Software

Mailplane Updated to Version 2.5.10

Uncomplex GMBH has released a new update to their Mailplane App for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Mailplane is an application which allows users to control multiple GMail accounts from a single application.

Over the past several months, they have released updates which separated the Pre-Lion code from the Lion/Mountain Lion code and version 2.5.10 addresses some of the issues brought about by these changes. The Application is $24.95 USD for the latest version and Free for all versions which run on Mac OS X 10.4-10.7.

You can download the latest version of the software from Uncomplex GMBH at http://www.mailplaneapp.com

New Game Lets Users Simulate Gravity to Fly Through Levels

New York, New York – Developer Dr Robert Belluso’s first game, Little Bird combines current technology, exotic landscapes, objects, and contraptions, allowing the player to interact with the game in ways they’ve never seen before! Unlike games that rely on tapping, sliding or swiping, Little Bird 1.0 takes advantage of the latest iPhone technology. The user tilts the device to the right or left, using gravity and speed to build momentum to get through each level.

Before long you will be rolling, jumping, bouncing, flying through the air, swinging in baskets, riding in carts, and shooting out of cannons while avoiding obstacles, booby traps and enemies to help Little Bird collect coins along the path to safety.

“Little Bird brings the simple idea of a real skill arcade game, from which the concept was born, to the next level,” explains Dr. Belluso, the App’s creator. “Little Bird offers a fun, challenging and unique experience that will keep gamers coming back for more. It’s a novel, gravity driven game played with challenging physics-based obstacle courses.

Although developed initially for iPhone, Little Bird is a universal App available on all devices. It combines accelerometer and gyroscope gaming technologies and features 20 unique levels with future levels coming and frequent updates.

Little Bird Game

An A.P.P.L.E. Review: Rovio releases Angry Birds Star Wars

Rovio has been releasing new versions of Angry Birds every few months and once again, they have a new hit on their hands.  After releasing Angry Birds in Space, topping an astronaut on the Internation Space Station performing an angry birds experiment was going to be hard to top.  What better way to top it than licensing the name Star Wars.  Angry Birds Star Wars is a wonderful mix of the previous Angry Birds games and thos items we have come to expect to be associated with Star Wars such as Chewbacca, Light Sabers, and R2D2 and 3CpO.

With two levels built into the Star Wars version of Angry Birds, this game makes for hours more of entertainment, frustration and elation upon completion.   Aptly labeled Tatooine and DeathStar, the first two levels will give the average user two to 4 hours of game play.  But there is a hidden secret within this version of the game.   An in app purchase allows the user to buy the Path of the Jedi section of the game adding another whole section giving many more hours of game play.

We played the game on the iPad and found that the results were not unlike those we experienced in previous renditions.  Rovio has made the game available on all of the major computing and smart phone / tablet platforms. The initial levels of the game for the iPad costs $2.99 USD with the Path of the Jedi section costing an addition $1.99 USD.   If you are a fan of Angry Birds or of Star Wars, then this is the must have app of 2012.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Apples

URL: http://starwars.angrybirds.com

Minecraft notes:

Minecraft is an on-line game where the players run around mining for certain minerals, build structures, combat monsters as well as each other. and generally explore an expanding world. It is divided into two components. Namely on-line servers as well as clients to access the servers. Both components are free however to make full use of the capabilities of the client, a non-free (premium) account must be used. The game components are available for the “big three” operating systems (Linux, OS X, and Windows) and may run on systems with up to date JAVA installed.

Installation is simple but a lot of people have experiencing problems with getting the free accounts running. The simple solutions to most of the problems are pretty standard. Make sure the client is updated (if possible). Make sure at least JAVA 6 is installed. Make sure opengl is also installed and current. Sometimes deleting the bin folder in the .minecraft folder helps (depending on the problem the entire folder may not need to be deleted).

Here are some of the problems I encountered along the way.

- Initially I had the “Done Loading” error on all my machines. After trying all the common solutions suggested on the web I found I had to create an account (free) and tell the client to play from the web browser (a link on their web page). This fixed the problem for me. I was able to get in and play the demo. Apparently the other way is to sign in with a premium account.

- Some Windows computers don’t have up to date opengl drivers. I was able to login with a Dell SX 280 only to get a black screen. After looking at some error messages I determined I had to go and get the latest drivers from Dell. No joy there. The XP drivers stopped being updated around 2009. Since it is a borrowed machine (to be used in a different demo for a computer club) I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on it anyhow.

- The free account uses a built-in server apparently and will not connect to other servers even on the same box. All the player can access is the same demo world. There is a time limit of about 100 minutes, but the player can start over at the end. I was thinking it would be nice to allow the player unlimited access to their own server (on their own machine). Connecting to 127.0.0.1 without restriction would help people who want to be game developers/programmers and don’t wish to buy a premium account.

Other than that it is pretty much a matter of downloading the programs and running them. I personally wouldn’t go out and get a premium account but for those who would I can see where it would be a fun game.

Good Old Games Offers Entire 32 Game Interplay Bundle for $34.99

Interplay has long been the one focus of many a user in the gaming world.  Their games, including the classics Battlechess, Fallout, and Conquest of the New World led the way in the Apple gaming world of the 1980′s.   Now, Good Old Games is offering a “Pay What You Want” type bundle where you can pay as much as you want and based on that payment collect an appropriate number of games.   The initial level is set at 8 games and if you pay more the the average amount, you get 20 games.  However, should you give GOG more tan 34.99 USD, then they will give you the entire 32 game lot, along with a long list of goodies to accompany the package including 21 soundtracks, manuals and all of the other relative digital items.

The bundle of games is currently available for the next five days.  For more information or to purchase the bundle, check out the Good Old Games website at:

http://www.gog.com/interplay

Evernote releases new Video outlining Evernote 5 for Mac

Evernote Corporation has released a new Video and specs page on their website outlining the new features in their upcoming release of Evernote 5 for the Mac.  The new version of the software has over 100 new features implemented including:

  • Better Notes List
  • Snippets View
  • Cards View
  • Note Editor
  • Change a Notes Location
  • More Keyboard Shortcuts

The site includes many more features that will be in the new version, however, no official release date has been announced for the full package yet the beta release is expected within the next week.  For more about this, check out the evernote blog at:

http://blog.evernote.com/2012/10/26/coming-soon-the-new-evernote-5-for-mac/

Don’t Run With A Plasma Sword Now Free Download

Xperimentalz Games has announce that the popular runner game, Don’t Run With A Plasma Sword for iOS devices is now a free download.  The game, which features five level of story and boss levels as well as five levels of endless play, allows the user to gain points through the play and upgrade the runner’s abilities, outward appearance and revivability.  This game has been featured on Call-A.P.P.L.E. a number of times and is one of our favorite games for the iPhone and iPad.  The game is currently available in English and French.

You can download the program from the Apple iTunes store at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dont-run-with-a-plasma-sword/id479907900?mt=8

MacHeist Announces new Bundle of 15 Apps for $29

The folks behind one of the most successful charitable application bundles, MacHeist, have announced a new grouping of 15 applications.  MacHeist 4 includes 15 applications for the Mac, priced at $29.00 USD for the entire bundle.   MacHeist donates 25 percent of all sales to charities specified by the purchaser. Past MacHeist events have raised over two million dollars for a variety of charities.

The last three apps of the bundle will be unlocked for all users as a specified number of bundles being sold, with the first one set to open at 25,000 bundles.  The “Heist” lasts for 10 days and can be purchased by going to the MacHeist website at:

www.macheist.com

ADTPro 1.2.5 Released

A note from David Schmidt on CSA2 announced the arrival of the latest rendition of the ADTPro Disk Imaging software.

Ok, here’s a few more goodies.  The time and date is synchronized with the host, and there’s two versions of the serial driver: one that hides between the BI and buffers, and another that stomps on the Disk II driver.  The latter is compatible with ProDOS utilities.

There’s a little bit in there just for me – I don’t expect anyone else will need it, so I’m not even adding a button on the UI for it.  But for those that need to unit test ADTPro, if you start it with the parameter ‘localhost’ you can have it serve the virtual serial ports (that are mapped to IP ports) of emulators.  So far it works with AppleWin and JACE.

I needed to stop chopping wood and sharpen the axe… so I could test the serial version of the virtual drive.  It was just taking too long to make real disks and test on hardware.  The bug I was shooting: later versions of ProDOS hid the Disk II driver at $d800, not $f000…

Anyway, there’s a few bug fixes for all the Daves that use the Ethernet version, too.  And all executables are SYS files now.

http://adtpro.sourceforge.net

1.2.5 – September 22, 2012

New functionality:

  *  [VDrive] ProDOS date and time is set when communicating with the ADTPro server

  *  [VDrive] Serial driver installs over the floppy driver by default

  *  [Server] ADTPro server serves a hybrid serial-over-IP for emulators – enabled with startup parameter ‘localhost’

Bug fixes:

  *  [VDrive] Ethernet driver is now more “reentrant,” allows for restarting if the “ping” message doesn’t show up right away

  *  [VDrive] Aborts via escape key are more reliable, Ethernet now recovers correctly

  *  [VDrive] Device driver installer filetypes changed to SYS

Duplex printer tip:

A couple of weeks ago I noticed my HP printer was no longer printing two sided pages. Strictly speaking this was with Linux but it could happen with the Mac as well since they use the same printer driver software… I figured it was an application problem with Thunderbird and Firefox since all the other applications (and computers on my LAN) worked fine. It never occurred to me it was a driver problem.

Thanks to some prodding by Adam T. at one of the computer clubs I attend, I thought I’d give it a try since there was nothing else left to try. I found some information at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ghostscript/+bug/885118 which seemed relevant. On this page they suggested accessing the CUPS driver directly by accessing the HTML page at http://localhost:631/. This opens the page on the local computer rather than heading out to the internet…

From there I found the defaults were altered by an update. Sure enough CUPS thought it was a single sided printer. I told it to set the default to print on both sides of the page. It whined and said the duplexer was not enabled. The next thing I did was to enable the duplex unit. At that point it accepted the changes.

So far I was only able to print a single six page document from Firefox, but it looks like this solved the problem.