Software

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/

Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator Updated to 1.701

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Thom Robertson, the guru behind the popular multi-player game Artemis and owner of Incandescent Workshop, has released an update to the iOS version of Artemis to match his PC version of the game.  Incandescent Workshop released version 1.701 includes a number of fixes, new features, and changes including:

  • All references to USFP have been changed to TSN.
  • Engineering damcon systems have been adjusted, so they (hopefully) don’t fall out of sync with the server.
  • Collisions have changed, from a soft bounce to a hard bounce. This changes how space objects bump against each other, in a subtle but significant way.
  • Vector normalizing code was changed to trap a zero-normal condition
  • Removed “invisible to sci” from Skaraan abilities
  • Changed the way torpedo unloading is handled. “tube lock” should no longer exist.
  • Enemy fighters often showed up with USFP textures and science details. This has been fixed.
  • The ship option controls on the Helm and Main Screen consoles (when NOT playing) have been changed. there’s no longer a “submit” button; changes are automatically submitted.
  • Show/hide arcs in weapons now also has the option to show player arcs only.
  • Made drones fall into black holes.
  • fixed problem with comms text color over time.
  • DAMCON Team Replenish message always poped up when docking, even if no teams took casualties. Fixed.
  • The warp slider has been recalibrated, so you have to drag it all the way up to reach warp 4.
  • Clients and servers both now have a toggle button called “3d Chase Camera” that lets you choose a chase cam OR an “out-the-window” view.
  • On the client login screen, there’s now a bit more information about the status of the login attempt.

For those of you who have never played Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator, the game is a multi-player game in the truest sense of the word.   The game is played with up to 6 players per “Team” all in the same room.  One major difference between normal multi-player games where the gamers can be anywhere, this game requires their physical presence, communication and teamwork to be shown in person.

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So called “Artemis Parties” have been popping up since the inception of the game, mainly at gaming conventions or Star Trek fan club group meetings.  Artemis gives the users the experience of operating an actual star ship bridge as many have only seen in the now famed Star Trek series of television shows and movies.   Each player of the team fulfills a particular role within the team.  They include:

  • Captain
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Weapons
  • Helm
  • Communications

Each role require the player to focus on their area and fulfill the captain’s orders as given by the player in that role. Communication between the team members tends to be very military like and the team that is able to communicate with the shortest amount and clearest of words, generally does better.  In many parties, people switch off on the roles to gain as much experience as possible over each role of the game.

Artemis Manual Cover

The 56 page manual (PC Version) which is available for free download from the Artemis SBS website, gives the player a good basic understanding of all of the things that this game entails including methods of communications and terminology used within game play.  Artemis SBS comes with 11 built in levels and really anything over 4 starts to challenge most teams.  It takes a highly trained and experienced team to beat Level 7.

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One feature of the iOS version of the game is the ability to use a single iPhone as a server.  this feature makes it easy for those who have multiple iOS devices to setup an Artemis Lan Party quickly and almost any where there is a space for 6 people, even in the middle of the park really.

Many people who come into the game thinking that this is an easy game to play are soon overwhelmed by the amount of actual time it takes to operate smoothly as a team and to understand all of the idiosyncrasies of their position within that team.  Some people have in recent days taken to specializing in the roles and replaying them with each successive party they attend.

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For more information about Artemis, check out the Artemis SBS website at:

http://www.artemis.eochu.com/

You can also follow the updates for Artemis on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/ArtemisSBS

If you have developed your own team and wish to open or announce your Artemis Parties to the public, you can do so by registering on the Terran Star Navy events website at:

http://tsn.eochu.com/

 

ChronoAgent For Mac Updated To Version 1.4

ChronoAgent v1.4

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Casselberry, Florida – Econ Technologies updates ChronoAgent for Mac to version 1.4. This update features the addition of ChronoAgent to the menu bar and the transmission of sync and backup results sent directly to ChronoMonitor running on an iPhone. ChronoAgent 1.4 is $10 and as always, all existing ChronoAgent users update for free. No user is ever left behind.

Now you can display ChronoAgent on the menu bar providing you with instant notification of ChronoAgent’s status. Know at a glance if ChronoAgent is running or not and receive alerts for active connections, errors, and updates. Turn ChronoAgent on or off and update ChronoAgent directly, all from the menu bar. Additionally ChronoAgent now transmits the results of any syncs or backups between ChronoSync and ChronoAgent directly to ChronoMonitor on an iPhone. For a complete list of all the changes included in ChronoAgent 1.4 read the Release Notes online.

ChronoSync runs on the source Mac and ChronoAgent runs on the destination Mac giving you a direct connection between two Macs. With ChronoSync on your Mac, you can synchronize, backup, and create bootable backups. ChronoSync can synchronize or backup to anything you can connect to your Mac. Add ChronoAgent to a destination Mac giving you a direct connection between two Macs for safer, faster, and more reliable syncs and backups. Add ChronoMonitor to an iPhone and keep tabs on all your syncs and backups. If you’re synchronizing two Macs, sharing a folder on a Mac server between Macs, backing up one or more Macs to a Mac server, or even maintaining a bootable backup over a network, then the combination of ChronoSync and ChronoAgent is the answer.

Find out more about ChronoAgent

 

The Long Fabled SimCity for the Apple IIgs Exists!

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A posting in the Apple II enthusiast group on Facebook this evening from Antoine Vignau shows a video of the game play from the long fabled SimCity for the Apple IIgs.  Although originally written in 1994, the game never saw the light of day due to the fact that the Apple IIgs had been discontinued by that time and EA’s reluctance to release it as freeware.  To this day it remains unreleased.

If you want to check out the Apple IIgs version of SimCity and what might have been, this video is a nice walk through the unreleased product: