Stairways Software Releases Greebles -- In a departure from their focus on Mac Internet tools like Anarchie, NetPresenz, and Internet Config, Peter Lewis's Stairways Software has released their first game, called Greebles. Stemming from the two-dimensional maze and block-pushing genre of the arcade game Pengo, Greebles ups the ante with over a dozen types of blocks, numerous types of Greebles (the bad guys), both friendly and nasty computer players, and 100 built-in levels. As you'd expect from Peter Lewis, although you can play Greebles alone, it's also a multi-player game with up to four people playing on a single computer and up to nine computers connected over the Internet (unfortunately 33.6 Kbps modem connections don't provide sufficiently high throughput or sufficiently low latency - see Stuart Cheshire's Bandwidth and Latency articles in TidBITS-367 and TidBITS-368). A Greebles Tracker Web page displays public Greebles games so you can join network games in progress. Greebles requires a 68040 or PowerPC-based Mac; System 7.0 or later; 3 MB of RAM; and a 640 by 480, 256 color-capable system. Network play requires Open Transport 1.1 or later and a TCP/IP network. Greebles is $15 shareware with multiple copy discounts available, and registered users can build their own levels.
Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.
Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.
In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.
Published in TidBITS 404.
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Stairways Software Releases Greebles
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