with superfast links the world over. It’s an ISP that proudly guarantees all of its services and has achieved notoriety, in the UK particularly, when it was crowned Best Overall ISP (Customer Choice) in the 2012 ISPA awards, as well as numerous other “Best ISP” and “Best Web Host” awards during the last 4 years.

Find out more about MacMate

Maintain releases Cocktail 5.4.1 (Lion Edition)

Ekero, Sweden – Maintain has announced the release and immediate availability of Cocktail 5.4.1 (Lion Edition), the latest maintenance update of Cocktail for users running OS X Lion 10.7.

Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. The application serves up a perfect mix of maintenance tools and tweaks, all accessible through a clean and easy to use interface. Cocktail’s features are arranged into five categories that helps you manage various aspects of your computer. It also comes with an automatic Pilot mode that allows you to simply press a button and relax, knowing that Cocktail will take care of the rest.

What’s New:
* Fixed a problem where Cocktail could not change Time Machine backup interval
* Addresses an issue in which Cocktail failed to restart or shutdown the computer

System Requirements:
Cocktail 5.4.1 (Lion Edition) requires OS X 10.7 and is tested for compatibility with OS X / OS X Server 10.7.5. Cocktail (Mountain Lion Edition) for OS X 10.8, Cocktail (Snow Leopard Edition) for OS X 10.6 and Cocktail (Leopard Edition) for OS X 10.5 are available for download from our website.

Pricing and Availability:
Cocktail is $14.00 (USD) for a Single User License and available for purchase from the Maintain website. The license is valid for Lion, Mountain Lion and Snow Leopard editions of Cocktail. Cocktail (Leopard Edition) is distributed as freeware and does not require a license.

Get Cocktail

Peppermint 3 (Linux)

For those interested in running Linux directly or through a virtual machine, this distribution is worth a look. In my case I first tried it on a virtual machine then later on a few bare metal installations. For years I have been saying operating systems (all of them) have become bloated with useless software. The people who created this distribution have proved my point. When running a virtual machine a significant hit in performance is expected. In this case the virtual machine was actually faster than the host operating system. What’s more, I was able to get Peppermint to run on machines at the lab which normally don’t like running Linux.

First the good… Peppermint is based on Ubuntu/Debian/Mint. Which means the installation of software is easy. They make decent choices with respect to the default applications. In cutting out the bloat they have made the whole operating system FAST! For example Libre Office (a real resource hog) loads in two seconds instead of thirty (longer if one uses Windows). It is also current so people aren’t sacrificing updates for speed. It is still possible to install other software which does not get installed by default.

Next the confusing… The creators describe Peppermint as a hybrid OS. Essentially this means they try to send as much processing out to the cloud as possible. In North America at least, the speed of the internet is far slower than that of the local computer. Local storage is very inexpensive at the moment. Also because privacy concerns I can see most people choosing to use local applications rather than cloud based ones.

Now for the bad… So far the only merely bad thing I have found is the inconsistent performance of the menu. When items are added or removed from the system, the changes may or may not appear in the menu. One of my colleagues at the lab has a real hatred for Google Chrome. He removed Chromium from the system but the menu item remained. I installed gnome-system-monitor to gauge the speed of the system and half the time it didn’t show up in the menu at all. I had to use a terminal to run it.

Finally the ugly… The colleague I mentioned before installed Peppermint on his laptop. An update broke his wireless access. As a friend in a computer club said… “Wireless access in Linux is at the same state as it was in Windows ten years ago; and the lack of cooperation from the manufacturers doesn’t help the situation either.”

My opinion is Peppermint is an excellent project. I strongly encourage the creators to continue with it. They are absolutely headed in the correct direction. At the lab I will continue installing it on some machines. At home I am almost, but not quite, convinced to install it on my primary system. I would like them to fix the problem with the menu and offer more choices of alternative software (for review and utility) first. More likely than not I’ll install it when version four comes out.

It can be downloaded free from…

http://peppermintos.com/