The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 9.1 January / February 2004

Issue 9.1 January / February 2004


Digital Audio

The Big Mix Volume 1 (MAC)
The Big Mix Volume 1 is a collection of best in class applications for mixing and playing music. Like other Aladdin Systems' software collections, this one follows a theme, and offers an outstanding value for the money.

The software in the suite includes the following: Audio Hijack, a program that enables users to capture the audio from any application; Disco, software that emulates standard DJ hardware and enables "live" mixing using the mixer, two players, and the music library and playlist editor; Doggiebox, a drum machine application; GrooveMaker 2.5 LE, which can be used to create non-stop dance tracks from its library of 250 loops; iPodRip, which enables the copying of iPod tracks to iTunes; iTunes Publisher, which supports the sorting, formatting, and exporting of iTunes playlists into HTML, text, Tabbed Text, QuickTime Streaming Server, and M3U; Making More Music, which empowers users to compose music by drawing notes with the computer mouse; MP3 Rage, which provides several MP3 utilities includes those that can export MP3 as AIFF, play MP3, edit ID3 tags, and more; and Spark LE which provides a realtime audio master and supported plug-ins. $99.99

Contact: Aladdin Systems, 245 Westridge Dr., Watsonville, CA 95076, 831 761-6200, fax: 831 761-6206,, e-mail:

Nicecast (MAC)
Nicecast is an application that enables users to broadcast their music and other audio programs from within the Macintosh OS X. A user can create a virtual radio station and provide access to their iTunes Music Library to any where in the world. The listener does not require a Macintosh...only a streaming MP3 player which is available on PC and Linux computers. The program provides VoiceOver so that the user can act as DJ and insert comments or sing along. The program supports VST and AudioUnit plug-ins providing a high degree of audio adjustment. $40

Contact: Rogue Amoeba Software, 29 Scottsdale Ct., Cranbury, NJ 08512, 609 213-4380,, fax: 734 264-0527.

Detour (MAC)
Detour is a handy utility that enables the user to route where audio is going. The Detour window lists the audio applications, and the user selects the output device through which the audio is to be directed, and its associated volume level. Audio can be directed to external speakers, the internal computer speaker, headphones, or none (mute). Rather than have all audio directed to one output destination, the user can have their iTunes play on their external sound system, while system beeps go to the internal computer speaker. $12

Contact: Rogue Amoeba Software, 29 Scottsdale Ct., Cranbury, NJ 08512, 609 213-4380,, fax: 734 264-0527.

File Management Reviews

You Synchronize (MAC)
You Synchronize is an easy and fast solution for synchronizing files and folders across notebooks, desktops and servers. It is based on the award-winning ExecutiveSync software by Jason Weber. It remains the first and only Mac synchronization program that can support MS Windows transfers. In addition it maintains a superior method of synchronizing based on Time And State (TAS), guaranteeing accurate file movement.

Data loss is prevented by using the program's Archive capability. Users can even archive files that have been deleted, as well as previous versions of updated files. Accidentally deleted files can be restored by reverting to an archived version of the file.

File synchronizations can be scheduled to run unattended according to user-defined settings. Transfers can be executed based on defined "Projects," and the user can define and activate several "Projects" simultaneously. $49.95 electronic delivery, $59.95 physical delivery

Contact: You Betcha! Interactive, 13428 Maxella Ave., #401, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292, 310 578-1912,, fax: 310 823-4159.

Specialized Output Reviews

Street Atlas USA 2004 Handheld (PALM/WINDOWS CE)
Street Atlas USA 2004 Handheld enables mobile users to carry highly detailed maps on their handheld device. DeLorme, famous for their mapping expertise, has created the means by which users can transfer maps from the Street Atlas CD-ROM so that they can be viewed from any location. The maps consist of street-level detail for all of the United States, including rural roads. Approximately four million points of interest are included, such as hotels, banks, tourist attractions, restaurants, etc. The user can create portal-to-portal routes, and with the optional DeLorme USB Earthmate GPS receiver (, can track their location in real time. Quite an amazing capability to fit in one's pocket. $39.95

Contact: DeLorme, Two DeLorme Drive, POB 298, Yarmouth, ME 04096, 800 452-5931, 207 846-7000,, e-mail:, fax back: 207 865-7083, fax: 800 575-2244.

Hardware Reviews

IOGEAR Wireless Optical Mini Mouse 800 (MAC/WIN)
IOGEAR Wireless Optical Mini Mouse 800 (GME223R) is amazingly compact yet fully-featured input device that has been engineered for accuracy and power conservation, two key areas of importance for mobile digital publishers. The 800 dpi tracking resolution is twice that of most input devices, mobile or desktop, and ensures that graphic arts and creative professionals can accurately control input for any application. Despite its diminutive size, the mouse has two buttons and a scroll wheel. The optical capability of the device ensures that it can accurately track on virtually any surface (no mouse pad required), and its small size makes it practical to use, even in crowded conditions, such as on an airplane. The user does not compromise anything in terms of functionality nor features.

The mouse has an on-off switch, something which is not standard on wireless input devices. This helps to conserve power by preventing the battery from draining when the mouse is not in use. The mouse also contains a motion sensor which detects when the mouse is not being used, and puts the mouse into an "idle" power conservation state. In addition, the package includes a USB cable for charging the mouse via a USB connection to the host computer, a USB extension cable, 2 batteries, and an attractive compact travel case to hold the mouse and the RF transceiver. The mouse comes with a three-year warranty which is another of its remarkable features. $49.95

Contact: ATEN Technology, Inc., IOGEAR, 23 Hubble Dr., Irvine, CA 92618, 866-9-IOGEAR (866-946-4327), 949-453-8782,, fax: 949-453-8785.

Additions/Extensions Reviews

Photo/Graphic Edges 6.0 (MAC/WIN)
Photo/Graphic Edges 6.0 comprises one of the largest collections of edge effects (over 10,000) ever offered. The effects can be applied to digital images to create impressive, special edge designs of all sorts, simulating those created by a professional artist. The edge styles are categorized into the following groups: Traditional, Darkroom, Geometric, Artistic, Digital, Painted, Deckled, Feathered, Semi-Transparent, Torn and Ripped, Film Frames, Impressionistic, Watercolor Fadeouts, Rubbed Charcoal, Splattered Airbrush, Etched Scratchboard, Darkroom Transfers, Brushed Acrylics, Rough and Gritty, and Abstract Shapes. The names of the groupings suggest the design themes that they represent. Readers may download the manual, a demo copy, and see sample edge effects at

The software is provided both as a Photoshop-compatible plug-in and as a standalone application. Purchasers have their choice as to how they access the program's functionality. Users are presented with a flexible environment in which they select the edge treatment and then manipulate it until they achieve the desired effect, using dynamic reshaping and transforming tools. Controls include Lighting, Shading, Shadow Generation, Blending Modes, Opacity Rendering, Edge Coloring, and much more. This package provides both the raw materials and the advanced tools to produce almost any kind of edge effect imaginable.

In addition to the edge effects, the program includes hundreds of color frames, 1000 matte surface textures, and vignettes and other creative content. The software is provided on three CD-ROMs. $179

Contact: Auto F/X Corp., 31 Inverness Center Parkway, Suite 270, Birmingham, AL 35242, 800 839-2008, 205 980-0056,, fax: 205 980-1121.

Smart Styles CS (MAC/WIN)
Smart Styles CS is a plug-in for Adobe InDesign CS that is both a productivity booster and a creative inspiration. The program enables users to create libraries of smart styles which are composed of object, table, and smart text styles. Once a Smart Style has been defined it can be applied to any text or table frame, and that frame takes on the attributes of the stored style. This provides the user with the means to store complex formatting, and to apply it quickly. In addition, the formats that have been applied to a frame manually can be captured in a Smart Style simply by dragging the frame onto the Smart Styles palette. The process is simple and enables even novice users to apply sophisticated styling that a designer has provided as a template or sample. Smart Styles libraries may be shared, meaning that a lead designer can create styles and then distribute them company-wide to ensure design consistency. In addition, documents that have been styled using the plug-in can be opened in a copy of InDesign that does not have the plug-in installed. 149 euro.

Contact: WoodWing Software, Smitsven 18, 1504 AM Zaandam, The Netherlands, +31 75 61 43 400,, e-mail:, fax: +31 75 61 43 399. In U.S.: 888 563-3427, e-mail:

Correct+Apply Color (MAC/WIN)
Correct+Apply Color is a Photoshop-compatible plug-in that provides the user with 16-bit per component processing which is 256 times the bandwidth and precision of 8-bit. The application provides highly accurate tools for selecting target colors to adjust or correct, and then replacing those colors with new ones using the built-in Hue, Saturation and Luminance (HSV) curves. The program is a sophisticated version of the "Replace Color" option, but with significantly more control, and therefore better results. The program can be used effectively for changing a product or object color, colorizing black and white images, false color imaging for forensic imaging, and biomedical florescent microscopy imaging. $49

Contact: SCGI, 609 Castle Ridge Road Suite 335, Austin, Tx 78746, 512 732.2886,, fax: 512 732-2884.  

Sharpen+Soften (MAC/WIN)
Sharpen+Soften is a Photoshop-compatible plug-in that provides an extraordinary amount of control over the softening and sharpening of an image without the need for applying time-consuming masks. The filter works on 16-bit per component processing, and enables the user to apply its effects using adjustable curves based on Hue, Saturation and Luminance. The filter can work on either RGB or CMYK, on components of the image, individually or in any combination. The filter works by first having the user select the colors to which sharpening or softening will be applied by using the Color Sampler Tool, and then interactively adjusting the HSL curves. A demo version is available at, and the manual and tutorial are also available on the Asiva site. $69

Contact: SCGI, 609 Castle Ridge Road Suite 335, Austin, Tx 78746, 512 732.2886,, fax: 512 732-2884.  

FILTERiT4.1 is a collection of plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator 8, 9 and 10 that adds an extensive variety of new capabilities to its host program. Although there are relatively few plug-ins available on the market for Illustrator (compared to Photoshop), these would stand out even if the field of competitors was huge.

The program appears in Illustrator's Toolbox, and also contains a variety of hidden tools. The 3D Transform and Fractalize commands appear in the Illustrator Filter menu, and the 13 Live features appear in the Windows menu.

This set of valuable tools is too extensive to cover in detail. Here are some of the more notable capabilities: AlignPoints Tools, provide flexible control over the alignment of anchor points or the center point of objects; the Craft Tool, provides options to distort by pinching, twirling, or otherwise manipulating an object; the Lens Tool, acts like an electronic photographic lens to apply selective magnification, toning, twirl, fish-eye, and other effects; the Roughening Tool, applies selective roughening to edges along an object path; the Trail Tool, creates a series of copies of an object that vary by size, tint, location and color; the Warp Tool, provides a series of envelopes which reshape selected objects; and several more.

The collection of Live Effects have the characteristic that they remain editable after the effect has been applied...thus the name "live." Live Effects can be used in concert with other FILTERiT4.1 tools. Any serious user of Adobe Illustrator must be aware of the creative potential of these tools. A downloadable demo is available at Samples of the effects, including the stunning flash animation capability, can be viewed at $129

Contact: CValley, Inc., 212 Technology Drive Suite N, Irvine, CA 92618, 949 727-9161,, e-mail:, fax: 949 727-9188.

SuperBladePro (MAC/WIN)
SuperBladePro is a Photoshop-compatible plug-in filter that enables users to create stunning type and graphic effects that incorporate reflections, glassiness, iridescence, and 3-D appearance. The program provides a library of uncommon surface effects, including moss, abrasion, waterstains, dust, grit, and more. Free texture packs are available with surface effects ranging from diamond plate to robot skin. The results can be used for a variety of purposes, from Web page buttons to customized typographic treatments for commercial packaging.

The user interface provides extensive control, with sliders to adjust such things as radius, height, smoothness, texture, embossing, gloss, glare, reflection, and several more. The lighting can be precisely adjusted, and the results can be previewed in realtime, in a user-selected size. $30

Contact: Flaming Pear,

Image Collection Reviews

Aridi Backgrounds Three, Volume 21 (MAC/WIN)
Aridi Backgrounds Three, Volume 21 continues the tradition of providing exquisite and intricate full page designs in a coordinated collection of background images. The series of 100 images are provided in color and black-and-white, and are composed of small ornamental squares that are tiled to form seamless backgrounds. The user can modify the designs in both their color and shape to produce a wide variety of variations. Macintosh files are compatible with Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand, and PC files are compatible with Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW!. $149

Contact: Aridi Graphics, 17630 Squaw Valley Drive, Dallas, TX 75252, 800 755-6441, 972 381-1300,, e-mail:, fax: 972 381-1301.

Reference Source Reviews

Visual Thesaurus (MAC/WIN)
Visual Thesaurus is a visual language reference that provides a unique interface to seeing and exploring word relationships. Unlike a print thesaurus, which provides a static listing of suggested words, Visual Thesaurus presents an interactive map of related words which dynamically changes based on the user's movement over its space. The program offers a view of English unlike any ever presented, and presents the user with heretofore unrealized options in word selection and variation.

The program is the desktop version of the popular Web site which has been critically acclaimed in many publications, and recognized as the perfect melding of grammar and graphics. It uses the WordNet database composed of 140,000 words, and 40,000 phrases collected into more than 70,000 sense meanings. Plumb Design has merged this databae with its Thinkmap® visualization software. $29.95

Contact: Plumb Design, 157 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007, 212 285-8600,, fax: 212 285-8999.

EndNote Version 7 (MAC)
EndNote Version 7 represents a major upgrade of this indispensable bibliographic management application. Used by millions of scholars, researchers, librarians, and students, this version goes beyond the standard definition for reference tracking, organizing, and publishing. Digital publishers will find this program essential in producing any kind of document that has associated reference listings.

Users have access to over 350 online bibliographic sources, such as the Library of Congress, OCLC, SilverPlatter, and Web of Science that can be applied to the creation of professional quality bibliographies for virtually any kind of publication. Each EndNote library can hold up to 32,000 entries, each of which can hold up to 42 fields, and be identified as any of 28 reference types, such as electronic source, magazine article, journal article, etc. A user can create an unlimited number of libraries. Libraries can be flexibly searched using Boolean operators, and the built-in spell checker helps to ensure accuracy.

Among the several new features is Instant Subject Bibliographies which quickly organize a bibliography by a selected field heading. Once organized, the bibliography can be output in a selected style and layout, and a numbering scheme for the references can be applied.

New also is an image placement capability that enables users to place figures and tables (BMP, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Visio, etc.) from an EndNote library and insert them anywhere in a Microsoft Word document, or at the end of the document in a figure and table list. Controls in the output style settings provide the user with the capability to determine where associated captions will be placed.

In addition to its support for Microsoft Word, EndNote now supports the creation of bibliographies from other word and text processors that support Rich Text Format (RTF) files. Users can insert temporary EndNote citations in applications such as AppleWorks, StarOffice, NisusWriter, MSWorks, OpenOffice, FrameMaker, and others, and have EndNote 7 scan the documents and quickly produce a bibliography based on over 1000 output styles.

This new version also extends the functionality of EndNote to mobile devices that use the Palm OS. Users can transfer their references to their Palm device and carry them anywhere for instant access. Users can search, edit, and beam references, as well as transfer their edited bibliographies back to their desktop computer.

A free trial version is available at $329.95 (special student pricing of $109.95 with valid student ID).

Contact: ISI ResearchSoft, 800 Jones St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 510 559-8592,,, e-mail:, FTP:, fax: 510 559-8683.

P22 Type Specimen Playing Cards (MAC/WIN)
The P22 Type Specimen Playing Card deck is among the most unique ideas for presenting samples of a collection of type designs. The deck, which is usable as a "normal" deck of cards, represents typefaces from the P22 and IHOF collections. The designers took care to incorporate interesting features that would appeal to type users, such as portraying Johannes Gutenberg as the Joker. The decks were produced in a limited edition of 2000, and are available free with a minimum purchase at

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

Instruction/Learning Reviews

Killer Titles (MAC)
Killer Titles Intelligent Assistance for LiveType and Calligraphy is an integrated training program that works within Apple's Final Cut Pro. The package consists of 40 tutorials that can be called up immediately, in context, providing just the amount of information necessary to execute a particular function within Apple LiveType or Boris Calligraphy Generators. Unlike other training solutions, Killer Titles installs directly in the host application, available at any time from the Help menu. It provides help when and where it is needed. The CD also include a set of 25 effects for LiveType. $75

Contact: Philip Hodgetts & Intelligent Assistance, Inc., 19531 Ventura Blvd #3, Tarzana CA 91356, 866-897-8924, 818 206-2415,, e-mail:, fax: 818 793-5618.

eMedia Guitar Method Vol. 1, version 3.0 (MAC/WIN)
eMedia Guitar Method Volume 1 hits version 3.0 with a slightly expanded list of demo songs and several new features. Standing out amongst the additions are a handful of lessons on modern and classic rock guitar techniques, including power chords, muting, and various styles of strumming. These practical sections are a welcome change from traditional guitar instruction programs, which wouldn't dare mention palm muting before ingraining a thorough hatred of scales upon the student. Guitar Method Volume 1 has long been one of the premiere choices for introductory guitar instruction. The ability to start any song in ""slow"" mode and work up to normal speed is one of the many features that exemplifies eMedia's commitment to the beginning guitarist. The new songs and sections on rock techniques aim this product clearly at the casual player who isn't quite ready to jam with Apple Garage Band, but desperately wants to do so. This cross-platform product isn't without its rough edges. The new video sections are well-produced but always pop up directly over the tablature they're demonstrating. While the library of songs is generally quite good, you'll be rocking out to ""Frere Jacques"" and ""Go Tell Aunt Rhody"" long before you get to ""Knockin' on Heaven's Door"". Still, if you spend a little time jamming on ""My Darling Clementine"", it will be that much rewarding when you reach the more... modern material. (Reviewed by Scott Kleper) $59.95

Contact: eMedia Music Corp., 664 NE Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98105, 206 329-5657,

VTC FileMaker Pro 6 Training CD (MAC/WIN)
VTC FileMaker Pro 6 Training CD is a two-volume set of narrated, instructional QuickTime movies covering all aspects of elementary FileMaker operation and use. The ten hours of instruction, consisting of 165 movies, is conducted by David Bylund, a talented architect based in Hawaii. Mr. Bylund uses the example of a Hawaiian merchandiser to illustrate the capabilities of the program. Mr. Bylund is an excellent speaker...clear and easily understood. He has distilled a complete database course into this two CD set.

The lessons are short, each running from about three to five minutes, and are controllable, using VCR-like controls. Users can easily jump to particular areas of interest, and review portions as many times as needed. The user can also have the FileMaker application open, and apply various skills as soon as they are learned.

The content runs the gamut of what a new user would need to know to get started, such as the four FileMaker modes, to sophisticated uses of relational databases. Among the topics are: set-up procedures, database planning, entering and retrieving data, finding and sorting, outputting data in a defined form, importing and exporting data, using specialized field types, performing calculations and scripts, creating layouts, using portals, creating relational databases, providing secure access, network file sharing, and much more. $99.95

Contact: VTC, 2328E Walsh Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95051, 408 492-1051, 888-TRAIN-CD,, email:

CD-ROM Reviews

Keynote Theme Park SuperSet 1 (MAC)
Keynote Theme Park SuperSet 1 is a collection of twelve slide design themes for the Apple Keynote presentation program. The themes include backgrounds, dynamic transitions, custom chart fills and bullets, extra design elements, and more. The graphics are truly stunning, and virtually ensure that a presentation will attract raves. The SuperSet includes the following themes that are available separately at a cost of three themes for $29.95: Ice Cold, Oceans, Titanium, Desert, High Speed, Granite, Discovery, Global, Woodcut, TransInfinite, Museum, and Basic Research.

Contact: Wow You Design Inc.,

Utility Reviews

Passwords Plus (MAC/WIN/PALM)
Passwords Plus is both a useful and strategically important application for securing the confidentiality of sensitive information, such as software serial numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, etc., and their associated passwords. The information is protected using industry standard 128-bit Blowfish encryption which ensures complete security. The program enables users to aggregate all of their personal information in a single, secure place. The user can use either the default categories that are provided, or compose field names that are particular to various kinds of records. Over 25 data entry templates are provided, and there is support for over 250 categories. The package contains a disc that supports Windows, Macintosh, PDAs and Smartphones.

The program supports the importing and exporting of its data, and data can be sync'ed between the desktop version and portable version. If you are saving sensitive information on your desktop, or in your unsecured PDA, then you are susceptible to data theft and potentially identity theft. This is a small price to pay for peace of mind. $29.95

Contact: Dataviz, Merritt Corporate Woods, 612 Wheelers Farms Rd., Milford, CT 06460, 203 874-0085, 800 733-0030,, e-mail:, fax: 203 874-4345.

Snapz Pro X 2.0 (MAC)
Snapz Pro X 2.0 is the ultimate screen capture application for Macintosh OS X. This new version adds desktop movie capture with audio to its arsenal of capture tools...a truly useful feature, and rated up to twenty times faster than any other video capture technology available. In addition to capturing the video and digital audio, the user can add realtime voiceover with the use of an optional USB microphone. This enables teachers, trainers, tutors, and others to make easily training videos and other sorts of video productions, and edit them in Apple's iMovie.

The program is an essential application for anyone who needs to capture screen content for professional documentation, training, demonstration, or other purposes. The interface has been enhanced to provide greater versatility, yet maintain the simple-to-use layout. Users can now scale, crop, dither and change the color depth of captured images. They can also add borders, generate thumbnails, overlay watermarks and copyright notices, and see a Live Preview of the image before committing it to disk. Images can be saved as .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .pict, .png, .tiff, or Photoshop, with user control over the degree of image compression.

The Snapz Pro X 2.0 program can be invoked at any time, to capture a still or moving image. It is called into action using hot keys, either the default Cmd-Shift-3, or hot keys defined by the user. The program has four modes, one for capturing the entire screen (even multiple screens using shift-click), one for capturing objects (menus, windows, etc.) (even multiple objects using shift-click), one for capturing a user-defined selection on the screen, and one for making and capturing movies. A movie may be a recording of screen activity, such as demonstration of how to accomplish a certain function in an application, or it may be a recording of a running QuickTime movie or DVD. Static images that are captured may be sent directly to a location in the Pictures folder, or to the Printer or to the Clipboard. The user has the option of choosing if the image will be opened in a viewer after it is saved, if they want to save it with a user-defined name, and if they want the application to remain open to capture additional screen images. This program is the best in its class. $69

Contact: Ambrosia Software, Inc., P.O. Box 23140, Rochester, NY 14692, 800 231-1816, 716 325-1910,, fax: 716 325-3665.

Data Rescue (MAC)
Data Rescue is, perhaps, the ultimate data recovery application. It can not only recover files and folders that other utility software can not, it can also recover data from hard drives that will not mount. The program does not attempt to repair a hard drive but instead attempts to recover missing data composed of files, icons, dates, and folder hierarchy. The original disk, which may be ATA, SCSI, FireWire, USB, or a networked drive, is not altered. The recovered data, which may be all missing files, or a select few, is stored in a location specified by the user. The program includes a bootable emergency CD-ROM. Despite its power, the program provides a non-intimidating, easy-to-use interface. $89

Contact: Prosoft Engineering Inc., 4725 First St., Suite 270, Pleasanton, CA 94566, 866 428-3282,

Office Applications For Mac OS X, version 2.0 (MAC)
Office Applications For Mac OS X, version 2.0 contains a complete suite of business applications consisting of word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, and personal finance. The applications are compatible with most Microsoft Office documents and are installed using a simple installer. The main applications, 1.0.3 Enhanced, was originally published as Sun Microsystems Star Office, and is maintained by community support. The application includes templates and clip art. The image manipulation program part of the suite is Gimp 1.2.2, which is the GNU Image Manipulation Program containing an impressive list of features. $49.95

Contact: Cylogistics, 809B Cuesta Dr. #2149, Mountain View, CA 94040, 800 749-2734, 650 694-4949,, e-mail:, fax: 877 818-3383, 650 694-4953.

Spring Cleaning (MAC/WIN)
Spring Cleaning incorporates a collection of utilities that help to ensure that a user's computer is free of intrusive and unnecessary files, and protected from security risks. It consists of several programs that perform very specific functions that are ordinarily not addressed by other means. For example, Duplicates Finder(tm) finds duplicate files; Web Cache Finder(tm) can be used to delete Web tracks; iClean(tm) can be run to provide cookie management; Alias Fixer(tm) can find and repair broken aliases; Empty Folder Finder(tm) can locate and remove empty folders; File Checker(tm) can locate corrupt files; Font Finder(tm) uncovers the location of all fonts; MacUninstaller(tm) completely uninstalls specified applications and their related files; QuickCompare(tm) shows the differences between folders and applications; and several more. The program is highly beneficial to digital publishers who routinely deal with a high volume of files, fonts, and applications. $49.99

Contact: Aladdin Systems, 245 Westridge Dr., Watsonville, CA 95076, 831 761-6200, fax: 831 761-6206,, e-mail:

Ten for X Utilities: Volume 2 (MAC)
Ten for X Utilities: Volume 2 combines a highly useful set of utilities in one economical package. This set follows on the heels of the highly successful Volume 1. In each case Aladdin Systems has bundled valuable utilities together on a single disc and offered them at a significant discount off of their separate combined prices.

This collection consists of: Unsanity, providing a way to apply color labels to files; iPulse, to monitor the computer's performance; Carbon Copy Cloner, to make a complete copy of the System; DragStrip, to launch applications, files, and other elements from the desktop; iCan, a desktop trash can; iClock SE, a menu bar clock and weather app; MacReporter, a personal news agent; Path Finder, a navigation and file management aid; Quick Voice SE, a voice recorder; SPAMFIRE, a spam eliminator; and X Overload, an Extensions manager. $39.99

Contact: Aladdin Systems, 245 Westridge Dr., Watsonville, CA 95076, 831 761-6200, fax: 831 761-6206,, e-mail:

Personal Backup X (MAC)
Personal Backup X provides a flexible solution to full and incremental data backups, either performed manually or automatically, to almost any target storage device (removable media, hard drive partition, network volume, external drive, iDisk, or disk image files. The program also enables users to create clone images of OS X volumes, something that can not be done by simply copying files from one drive to another since many invisible files would not be copied.

The program saves the backup in a standard file format, unlike other similar programs which use a proprietary format which requires the source application to decipher. This makes it easier for users to restore files and even copy an individual file that has been lost or corrupted. Periodic archive backups can be created using a compressed disk image format in order to conserve space.

The program also supports the synchronization of files between two computers in order to ensure that each has the latest version of each file. After a synchronization, both computers will have exactly the same data.

The user can create scripts to initiate certain kinds of routine backups which are to occur at specified times, and which include, or exclude, selected files. $59.95

Contact: Intego, Inc., 6301 Collins Avenue, Suite 1806, Miami, FL 33141, 305 868-7920,, e-mail:, fax: 305 868-7938.

LapCop 2.0 (MAC)
LapCop 2.0 is an innovative program that can assist in the recovery of a stolen laptop computer or desktop computer. The program is virtually hack-proof, and works by sending a stealth email if certain System Preferences have changed, which they certainly would if a thief were to try to use a stolen computer to connect to the Internet, or to send e-mail. The software monitors changes in the system in regard to network and printer parameters. When they change it sends out a message to a user-defined e-mail address. The Internet route that the message takes is generally sufficient to track down the stolen computer. $25

Contact: SweetCocoa,, e-mail:

MaxBulk Mailer (MAC)
MaxBulk Mailer is a self-contained mail merge and bulk e-mailer that is capable of processing thousands of commercial messages that are customized for their recipients. The program processes both text and HTML documents (with images, fonts and colors) from within a single application window having five tabs (Message, Recipients, Preview, Settings, and Log). The program ably handles the management of address lists, with import and export capabilities, and built-in duplicate checking. Mailings can be fully previewed prior to sending, and attachments can be included as well. $39.90

Contact: MAX Programming, LLC,

textSOAP is a handy text processing utility that cleanses Internet-derived text of the unnecessary characters and useless formatting that tends to define it. Files are simply copied to the clipboard and pasted into the application. The user can then use commands from the program's menu bar to format it as needed. The program provides several text scrubbing options, includes Find and Replace, and maintains a fully functional text editor. Examples of cleaners include the removal of extra spaces, the removal of forward characters (>, >), the conversion of dumb quotes into smart quotes, the removal of hard returns (to fix paragraphs), case conversion, word and sentence capitalization, tab removal, and more. $19.95

Contact: Unmarked Software,

StampInStone (MAC)
StampInStone is a unique watermarking utility that enables users to add a textual or image watermark to pages in a PDF document. The user maintains control over the placement, color, font, and size of the watermark. As easy as it is to apply a watermark, documents can also be "unstamped" with a single click. The watermark can be imaged either over or beneath each page, and can include an updating time or date. $49

Contact: Stone Design Corp., PO Box 6799, Albuquerque, NM 87197-6799, 505 345-4800,, fax: 505 345-3424.

Spector for Mac OS X version 3.0 (MAC)
Spector for Mac OS X version 3.0 is a surveillance program that automatically takes hundreds of snapshots per hour, recording all activity on the computer on which it is running. The files that it creates, which can be created in intervals as short as every five seconds, are saved in a hidden location on the hard drive. The program can be used to monitor childrens' use of a family computer at home, or employees' use of a business computer at work. The program records everything that is done on the computer...every application used, Web site visited, e-mail received or sent, keystroke typed, etc.

The program can operate in super stealth mode, totally out of sight, and protected by a password. The recorded activity is viewed using a VCR-like player, with single frame precision. Frames can be exported as BMP, JPEG, TIFF, and other file formats, and can be printed. $99.95

Contact: SpectorSoft, 333 17th St., Vero Beach, FL 32960, 888 598-2788,, fax: 772 770-3442.

Digital Video Reviews

Textation 1.1.1 (MAC)
Textation 1.1.1 is a QuickTime movie text chapter track editor that enables the user to quickly and easily divide QuickTime movies into selectable chapters, for rapid access and easy navigation. The chapters can be tagged as the movie is previewed, and the chapter names can be added after the tags have been inserted. $23

Contact: Feelorium Limited,, e-mail:

Trans Lucy 1.0.1 (MAC)
Trans Lucy 1.0.1 is a DVD viewing utility that enables users of Macintosh computers with video cards that support Quartz Extreme to view videos transparently, above open applications. The user can both see the video and continue to work on their documents.

The Trans Lucy Controller is similar to that of a home DVD player, with controls for jog/shuttle, displaying the menu, viewing the previous chapter, playing, pausing, stopping, etc. The Opacity dial enables the user to set the degree of transparency, from 100% opaque, to 10% transparent. The opacity can be increased or decreased in 10% increments by clicking. The display can be set to half size, normal size, or full screen, and the user can select to have the display set Above Everything, meaning that it appears over all applications, documents, and the menu bar, or at the Desktop level, wherein it will appear below other applications, documents, and desktop icons. $14.95

Contact: CE Software, 1801 Industrial Circle, POB 65580, West Des Moines, IA 50265, 515 221-1801, 800 523-7638,, e-mail:, fax: 515 221-2694.

Productivity Reviews

Quicken 2004 for Macintosh (MAC)
Quicken 2004 for Macintosh is a robust personal finance application that provides many professional quality graphic display capabilities that are worthy of digital publishing practitioners. The support for quality graphing and charting capabilities is just one of the features that makes this program outstanding. Quicken has been on the market for twenty years, and on the Macintosh since 1988.

In use by more than one million Macintosh users, Quicken remains in the top ten of Macintosh applications. This new version connects to more than one thousand financial institutions, covering more than 75% of the top 30 banks with online banking support. In addition, data can be downloaded from over 250 credit card providers presenting access to over 75% of the cards issued.

New features that have been added to this version include: the tracking of over 25 new investment indicators for tracking portfolio performance; downloadable news and articles related to portfolio holdings; integration with Apple iCal for tracking upcoming bill payments and financial events; improved online bill payment; organizing emergency records in one place in the Emergency Records Organizer; direct export of data to TurboTax; and more.

Quicken takes advantage of the Macintosh Aqua interface, presenting displays, such as the Portfolio, in an attractive and easy-to-read format. The user can organize their portfolio in any of six different views, including two new options: Asset Class and Industry Sector. $69.95

Contact: Intuit, P.O. Box 7850, MS 2535, Mountain View, CA 94039-7850, 800 446-8848,

You Control (MAC)
You Control is a utility that enables a Macintosh user to create menus composed of frequently used files and folders, and access them from the Menu Bar, display corner, or through the use of key commands.

The program consists of 11 customizable menu modules that enable the user to define them on the basis of associated options. New modules can be added as they become available. The modules include: File System Module, enables easy access to files and folders on any mounted drive; iTunes Module, provides access to, and control of, songs in the music library; Address Book Module, provides access to the Mac OS X Address Book without the need to open it; Calendar Module, enables access to the iCal program; Clock Module, enables time-keeping and mini-calendar functionality; Stocks Module, provides the capability to access and display stock quotes; US Weather Module, displays current weather and forecasts for multiple cities; News Reader Module, accesses and displays RSS news feeds; Pasteboard Module, provides access to a user-defined number of recently pasted items; Processes Module, allows the user to display and access currently running processes; and the Recents Module, provides immediate access to recently used applications and documents. $49.95 electronic delivery, $59.95 physical delivery

Contact: You Betcha! Interactive, 13428 Maxella Ave., #401, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292, 310 578-1912,, fax: 310 823-4159.

Design Templates Volume One (MAC/WIN)
Design Templates Volume One is a professionally designed collection of marketing and promotional layouts created for print applications. The collection, consisting of over 200 prepared layouts for brochures, ads, direct mail, newsletters, stationery, and other uses, is available in specialized collections made specifically for use in either Adobe InDesign, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Illustrator, QuarkXPress, or CorelDRAW. The content is provided to the purchaser with a royalty-free license, and consists of a professionally-designed layout, suggested copy, and high resolution photos and artwork. Industry standard fonts are used in the templates, although suggested fonts (not supplied) are listed. Each layout is grouped in its own folder, with all layout elements, a PDF showing the details of the design, a PDF showing the actual layout, and the composed layout in the file format selected by the purchaser (compatible with their page layout application). The templates are ready to use...all the user needs to do is modify the text to suit their particular purpose. They can be used over and over again, and customized to suit a wide variety of uses. The templates are sold either individually ($99-$149) or on CD-ROM as template collections. All template designs can be viewed at Site visitors can also download a sample template.

The templates are a giant step beyond stock photo collections and clipart libraries. The templates are the end result...the finished product that can be sold to the customer, or used immediately by the end-user. They incorporate the genius of a talented designer, a savvy copywriter, and a skilled page layout artist, and represent an outstanding value since they can be used immediately, and re-used again and again. The template designs are clean, contemporary, and cost-effective. These templates are a great investment since buyers can see exactly what they are getting without the considerable expense and speculative nature of the typical design process. $499

Contact: Stock Layouts, 8364 SW Nimbus Ave., Beaverton, OR 97008, 877 833-3305, 503 627-0986,, fax: 503 643-8740.

Word Processing Reviews

Nisus Writer Express (MAC)
Nisus Writer Express is a trim, lean word processor which incorporates all of the essential features that one would want. Although it is not a full-featured application, it does have the features that users are most apt to need. The interface is clean, sharp and uncluttered with the most important text tools close at hand. In addition to reading and writing the usual RTF, RTFD, Unicode, and plain text formats, the program can read and write Microsoft Word (.doc), meaning that the program can co-exist in an MS Office environment, and both open legacy Word files and create new ones.

Among its key features are the capability to include several languages in a single document; customize the toolbar to suit individual needs; create macros using Perl or AppleScript; compose pages in multiple columns; customize the menu keys; make noncontiguous selections; flexibly find and replace; display the Writing drawer with typographic controls; apply the spell-checker and thesaurus; and more.

The Nisus Thesaurus, a very handy application, is included with Nisus Writer Express, and is also available separately for free at $59.95

Contact: Nisus Software, P.O. Box 1300, Solana Beach, CA 92075, 800 890-3030, 858 481-1477,, e-mail:, fax: 858 481-6154.

Internet Reviews

Internet Cleanup (MAC/WIN)
Internet Cleanup is a suite of utilities that make the use of the Internet more efficient and productive. The program provides components that protect the user from spying and malicious intrusions, block annoying pop-up windows, clear cache and history files, automate the management of cookies, and securely delete confidential files so that they can not be recovered. $29.99

Contact: Aladdin Systems, 245 Westridge Dr., Watsonville, CA 95076, 831 761-6200, fax: 831 761-6206,, e-mail:

Mailsmith 2.1 (MAC)
Mailsmith 2.1 is full-featured, highly flexible and adaptable e-mail client. Although it can be used by the casual user, it contains virtually every feature that the most demanding power-user would want. Unlike some other e-mail clients that have been ported to the Macintosh, this program was designed and developed as a Macintosh work the way that Macintosh users expect. For example, the program provides easy access to the Apple Address Book, and has Dock support for notification and checking mail.

The program addresses spam, the most critical problem confounding e-mail recipients, with the integration of one of the most successful spam elimination programs available: SpamSieve. The user can have suspected spam messages diverted to a special spam mailbox, directly to the trash, or tagged for further examination. With the use of the "Report to SpamCop" option the user can forward offensive messages to the spammers' ISP.

As mail is received it can be filtered automatically to specific mailboxes using unlimited terms and actions. AppleScript support permeates the program so that users can customize the program's operation in almost any way they need. Users of other e-mail clients, such as Claris Emailer, Eudora, and Apple Mail can import their mail archives into Mailsmith using any standard mbox format text file, so switching to Mailsmith does not leave legacy messages behind.

The program has integrated support for PGP 8.0 so that messages can be encrypted and decrypted without the need for scripting or plug-ins. Users benefit from automatic message signing and signature validation. A demo version is available at $99

Contact: Bare Bones Software, Inc., POB 1048, Bedford, MA 01730-0108, 781 687-0700,, e-mail:, fax: 781 687-0711.

SEO Toolkit (WIN )
SEO Toolkit is an analysis tool that can help a Web site administrator to achieve higher rankings on various search engines. It uncovers the elements that help competing sites to increase their rank order, and shows some of the criteria that certain search engines use prioritize their results. Several screens are provided to give the user insight into the ranking process (Search Engine Submitter, Keyword Density Analyzer, Ranking Analyzer, Ranking Advisor, Link Popularity, and others). $299.95

Contact: Trellian Limited, 8 East Concourse, Beaumaris, VIC 3193, Australia, 61-3-9589-7946,, e-mail:, fax: 61-3-9589-7951.

Trellian SiteSpider (WIN )
Trellian SiteSpider contains the elements that define a Web browser, yet it goes far beyond those typical capabilities. The program excels at extracting data from Web sites and then organizing it into panels that can be navigated easily. The types of data that the program can locate and process includes digital images, movies, e-mail addresses, documents, music, applications, and more. The program can also be used to create a detailed site map as well as a concise listing of site resources. $29.95

Contact: Trellian Limited, 8 East Concourse, Beaumaris, VIC 3193, Australia, 61-3-9589-7946,, e-mail:, fax: 61-3-9589-7951.

Trellian ImageMapper (WIN )
Trellian ImageMapper is a specialized application that enables users to create clickable areas on HTML images, otherwise known as "imagemaps." The clickable areas may consist of rectangles, circles or polygons. Users simply draw the areas, and the program generates the associated HTML code that will be posted on the Web site. The program also supports the importation of existing image maps for further editing. $19.95

Contact: Trellian Limited, 8 East Concourse, Beaumaris, VIC 3193, Australia, 61-3-9589-7946,, e-mail:, fax: 61-3-9589-7951.

eMail Verifier (MAC)
eMail Verifier is an automated way to verify that e-mail addresses are valid. It does so by extracting addresses from a Domain Name Server (DNS), and then connecting with an SMTP-server to simulate the process of sending a message to the addresses. Rather than send verification messages to the recipients, it disconnects as soon as it verifies that the address is valid. It can process over ten e-mail addresses per second, handling individual listings or impressively large lists. $24.90

Contact: MAX Programming, LLC,

Digital Imaging Reviews

Disclabel (MAC)
Disclabel is a full-featured application for producing labels for discs (CDs and DVDs), and related materials such as jewel case inserts. It supports several functions that automate the production of certain workflows, such as the importation of track lists from iTunes, iPhoto, and iDVD. The package includes a number of professional templates, and the user can, of course, make their own. In addition, more templates are available on-line, and users can share their creations if they choose. A wide variety of standard labels and papers is supported. Digital publishers will appreciate the flexible layout editor, which is clean and uncluttered. $29.95

Contact: SmileOnMyMac, LLC, PMB 281, 25 NW 23rd Place, Suite 6, Portland, OR 97210-5599,, e-mail:, fax: 408-884-2320.

PhotoRetouch Pro (MAC)
PhotoRetouch Pro is the high-end professional alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It has many proprietary features which distinguish it from any other program in its category. It provides a unique viewing technology called CDC 4x, which is an enlargement technology which provides a magnified view of an image retaining its original pixels and showing no noise or jagged edges. Another breakthrough is Pyramidal Image (bTIFF), which optimizes the navigation and on-screen rendering of large TIFF images, and only requires the saving of those areas that have been modified, rather than the entire image, thus saving time.

The program provides tools and capabilities that are optimized for the graphic arts and photography professional. Included are professional CMYK separation tables with pre-defined UCR and GCR tables; automatic image correction using artificial intelligence; application of corrections using Paint Process tools; adjustment of Gamma/-Curves to adjust brightness, contrast, and the stretching and compression of the histogram; creation of ICC profiles for scanners and digital cameras; fast and accurate color change; and much, much, more.

The program's capabilities can best be explained through the use of a collection of video tutorials. These are available at, and clearly demonstrate the power and flexibility of the program. A demo version can be downloaded at Quotations are available by completing a form at

Contact: Binuscan, Inc., 437 Ward Ave., Suite 101, Mamaroneck, NY 10543, 914 381-3780,, fax: 914 381-3742.

Book Reviews

AppleScript in a Nutshell
Perry, Bruce W.

The author shows Macintosh users how they can script repetitive tasks through the use of AppleScript, Apple's "powerful automation tool." The book is aimed at digital publishing professionals, power users, and script novices, and represents the first complete AppleScript reference, covering both OS 9 and OS X.

Available for on-line ordering at

1565928415 500 pp. $29.95

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

AppleScript for Applications
Wilde, Ethan

The author shows the ways in which AppleScript can be used to create scripts that will execute repetitive Macintosh operating system tasks, and their application in specific applications. Digital publishers will benefit from the chapters covering FileMaker, InDesign, GraphicConverter, Photoshop, QuarkXPress, and many other applications. This Visual QuickStart guide, like others in the series, provides easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions for accomplishing the various scripting objectives.

Available for on-line ordering at

0201716135 460 pp. $21.99

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

Mac OS X Killer Tips
Kelby, Scott

This book, which has been newly updated to cover Mac OS 10.3, Panther, contains nothing but tips and suggestions 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, iLife 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

0735713936 309 pp. $29.99

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

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