Mark Anbinder sent in a correction from last week: "After we wrote in TidBITS-229 that Maxima owners could order upgrades to the new 3.0 version with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit cards, a reader told us Connectix doesn't currently accept Discover. Roy McDonald at Connectix apologizes for the misinformation." Also, I (Tonya) had a regrettable accident with my Eudora folder last week. If you sent me mail between 30-May and 06-Jun, and did not receive a reply, please send the mail again. [TJE]
Pythaeus suggests that Scitex may buy Altsys and attempt to settle some litigation in the process. Apparently, Altsys, the original developer of FreeHand, is suing Aldus over Aldus's recent merger with Adobe, since Altsys either wants FreeHand to stay alive or to come back to Altsys. In a seemingly unrelated plot development, Scitex is suing Aldus over TrapWise. To bring the plot lines together, rumor suggests that if Scitext buys Altsys, then Scitext will try to settle out of court with Aldus, such that in exchange for dropping the charges in the TrapWise suit, Scitex gets the FreeHand rights back from Aldus. [TJE]
Connectix recently released version 1.0.4 of CDU (Connectix Desktop Utilities), which offers the ability to gracefully shutdown after a user-specified period of inactivity, and to re-open all previously open applications and documents when you turn on the Mac. Because this feature could save a lot of power if used on many machines over time, CDU is the first software program ever that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls "Energy Star Compliant." CDU also offers a variety of utilities that enhance Macintosh operations, including sticky menus, customized pointer, quick access to changing monitor depth or active printer, and more. CDU lists for $99, and registered owners of previous versions can upgrade for $29.95. [TJE]
Connectix -- 800/950-5880 -- 415/571-5100 -- 415/571-5195 (fax) -- <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Aldus is shipping ChartMaker, an applet that provides sophisticated charting capabilities at a list price of $149. ChartMaker works via OLE 1.0, Publish and Subscribe, or the clipboard to add charts to documents created in other programs (you can't print directly from ChartMaker). Features highlighted in Aldus's press release include: 84 chart types (including 3-D charts with a z axis that you can rotate, tilt, and scale), an eye dropper tool to transfer color, custom gradients and fills, the ability to add text or graphics to the chart background, and chart templates. ChartMaker is clearly a product of the times - it requires System 7, a 68020 or better Macintosh, 8 MB of hard disk space, and at least a 2 MB RAM allocation; Aldus recommends a 16 MHz 68030 Macintosh and a 4 MB allocation to ChartMaker.
Aldus also plans to ship additional "Aldus Accessory Products," in both Windows and Mac versions, which - like ChartMaker - will enhance other applications by offering tools for a particular task. ChartMaker is currently available for the Mac; the PC version should be out "later this year." It will be interesting to see if this approach to a collection of applets pays off for Aldus, since many industry leaders and pundits have stated that such applets are the wave of our collective desktop applications future. [TJE]
Aldus Corporation -- 800/628-2320 -- 206/622-5500