Mac News Review

8-core Mac Pro Value Debated, OS X Browsers Benchmarked, Two New Widget Tools, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.04.20

The big question of the week: Is the 8-core Mac Pro a great value or does it provide too little benefit at too high a price? We've already come down on the "great value" side of the equation, but at least one writer questions the benefit of 8 cores at present.

In a great study in contrasts, LaCie's new 25" monitor comes with calibration hardware and software - and sells for over ten times the price of Envision's new 17" and 19" displays with consumer friendly prices.

We've won another Linux user to the Mac side, the latest version of NeoOffice is being called the best Mac office suite money can't buy, and Western Digital has released quieter hard drives optimized for video.

On the widget front, Widget-to-Desktop lets you put your favorite widgets on your desktop, while Virtual Dashboard lets you manages sets of widgets - something undoubtedly useful for the widget junkie. And on the commercial side of software, Adobe Creative Suite 3 is now shipping, the first version optimized for Macintel hardware.

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

8-core Mac Pro Value

News & Opinion

Products

iPod Accessories

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

8-core Mac Pro Value

8-core Mac Pro 'Best-priced Option on the Market'

Digit's Neil Bennett reports:

"Apple is a late entrant into the 8-core workstation market - we reviewed the first model with two quad-core Xeons back in November - but its new Mac Pro will be of great interest to pro creative working on high-end 3D and video projects.

"Arriving with little fanfare - it just popped up just before Easter on Apple's Web site as an option for buyers configuring the Mac Pro - Apple's latest Mac bears two brand new, faster Xeon processors that aren't available anywhere else. It also ships at a cost much lower than equivalent Windows workstations - though it's still too pricey for most designers, illustrators and motion graphics artists.

"The new Xeon chips have four processor cores each with a clock speed of 3.0 GHz, slightly faster than the 2.66 GHz X5355 models used by all other eight-core Xeon-based systems we've seen. Intel hasn't released details of the name of the new chip - Apple refers to all Xeon chips by speed not name - or when it will available through other workstation vendors. Based on Intel's current naming conventions, the chip should be called the X5365 - but that's just speculation on our part."

8-Core Mac Pro 'Little Help In Real-world Apps'?

ITWeek's Shaun Nichols reports:

"An independent Macintosh benchmarking site is claiming that Apple's latest 8-core Mac Pro models will offer little performance increase in the areas where many professionals need it most. And it may very well be right, says one industry analyst.

"Benchmarking site Bare Feats recently ran a series of tests comparing the latest 8-core systems running on two Quad-core Intel processors to the older 4-core Mac Pro systems that use two duo-core chips.

"The conclusion, said Bare Feats founder Rob Art Morgan, was that while the 8-core Mac showed a steep increase in such computation-heavy tasks as exporting multiple video files at once, the two systems showed little difference in real-world tests of such professional staples as Photoshop CS3 and Aperture."

Editor's note: While few applications are currently optimized for 8 cores, those that are (such as Cinebench 9.5 and Geekbench) show the 8-core Mac Pro is 45-54% faster than the 3 GHz 4-core model. And the greatest benefit from multiple cores comes when you're running more than one task as a time, as Bare Feats' later test results demonstrate.

We continue to maintain that for the small premium in price to go from 4 cores to 8, the 8-core Mac Pro is the better value for people who need top-end performance. 50% more power for less than 50% more money seems like a winner to us. dk

Why a Decked-out Mac Pro Is Worth the Price

gracefulFlavor's Jeff Ventura says:

"I recently priced one of these suckers out with every possible option and it came to a bit under $13K without student discount, just over $11K with. Apparently Nick Carr, author of Rough Type, has issues with these machines pricing out at this level - he claims they're supposed to be commodity technology.

"Yeah. Pretty much everyone I know has an 8-core Xeon machine with 16 GB RAM and 3 TB of storage and a pro-class GPU. That kind of hardware is just everywhere. In fact, you're probably reading this post on one right now. If not, you need to wake up. These are commodity, man!

"I don't know why it is that every time Apple releases new pro hardware, someone always jacks the specs to the max and then shudders and gets all hand-wringy about the price. Don't they understand what they're configuring? Someone does this every. single. time."

News & Opinion

Mac Wins Over 10-Year Linux User

A Chris Humphries of Blogs.UnixFu.Net says:

"I've been using Linux for about 10 years now, starting with Slackware and up until recently Ubuntu (with other distros thrown in between) for a desktop/workstation. It has given me everything I ever thought I'd need or want at my fingertips, as well as a career working with it which is pretty good. I was growing more and more tired of fiddling around and generally being bored with my computer, often envying the integration and programming abilities that the Microsoft and Apple platforms provide.

"So, I took a chance (Apple is BSD underneath right?!) and I purchased a MacBook about 2 weeks ago. It has changed everything for me.

"Please note that I was skeptical as the next guy, yet decided that I could not make any judgment without giving the Mac an honest chance. A few points that I made sure to always do was make sure to use Cocoa applications whenever possible, do not install X11, and do not 'port' my existing environment over to the Mac. It wasn't easy and some things are still not natural, yet it is definitely better than what I was doing 3 weeks ago. It won me over, it is worth at least checking out if you are curious and have the resources to spend on a Mac."

Browsers for OS X Benchmarked

Macintalk Design says:

"There are more browsers for Mac OS X than any other platform. The question is, which one delivers the most performance? Last year we tested four of the most popular browsers and found that OmniWeb (which uses a tweaked version of Apple's WebCore engine) and the WebKit nightly build more or less tied on the test suite.

"Several factors have changed since then, so we decided to test again. Here's what's different in this test:

  • We used a new iMac. Users Intel-based Macs now account for the majority of our visitors (though not by much - 48% still use PowerPC Macs). Even so, we thought it fair to test on an Intel Mac this time, because the architectures are different enough to warrant for performance discrepancies.
  • We used the latest versions of the browsers. Apple's Safari has not been updated for a long time, which is why we used the WebKit nightly, dated Fri Mar 30 12:12:44 GMT 2007. We also used the updated Firefox 2.0.0.3. The other browsers' versions are as follows: Camino 1.0.4, OmniWeb 5.5.4, Opera 9.10.
  • Updated test suite. We developed the test to benchmark HTML and Image loading, CSS rendering, and JavaScript performance to determine how fast the browser loads an average page.

"Our test machine was a 24" iMac equipped with 2 GB of RAM and a 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

"All the tests were run from a local drive, because the speed of a page loading from an external server depends on external factors and is not a reliable way to gauge browser speed. In all tests, shorter times are better."

Editor's note: The results of this test are interesting, and I don't doubt the verity of the findings within the context and conditions that obtained, but it almost diametrically contradicts my own experience using most of these browsers on a slow dialup connection with slow to middling G3 and G4 machines (500 MHz - 1.33 GHz) vs. new Intel Macs with a broadband connection. Among the latest versions, I find Opera the fastest, followed closely by Safari (I'm going to check out WebKit), then Camino, followed by SeaMonkey, with Firefox 2.0.0.3 bringing up the rear. These observations have been consistent and observed over time using, for instance, two browsers in tandem to post stacks of news items to a website form. cm

NeoOffice: The Best Mac Office Suite Money Can't Buy

InformationWeek's Carol Pinchefsky reports:

"If you're a Mac user who doesn't want to spend a lot - or any - money on an office suite, you may want to give NeoOffice a try.

"Microsoft Office has reigned for years as the dominant suite of applications for business and personal use, all for a $400-plus chunk of change. There have been some attempts at alternatives - including, in 2001, OpenOffice, a free open-source alternative that captured the essence of Office for PC users - but not so much for the friends of Steve Jobs.

"While OpenOffice can run on Mac OS X, thanks to Apple's X Window System (also known as X11), X-based applications weren't able to keep the polish on the Apple: OpenOffice for the Macintosh lacks the look of the Aqua user interface, doesn't have command-key shortcuts, and has problems supporting Macintosh fonts.

"Enter NeoOffice 2.1, a straight conversion of OpenOffice to the Apple platform and the best office suite money can't buy.

"NeoOffice is a great substitute for Microsoft Office. In fact, in some ways, it improves on the original. Unlike Microsoft Office, where each application installs its own icon to the dock, NeoOffice presents itself as a single application, from which you can start any of the five modules, Writer (Word); Calc (Excel); Impress (PowerPoint); Base (Access); and a separate drawing tool, Draw."

WD Touts Quieter, Smoother Drives Optimized for Video

The Register's Bryan Betts says:

"Audio-video drives are back on the menu, with Western Digital bringing out a range of IDE and SATA hard disks that goes to a chunky 500 GB - enough for up to 30 hours of HD video, reckons WD.

"The drives include a number of tweaks and new technologies to optimise them for AV applications. WD claimed that they can deliver smooth playback of as many as 12 high-definition video streams at once, or for CCTV use they can record up to 16 standard-definition streams simultaneously."

Products

Obsidian 1000 dpi Rechargeable Wireless Optical Mouse

Obsidian MousePR: Saitek Industries Ltd. has announced the availability of the Obsidian Mouse, the latest addition to the company's PC line of mice. Designed to complement any home or office environment, the sleek and shiny looking Obsidian features 2.4 GHz wireless technology to ensure interference-free performance while providing a "coolness" to any computer setup based on looks alone. The design of the Obsidian Wireless Rechargeable Mouse is cutting-edge and the black shine of the color matches the mouse's bold features. Saitek's latest unit features a touch-sensitive scroll, optical technology for high-speed, ultra-accurate tracking, cutting-edge ergonomics and highly tactile materials.

Obsidian MouseIn order to provide the user 24/7 usability, the Obsidian comes complete with two Li-ion battery packs, one that charges while not in use, and one to be used. The Obsidian features 1000 DPI optical, outstanding ergonomics and internal weights and Teflon feet to ensure a smooth controlled glide no matter what the surface. The mouse was also designed with comfort in mind so the left, right and centre buttons, and internet forward and backward buttons, are on both sides to suit left or right hander's for longer use without any discomfort.

The Obsidian has a suggested retail price of $49.95 and will be available for purchase through Saitek's online store. Additional product features of the Obsidian Mouse include:

  • Plug and play
  • Works with Windows XP, 2000, XP64, Vista or Mac OS X
  • Internet forward and backward keys featured on sides

The ultimate rechargeable wireless mouse has an optical sensor for high speed, ultra accurate tracking and groundbreaking design with outstanding ergonomics and highly tactile materials. The Obsidian features innovative technology, with a four-mode, touch-sensitive scroll, recharge dock and two battery packs for 24/7 use.

Obsidian MouseFeatures:

  • Superb design, complements any home/office environment
  • 4-mode, touch-sensitive scroll function
  • Recharge cradle with wireless transmitter storage and spare battery recharge
  • 5 buttons
  • 1000 dpi resolution minimum
  • Interference-free 2.4 GHz wireless technology
  • Smooth glide action
  • 24/7 recharge solution using 2 x Li-ion battery packs
  • Plug and play; ease of use and setup

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X
  • Windows XP, XP64, 2000

$49.95/£39.99

Saitek's complete line of award-winning computer peripherals and digital media entertainment products are carried by major retailers nationwide and are also available online.

LaCie 25" LCD Monitor with Colorimeter

PR: The LaCie 526 Monitor's wide-gamut H-IPS A-TW POL panel covers an outstanding 98.5% of Iso Coated and 95% of Adobe RGB gamut - a larger range of vibrant colors previously unattainable by LCD monitors. This industry-leading panel provides 12-bit gamma correction with 16-bit calculation precision, individual monitor uniformity correction, and ColorKeeper backlight stabilizer. With its large 25.5" diagonal, wide 16:10 format, and high 1920 x 1200 resolution, it enhances productivity and allows full 1:1 scale display of 2 letter-size pages with extra space for toolbars.

The included LaCie blue eye pro software offers a full-featured color management solution including automatic hardware calibration & ICC Profile creation, reference monitor matching, profile switching without recalibrating, calibration Test and Report, manual fine tuning, and ambient light analysis.

Features:

  • Uniformity-enhanced panel with 95% Adobe RGB gamut
  • Large 25.5" wide-format diagonal size
  • 12-bit gamma correction with 16-bit precision
  • Full-featured blue eye pro calibration software

Specifications:

  • Item Number: 130766
  • Technology: H-IPS A-TW POL
  • Diagonal: 25.5 in. / 64.9 cm
  • Display Area: 21.65 x 13.54 in. / 550 x 344 mm
  • Form Factor: 16:10
  • Maximum Resolution: 1920 x 1200
  • Dot Pitch: .287 mm
  • Color Gamut: 98.5% Iso Coated, 95% Adobe RGB, 91% NTSC
  • Gamma Correction: 12-bit LUT with 16-bit calculation precision
  • Backlights: 16 CCFL
  • Luminance: 400 cd/m2
  • Contrast Ratio: 800:1
  • Response Time: 16 ms (typ rise + fall); 8 ms gray to gray
  • Viewing Angles: 178° vertical / horizontal
  • Connections: VGA (D-Sub 15-pin), DVI-I, DVI-D
  • Vertical Scan: 50 Hz - 85 Hz
  • Ergonomics: VESA 100 mm attachment, Tilt: +30° to -5°, Swivel: -170° to +170°, Pivot: 90°, Height-adjust: 150 mm
  • Certification: UL/cUL, TuV-GS, CE, GOST-R, FCC-B, Canadian DOC class B, MPRII, TCO 03, VESA DPMS, EPA, TuV Ergonomie, ISO 13406-2, VESA DDC2B, VESA DDC-CI
  • Pixel Defect Policy: ISO 13406-2
  • Weight: Approx 28.8 lb. / 13.1 kg; without stand: approx. 21.3 lb. / 9.7 kg; gross weight: approx. 45.1 lb. / 20.5 kg
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 23.2 x 17.5 -23.4 x 12 in. / 589.8 x 444.2-594.2 x 306 mm; box dimensions: 28.8 x 26.9 x 17.7 in. / 732 x 684 x 452 mm
  • Compatibility: Mac and PC
  • Power Consumption: 111W typ
  • Box Content: LaCie 526 LCD Monitor, LaCie easyHood, LaCie blue eye pro calibration software, MinD-sub 15-pin/DVI-A cable, DVI-D video cable, AC power cable, Quick Install Guide, LaCie CD-ROM with User Manual and monitor ICC profile, LaCie blue eye colorimeter
  • Warranty: 3 Year Limited Warranty

New Affordably Priced 17" & 19" LCD Monitors from Envision Peripherals

Envision G918w1 displayPR: Envision Peripherals Inc. (EPI), home to the AOC and Envision branded displays, today expanded its Envision line of value priced high-performance displays with the introduction of a new series of TFT active-matrix LCD monitors that allow users to take advantage of the benefits of Microsoft's new Windows Vista Operating System. [Editor's note: They are equally compatible with Macs.]

Leading the new line of LCD displays is the 19-inch widescreen Envision G918w1, offering Windows Vista Premium certification to complement Microsoft's aim to provide enhancements for productivity, multimedia and entertainment. EPI also announced the addition of two new Windows Vista-ready TFT active-matrix LCD displays, the 19-inch Envision H1981 and 17-inch Envision H1781.

The new line of Envision branded monitors is designed to be as attractive as it is functional. Featuring a matte-black cabinet with sleek low-profile design, these units complement virtually any PC or Mac computer, while saving valuable desktop real estate. Their durable screens are finished with a glare-resistant hard coating that reduces eyestrain and helps prevent scratch-damage.

Vista Premium Certified Envision G918w1

Built to maximize screen space for Windows Vista Premium's Sidebar feature, the new Envision 19-inch G918w1 meets Microsoft's strict standards for Windows Vista certification, leaving plenty of room for viewing multiple applications simultaneously. The widescreen format also takes advantage of Windows Vista Premium's Aero Flip, allowing users to save time by easily navigating between multiple windows open at one time.

Equipped with the Digital Video Input w/HDCP interface - needed to "unlock" protected HD content - the Envision G918w1 allows high-quality audio and video playback from the latest high-definition program sources, including HD-DVD and Blu-ray DVDs. For maximum versatility, the unit also delivers HD 720P/1080i compatibility allowing it to display digital TV programming delivered by Cable, Satellite and other Set Top Boxes equipped with DVI-HDCP.

The Envision G918w1 delivers 1440 x 900 maximum screen resolution for stunning picture clarity. The dynamic 800:1 contrast ratio, super bright screen and fast 5 millisecond response time make the unit ideal for a wide range of entertainment and multimedia applications. The sleek ergonomically designed unit fits on any desk and provides comfortable viewing with screen-angle adjustments. The Envision G918w1 has a suggested retail price of $219.

Vista Ready Envision H1981 and H1781

With their clarity and sharp image quality, the new Envision 19-inch H1981 and 17-inch H1781 LCD displays are exceptional performers. Offering a 1280 x 1024 resolution and an ultra rich 700:1 contrast ratio, the displays boast swift 5 millisecond response times ensuring virtually no ghosting for the ultimate gaming and DVD viewing experience. The Envision H1981 and H1781 easily connect to Windows Vista and carry the "Works with Windows Vista" logo. The units have suggested retail prices of $229 and $199, respectively.

Each of the three new units unit carries a comprehensive factory warranty. They are also ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) compliant which means they have minimal amounts of hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBB & PBDE. EPI products are available through leading national and regional retailers and select online outlets.

About EPI

Envision Peripheral's branded displays, AOC and Envision, are produced by the world's largest display manufacturer, Hong Kong-based TPV, which ranked #16 in the 2006 Business Week global "Information Technology 100." The affordably priced brands lead the high quality, price performance display market and are consistently praised for advanced performance, higher resolutions, surprisingly low prices, plug-and-play simplicity, built-in features, user controls and comprehensive factory warranty. EPI displays are ideally suited for corporate, small office and home use. Envision Peripherals Inc. is located in Fremont, Calif.

iRest Aluminium Colour Gel Wrist Rest

iRestPR: Xchange International, the source for extended technology worldwide, announce the release of the the iRest aluminium coloured gel wrist rest.

iRest Aluminium, the new gel-filled wrist rest with Lycra material offers superior comfort. The iRest is the same size and shape as many other wrist rests, but its distinct colour and comfortable material make it stand out from the pack. The included mousepad is simple, yet comfortable and functional. There are also two adhesive strips on the underside of the mousepad to allow attachment to a desk. Research shows lighter-coloured mousepads provide a better tracking surface for optical mice, and allow the batteries on cordless mice to last longer since less power is required to track movement.

There is also a matching white Gel wrist rest and mousepad for your Mac.

Features

  • Allows for therapeutic support
  • Protection against Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Strain Disorders)
  • Skid resistant elastomer base holds iRest firmly in place
  • Reduces fatigue on your wrist
  • Optical precision mousepad surface allows control over fine cursor movements
  • Soft cushion in mousepad offers extra comfort for your palm
  • Suitable for other keyboards and mice
    • iRest (right hand) $19.90
    • iRest (left hand) $19.90

The mStand (£41.95) and the iRest (£15.95) are available through Xchange International. To order, or for more information, users can visit the website or call on +44(0)20 7490 4455 during UK business hours.

Software

Put Your Favorite Widgets on Your Desktop

PR: Widget-to-Desktop is an Automator action that allows you to run Dashboard widgets right on your desktop. Once installed, you move a widget around in Dashboard and hold the F12 key. It will spawn it on your desktop.

You can actually do this with some tricky key combination within Dashboard, but this makes it simple.

New in version 3.0:

  • Now you don't have to restart your Mac anymore!

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or later & Automator

System Support: PPC/Intel

Free

Virtual Dashboard Manages Sets of Widgets

PR: With the release of Apple Macintosh OS X 10.4, Apple released the Dashboard. The Dashboard allows you to use mini applications called widgets. These widgets allow you to see information such as the date and time, or the running value of stocks that the user can setup. They also can be games or just about anything that developers can come up with. The Dashboard makes it very handy to easily access these widgets and the type of data or information that the user wants to look at. There are literally thousands of these widgets that have been developed and can be downloaded from various sites.

The problem with the Dashboard is that the number of widgets that can viewed on the screen at one time is limited to the amount of viewable screen space that the user has. To solve this, Virtual Dashboard was created. With Virtual Dashboard, users can create widget sets that can be switched in and out either through a menu or keyboard shortcuts. This allows users to create different sets and add or remove the widgets that they want to see. Virtual Dashboard allows the user to create as many sets as they desire. Users could literally have access to hundreds, if not thousands of widgets right at their fingertips

New in version 1.3.1:

Bugs Fixed:

  • Fixed bug that the Hide/Show Dashboard items on the Desktop menu item Key Combination set to None (no Key Combination) left the old Key Combination in the Menu.

New in version 1.3:

Bugs Fixed:

  • Fixed bug that new items added to a set, and placed on screen, then set edited again, Dashboard items would not keep there correct position.

New Feature:

  • Added new feature to show Dashboard items on the desktop while the Dashboard is not active.
  • Can switch Dashboard Items to show on Desktop with user defined Key Combination

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

System support: PPC/Intel

Virtual Dashboard is a shareware application. You are free to use it as much as you like for 30 days from its first run. After that, you are asked to either purchase it or remove it from your computer. The cost of Virtual Dashboard is only $10.00, and a license can be purchased through Kagi at the Virtual Dashboard order page. After 30 days, the application will be crippled and the user will only be allowed to use the first two sets created. No new sets may be created.

Adobe Ships Creative Suite 3

PR: Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced the immediate availability of the highly-anticipated Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium and Standard editions and Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium and Standard editions. This revolutionary release of brand-new, tightly integrated, design and development software unites the best of Adobe and former Macromedia product innovation to provide designers and developers worldwide with a broad spectrum of creative options.

Also available for purchase today are new versions of the following stand alone Adobe creative applications: Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Adobe InDesign CS3, Adobe Illustrator CS3, Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Fireworks CS3, and Adobe Contribute CS3. These new Adobe CS3 applications and Adobe Creative Suite 3 editions are available as Universal applications for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs and support both Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Customers will experience increased levels of performance and speed running Creative Suite 3 natively on Intel-based Macintosh systems and the latest Windows hardware. The expanded Creative Suite 3 family also includes Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium, a complete integrated post-production solution for video and rich media professionals, and Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection, which combines all of Adobe's new CS3 design and development applications in a single box - the most comprehensive creative environment ever delivered. Both of these Creative Suite editions are expected to ship in the third quarter of 2007.

Fully Integrated Design Toolkit Powers Creativity

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium delivers an essential, highly efficient toolkit for print, web, interactive, and mobile design. The software integrates new releases of InDesign CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Dreamweaver CS3, and Acrobat 8 Professional for creating compelling publications, websites, rich interactive experiences, and engaging content. Also available today is Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Standard software for designers and print service providers focusing on professional design and print production. With Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium, users can experiment with, save, and apply color combinations quickly and intuitively using the new Live Color feature in Illustrator; perform image editing tasks such as selecting image areas, compositing images, and applying filters faster and more flexibly with Photoshop CS3 Extended; master Flash more easily thanks to its new Adobe-standard user interface; and repurpose print content on the web by exporting InDesign CS3 documents as XHTML and the modifying them in Dreamweaver CS3 using CSS.

Innovative Web Design and Development Tools Maximize Productivity

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium edition is a comprehensive suite that combines the essential tools for web and interactive design and development including the new versions of Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, Adobe Fireworks CS3, Adobe Contribute CS3 - along with major releases of key design tools such as Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Adobe Illustrator CS3, and Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional. Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard edition is also available today to serve the professional designer and developer focused on design, development, and website maintenance. Loaded with new and innovative features, Creative Suite 3 Web editions offer users faster, more productive workflows across the applications. Now, for the first time, web professionals can import native Photoshop and Illustrator files directly into Flash and Fireworks with full fidelity.

Users can also create consistent experiences across all browsers, operating systems, and a range of mobile and handheld devices with the new Spry Framework for AJAX, a prebuilt, cross-browser compatible library of widgets and effects that make it faster and easier to build rich, interactive websites. Fireworks CS3 boasts new workflows for rapidly prototyping RIA layouts for websites and web applications, intelligent Photoshop and Illustrator integration, and a library of common and customizable graphics assets.

New and Enhanced Integration Technologies Boost Performance

Both the Creative Suite 3 Design and Web editions include Adobe Device Central CS3, designed to boost the productivity of creative professionals developing content for mobile handsets with essential tools to design, emulate and test content across a wide range of mobile device and handheld frameworks. These editions also incorporate an updated version of Adobe Bridge CS3, the hub of Adobe Creative Suite, which provides instant access to Version Cue CS3, Acrobat Connect and an expanded Adobe Stock Photos service.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium, Design Standard, Web Premium, and Web Standard are immediately available to customers in the United States and Canada, and are available through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store.

Estimated street price for the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium edition is US$1799, US$1199 for Creative Suite 3 Design Standard edition, US$1599 for Creative Suite 3 Web Premium and US$999 for Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard. There are numerous upgrade paths available for Adobe customers. For more detailed information about features, upgrade policies, pricing, and international versions please visit:

Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.1 for PowerPC

PR: Yellow Dog Linux is an open source, Linux operating system for home, office, server, and cluster users. Built upon the Fedora Core, Terra Soft has since the spring of 1999 developed and maintained YDL for the Power architecture family of CPUs. This focus and dedication has lead to the world's leading Linux for Power OS. What is included?

Yellow Dog Linux combines a no nonsense graphical installer with support for a wide range of Power hardware, leading (but not bleeding) edge kernels and stable, functional compilers for code development. And of course, the foundation applications and servers expected for web, database, email, and network services. Greater than 2000 packages are included on the Install DVD.

Proven worldwide as the preferred Linux OS for the Power architecture, YDL v5.0 brings Terra Soft into its 9th year of Power Linux operating system development and support. What's more, v5.0 introduces E17 as the default desktop environment, granting users a new kind of desktop experience.

Built upon Fedora Core 5/6, YDL v5.0.1 integrates the "E17" desktop to provide an unprecedented level of function and interface aesthetic. Designed for users of all ages and all levels of experience, Yellow Dog Linux v5.0.1 gives new life to displaced Power Macs.

Yellow Dog Linux v5.0.1 offers:

  • Support for Apple PowerPC G3, G4, G5 systems.
  • USB storage, USB camera, & FireWire automount.
  • 802.11b Airport auto-configuration.
  • 802.11g Airport Extreme (requires configuration).
  • PCMCIA card WiFi support (requires configuration).
  • Audio support for all tested machines.
  • E17 installed by default.

New in version 5.0.1:

The new release adds more than 500 package updates to the Linux-based operating system. It supports PowerPC G3, G4 and G5 based systems, offers USB storage, camera and FireWire automount, auto-configuration for 802.11b and support for 802.11g-based wireless networking, PCMCIA WiFi support, audio support and more. Yellow Dog Linux now features E17 for a desktop interface.

Yellow Dog Linux is priced starting at $39.95 for a download version, $49.95 for a version on DVD.

Yellow Dog Linux v5.0.1 for the Apple PowerPC systems adds greater than 500 package updates to the next generation Linux operating system released last fall for the Sony Computer Entertainment PlayStation®3 with support for the former Apple PowerPC product line.

The 535 new or updated packages over v5.0 will this week be made available for existing v5.0 PS3 installations via the public mirrors.

The YDL installer enables anyone to install without instruction. Post-install, the default application set includes the Firefox web browser, Thunderbird email client, OpenOffice, and a suite of personal accessories, development tools; sound & video, internet, and networking applications.

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