The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 12.2 March / April 2007

Issue 12.2 March / April 2007


CD/DVD Reviews

Toast 8 Titanium (MAC)
Toast 8 Titanium is the state-of-the-art disc burning application for Macintosh. It not only supports the generation of virtually all disc formats, including LightScribe and Blu-ray, but simplifies the transfer of all kinds of audio, video, and data types to disc. Speaking of Blu-ray, this new disc format supports the storage of up to 12,500 music tracks, 50,000 photos, or four hours of HD video on a single 50 GB disc.

TiVo and EyeTV users can now transfer their recordings to DVD or DivX disc, or convert the content for viewing on iPod video, PSP, or other portable video players, including compatible cell phones. Users of set-top DVD recorders can also import and burn shows from these devices.

Through the use of data spanning, Toast can copy massive files that are too large for a single DVD, onto multiple discs. This enables users to move enormous files, such as videos, music libraries, digital asset collections, and other data to other Macintoshes as well as to Windows PCs.

Disc contents can be maintained in a catalog for tracking the location of particular files, often a problem with the proliferation of discs. The discs need not be on-line in order to find specific digital assets. File browsing of home and network directories has been enabled to simplify the process of finding music, videos, photos, etc.

The new Toast Photo Disc option enables users to create discs for use on Mac or Windows at exceptionally high quality along with a built-in slideshow capability.

Scratched or damaged discs can be copied onto new media, and their files recovered and restored.

Users can now preview video and audio from movies before they commit to making a copy. In addition the user can select the individual DVD movies and audio in consideration of available disc space and quality level.

The Audio Conversion Assistant, which is a part of the included CD Spin Doctor, walks the user through the process of converting vinyl LPs into digital tracks. Users process the tracks, add song info, and burn them to disc or transfer them to their iPod. All in all, Toast 8 is a must-have application. $99.99

Contact: Roxio, Inc., 455 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050, 408 367-3100,

File Transfer/Processing Reviews

Speed Download 4 (MAC)
Speed Download 4 is the "best in class" candidate for a Macintosh file transfer utility. It provides the complete solution for downloading and uploading files to and from FTP servers, with auto-resumption of broken or stopped connections, and using the most efficient processing of bandwidth.

The peer-to-peer feature enables a user to initiate highly reliable and fast transfers of files between two or more Macintoshes, with the security of encryption, and control over which files are transferred, and to which location. Password-enabled users are provided with access to files placed in shared folders.

Received files are automatically filtered into file folders, such as Documents, Music, and Images. This keeps downloaded files organized and easy to find. The History option shows which files were processed on a given date.

The program intercepts download commands from the user's browser, and processes the files according to the user's instructions. An entire page or site's worth of downloads can be processed at one time by copying the site's URL into the program's Add Files from URL... dialog window.

The flexible scheduling feature enables the user to set the dates and times for initiating downloads.

Advanced users can remote control aspects of the program from the Macintosh Terminal command line editor using SDCLI, a simple shell script. Many more features are included, several of which can be seen in two on-line tutorials from ScreenCastsOnline:, and $25

Contact: Yazsoft,, e-mail:

Miscellaneous News and Reviews

MacHeist Bundle (MAC)
MacHeist provides a service to Macintosh users whereby they can buy a bundle of popular Macintosh applications at a deeply discounted price and have a portion of their purchase price donated to charity.

The first software bundle included Delicious Library (to catalog, browse, and share books, movies, music, and video games), FotoMagico (photo presentation software), ShapeShifter (software to change the overall appearance of a Macintosh), DEVONthink Personal (knowledge base and information manager), Disco (disc burning software), RapidWeaver (website creation software), iClip 4 (multiple clipboard and scrapbook application), Pangea Arcade (a collection of three games: Nucleus, Warheads, and Firefall), NewsFire (an RSS newsreader), and TextMate (a general-purpose text editor for Mac OS X). $49 (This offer may no longer be available. Check the MacHeist website for offers.)

Contact: MacHeist,, e-mail:

Entertainment Reviews

X-Words Deluxe (MAC)
X-Words Deluxe is rated as the top word game for Macintosh. The attractive board graphics and customization features (board layout, bonus squares, tile frequency, point count, etc.) provides endless playing variety and challenges, and offers digital publishers an opportunity for a break and some brain exercise. The user can select from various skill levels and competitive opponents. $19.95

Contact: Freeverse Software, 447 West 24th St., New York, NY 10011, 212 929-3549,, e-mail:, fax: 212 647-0562.

Fonts/Font Management

Harold's Monogram Collection 4 (MAC/WIN)
Harold's Monograms is a world-class collection of over 50 monogram fonts representing the most expansive and diverse library of monogram fonts yet available. The fonts provide a rich treasure of typographic variety unequalled anywhere in a single collection. The monogram formats cover virtually all of the popular design variations, including oval, diamond, block, collegiate, entwined, hexagram, octogram, script, shield, snowflake, vine, and Art Nouveau. Many of the fonts provide for the composition of two- or three-letter monograms, some with a choice of decorative frames. Directions are provided for composing the monograms since monogram letter and frame variations require nonstandard keyboard layouts. $35

Contact: Harold's Fonts,, e-mail:

Harold's Volume Five Font Sets (MAC/WIN)
Harold's Volume Five Font Sets includes a diverse collection of more than 50 unique typefaces, and more than 120 display fonts suitable for a wide variety of purposes. The typefaces include: Alsace Lorraine, Artistamp (4 fonts), Bead Chain/Marquee (2 fonts), Bend it!, Blocked (5 fonts), Blockograms (5 fonts), Cantabile (6 fonts), Card Characters, Carmen Monograms (3 fonts), Celestial Alphabet, Chaser (2 fonts), Collegiate Monograms (4 fonts), Columbia Stamp, Comet (2 fonts), Dilemma (3 fonts), Dirty Finger, Don Semiformal, Echo, Entwined Monograms, Essene Symbols, Fabulous Prizes, Frank the Architect (4 fonts), Gainsborough, Gaumont (4 fonts), Goya (5 fonts), Harold's Pips, Imitation (2 fonts), Jest (2 fonts), Jim Dandy (6 fonts), JJ Stencil (4 fonts), King Xmas, Koch Dingbats, Marker Man, Pessima/White Birch (2 fonts), Pretz (2 fonts), Project (5 fonts), Profiler, Rebus Font, Rough Draft (4 fonts), Script Monograms (2 fonts), Seoul (2 fonts), Shield Monograms (5 fonts), Skidz (2 fonts), Snowflake Monograms (4 fonts), Stamp Act (2 fonts), Sunset, Tapeworm, The Birds, Trudeau (2 fonts), Upbeat (3 fonts), Willing Race, and Yard Sale (not all of which are shown below. $35

Contact: Harold's Fonts,, e-mail:

Harold's Volume One and Two Font Sets (MAC/WIN)
Harold's Volume One and Two Font Sets includes a diverse collection of more than 30 unique typefaces, and more than 85 display fonts representing a wide range of typographic styles. The typefaces include: Alsace-Lorraine, Bensfolk (2 fonts), Bensgothic (2 fonts), Bifur (6 fonts, Type 1 only), BlockUp (5 fonts), Bride of the Monster (6 fonts), Bubble Gum Rock (2 fonts), Cantabile (2 fonts), Celestial Alphabet, Chelt Press (4 fonts), Chinese Gothic, Denney (2 fonts), Esquivel (3 fonts), Fulton Artistamp (4 fonts), Goya (4 fonts), JJ Stencil (3 fonts), Kaffeehaud Neon (2 fonts), King Xmas (2 fonts), Koch Quadrat (5 fonts), Kombine (2 fonts), Lab Rat, Law School, Le Film (3 fonts), Maritime Flags (5 fonts), Oblique Text (3 fonts), Queer Theory (4 fonts), Ricecakes (2 fonts), Ringpin, Scarlet Ribbons, Stamp Act (2 fonts), Syncopated Script, and Thanksgiving. Not all of the fonts are shown below. $35

Contact: Harold's Fonts,, e-mail:

DTP Reviews

iCalamus v 1.07 (MAC)
iCalamus v 1.07 is a low-cost, full-featured page layout application that is capable of producing sophisticated output via print or PDF. The program supports the placement of all text and image formats supported by Mac OS X, as well as images from digital cameras and scanners, snapshots of Web pages, and contents from a given URL.

The program works smoothly and is very responsive. The tool palette is very lean and easy to use. It includes a selection tool, rotation tool, text tool, image placement tool, freehand vector tool, frame tool, line shape tool, hand tool, and magnifier tool.

Although the program is an entry-level product it has many features that belie that fact, such as unlimited undos and redos, zooming up to 10,000%, assignment of unlimited master pages and layers, reordering of composed pages, transparency, use of frame shape for clipping, virtually effortless masking, and more.

The frames, into which all imported page assets reside, can be displayed in a wide range of border shapes, strokes, and fills (graduated and solid). Frames and their contents work synergistically to affect the appearance and placement of the contents that they hold.

Most of the major elements, such as frame contents, frame location, and frame parameters; text styles, text without styles, and text orientation are controlled using Inspectors, which allow for the precise control of settings.

A free lite version supports the composition of a single page rather than the limit of 9,999 pages of the full version. A number of short demonstration movies show the basic operation of the program. $129

Contact: Dunkel Software Distribution, Inh. Ulf Dunkel, Bergkamm 2, D-49624 Loeningen, ++49 54 32 9 20 73,, fax: ++49 54 32 9 20 74.

Animation Reviews

Kinemac 1.5.1 (MAC)
Kinemac 1.5.1 marks a new standard for performance, capabilities, and value among the entries in the field of 3D real-time animation and presentation applications. The program enables the user unprecedented flexibility in creating animations in full screen mode with export to QuickTime or a sequence of still images. Users simply drag their media (still images, text, movies, audio, etc.) to the Kinemac stage or apply them to 2D or 3D objects and adjust the color, transparency, reflection, and other attributes. The results can be professional grade, with sophisticated animation effects worthy of a Hollywood studio. Impressive sample animations can be seen at

The animation process is conducted by applying keyframes to each object, as represented in the time line (Sprites) window. The frame points, appearing as icons, can be moved easily along the time scale. Each movement can be fine-tuned using Bezier curves for precise movement control. The user can adjust position, rotation, size, speed, and acceleration of any selected object.

The variety of file formats that the program accepts is very impressive. Still image formats include JPG, TIF, PNG, GIF, PSD, and PDF. Movie file types include MOV, AVI, MPG4, FLASH, and GIFf. Supported sound files include AIF, MP3, ACC, and WAV. Other supported file types are SVG, and 3D model files (OBJ WaveFront).

Among the effects that can be produced quickly and with professional results, are 2D Scrolling Text, 3D Text, Animated Charts (populated by simply dragging a tab-delimited text file), and many more effects. $249

Additions/Extensions Reviews

Coloriage V.4.0 (MAC/WIN)
Coloriage V.4.0 is a Photoshop-compatible plug-in that very capably colorizes black-and-white photographs, replaces color in color photographs, or adds color to line drawings. The user sets the color for each part of the target image and the program paints the color precisely within the border of the object adjusting the new color to the grayscale tones of the image. Examples of what can be done with the program can be seen at A 10-day free trial version can be downloaded at $97

Contact: AKVIS, Pacific Business Centre, P.O. Box 34069 #381, Seattle, WA 98124-1069, 206 309-0821,, e-mail:; fax: 206 984-3919.

Decorator V.1.3 (MAC/WIN)
Decorator V.1.3 is a Photoshop-compatible plug-in that enables the user to apply a photorealistic surface texture to an image object. The user is able to choose from a wide selection of built-in patterns that include food, natural elements, stones, metal, and fabrics. The plug-in respects the existing pattern and ensures that the new color or texture looks realistic. The user maintains control over the color and frequency of the pattern as well as its brightness and lighting angle. Impressive examples of what the plug-in can do can be seen at A free 10-day trial version can be downloaded at Home use, $54; business use, $82.

Contact: AKVIS, Pacific Business Centre, P.O. Box 34069 #381, Seattle, WA 98124-1069, 206 309-0821,, e-mail:; fax: 206 984-3919.

Snap Art (MAC/WIN)
Snap Art is a Photoshop-compatible plug-in that converts digital photographs into painter-like works of art. The program enables users to apply real-world artwork styles such as Color Pencil, Comics, Oil Paint, Pastel, Pen and Ink, Pencil Sketch, Water Color, and more. Each one of these styles can be controlled using its related subset of controls. As the effects are applied the user can view a split screen in order to see the impact of the particular filter settings. The filters are particularly effective because Snap Art employs a highly sophisticated edge detection algorithm that reveals object shapes and delineations. By so doing, the program is capable of simulating the expertise of an artist in applying stroke and color. This impressive set of art media filters endows virtually anyone with the artistic skills to render any photo or graphic as a potential masterpiece. $149

Contact: Alien Skin Software, LLC, 1111 Haynes St., Ste Zero, Raleigh, NC 27604, 919 832-4124,, e-mail:, fax: 919 832-4065.

EZ Mask 1.5 (MAC/WIN)
EZ Mask 1.5 is a Photoshop plug-in that simplifies the process of creating intricate masks from virtually any image. The plug-in requires that the user draw around the subject or object that is to be retained, and draw in the area that is to be removed. The software uses advanced algorithms to determine the pixels to remove and those that are to be set as semitransparent. The program provides several tools and controls to make fine adjustments in order to maintain details such as hair, smoke, and lace.

The process begins by opening the background and foreground images, although just the foreground image may be opened if no background is to be composed as yet. The background image is copied and pasted into Layers palette of the foreground. The user selects the foreground from the Layers palette and selects the Add Layer Mask icon from the bottom portion of the Layers palette. The layers are now arranged for applying the EZ Mask. At this point the EZ Mask filter is opened from the Filter menu.

Drawing tools are then applied to indicate the areas that are to be retained (green paint), and those that are to be removed (red paint), and those that are unknown or mixed (blue paint). The user can preview the quality of the mask and determine if adjustments are necessary. The processed mask appears in Photoshop against its new background. $150

Contact: Digital Film Tools,, 818 761-6577, e-mail:, fax: 818 766-9867.

Snap 2.5 (MAC/WIN)
Snap 2.5 is a unique Photoshop plug-in that enables its user to produce flawless masks using a combination of automatic edge-detecting algorithms and an array of powerful shape defining vector-based S-Spline tools. This combination of tools puts Snap 2.5 in a class by itself.

The Snap tools provide for high-level performance in separating a foreground image from its background and placing it against a new background. It provides continuous instant visual feedback, showing an editable outline around the target object's edges. A rough articulation of the outline is produced quickly through the use of paint tools that are used to indicate the locations of the areas that are to be removed, indicated by a path of red paint, and those that are to be retained, shown by a path of green paint.

The outline is composed of a number of editable points that can be moved to conform to the exact shape of the object to be cutout. The points can be defined as any of one of three types: Cardinal, Polygon, or B-Spline. The type of point can be modified before, during, or after the path has been created. $50

Contact: Digital Film Tools,, 818 761-6577, e-mail:, fax: 818 766-9867.

Text Count for Adobe InDesign/InCopy 1.1 (MAC/WIN)
Text Count for Adobe InDesign/InCopy 1.1 provides the means to manage space assignment in frames, displaying real-time counts and estimates for dealing with overset text. Users can adjust frame sizes to accommodate the required word count, or display the amount of text necessary to fill the frame completely. The Text Count palette shows running totals for Contents/Overset/Estimate columns for characters (all), characters (no spaces), words, lines, paragraphs, manuscript lines, manuscript pages, and price (estimated on user-supplied data).

The application warns users if overset conditions exist, and preflights documents that are to be printed or exported in such states. Frames containing overset lines are also differentiated by a yellow background and an icon in the bottom right corner. The icon can indicate either that the typographic parameters need to be decreased to fit in the frame, or increased to fill out the frame. $69

Contact: DTP Tools, Goldwein Research Company, 33 Wenceslas Square, 110 00 Prague, Czech Republic,, e-mail:

X-ray 1.0 (MAC/WIN)
X-ray 1.0 is a plug-in for InDesign that enables the user to set the opacity of every panel and toolbar displayed in the application. By doing so the user can greatly extend the amount of screen real estate that they can easily view. Users can now see underneath palettes that previously obscured their view. $19

Contact: DTP Tools, Goldwein Research Company, 33 Wenceslas Square, 110 00 Prague, Czech Republic,, e-mail:

Mask Pro 4.1 (MAC/WIN)
Mask Pro 4.1 is a Photoshop plug-in that provides one of the easiest ways to produce sophisticated masks, selections, and clipping paths. It works by letting the user select the colors that will be kept (from the foreground), and selecting the colors that will be removed (from the background). These colors are displayed in palettes, showing what colors will be removed and what will be retained. It is capable of dealing with problematic image elements such as hair, smoke, lace, bubbles, and other intricate and delicate image components, maintaining transparency while removing colors. The user can see the actual mask as it is being created. In addition to its prime purpose in removing backgrounds, this latest version supports pressure sensitive Wacom Tablets. An on-line tutorial ( demonstrates how the program works. $159.95

Contact: onOne Software, 15350 SW Sequoia Pkwy., Suite 190, Portland, OR 97224, 503 968-1468,, fax: 503 968-1469.

Productivity Reviews

Versomatic (MAC/WIN)
Versomatic maintains saved versions of all types of documents for rapid and reliable recovery due to operator error, data corruption, user preference, or other reason. It is a capability that is of critical importance to every digital publisher, and a welcome safety net for every computer user. In certain instances there are regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, that require that an edit-trail be maintained as a condition of compliance.

The software, which installs as a system extension, works in the background to maintain every version of a saved document so that they can be recalled whenever necessary. To summon a previous version the user simply selects the document on the desktop, clicks the right mouse button, and selects the version from the contextual pop-up menu. Archived versions are listed by their modification date and time. $49.99

Contact: Acertant Technologies, Inc., 1172 South Dixie Hwy, #613, Coral Gables, FL 33146,, 305 402-1456.

JobTimer 2.20 (MAC)
JobTimer 2.20 provides a simple way to track and record the amount of time applied to specific tasks, such as client work. One or more projects can be tracked simultaneously, with the program keeping track of time and a dollar total based on the hourly rate that the user has input. The data can be exported in the user's choice of RTF, PDF, text with tabs, and XML formats. $29

Contact: Dunkel Software Distribution, Inh. Ulf Dunkel, Bergkamm 2, D-49624 Loeningen, ++49 54 32 9 20 73,, fax: ++49 54 32 9 20 74.

MindManager 6 Mac (MAC)
MindManager Pro 6 Mac is a sophisticated application for inputting, managing, and communicating ideas and information. Users create visual maps that are composed of flexible, editable components that display a hierarchy of information detail composed of text, Web links, file/folder links, topic links, e-mail links, icons, and more (see

Users start with a central topic, and add main and subtopics to it, moving the topics around the central topic to best present the information. The importance of various details can be prioritized using markers, arrows, flags, or other indicators. Topics can be connected to show relationships, either uni- or bi-directionally. Stylized notes, using various text colors, alignment, indention, and bulleted items or tables, can be added to any topic to expand its detail and extend its clarity.

The maps can be shared among a workgroup using the MindManager Viewer 6, which is cross-platform. Maps can include attachments composed of supporting materials. Each topic can contain task assignment information which is set using the Task Information Inspector. The user can specify a start date, due date, priority, duration, resource, and percent complete for each task. In addition, maps can be exported in static image format to a PDF, JPEG, PNG, or TIFF file, or as text as an ASCII file or RTF.

A free trial version is available at $229, versions are available for Windows users.

Contact: Mindjet Corporation, Koshland Building, 1160 Battery Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111, 415 229-4308,, fax: 415 229-4301.


PDFProtect (MAC)
PDFProtect is an application that enables a user to change, add, or remove security level standards to PDF documents. The easy to use program works with both 40- and 128-bit encryption, with control over low res and high quality printing, modification of the PDF, copying of the PDF content, adding and modifying annotations, form filling, and more. $29.95

Contact: Sybrex Systems,

Utility Reviews

KeyCue (MAC)
KeyCue provides the means to display well-organized menu-grouped tables that list the menu shortcuts of a currently running application. The tables simply the process of recalling menu shortcuts that can reduce the time required to access various commands. Over time this leads to productivity gains, and also trains the user to remember the shortcuts. $19.99

Contact: Ergonis Software Gmbh, Softwarepark Hagenberg, Hauptstrasse 119, 4232 Hagenberg, Austria, +43 7236 3343 300,, e-mail:, fax: +43 720 348424.

File Sleuth 1.0.4 (MAC)
File Sleuth 1.0.4 extends the functionality of Mac OS X to include a number of features, including: generation of icon previews, renaming MP3 files based on ID3 tags, batch-application of file attributes, editing of hidden file options, setting the bundle bit, setting file visibility, and more. $9.95

Contact: Koingo Software Canada,, e-mail:

Typinator (MAC)
Typinator is automatic text software that expands abbreviations into longer strings of text. By using this short-hand method, keyboarding speed and accuracy can be improved dramatically. This is a capability that digital publishers should have.

The user defines lists of boilerplate text, such as addresses, company names, e-mail addresses, salutations, standard replies, etc. In addition the user can store graphics for insertion, such as maps, schematics, logos, signatures, and more. Support is provided for the full Unicode code set. $19.99

Contact: Ergonis Software Gmbh, Softwarepark Hagenberg, Hauptstrasse 119, 4232 Hagenberg, Austria, +43 7236 3343 300,, e-mail:, fax: +43 720 348424.

Data Rescue PC (WIN )
Data Rescue PC is the preferred tool for recovering data of all types from a virus-laden, crashed, or an accidentally formatted hard drive. It is the first line of defense when a hard drive crashes and addresses the first order of business: recovering the files on the damaged drive. In most cases repairing the drive is secondary to saving the data which resides on it.

The Data Rescue PC software is provided on a bootable CD so that the user need only insert the disc and restart the computer. The program guides the user through the recovery process using a graphical user interface. The user selects the files that he or she wants to recover and the files are safely copied to an external storage location, such as a USB or FireWire hard drive, network drive, or another working drive in the computer.

The program's algorithms, which have been honed over ten years, are exceptional, and can even recover files that have been deleted from the damaged drive. This is the kind of insurance that digital publishers should have at hand for hard drive failure emergencies. $129

Contact: Prosoft Engineering Inc., 303 Ray Street, Pleasanton, CA 94566, 877-4PROSOFT, 866 428-3282,

Digital Imaging Reviews

ArtRage 2.2 (MAC/WIN)
ArtRage 2.2 is an amazing natural media paint environment that is sold at a bargain price. The painting tools, which include oils, pencils, an airbrush, chalk, glitter, a roller, a tube, a crayon, and markers provides a world of artistic possibilities to the creative individual.

The paint tools, like the others, respond much in the same way that they do in the real world. Layers of paint can be smeared together, mixing as expected, and blending right on the screen canvas. Several controls are provided to change the properties of the media and approach the control that is available using the actual materials.

Users can import a photograph to use as a tracing image. The image appears on a background layer over which the user can use any of the paint tools to sketch or paint directly on it. The background image can be adjusted in size, position, rotation, and transparency.

Other significant features are the availability of metallic colors, support for pressure-sensitive graphic tablets, unlimited undos, and more. $19.95

Contact: Ambient Design, 87 Bethells Road, Waitakere, Auckland 1008, New Zealand,, fax: +64 (9) 810-8459.

Comic Life Deluxe (MAC)
Comic Life Deluxe is a fascinating and fun application that enables the user to use their photos in a comic strip. The user has control over all of the elements that compose comic strips: panels, speech balloons, captions, borders, templates (322), comic style fonts (40), styles (180) and more. The results can be quite professional-looking, and can be exported for use in other applications in TIFF, GIF, JPEG, PNG, HTML, iPhoto, and QuickTime formats. In addition, users have found many other page composition applications for the program, using it to compose how-to sheets, magazine covers, family trees, and other creative uses. Digital publishers should take a look. $29.95

Contact: Freeverse Software, 447 West 24th St., New York, NY 10011, 212 929-3549,, e-mail:, fax: 212 647-0562.

ImageWell Xtras (MAC)
ImageWell Xtras adds functionality to the free ImageWell image editing application. ImageWell ( is a small and nimble program that enables the user to easily resize, crop, watermark, and edit images for Web publishing. Other functions include text annotation, application of shapes, arrows, and lines, and more.

The ImageWell Xtras adds batch image processing, the capability to drag and drop multiple images to the editing canvas, and a Template feature that allows the user to save editing attributes so that they can be applied to other images. The user also benefits from an extended set of draw objects and shapes, arrows, line styles, and gradient patterns. $14.95

Contact: XtraLean Software Inc., 100 Queen Street North, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2H 2H6,, e-mail:

File Management Reviews

Martian LifeBoat (MAC)
Martian LifeBoat uses a unique approach to backing up mission-critical files. The software enables the user to define groups of files and folders into sets called "LifeBoats." Each LifeBoat is associated with a particular external hard drive or USB Flash Key. When the particular storage device is connected to the Mac running the LifeBoat application, it automatically begins the process of backing up the appropriate files. The saved files are maintained in .DMG disk image format, making them easy to restore if and when necessary. Users who want to maintain control over the process can initiate the back-ups manually. $13.99

Contact: Martian Technology LLC,, e-mail:

Synchronize! Pro X (MAC)
Synchronize! Pro X is a versatile file management application that supports back-up and synchronization. In a back-up scenario, the destination location is made to look exactly like the source. Back-ups that are executed subsequently only copy the files that have changed, making the back-ups much faster. In a synchronization scenario, two folders are compared with the objective that both will possess the newest version of each file.

The program is capable of creating a bootable back-up on an external FireWire or USB 2.0 hard drive, a utility that is of great value to a digital publisher. An Intel Mac can boot from either kind of drive, whereas a PPC Mac can boot only from a FireWire drive.

The back-up or synchronization process can be scheduled for automatic operation, once, or on a periodic basis. $99.95

Contact: Qdea, 6331 Hilton Court, St. Paul, MN 55115, 612 779-0955,, e-mail:

Clone X 3 (MAC)
Clone X 3 is an invaluable utility that provides one of the most useful and potentially mission-critical capabilities for Macintosh digital publishers: The creation of a bootable backup of an entire hard drive. The creation of an exact clone provides insurance against a catastrophic drive failure that would bring a user, or an entire business, to a complete halt. It also enables the movement of the contents of an internal drive to a larger external drive so that the external drive can be swapped into the computer.

The clone can be generated either with, or without, the Users documents and settings.

This new version of Clone X is compatible with both PowerPC and Mac Intel computers.

The program also enables the user to create System clones and create a bootable DVD with either a full System or a minimal one. The Clone can be used to restore a failed system and should be part of any disaster recovery plan. $49

Contact: TRI-EDRE, 22 Place de L'Eglise, BP111, 83510 Lorgues, France, 33 04 98 10 10 50,, fax: 33 04 98 10 10 55.

Database Reviews

E-Mail Commander (MAC/WIN)
E-Mail Commander facilitates the composition of newsletters, invitations, and other forms of customized e-mail messages using database input. The WYSIWYG Editor supports HTML e-mails with control over font attributes, embedded images, and database variable information. The user can randomize or sequentialize the inserted variables and include additional recipient information within the body of the e-mail message. Messages can be verified using the Bounce Checker, and duplicates can be eliminated using the Duplicate Flagger. $29.95

Contact: Koingo Software Canada,, e-mail:

Instruction/Learning Reviews

Complete Training for Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 (MAC/WIN)
Complete Training for Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 is a comprehensive training program for using this professional video encoding application. The presentations are led by expert Nate Caplin who has advised several companies on their use of digital video technologies.

The ten lessons cover an overview of the application, the use of filters, establishing an automated workflow, and emphasis on each of the output formats: MPEG-4, Flash, QuickTime, Windows Media, Real Media, MPEG-1/2, and MP3 Audio.

The DVD includes the sample video clips that are used in the demonstrations so that viewers can follow along.

Mr. Caplin leads the viewer through every tool, function, and capability of the software. His insight and skillful application of the program is certainly the best way for any Squeeze user to learn all of the subtleties of the software. Not surprisingly, the video quality of the training clips is excellent. $99.99

Contact: Class On Demand, a Christie Entertainment, Inc. Company, 2200 N. Stonington Ave., Suite 100, Hoffman Estates, IL 60195, 847 843-9939,, fax: 847 843-9929.

GraphicConverter 5: The Workshops (MAC)
GraphicConverter 5: The Workshops consists of 12 step-by-step lessons with specific objectives related to learning how to use Lemke Software's GraphicConverter image processing software.

The content consists of the following lessons: Workshop 1 ¯ Brightness ¯ Trimming ¯ Format; Workshop 2 ¯ Red Eyes and Zoom; Workshop 3 ¯ Picture Size and Printing with the Layout Option; Workshop 4 ¯ Pictures for the Internet and for E-mails; Workshop 5 ¯ Importing and Managing Digital Photos; Workshop 6 ¯ An Album for the Internet Workshop 7 ¯ Printing and Trimming; Workshop 8 ¯ Rotating and Scanning; Workshop 9 ¯ Effects with Filters; Workshop 10 ¯ Sorting and Burning; Workshop 11 ¯ Black & White, but still colorful; and Workshop 12 ¯ Selection and Aspect Ratio.

The workshop text is delivered as a 101 page PDF, with interactive bookmarks and contents. Example images for each exercise are provided. $5

Contact: Elbsand Publishers, Alte Salzstr. 6, D-01619 Lorenzkirch, Germany, ++49 / 35264 / 22922,, e-mail:, fax: ++49 / 35264 / 989 66.

Specialized Output Reviews

PulpMotion (MAC)
PulpMotion is an innovative and captivating application that simplifies the process of creating and distributing innovative media montages composed of personal photos, videos, and music. There is no other product that can produce such novel output.

Users select one of the many novel themes as the container for their creation. The theme is a full-motion background that crawls across the screen to reveal the digital assets that the user has composed. The completed montage can be e-mailed, saved to an iPod, output to a QuickTime movie, saved as a screensaver, or published to the Web.

During playback the recipient can pause on a video and see and hear its full contents and then move on when he or she is ready. PulpMotion creators can also add the recipient's image live so that they will appear in the montage via their own iSight camera.

A demonstration movie can be viewed at $29.95

Contact: Aquafadas SAS, Cap Omega, Rond-Point Benjamin Franklin, 34 960 Montpellier, FRANCE,, e-mail:

iRemember v2.0 (MAC)
iRemember v2.0 is a digital scrapbooking application that provides page layout capabilities aimed at arranging digital photos in personalized "scrapbooks." Users can drag and drop photos from any source, including iPhoto, and compose them as they wish, with control over size, flip orientation, rotation, cropping, and shadows. The program includes clipart (3000+), templates (650+), and borders, backgrounds, buttons, tags, patterns, and corners (15,000+) as well as a clipart browser. Finished scrapbook pages can be sent in e-mails, displayed on the Web, or be printed. $39.95

Contact: Intriguing Development, Inc., 497 Cross Street, Lexington, MO 64067, 660 232-6165,, e-mail:

REALbasic 2007 (MAC/WIN/LINUX)
REALbasic 2007 is a powerful yet easy-to-use programming language that can be used to produce practically any kind of software application. Its value to a digital publisher is obvious: if you see the need for an application that no one else has addressed, you can now create it. For example, if you have two incompatible applications that need to communicate, write a middleware program to connect them.

Part of the power of REALbasic comes from the fact that an application produced on one computer platform can be output to run on a different computer platform. What this means is that an application produced on a Macintosh to run on a Macintosh can be output to run on the Windows platform or on Linux. The same code used on one platform can be output without modification by the programmer to be used on a different platform.

REALbasic is the contemporary version of the BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) programming language introduced in 1963 by Kemeny and Kurtz at Dartmouth College. This new version bears little resemblance to its progenitor. REALbasic provides an impressive array of graphical user interface objects that enable the user to build an application interface by dragging and dropping interface objects into the application's windows and dialog boxes. The development environment also consists of an object-oriented language, a debugger, and a compiler.

An application developer works with four fundamental windows: The Project Window, the Window Editor, the Controls Palette, and the Properties Window. The Project Window holds an inventory of all of the components that populate the application, such as the menu bars and pictures. The Window Editor is the construction area where the various parts of the structure, such as windows and dialog boxes, are assembled. The Controls Palette holds icons that represent interface objects that can be added to a window. Users drag and drop these icons onto a Window Editor to add them to an application. Finally the Properties Window displays the various properties and their values of items that the user selects, either from a Window Editor, or from a menu item.

The applications that are produced using REALbasic are standalone programs that do not require a copy of the programming language in order to run. They can reside on the user's desktop and launched by double-clicking.

Programs produced using REALbasic Professional can output standalone versions for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux platforms. REALbasic Standard can only produce a standalone for the platform on which the application is running, although it can produce fully functional demo versions for the other platforms. Demo versions run for five minutes and then quit.

REALbasic Professional is $500 for Macintosh, Windows, or Linux; REALbasic Standard is $99 for Macintosh or Windows, and free for Linux.

Contact: REAL Software, 1705 S. Capital of Texas Highway, Suite 310, Austin, TX 78746, 512 328-7325,, e-mail:, fax: 512 328-7372.

Revolution Media (MAC/WIN)
Revolution Media is a self-contained card-based programming environment that supports the rapid development of interactive multimedia presentations and applications of all kinds. The user is presented with a drag and drop workspace window onto which they assemble screen components such as buttons, text fields, check boxes, tabbed panels, scrolling fields, sliders, etc. The components are held on one or more cards, in a virtual stack, reminiscent of Apple's HyperCard. By assigning scripts to each component, the user can create very sophisticated programs that can run cross-platform using the free Revolution Player.

The programming environment includes several pre-built applications which provide the capabilities of a word processor, movie player, calculator, and other elements, enabling the user to quickly assemble their own custom solutions. A variety of starter templates (slide-show, portfolio, kiosk, and game) are provided to give users a head start on their development efforts. Navigation and interaction are easily added using English-like scripting. Programs can be tested and modified easily and quickly.

The program readily handles all sorts of image and media file types, and its hundreds of functions and commands can be applied to manipulate digital assets, and computer components, in creative and exciting ways. $49

Contact: Runtime Revolution Ltd., 15-19 York Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK EH1 3EB, 011 44 870 747 1165,, e-mail:, fax: 011 44 845 4588487.

Digital Video Reviews

Corel Ulead DVD MovieFactory 6 Plus (WIN )
Corel Ulead DVD MovieFactory 6 Plus provides comprehensive support for the creation of virtually every kind of video, music and data disc type, on all types of media, including HD DVD and Blu-ray. The program includes a very capable video timeline editor for controlling clip start and stop times and executing professional video edits as well as working from the Storyboard mode to rearrange clips. The innovative AccuCut feature offers precision editing of exact clip locations. Users can record their video directly to disc from their choice of video source: camcorder, VCR, TV tuner, etc.

The user can choose from more than 100 professionally designed SD and HD menu templates with menu transitions and user-selectable buttons, frames, and background images.

Users can record hours of music on DVD using MPEG, LPCM, or Dolby Digital audio formats. Audio CDs can be ripped to MP3 files easily, and stored on either CD of DVD discs. Conversely, MP3 or WMA audio format music can be converted into conventional audio CDs.

Other useful features include: extensive disc-labeling capabilities including support for LightScribe and Labelflash; data back-up including disc spanning, disc copying, password-protecting discs, and creating bootable discs; added disc copying capabilities in the bundled version of InterVideo DVD Copy 5 Silver; disc playback using the full version of the bundled InterVideo WinDVD 8 Player Silver; drag and drop burning from the desktop (Quick-Drop); Ad-Zapper for automatic removal of commercials from shows recorded on TV; easy creation of sophisticated slideshows with accompanying music, transitions, and custom zoom and pan effects; semi-automated ExpressFixª mode for correction of common digital photo problems such as red-eye; and more. $49.99

Contact: Ulead Systems, 20000 Mariner Ave., Ste 200, Torrance, CA 90503, 310 896-6388,, e-mail:, fax: 310 896-6389 and Corel Corporation, 1600 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Z 8R7, 800 772-6735,

Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite (MAC/WIN)
Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite video encoding and compression software is up to three times faster than previous versions (see our reviews at,, and It is capable of burning a DVD with a menu to access chapters that are created within the program. DVD output options now include Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats. The program can also read and write metadata input for QuickTime, Windows Media, Flash, MP3 and MP4.

The program provides a non-intimidating interface that leads the user through the process of producing the highest quality digital video output, using the most recent and efficient professional codecs, with output to MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, QuickTime, RealMedia, Flash, Windows Media 9, PSP, and 3GPP.

The workflow consists of importing an uncompressed video file; selecting an intelligent preset; and pressing "Squeeze It." The user can view a preview window in which they can see various filter effects and zoom in for precise cropping. Batch processing is supported. $499

Contact: Sorenson Vision, Inc., 2060 Walsh Ave., Suite 194, Santa Clara, CA 95050, 888 767-3637, 408 970-0696,,, fax: 408 970-0906.

Color Management

GenoPal 2.5 (MAC/WIN)
GenoPal 2.5 is a color management tool that enables the user to select a color and have the software generate a palette of colors that are perceptually close to it. The technology was developed as a result of research conducted at the National University of Singapore. The color selection technology is now patent-pending to Genometri Private Ltd.

GenoPal is a wonderful aid to the digital publisher who needs to produce printed and on-screen materials that must exhibit harmonious colors. The process is effortless and the results are instantaneous and a bankable way.

The user can select the number of colors that are to be generated and the manner in which they are displayed. The color palette that the user creates consists of a user-selected number of rows and columns separated by a settable gap between the color cells.

A particular color that is generated can be locked in place using the new Pin Up feature. A color that has been pinned remains fixed so that it no longer changes. Palettes can be saved, shared, and imported into applications such as Adobe Photoshop. $24.95

Contact: Genometri Private Limited, 14 Prince George's Park, Singapore 118412, +65 67789456,, e-mail:, fax: +65 68724860.

Book Reviews

Adobe Acrobat 8 PDF Bible
Padova, Ted

There does not seem to any subject that is not covered fully in this massive volume of Adobe PDF 8 information. Major sections deal with an introduction to the program; converting documents to PDF; editing PDFs; PDF interactivity; PDF publishing; and Acrobat PDF and LiveCycle Designer forms.

The entire book contents is included on an accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM which also includes samples from the book, PDF forms, JavaScripts, and the Adobe Reader software.

Although the book is provided in searchable PDF format, the print version is easily navigated with a detailed index and numerous cross references. The book is an essential guide for the serious PDF user.

Available for on-line ordering at

9780470050514 1084 pp. $44.99

Contact: John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workflow: The Digital Photographer's Guide
Grey, Tim

A full-color guide to using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom's capabilities as interpreted by professional digital photographer, Tim Grey. Mr. Grey shows how to configure the program to work in concert with the reader's workflow, detailing the program's settings for optimal benefit. The many illustrations, photos, and screen shots, clearly depict the processes necessary to set-up a well-working digital imaging system.

Available for on-line ordering at

9780470119198 207 pp. $39.99

Contact: Sybex, 2021 Challenger Drive, #100, Alameda, CA 94501.

Apollo for Adobe Flex Developers Pocket Guide: A Developer's Reference for Apollo's Alpha Release
Chambers, Mike; Robert L. Dixon; Jeff Swartz

This pocket-sized book written by members of the Apollo product team provides the first offical look at the use of this web development environment to produce and deploy Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) using the Adobe Flex framework.

Readers will learn how to set up the development environment; how to create an application; how to use the File I/O API; how to use HTML within Flex-based Apollo applications; and how to use the included Apollo mini-cookbook to accomplish routine tasks.

Available for on-line ordering at

0596513917 121 pp. $14.99

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

Co-It-Yourself Mac PROJECTS
Ballew, Joli; Andrew Shalat

The authors present 24 clearly detailed projects that expand the universe of capabilities possible with the Apple Macintosh. Among the fully illustrated projects are creating a jukebox and streaming music wirelessly; converting video content for viewing on a video iPod; connecting to a Windows PC remotely; and transferring data from an old PC to a Mac. The projects are categorized as easy, challenging, and advanced.

The companion Web site ( includes video tutorials, a sample project, and a listing of all projects.

Available for on-line ordering at

0072264713 299 pp. $24.95

Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 2600 Tenth St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 510 549-6600, fax: 510 549-6603.

Designing BSD Rootkits: An Introduction to Kernel Hacking
Kong, Joseph

Rootkits are the tool that hackers use to gain control of a remote computer without detection, securing all administrative privileges. Here the author describes how to write offensive rootkits, how to defend against malicious ones, and learn about the FreeDSD kernel while doing so. The reader is not assumed to have any prior knowledge of kernel-hacking.

The complete table of contents can be viewed at A sample chapter can be seen at

Available for on-line ordering at

9781593271428 144 pp. $29.95

Contact: No Starch Press, Inc., 555 De Haro Street, Suite 250, San Francisco, CA 94107, 415 863-9900,, e-mail:, fax; 415 863-9950.

Do-It-Yourself iPod PROJECTS
Hart-Davis, Guy

A collection of 24 well-documented and useful projects for the Apple iPod enthusiast. The author provides complete step-by-step instructions, and clear illustrations.

The companion site shows a sample project as well as a series of iPod-related videos.

Available for on-line ordering at

0072264705 290 pp. $24.95

Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 2600 Tenth St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 510 549-6600, fax: 510 549-6603.

GraphicConverter 5.9.1 Manual
Henke, Hagen

This is the ultimate guide to Lemke Software's GraphicConverter software for the Macintosh. This e-book, provided in PDF format, covers every aspect of this feature-rich application.

This manual is the most direct and efficient way to tap into the useful features of this workhorse image processing and manipulation program. Readers will find considerable insight into the procedures that will simplify their digital imaging workflows.

The native navigation features of Acrobat make it simple and fast to locate specific information. The Bookmarks, Table of Contents, and interactive Index make locating topics effortless.

398 pp. $10

Contact: Elbsand Publishers, Alte Salzstr. 6, D-01619 Lorenzkirch, Germany, ++49 / 35264 / 22922,, e-mail:, fax: ++49 / 35264 / 989 66.

How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
Finkelstein, Ellen

This knowledgeable author has written a complete resource guide to using virtually all of the features in MS Office PowerPoint 2007. The book forms a nucleus of a learning program that includes a dynamic Web site with additional tips and PowerPoint tutorials and files as well as access to a free monthly newsletter. The author also provides her e-mail address to respond to reader questions and comments.

Available for on-line ordering at

0072263393 432 pp. $24.99

Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 2100 Powell St., 10th Floor, Emeryville, CA 94608, 510 549-6600,, fax: 510 549-6603.

JDF Guide for Managers
BRIDG'S Committee LLC

This guide represents the compilation of the most concise information available about JDF (Job Definition Format), the misunderstood buzzword that is both an industry specification and a technology. JDF exists as a means of providing a standard format of job specification data that can be carried, automatically, through a digital workflow, from job entry to job delivery. The authors show how this device-independent and vendor-neutral dataflow can significantly improve productivity. Managers and practitioners will gain valuable insights into how JDF can materially affect their bottomline.

32 pp. $4.98

Contact: IPA, The Association of Graphics Solutions Providers, 7200 France Avenue South, Suite 223, Edina, MN 55435, 952 896-1908,, fax: 952 896-0181.

Microsoft Office Excel 2007, The L Line, The Express Line to Learning
Jacobs, Kathy

A comprehensive tutorial consisting of 16 chapters that follow the theme of learning as a journey. Information is arranged logically with many illustrations and user tips. Each chapter begins with a series of questions that introduce new content and prepare the reader for what is to follow. Chapters end with a Practice Exam that reviews what should have been learned. The book is suitable as either a self-guided instruction manual or as a classroom text. The companion website at has PowerPoint slides with chapter outlines and other supportive materials.

Available for on-line ordering at

9780470107881 470 pp. $29.99

Contact: John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012

Microsoft Office Word 2007 All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies
Lowe, Doug

Here is everything that the Microsoft Word 2007 user needs to know, conveniently arranged in nine combined books that cover virtually all aspects of the application. The text is concise and supported with hundreds of clearly depicted illustrations. The nine books in one volume are: The Brave New Word, Editing and Text Formatting, Formatting Pages, Inserting Bits and Pieces, Publish or Perish, Using Reference Features, Mailings, Customizing Word, and Features for Developers.

Available for on-line ordering at

9780470040584 668 pp. $29.99

Contact: John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012

Photoshop CS3 for Dummies
Bauer, Peter

Despite its title, this book is a comprehensive reference for using Adobe Photoshop CS3, and benefiting from its new features. The full-color text is chock full of images and screen captures that simplify a reader's understanding of the software and its real-world applications. Readers may find the following chapters particularly interesting and informative: The Adobe Camera Raw Plug-in, Precision Edges with Vector Paths, and Introducing Photoshop CS 3 Extended.

Available for on-line ordering at

0470111933 396 pp. $24.99

Contact: John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012

PHP & MySQL for Dummies
Valade, Janet

Here is the complete handbook for building a dynamic data-driven Web site using PHP 4, 5, or 6 and MySQL 5. The author provides an accompanying Web site ( that lists all of the code printed in the book as well as several excerpts in PDF, and bonus material.

Available for on-line ordering at

0470096004 435 pp. $24.99

Contact: John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012

Ruby on Rails for Dummies
Burd, Barry

Here is an easy-to-understand guide to the Ruby scripting language and the Rails framework that can help the reader to build Web and database applications. The author leads the reader through the process of installing the software and building applications.

Available for on-line ordering at

9780470081204 330 pp. $29.99

Contact: John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012

Web Design: The L Line, The Express Line to Learning
Jenkins, Sue

An in-depth series of tutorials using Adobe Dreamweaver which lead the reader from site planning through to making a site live. Readers learn sophisticated processes for adding interactivity and using the latest Web technologies.

The L Line series is supported with a companion Web site at There readers can retrieve review questions, PowerPoint slides with chapter outlines, excerpts from the book, practice exam answers, and a CSS reference guide.

Available for on-line ordering at

9780470096284 547 pp. $34.99

Contact: John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012

Windows Vista Pocket Reference
Gralla, Preston

This compact volume packs the essentials of the Windows Vista Operating System into five chapters: A Crash Course on the Basics; Shortcuts; Windows Components, Features, and Settings; Registry Tweaks; and The Command Prompt. The books serves both as a handy reference and a fast-paced OS introduction.

Available for on-line ordering at

0596528086 182 $12.99

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

Windows Vista QuickSteps
Matthews, Marty

The visual learner will marvel at this full-color, step-by-step guide to the use of Windows Vista. The clean, neat, layout provides fast access to specific operations through the use of color-coded tabs and a logical sequence of chapter content. All operations and procedures are clearly illustrated and concisely described.

Available for on-line ordering at

0072263822 262 pp. $16.99

Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 2100 Powell St., 10th Floor, Emeryville, CA 94608, 510 549-6600,, fax: 510 549-6603.

Windows Vista The L Line, The Express Line to Learning
Meskers, Michael

This book is part of the L Line, a structured method of information delivery that is used to present a subject in tutorial style, with many illustrations and examples. In this book the author presents the basics of the Windows Vista operating system. The book is supported by on-line resources at consisting of review questions, PowerPoint slides aligned to the chapters, excerpts from the book, and practice exam answers.

The book is available both as an e-book and printed edition.

Available for on-line ordering at

0780470046937 517 pp. $29.99

Contact: John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012

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