It’s hard enough these days to keep up with what’s new in multimedia or Internet products and technologies. But for Mac users it’s even harder, as they have to read through every article to see if they’ll be affected. Often, they feel let down by the lack of any mention of their system or a […]
It’s hard enough these days to keep up with what’s new in multimedia or Internet products and technologies. But for Mac users it’s even harder, as they have to read through every article to see if they’ll be affected. Often, they feel let down by the lack of any mention of their system or a vague comment that a Mac version will follow. Given that new media, and especially the Internet, are supposed to be cross-system, it’s no wonder Mac users feel like second-class citizens when reading what should be the cross-system press. The funny thing is that many innovative new products and technologies, like mFactory Inc’s mTropolis and Adobe Systems Inc’s PageMill, are either Mac- only or Mac-first. And even when the Mac version is second out of the gate, it’s often much more than a mere implementation of its Windows cousin. Take PointCast Networks for instance. Its Mac version, due out in late November, has been completely rewritten and optimized for the Mac and includes, as PointCast Inc puts it, certain elegant touches such as slow fades of advertisements in transition, not found in the Windows version. If you want to sign up for the Mac beta version, go to pioneer.pointcast.com/products/mac. PointCast joins a growing number of companies who recognize the strength of the Mac presence on the Net. According to a survey by the Georgia Institute of Technology (cc.gatech.edu/gvu/usersurveys/survey-04- 1996/), and endorsed by industry bodies like World Wide Web Consortium and NCSA’s Software Development Group, 28% of Internet users access the Net from a Mac OS computer – an increase of 8% over the previous six months – and a full 38% of all Webmasters surveyed, used the two most common Mac Web servers, Quarterdeck Corp unit StarNine Inc’s WebStar or its earlier shareware incarnation, MacHTTP.
By Herbert Festoff
More than a dozen other Mac Web servers are also available. A hot new entrant into this field is WebCenter, a freeware server available in beta from www.slaphappy.com. One of the reasons more people haven’t gone over to completely-Mac service provision has been the lack of other-protocol Internet servers for the Mac. Following the release of robust File Transfer Protocol and Gopher servers, have come Domain Name Servers, DNSs, from Apple and third parties. The gaping hole was news. That’s about to change though, with three or four news servers about to hit the market. Probably the most promising is Newstand, due out in November from Imagina Inc of Portland, Oregon (www.imagina.com). Based on EveryWare Development Inc’s Butler SQL database engine, the server will come in two versions: Newstand, for unlimited users, and costing $1,000 and Newstand Lite, for five users, at $500. Taking the frustration of Mac users who want to access the Internet as a cue, Equinox Internet Services Inc of Long Island, New York has come up with the ultimate solution: an Internet access provider exclusively for Mac users. 95% of all Internet access providers provide Mac support as an after-thought, says the firm. So, working together with World-Com Inc subsidiary GridNet International Inc, who will provide an Asynchronous Transfer Mode backbone, they will roll out MacConnect in 70 US cities on November 18. Mac-Connect runs on the Mac operating system, caters to MacOS users, and it will not sell one second of Internet access to users of Windows, says Equinox. So, there! Details at www.maccon-nect.com. If you’re interested in following Mac developments, there are many creative sites dishing out the latest. Start off with the listing of Computer-Ware Inc’s Mac Links at www.macsource.com/links all.html. It’s a real treasure trove, all on one page.