We're a little too tired to make much of this fact, but this issue of TidBITS marks our sixth anniversary of publication. We started publishing TidBITS each week in April of 1990, which makes us one of the longest running solely electronic publications. If you know of any regularly published, edited publication (mailing lists and digests don't count) that is solely electronic, started on the Internet before we did, and continues to publish today, please drop me a note with a pointer to it. [ACE]
TidBITS in Dutch -- Check out the TidBITS home page for a link to the first translation of TidBITS (issue #322) into Dutch. However, Jan Vanderwegen <firstname.lastname@example.org>, the coordinator of the Dutch translation team, tells me that they could use additional help. If you're interested in helping translate TidBITS into Dutch, drop Jan and me a note in email. With enough people on the translation team, it's easy to spread out the work load and make the translation process faster and easier for everyone. [ACE]
Nagel to Head AT&T Labs -- AT&T announced today Dave Nagel will leave his position as senior vice president at Apple Computer to become the first president of AT&T Labs. AT&T Labs, a new research organization formed around what used to be Bell Laboratories, includes about 2,000 staff members dealing with a wide range of software and communications technologies. Nagel most recently led Apple's worldwide research and development group; prior to that he headed up AppleSoft. [GD]
FreePPP 2.5 Beta Available -- The FreePPP Group has released FreePPP 2.5b4, the first public beta of FreePPP 2.5. As usual, if your PPP connection works well, we don't recommend upgrading yet (why fix what isn't broken, especially with beta software?). The changes are significant, and most notably, an application called FreePPP Setup replaces the Config PPP control panel and its elderly interface. The extension is now called FreePPP instead of just PPP, differentiating it from MacPPP. The primary parts of the FreePPP package missing in this release are documentation, an Apple Guide, and some cosmetic interface changes. Be sure to read the Read Me file in the FreePPP Folder installed for you in the root directory of your startup drive. [ACE]
New QTVR Tools and Developer Info -- Finally showing motion with its much-touted QuickTime VR technology, Apple is distributing pre-release versions two new QTVR tools to assist authors with making QuickTime VR panoramas and objects from photographs or computer-generated images. Though these tools can't add hot spots or stitch together series of overlapping photos (these functions are still restricted to Apple's obtuse QuickTime VR Authoring Tools Suite), they're a good first step on the path toward letting real people make QuickTime VR movies.
Perhaps more important than these tools, however, is new developer information on integrating QuickTime VR into applications, as well as behind-the-scenes motion on the forthcoming QuickTime VR 1.1. With luck, developers will be able to integrate QuickTime VR content and authoring into applications (like Poser, Director, SuperCard, and Bryce) more easily - and I can't imagine a Netscape plug-in is too far off. [GD]
AIMED Developers Consortium -- A group of third party developers have formed the Association of Independent Macintosh Engineers and Developers (AIMED), a non-profit group dedicated to Macintosh software and hardware development. AIMED intends to evangelize the Mac to third-party hardware and software developers, and also provide feedback to Apple on issues that concern Mac programmers. [GD]