The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 7.5 September / October 2002


Issue 7.5 September / October 2002

Contents


Digital Audio

MUSICMATCH Jukebox Plus for Mac 3.0 (MAC)
MUSICMATCH Jukebox Plus for Mac 3.0 is a multifunction music application that provides Internet radio, a graphic equalizer, MP3 ripping, and CD burning through Toast. The program provides support for converting CDs, records, tapes and Internet streams into MP3 format. It incorporates the Fraunhofer MP3 encoding technology that rips at speeds up to 12 times faster than real time. In addition, through the use of CDDB, the artist, album title, and song names are automatically added to new MP3s when the user is connected to the Internet. $14.99

The MUSICMATCH Radio MX service (available by subscription) provides user-selections of a wide range of music types and artists, all in CD-quality, and without commercial messages. The user can program the music to create a personal radio station with up to 25 favorite artists input at one time, or make selections by era or station.

Contact: MUSICMATCH, 16935 West Bernardo Drive, San Diego, CA 92127, http://www.musicmatch.com.



Specialized Output Reviews

3D-Album for Windows version 2.03 (WIN )
3D-Album for Windows version 2.03 is a multifunctional application that has as its main purpose the creation and generation of 3D slide shows that can be shared using a free run-time player. The shows are made from a selected folder of images composed of an unlimited number of photos. The user then determines the style of presentation (over 20 styles are included and more are available at 3d-album.com), with custom selection of background colors, photo sizes, animation speeds, sounds and music, voice-over and text narration, and more. After the user is satisfied with the selections, and having previewed the presentation (in any of 20 different skins), a click of the Build button results in the generation of a stand-alone program, or a screen-saver that will play the slideshow. The slideshow can be delivered via e-mail, on CD-ROM, or via the Web. $39.95

Contact: Micro Research Institute, Inc., 2200 Ogden Ave., Suite 350, Lisle, IL 60532, 630 963-5559, http://www.3d-album.com, fax: 630 963-5779.



Hardware Reviews

Keyspan Presentation Remote (MAC/WIN)
Keyspan Presentation Remote is the first radio frequency (900 Mhz) computer remote control to incorporate mouse control and a laser pointer at a price under $100. The unit has a range of up to 40 feet, and can work through walls and other obstacles. A unique feature of the remote is that the connected computer considers the unit to be a USB keyboard, and does not require any driver software. Once the RF receiver is plugged into a USB port the unit becomes active and ready to use. The unit is designed specifically to support Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, incorporating the controls that are essential for its use. The small, compact, two-piece transceiver is light and easily transported. $79

Contact: Keyspan, a division of InnoSys, Inc., 3095 Richmond Parkway, Suite 207, Richmond, CA 94806, 510 222-0131, http://www.keyspan.com, e-mail: info@keyspan.com, fax: 510 222-0323.



Additions/Extensions Reviews

Quite Revealing (MAC/WIN)
Quite Revealing, a plug-in for Adobe Acrobat, provides information about the composition and structure of a PDF document. The user can see information that is not otherwise visible, and would be of interest in a prepress digital workflow context. The use of the plug-in provides a view showing both the original PDF, and the items selected to be revealed, in a side-by-side view. Certain of the revealed details can be changed or modified. For example, profiles can be untagged, and all transparency effects can be removed.

The Quite Revealing control panel can be displayed in its initial short form, or expanded to its long form (revealing more options). The user can select from the options to Reveal plates, Reveal profiles, Reveal fonts, Reveal overprinting, Reveal transparency, Reveal image resolution, Reveal transfer functions, and Reveal halftone screens. Each of these categories holds some significant revelance in a production environment and therefore equate to potentially valuable information.

The upper window of the control panel shows the list of items that are in the current PDF. The selection of any one of the items, such as a font, will result in a listing of the characteristics, in the lower window, that can be viewed.

The program offers considerably more control than would be otherwise available. In the area of plates and colors, for example, the user can convert selected spot color items to CMYK, or convert all spot plates to CMYK, or merge two spot plates, or perform other related operations.

For each of the Quite Revealing categories, the user manual provides an explanation of the function, why controlling it is important, what can be seen on-screen, and what can be modified. $249

Contact: Quite Software Ltd., Carraig Thura, Lochawe, Argyll, PA33 1AF, United Kingdom, http://www.quite.com.


Quite a Box of Tricks (MAC/WIN)
Quite a Box of Tricks is a plug-in for Adobe Acrobat that enables the user to perform several operations on a PDF file that are useful in the digital premedia process.

The Shrink option allows the user to reduce the storage size of images through subsampling and/or recompression using settings that are similar to Distiller. This process is useful for repurposing PDFs that were composed for use on-press, into more compact versions for use on the Web. The user can apply custom settings to either the current page or to the entire document. After the operation has been applied, the program reports on the original and new sizes.

The Colour option provides the user with the opportunity to convert colors, such as RBG to CMYK, all colours to grayscale, or all text to black. The user may apply the color transformation to the current page or to the entire document. The user may apply an ICC profile for a precision conversion.

The Transformation option gives the user the capability to transform pages using flip horizontal, flip vertical, scale by..., free rotate..., or thicken lines to.... The transformations may be applied to the current page or to the entire document.

The Info option provides information about either type (name, size, font type, embedded (y/n), and subset (y/n) or image (size (pixels, points), size (compressed/uncompressed), compression ratio, compression type, image type, and resolution). A Find option is provided so that the user can search for the largest image, or for any RGB or Lab image that requires conversion.

The Fields option applies to form fields that have been created using the Form Tool. The user can remove all of the form fields, make printable form fields a part of the document (and remove all others, or leave all others alone). The changes can be applied to the current page or to the entire document. $204

Contact: Quite Software Ltd., Carraig Thura, Lochawe, Argyll, PA33 1AF, United Kingdom, http://www.quite.com.



Monitor Calibration and Testing Reviews

Drive 10 (MAC)
Drive 10 is a hard drive disk utility that is derived from the industry validated core routines of Micromat's TechTool Pro. The application can detect and repair practically any problem associated with a hard drive and correct the problem(s) with a single mouse click. In addition to its capability to optimize and defragment an OS X hard drive, diagnostic tests include the following:


Unit Ready: Ascertains the drive's ability to receive commands.

Supply Voltage: Checks the power supply voltage level that powers the drive.

Self-Diagnostic: Runs manufacturer's self-test on the drive.

Rezero Unit: Determines the drive's ability to resynchronize and rezero the read/write heads.

Format Check: Establishes whether the drive was properly formatted during initial setup.

Spare Sectors: Checks the service tracks to isolate whether there are enough spare blocks for block repairs.

Surface Scan: Checks entire media surface for defects that could cause read or write errors. Blocks are repaired by remapping.

Random Read: Used in conjunction with the Random Write test, reads data from a random memory location.

Random Write: Used in conjunction with the Random Read test, writes data from a random memory location.

Seek: This test checks the ability of the initiator to position the device heads in preparation for access to a particular logical block.

Linear Read: Used in conjunction with the Linear Write test, reads a linear set of blocks from the drive.

Linear Write: Used in conjunction with the Linear Read test, writes a linear set of blocks to the drive.

Read Buffer: This test is used in conjunction with the WRITE BUFFER command as a diagnostic function for testing the drive's buffer cache and bus integrity.

Write Buffer: This test is used in conjunction with the READ BUFFER command as a diagnostic function for testing the drive's buffer cache and bus integrity.

Volume Structure: Tests and repairs critical volume structure elements like Volume Header, Extents File, Catalog File, Attributes, etc.

The software was the runner-up for the Apple Design Award in the category of Best Mac OS X User Experience in 2001. The interface is clean and attractive, and provides appropriate and easy-to-understand feedback. It is the tool that OS X users will learn to depend on, and ultimately may rescue users from data loss and other disasters. $69.95

Contact: Micromat, 1055 W. College Ave., #333, Santa Rosa, CA 95401-6504, 707 566-3831, http://www.micromat.com, fax: 707 566-3871.



File Transfer/Processing Reviews

StuffIt Deluxe 7.0 (MAC)
StuffIt Deluxe 7.0 is the latest version of this Macintosh standard file compression utility. It helps to integrate stuffed (.sit) or compressed files as well as Zip archives, so that they can be easily organized, searched, and browsed. The compression algorithm includes built-in error correction so that compressed files are not only smaller, and more efficient to store and transfer, but are safe and free of data corruption.

This version introduces StuffIt X (based on Aladdin's exclusive ATOM compression technology), the .sitx file format that provides better file compression (down to as small as 2% of the original file size, up to 20% better than .sit and up to 40% better than .zip), 512-bit encryption for unparalleled security (up from the standard .sit 40-bit encryption), error-correction for file corruption protection (and the addition of summary data that can aid in file reconstruction if it becomes damaged, corrupted, or copied to bad media), and support for long file names.

Digital publishers will be impressed with the new .sitx compression. A 95.7 MB Photoshop file, for example, can be compressed to 2.7 MB, and reduce a 56K modem transfer from 3.9 hours to 6.6 minutes. The StuffIt Expander, for Mac and PC, continues to be provided for free.

The program helps users to automate the exchange of files between users of any operating system: Macintosh, PC, UNIX, or LINUX. Using the StuffIt Express PE, users can drag and drop files for automatic compression, encryption, and distribution. $79.99

Contact: Aladdin Systems, 245 Westridge Dr., Watsonville, CA 95076, 831 761-6200, fax: 831 761-6206, http://www.aladdinsys.com, e-mail: info@aladdinsys.com.



Utility Reviews

PSalter Version 1.6 (WIN)
PSalter Version 1.6 is a multifunctional utility for processing PostScript files. The program can act like a PostScript interpreter, processing a native PostScript file into a form that can be displayed on screen. Once the file has been displayed it can be saved in a variety of file formats so that the file can be read by a variety of other programs.

The program also provides a Workbench which is useful both to view the contents of a PostScript file, and to observe as the code is processed (full speed or one line at a time), and to compose original PostScript code. A PostScript programmer can view code composed by others and learn how it was put together.

PSalter is especially good at reporting errors as each page is composed. In some cases the errors can be fixed.

The four modes of PSalter are: View, Translate, Report, and Workbench. In the View mode the user can display the processed pages in a range of zoomed views, and in the Translate mode he or she can save the view in another file format. A Report can be generated which includes the number of pages, fonts contained in the file, and any errors. $326

Contact: Quite Software Ltd., Carraig Thura, Lochawe, Argyll, PA33 1AF, United Kingdom, http://www.quite.com.



Database Reviews

FileMaker Pro 6.0 (MAC/WIN)
FileMaker Pro 6 extends the FileMaker tradition by providing refined tools and features to simplify the process of gathering, managing, and sharing information. Of special interest to digital publishers is the new feature which supports the rapid import of large numbers of digital images from a folder, and in the Mac OS X version, direct capture of images, and image data (Exif data including date and time, exposure length, etc.), from connected digital cameras. FileMaker does not require special camera driver softwareŠit recognizes the digital cameras that are supported by Mac OS X. These features alone make FileMaker a capable digital asset management system that can be customized to meet fully the needs of the user.

Another major improvement is the addition of integrated XML import/export support. This feature provides users with flexible information exchange with other applications that are XML-compliantŠand a growing number are. The use of XML simplifies data exchange by standardizing on a single format. FileMaker maintains an XML developer Web site called \"FileMaker XML Central\" at http://www.filemaker.com/xml.

New too are a collection of more than 20 professionally designed templates for business, education, and home. A user can have a database solution up and running in minutes. This new version of FileMaker helps to secure its position as the premiere database solution for digital publishing workflows. $299

Contact: FileMaker, Inc., 5201 Patrick Henry Drive, Box 58168, Santa Clara, CA 95052-8168, 800 325-2747, 408 987-7000, 408 727-8227, http://www.filemaker.com.



Digital Video Reviews

Premiere 6.5 (MAC/WIN)
Adobe Premiere 6.5 provides significant new features and enhancements that make it a serious tool for digital video production. Among the most obvious and useful improvements is the Real-time Preview which frees the editor from the burden of waiting for a clip to render before being able to see the results of multiple editing operations. This saves considerable time, and provides the user with immediate feedback that can be translated into better and more effective output. Heretofore such a responsive system would have required an expensive hardware card.

One area where the program now excels is in title creation. The Adobe Title Designer is a program within a program, offering tools that support the production of broadcast-quality titles composed of type that can be kerned, leaded, and subjected to other typographic adjustments and manipulations. The library of over 90 Adobe PostScript Open Type fonts can be composed within any of the over 100 templates to create rolls, crawls, and custom presentations. In addition to the text control, which is the main purpose of module, users can create and compose custom graphics.

Sound tools are provided in two platform-specific ways. Windows users benefit from the addition of three audio plug-ins from TC Works that enable the simulation of the acoustic characteristics of various environments, the manipulation of specific frequencies, and the increase in sound quality through new compression and expansion tools. Macintosh users are provided with TC Works SparkLE for the optimization of sound tracks in a variety of common formats.

DVD authoring has been simplified for Windows users through the use of DVDit! and the application of the Adobe MPEG Encoder. The Encoder provides excellent control over the generation of MPEG2 files which can be used directly in the DVD authoring program. Macintosh users can use either iDVD or DVD Studio Pro to author DVDs. With the professional version installed, users can take advantage of its QuickTime MPEG encoder.

Premiere includes SmartSound Quicktracks, certainly among the easiest ways to add a custom music sound track to virtually any length clip or movie. The program is provided with a library of royalty-free music tracks, with others available at additional cost. $549

Contact: Adobe Systems Inc., 345 Park Ave., San Jose, CA 95110-2704, 408 536-6000, http://www.adobe.com, fax: 408 537-6000.



Productivity Reviews

Inspiration® 7 (MAC/WIN)
Inspiration® 7 is a unique application that allows the user to present information in either a visual manner, using annotated and related symbols, or using a text-based outline form. Any information entered in either mode is automatically converted into the other, and the view can be switched with a single mouse click. The program facilitates the rapid input of thoughts, relationships, ideas, and freeform thinking. Likewise, whatever has been input can be reorganized, reprioritized, or otherwise manipulated easily. Elements in the diagram view can be moved about, and linked to one another...items in the outline can be moved and reordered...all with minimum effort, and all leading to the more effective communication of ideas and the potential structure of a project or exercise.

Digital publishers will find the program to be an invaluable aid to creating diagrams for Web site construction, or for illustrating the relationships in related databases. The program provides the best, and most logical, first step in the planning and design phases of many kinds of publishing projects. A version of the program (kidspiration) is used with children as a powerful thinking tool for enabling them to express and organize their thoughts and ideas in a tangible way. Users can capture ideas as quickly as they can type, and see them appear in diagram form, using the RapidFire tool.

The diagram view enables the user to add notes so that detailed annotations, explanations, and other forms of information can be attached to specific symbols. The program includes several libraries of related symbols (over 1300) , and the user can add his or her own by using the Insert Graphic option, drag and drop, or copy and paste. Symbols are connected by using the Link tool, and text can even be added on the link itself. Symbols remain linked even when they are moved and rearranged. Hyperlinks and audio notes can also be attached to symbols, expanding the scope of a brainstorming session.

An extensive array of formatting tools are provided for changing fonts, styles, and colors, and for manipulating the appearance of shapes, lines, and other elements.

The program provides multiple output alternatives, such as saving a diagram as a JPEG, exporting it to a word processor or presentation program, or expressing it as HTML. The program excels as vehicle to propel ideas from rough thoughts into a sharable form of refined visual expression. $69

Contact: Inspiration Software, Inc., 7412 S.W. Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy., Suite 102, Portland, OR 97225-2167, 503 297-3004, 800 877-4292, http://www.inspiration.com, e-mail: info@inspiration.com, fax: 503 297-4676.


BugMe! (PILOT)
BugMe! is an accessory program for the Palm and Pocket PC OSs that consists of three parts: sticky notes, a drawing tool, and alarm reminders. The program is simple yet quite useful. The user can create a note, drawing in freehand anywhere on the screen, or switching modes to create shapes, enter text, or erase any part of the screen contents. The notes can be used as visual alarms by attaching an alarm time. Notes can also be beamed, saved by title, enhanced with a text note, or deleted. $19.95

Contact: Electric Pocket Limited, Vauxhall Cottage, Vauxhall Road, Chepstow, UK NP16 5PX, http://www.electricpocket.com.



DTP Reviews

Canvas 8 Professional Edition for Mac OS X (MAC)
Canvas 8 Professional Edition for Mac OS X (also compatible with OS 9) is a design suite that supports photo editing, page layout, presentation, and Web graphics. Canvas is somewhat unique in that it supports both vector and raster images in a single publication, and even in a single image. With the use of its exclusive Sprite technology users can apply all effects to any object...be it text, vector, or raster, while maintaining complete editability.

A 15-day demo version is available at http://www.deneba.com/download/cv8_evaluate/default.html. Canvas 8 is available for both Macintosh and Windows, with cross-platform compatibility.

Among the more significant new features of the program are: support for Flash; an updated PDF output filter; a manual Image Slicer for producing HTML pages composed of interlocking images; new effect filters including Stained Glass, Lens Flare, and Oil Painting; complete automation through the use of AppleScript; 30,000 clip art images; 2450 URW TrueType and Adobe Type 1 fonts; Sequence Recording and Scripting; and much more. $399

Contact: Deneba Software, 7400 SW 87th Ave., Miami, FL 33173, 305 596-5644, 800-6-CANVAS, http://www.deneba.com, fax: 305 273-9069.


Frutiger's Life, Volumes 1-3 (MAC/WIN)
Frutiger's Life, Volumes 1-3 is a collection of three hybrid CDs that represent the creative type design career of one of the world's most accomplished and honored type designers, Adrian Frutiger. The three CDs contain 173 original fonts, including 33 with small caps and/or oldstyle figures and two pi fonts. All fonts include the euro symbol. The fonts are licensed for use on five computers. The collection is not only a tribute to the design genius of Frutiger, but a valuable type library for serious graphic designers. Font sample files are provided in PDF form (Frutiger's Life Typesampler.pdf).

Frutiger was born in 1928 in Switzerland, and attended the School of Applied Arts in Zurich, where he became expert in the use and design of type. He joined the type foundry Deberny and Peignot in France, and there designed some of the world's most famous typefaces, including Univers and Meridien. He started his own studio near Paris in 1960, where he was to design the machine-readable OCR-B, and the Frutiger typeface, which was commissioned as the signage system for the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. His work spans the history of the typesetting process, from hot-metal, through photosetting, to digital.

The collection is truly a marvel of beauty, function and practical design. It is library that virtually every designer will want to have, both for its aesthetic significance and its intrinsic value as an artist's life work. $910

Contact: Linotype Library, Du-Pont-Straße 1, D-61352 Bad Homburg, Germany, +49-(0)6172 484 424, -425, -426, 427, http://www.linotype.com, fax: +49-(0)6172 484 429.



Networking Reviews

DAVE v4.0 (MAC)
DAVE v4.0 enables Macintosh users (including OS X v10.2) to share files and printers between Macintoshes and PCs.The DAVE software installs on the Macintosh (with no additional software or hardware on the PC) and works through a standard TCP/IP protocol to enable a Macintosh to be a full partner on a Windows network.

From the PC perspective, the user can share Macintosh files and printers by using the Network Neighborhood. The Macintosh takes on the appearance of another PC. Macintosh CDs, hard drives, and external devices can also be accessed.

From the Macintosh perspective, from the Chooser or the \"Connect to Server\" window, the user can browse shared PC directories and manipulate files over the network. The Mac user can also print to shared PC printers and share external devices such as CDs and Zip drives. On a Macintosh-to-Macintosh network, DAVE can enable users to share files and printers in the same way that they would share with PCs in a Microsoft network.

Major program features include: NT Domain Login; support for Microsoft standard browsing; three security options; support for Microsoft NTFS file format; sharing of CDs, printers, hard drives, folders, etc.; support for Distributed File Systems; automatic workgroup detection; allows for Windows network password changes; and much more. $149

Contact: Thursby Software Systems, Inc., 5840 W. Interstate 20, Arlington, TX 76017, 817 478-5070, WWW: http://www.thursby.com, e-mail: sales@thursby.com, fax: 817 561-2313.



Internet Reviews

Spamfire (MAC)
Spamfire is a flexible anti-spam program that works with any POP3 e-mail account and any e-mail program. It provides an extra level of integration for specific e-mail clients, including Eudora, Entourage, Netscape, Outlook Express, and OS X Mail, for both OS 9 and OS X.

The program has easy drag and drop installation and provides a step-by-step Set-Up Assistant. It comes with hundreds of anti-spam filters, which can be edited or expanded using the filter editor. Automatic filter updates are provided, and the program alerts the user when a new version of the software is available.

Spamfire is intelligent enough to accept messages from anyone listed in the user's address book, and not trash a message simply because it contains a single suspicious keyword (it uses fuzzy-logic). Messages that are incorrectly eliminated can be rescued. $39

Contact: MatterForm Media, 1027 North Railroad Ave., Suite 105, Española, NM 87532, 505 747-1220, http://www.matterform.com, e-mail: info@matterform.com.


Macromedia Studio MX (MAC/WIN)
Macromedia Studio MX

Flash MX: Flash MX is a \"standard\" technology for developing rich content and applications. Used by over one million Web professionals, it has been applied to many of the \"best in class\" Web sites, including IBM, Microsoft, M-TV, Kodak, Disney, and Yahoo. It has been used to create motion graphics/character animation, Web applications, Web page and user interface, and other uses. Users have successfully applied Flash for such things as merchandising, eLearning, and product tours. In addition, it can be delivered across multiple device platforms, including wireless handsets, PDAs, iTV, and game consoles.

Flash is a pre-installed component on virtually all major operating systems and browsers, providing a consistent user viewing experience. The Flash File Format (SWF) is, according to Macromedia, \"an optimized, tag-based, binary file format that is compact and efficient.\"

The Flash environment contains all of the multimedia capabilities that are essential, i.e. vectors, bitmaps, animation, audio, video, and 2-way messaging. The range of professional drawing tools are familiar to designers and provides complete flexibility and design freedom. Although the Flash environment can be used effectively for sophisticated programming, it is also an approachable environment for designers, with many tools that are familiar. Macromedia provides several quick-start design and production templates that simplify the creation of attractive and compelling content.

The timeline has been enhanced in several ways including the addition of Layer folders providing increased efficiency in organizing and viewing layers. The new Free Transform tool supports the scaling, rotating, skewing, and distortion in a single tool, saving time and providing greater control. The new Pixel Snapping capability offers pixel precision placement on a pixel grid (when the stage is zoomed beyond 400%).

Rich media support has been extended beyond audio, and vector and bitmap graphics, to include video with the addition of Sorenson Spark motion video codec technology. Flash can now import and stream video. Importable file formats include any standard video file supported by QuickTime or Windows Media Player (MPEG, DV, MOV, and AVI). Once imported into Flash the video objects can be manipulated in a manner similar to bitmaps (scaled, rotated, skewed, masked and animated with motion tweens). $499

Dreamweaver MX: Dreamweaver is among the most popular visual/code editors for HTML. More than 2.4 million professionals use the software, comprising more than 80% of the market. The program provides users with total control over both the code and the design of Web sites. Pre-built layouts and code are provided, including site structures, forms, accessible templates, and JavaScript functions for client-side interactivity. The program supports development of HTML, XHTML, XML, ColdFusion, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, and PHP. More than 700 free extensions are available from the Dreamweaver Exchange.

The program includes a new Database Panel that provides display of the steps necessary to set up both the development environment and application server properly. The program provides support for the common database elements that make sites dynamic: database query and results pages, data insert and update forms, user authentication, and master detail page sets.

Dreamweaver MX provides highly useful integration with Macromedia Fireworks MX and Macromedia Flash MX. $399

Fireworks MX: Since its introduction in 1998, Macromedia Fireworks has maintained its position as a leading tool for the design, optimization, and export of Web graphics. This new version extends the ease-of-use and functionality to a new level, providing extensive bitmap editing tools and precise text control.

Wizards are provided that lead the user through the processes necessary to automatically generate graphics and JavaScript for things such as buttons, interactive user interfaces, and pop-up menus. The resulting files can be edited in Dreamweaver.

An impressive new feature is the automatic generation of data-driven graphics which are created through the dynamic link to XML content. According to Macromedia, it is now possible to \"automate repetitive graphics creation by connecting a graphic file with variables to an XML file. Point to an HTML file and automatically reassemble the images, text rollovers and pop-up menus into a new source file.\" $299

Macromedia Studio MX, which contains full versions of Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, and Freehand is $799.

Contact: Macromedia, Inc., 600 Townsend, San Francisco, CA 94103, 415 252-2000, 800 326-2128, http://www.macromedia.com, e-mail: info@macromedia.com, fax: 415 626-0554.



Digital Imaging Reviews

Portraits & Prints v1.2.1 (MAC)
Portraits & Prints v1.2.1 for Mac OS X is a digital image manipulation utility that automates the printing of digital photographs and scanned images. The program simplifies the process of selecting targeted areas of photos (cropping), improving their quality (adjusting brightness and color intensity, removing red eye), reorienting them (rotating), laying them out in a variety of mixed sizes (using supplied and custom templates), and more.

The program makes it easy to print selected photos in the sizes and quantities that are needed. Photos are maintained in catalogs, which are groups of images that are arranged according to criteria determined by the user. Modifications that are made to the photos in a catalog are maintained as transformations...the original photos are left unmodified.

The program supports a wide range of file formats, including GIF, JPEG, PDF, PICT, Photoshop, and TIFF. $20

Contact: Econ Technologies, Inc., POB 621801, Oviedo, FL 32762-1801, 407 365-4209, http://www.econtechnologies.com, e-mail: sales@econtechnologies.com, fax: 407 365-6714.


Portraits & Prints Template Maker v1.0.1 (MAC)
Portraits & Prints Template Maker v1.0.1 for Mac OS X is a companion program for Econ's Portraits & Prints software. This application provides the capability to design custom layouts that can be maintained as templates that are used to layout photos prior to printing. In addition to establishing the size and position of photos, the user can import graphics and compose text (even on top of photos and graphics) to create greeting cards, business cards, certificates, etc. Drawing tools are provided for creating lines, rectangles, and ovals. $10

Contact: Econ Technologies, Inc., POB 621801, Oviedo, FL 32762-1801, 407 365-4209, http://www.econtechnologies.com, e-mail: sales@econtechnologies.com, fax: 407 365-6714.


Image Doctor (MAC/WIN)
Image Doctor is a set of image-retouching and enhancement filters that are compatible with Photoshop®, Fireworks®, Paint Shop Pro®, and other image editors. It consists of four tools that assist the user in removing blemishes and defects, and in replacing details and objects. At any time during the image enhancement process the user can toggle back to a view of the original image by using the Show Original button.

Smart Fill makes it possible to remove large objects and defects from an image by combining the repair with the background. It can remove any unwanted object or blemish from an image and leave behind no seams or artifacts.

Scratch Remover removes small defects and unwanted image elements. It is effective in eliminating scratches, folds, creases, and wrinkles as well as objectionable image areas that contain such things as telephone poles and text.

Spot Lifter removes unwanted texture and detail while maintaining the underlying image. It is especially useful in erasing skin flaws from models and others. It is also effective in removing photo flaws such as stains and dust, and unwanted elements such as watermarks.

JPEG Repair improves the appearance of over-compressed JPEG images by removing blocky compression artifacts while retaining detail and adding grain. It can be applied to selected parts of an image or the entire image.

Interactive demonstrations of the filters can be viewed at http://www.alienskin.com/idoc/idoc_filters.html.

Unique to Image Doctor is the capability to provide section-based image repair. The filters incorporate intelligent pattern matching which, along with the familiar selection tools, makes one-pass image enhancement possible. $129

Contact: Alien Skin Software, LLC, 1111 Haynes St., Ste Zero, Raleigh, NC 27604, 919 832-4124, http://www.alienskin.com, e-mail: alien-skinfo@alienskin.com, fax: 919 832-4065.


PhotoImpact 8 (WIN )
PhotoImpact 8, the newest version of the award-winning PhotoImpact software, incorporates features devised for managing, enhancing and sharing digital images. The process begins with the use of the Digital Camera Wizard that assists users in transferring photos from their digital camera. The Wizard enables users to visually organize large quantities of images (up to 65,000 in each PhotoImpact Album), and video and audio files.

The program provides users with options for automatic correction of common image adjustments, such as focus, contrast, brightness, hue, saturation and tones, as well as sophisticated retouching brushes and color correction tools. A set of digital filters is provided for adding special effects, such as diffuse glow, split glass lens, and film grain.

In addition to a full complement of image retouching and editing tools, and painting, drawing and cloning tools, the program provides the means for the user to share photos through print, e-mail, Web photo slideshows, and CD-ROM-based slideshows that can be viewed on TV when played in DVD players.

Other features include on-screen text editing (that remains editable), enhanced still and animated special effects, and vector illustration tools for precision detailed drawings. The 3D graphics rendering capability enables users to create 3D logos, interfaces, and objects, with control over lighting, texture, reflection, transparency, and more.

In the box bonuses include 1200 Hemera royalty-free images, a set of bonus Alien-Skin filters, a $10 coupon for free photo prints, 2600 Web components, 2000 photos, 1700 EasyPalette presets, 1000 pieces of clipart, 700 textures, and 300 Animations from Animation Factory. $89.95

Contact: Ulead Systems, 20000 Mariner Ave., Ste 200, Torrance, CA 90503, 310 896-6388, http://www.ulead.com, e-mail: mkt@ulead.com, fax: 310 896-6389.



Book Reviews

Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type works, Second Edition
Spiekermann, Erik; E.M. Ginger

This classic little book has been brought up-to-date, now including information about type applications for Web, e-mail, and other on-screen uses. The title, attributed to type designer Fred Goudy (1865-1947), and his comment that \"Anyone who would letterspace Blackletter would steal sheep\" is meant as a warning to those who would avoid the rules of tradition and defile beautiful letterforms. The authors show how type has evolved and its proper use and application.

Available for on-line ordering at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=thekleperreporto&path=ISBN%3D0201703394

0201703394 188 pp. $30

Contact: Adobe Press, Prentice Hall, 113 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632


Dark Fiber: Tracking Critical Internet Culture
Lovink, Geert

A critical and analytical study of the evolution of the Internet from a totally free and open communication channel to one that is closed off by governments and corporations. The author targets those who design, build and control the hardware, software, content, design and delivery; and looks closely at the forces that challenge the engineering culture.

Available for on-line ordering at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=thekleperreporto&path=ISBN%3D0262122499

0262122499 394 pp. $27.95

Contact: The MIT Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 01242-1493, 800 356-0343, 617 253-2874, http://www.mitpress.mit.edu, e-mail: mitpress-orders@mit.edu.


Mac OS X Killer Tips
Kelby, Scott

This book, which covers the Mac OS X (10.2, Jaguar), contains nothing but tips that will help to make any user more efficient and productive. Each tip is clearly explained and is accompanied by a full-color illustration. Tips are grouped into chapters that deal with such common areas of the OS as windows, The Dock, icons, navigation, the Classic environment, speed enhancement, business applications, troubleshooting, and more. It is well-worth the money to buy it, and the time spent to read it.

Available for on-line ordering at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=thekleperreporto&path=ISBN%3D0735713170

0735713170 267 pp. $29.99

Contact: New Riders Publishing, P.O. Box 4846-V, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360.


Using Microsoft Windows XP Home, Bestseller Edition
Cowart, Robert; Brian Knittel

The authors have put a lot of themselves into this book, not only in the text, which is replete with essential information, but also in the 45 minutes of video contained on the accompanying CD-ROM. The video is unique in that it introduces the authors directly to the reader, and provides their personal tour of the Windows XP OS. The book itself is complete, yet it is not intimidating. An excellent resource to keep beside your PC.

Available for on-line ordering at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=thekleperreporto&path=ISBN%3D0789728516

0789728516 1028 pp. $44.99

Contact: Que Corporation, 11711 North College Ave., Carmel, IN 46032, http://www.quecorp.com.


Indie Fonts
Kegler, Richard; James Grieshaber, Tamye Riggs

One of the first, if not the only, specimen books of the collections of fonts from independent digital type foundries worldwide. The exceptional font designs of 18 design houses are presented in complete showings and specimens, with some explanation of the derivations of some of the typefaces. The book, in 8\" x 8\" format, is well-designed, with a chapter devoted to each foundry. The appendices provide a useful glossary, character reference chart, and other useful information.

The accompanying CD-ROM contains 33 bonus fonts, in Macintosh and PC formats, provided by 15 of the participating foundries. The catalog provides art directors, designers, and digital publishers with a view of some of the freshest, most original and innovative designs available. A very impressive work...one that you will want to own and use.

0963108220 p408 p. $34.95

Contact: P22 type foundry, POB 770, Buffalo, NY 14213, 716 885-4490, http://www.p22.com, e-mail: http://www.p22.com, fax: 716 885-4482.


Mac OS X 10.2
Langer, Maria

A clearly written and illustrated guide to Apple's Jaguar operating system, Macintosh OS X 10.2. The author presents essential information, much of it not provided with either the OS software nor the Macintosh computer. This version of the operating system is fundamentally different from OS 9, and requires good documentation to facilitate the transition that all Macintosh users will need to make.

The author begins with the features that are new to 10.2, and then concentrates on the basic operation of the Finder, file management, OS applications, printing, connectivity, AppleScript, and more.

Available for on-line ordering at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=thekleperreporto&path=ISBN%3D0321158016

0321158016 354 pp. $21.99

Contact: Peachpit Press, 1249 8th St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 800 283-9444, http://www.peachpit.com, fax: 510 524-2221.


DVD Studio Pro for Macintosh 1.5
Sitter, Martin

A complete yet easy-to-follow guide to the use of Apple's DVD Studio Pro 1.5 for Macintosh, as provided in Peachpit's famous Visual QuickPro Guide style. The author devotes the first part of the book to getting the system prepared for DVD production, including the preparation of the source audio and video files. In the remainder of the book he concentrates on the use of the DVD Studio Pro software, the workspace, project set-up, the use of tracks, Photoshop layers, markers and stories, and much more.

Available for on-line ordering at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=thekleperreporto&path=ISBN%3D0321115473

0321115473 401 pp. $24.99

Contact: Peachpit Press, 1249 8th St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 800 283-9444, http://www.peachpit.com, fax: 510 524-2221.


Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro, The
Young, Rick

This compact volume, written by a professional producer, director, and editor working in London, covers the essential skills necessary for mastering Apple's Final Cut Pro 3: Set-Up, Capture, Editing, Sound Mixing, and Print to Video. The text, which includes numerous color photos and screen captures, sticks to the critical information necessary, providing clear and concise descriptions and instructions. The final chapter includes information about burning video to DVD.

The accompanying CD-ROM contains footage for the reader to edit.

Available for on-line ordering at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=thekleperreporto&path=ISBN%3D0954216008

0954216008 128 pp. $29.95

Contact: Digital Production Ltd., 19 High Street, Harefield, Middlesex, England UB9 6BX, (44) 1895 821 524 (office), (44) 7956 275507 (mobile), http://www.digitalproduction.net, e-mail: edit@digitalproduction.net, fax: (44) 1895 821 526.



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