- Iris 1.0 from Nolobe is a new image editing application for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Iris uses a single-window interface to provide tools for painting and drawing, plus compositing of text, images, and effects on multiple layers. Iris also offers powerful color correction tools and supports a wide range of import and export formats. ($79 new, 3.5 MB)
- AirPort Utility 5.3.2 from Apple probably has some changes from the previous version, but they're a closely kept secret and Apple's not telling. (Actually, what Apple says, in the What's New in this Version section, is: "Wireless networking that works with most Wi-Fi enabled devices, including Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod touch, and more." I'm so glad to hear that "wireless networking that works" is new.) Versions of AirPort Utility for setting up and configuring the AirPort Express Base Station, AirPort Extreme Base Station, and Time Capsule are available for Leopard ((8.8 MB), Tiger (9.3 MB), and even Windows (10.3 MB), or you can just let Software Update give you a new version.
- PopChar X 4 from Ergonis Software is a major upgrade to the long-standing tool for finding and inserting special characters. Most important among the new features is a new "All" view that lets you search for special characters across all installed fonts, eliminating the need to search each font individually. Other enhancements include a new command for copying the selected character's Unicode name, support for Unicode 5.1, an improved appearance under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the capability to list undefined Unicode characters that may be present, improved compatibility with Butler and CopyPaste Pro, and more. (29.99 euros new, upgrades are free for 2 years after purchase and then 14.99 euros, 1.8 MB)
- Mellel 2.5 from RedleX brings an elegant cross-referencing capability to the increasingly powerful word processor. Mellel's new cross-reference feature lets users create complex reference formats that can include page numbers, page ranges, and even position in the text (above, next page, etc), and it updates all cross-references live, so there's seldom a need to regenerate references. When a deletion causes a reference to point at a non-existent target, Mellel provides a tool to track those broken references, and it can even allow references to targets that haven't yet been created (upcoming chapters or screenshots, for instance). And even better, these references become internal links if the document is printed to PDF. Mellel also now supports bookmarks, includes the Spotlight plug-in in the application bundle, and fixes a variety of bugs. ($49 new, free upgrades for purchases since May 2006 or $19 otherwise, 30.2 MB)
- Opera 9.5 from Opera Software brings to the multi-platform Web browser a variety of new and interesting features, including Opera Link, which synchronizes bookmarks and notes between Opera and Opera Mini (a free mobile phone browser). Other notable features include the capability to search for any text in visited pages, a modernized look-and-feel (with multiple skins), fraud protection technology, and performance improvements across the email client, RSS feeds, and the browser itself. (Free, 15.6 MB)
- BlogAssist 2.2 from Dejal Systems is a neat tool that makes it easier to create blog posts and comments in HTML by providing a variety of formatting options for selected or copied text. It can make links, create a list of links, insert an image, format text with all the standard HTML styles, create lists, and insert variables like the date and time. But what's really impressive is that you can add your own operations, making BlogAssist highly customizable for individual situations. BlogAssist can be invoked via hotkey, from a system-wide menu item, from the Services menu, or from a floating window. ($9.95 new, free update, 2.1 MB)
- The Missing Sync from Mark/Space sees a number of updates to the independent synchronization software for a wide variety of mobile device operating systems, including a public preview version of The Missing Sync for Symbian (specifically for the Nokia Series 60 devices), version 4.0.3 of The Missing Sync for Windows Mobile, and version 6.0.4 of The Missing Sync for Palm OS. Updates to the Windows Mobile version include improved Bluetooth connectivity and synchronization, improved performance of devices mounted on the desktop under Leopard, improvements to the SMS and Call Log applications, and better compatibility with Apple's firewall in Leopard when connecting via Wi-Fi. ($39.95 new, free update for owners of 4.0, 39.8 MB) The updated Palm OS version of The Missing Sync adds support for the Palm Centro and fixes synchronization problems with Yojimbo from Bare Bones. ($39.95 new, free update for owners of 6.0, 40.1 MB)
- InterMapper 5.0 from Dartware enhances the network monitoring and mapping utility, which can create live maps of large networks; monitor devices, servers, and applications on those networks; and alert you to problems. InterMapper 5.0 adds support for testing devices with IPv6 addresses and for IPv6 client connections. It also features enhanced Nagios plug-in support, support for folders in the Map list, and a technology preview of the InterMapper Database, which can collect data from networked devices in an SQL database for querying and reporting. (Pricing is based on the number of devices monitored.)
Single Time Machine Backups
Tired of Time Machine running all the time? You can turn it off in the Time Machine preference pane, but still initiate a single backup by choosing Back Up Now from Time Machine's menu bar icon. Of course, your backup is much less likely to be up to date, but Time Machine won't be taking any resources while you're trying to work.
Published in TidBITS 933.
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