Software

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

Artemis

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.

Artemis1

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.

Artemis2

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.

Artemis3

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

ChronoAgent

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!

Sim-City_GS

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:

Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator for iOS Available

Artemis

The Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator for iOS was released by Tomas Robertson this month.  Incandescent Workshop LLC was the programmer of the port of Artemis, a Starship simulation which requires more human interaction than it requires actual computer.  Run by teams of 4-6 players, the game presents one starship control per player with 6 players being the optimal number.

Artemis1

 Just as a starship cannot be run by one man, neither can Artemis.  Artemis gives you have the Helm Control, Weapons Control, a Science Screen, Engineering, Communications and of course the Captain.  The Captain makes the calls for all moves on the ship, doing his best to get all of the human components to work together seamlessly. All players except the Captain connect their machines to the local area network and then connect to the Artemis server.  While the Windows version of the Artemis program is a 6 person license for $40, the iOS version is $2.99 per station.  However, the iOS version allows even an iPhone 3GS to be utilized as an Artemis Server.

Artemis2

The iPad version is intuitive with all of the same controls as the windows version with some distinct advantages.  One such advantage is Helm Control is much easier to use with turning of the ship with no clunky keyboard or mouse controls.  just touch and slide for control.   touch a button to engage shields, request docking with the space station or crank up the warp to take off out into the void.

Artemis3

Most multi-player games in this era focus on the singularity of player on player, but Artemis gives you the human factor and requires actual communication as well as precise control.  Artemis Parties are famous for their 6 man look and yelling and screaming, all with the goal of vanquishing the computer generated enemy ships or another team of Artemis players.

For more information or to download the app, check out the Artemis home page at:

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

Google Releases Google Maps App for iPhone

GoogleMaps

Google has released their Google Maps application for the iPhone.  After Apple’s most recent public debacle with their own Maps application, they really had no choice but to allow Google to pass their Maps App through the Apple verification process.

The new Google Maps is a free download from the Apple App Store.  For more information, check out the Google Maps Apple App Store page at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-maps/id585027354?mt=8

Over the past 24 hours, the Google Maps app has become the number one download on the App store, displaying quite appropriately what is user disdain with the current Apple offering.   Where Apple will somehow give up on their own App or not remains to be seen.  However, while many have already given up their Apple apps, the Google Maps app seems to be prone to similar issues with occasional drop outs of the app, the app not able to read foreign street names and a serious re-routing issue.

 

First Order of business for Apple: Fix Apple Maps Now!

maps

This past week, Australian police put out a warning to drivers: DONT USE APPLE MAPS!   This story really brings the adage “You can’t get there from here” to mean a whole new thing.  Users around the globe have been complaining about the way Apple Maps handles some of the images and placement of items ever since its release with iOS 6.0.

While most user experiences are a simple matter of a few meters to about 1 kilometer in difference, or the occasional warped or misplaced bridge or building, the Australian version of the app put the town of Mildura in the middle of Murry Sunset National park, a difference of more than 70 kilometers.  This put some users of the App in a real life life and death situation due to the fact that it is mid summer in Australia, nearly 46C in the park and no water to be had for kilometers around.

It is now apparent that Tim Cook’s re-shuffle of his cabinet at Apple was right in the removal of Scott Forstall from the Apple governing committee was to punish Scott for the failure Apple Maps.  Whether Eddie Cue can do any better with it will only be shown in time and new releases of the app, although none have been shown to be in the pipeline quite yet other than the fix to the Australian issue with Mildura.

Frankly, I am glad that my own recent experience with Apple Maps was only a kilometer off and I was able to ask local folks for actual instructions to the location I was trying to find.  Apple did get on the ball and fix the Australian issue quite quickly yet I doubt they will be fixing the whole app anytime soon.   They are still taking the attitude that their Maps app will be better than anyone else can create including Google, however, other map applications such as MapQuest is passing them by while they twiddle their thumbs.

For the players in the Map Business, there is Google and then there is everyone else.  Google has spent years and millions of dollars building their Maps by driving the actual roads shown on the maps.  They are continually updating their map related systems.  I was recently a witness to the evidence of this updating process in action when I was standing on a street in Japan and a small vehicle with the Google Logo and the camera globe on the roof of the vehicle rolled by.  Two minutes later, the same vehicle rolled by again, obviously taking care to get every element of the road recorded.  Having checked the Google Maps system, I found that the actual update of the road I was standing on has not made it to the system yet as it is too recent, yet it is something that frankly Apple is at this point totally incapable of doing.

If Apple is smart, they will give up on having their own Map app,  go ahead and license Google Maps and quit the bickering between the two companies which at this point is leading to the possibility of real world casualties due to Apple’s desire to keep everything in house.   Not only will this be a win for Apple since they wont have to actually perform updates to the maps, but it will also be a major win for the users who really are screaming at this point about Apples absolutely lousy Maps app.  They would also enjoy the benefit of a working relationship with Google in the long run that could actually benefit both companies bottom lines.

Even though no apparent updates of Apple Maps are forthcoming, I would say to look for the next update near the end of January or early February.  Of course, that may be a bit optimistic and for those who think I have the crystal ball of what is going on at Apple, Inc., I wouldn’t go getting your hopes up too high.

Java Apple Computer Emulator (JACE) Updated

Brendan Robert has released a new version of his JACE or Java Apple Computer Emulator.  The latest update includes a number of fixes and enhancements as per his posting in CSA2:

] Fixed nasty bug that caused crashes when joystick buttons (alt-keys) were pressed.  Airheart is 100% playable again!

] RamWorks support is now available for up to 8 megabytes of memory.  In addition to the RamFactor support it is possible to use both at the same time.  Not that you’d ever use 24mb ram in an Apple //e.  :-P

] CPU can now log warnings if 65c02 extended opcodes are used.  You can enable this to detect old incompatible usages of illegal 6502 opcodes.

] Cleaned up a few improperly implemented softswitches.  MMU implementation is 100% compatible now.

for more information about JACE or to download the program, check out Brendan’s JACE project page at:

https://sites.google.com/site/brendanrobert/projects/jace