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Wednesday, September 6, 2006



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Apple Updates iMac Line
6:55 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 9 comments

Apple today announced that its entire iMac line now features the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor in every model, delivering up to 50 percent faster performance than the previous iMac. A new 24-inch iMac with a 24-inch widescreen display joins the 17- and 20-inch models, and iMac prices now start at just $999.

The new iMac lineup includes four models: a 1.83 GHz and a 2.0 GHz 17-inch, a 2.16 GHz 20-inch and the all-new 2.16 GHz 24-inch iMac, and features the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor which delivers up to 50 percent faster performance than the previous 20-inch iMac running industry standard benchmarks.

Ideal for both consumers and professionals, the 24-inch iMac features a 24-inch widescreen LCD display with a 1920-by-1200 pixel resolution that offers 30 percent more screen real estate than the 20-inch model and a brighter display to make reading text and viewing images even easier. The all-new 24-inch iMac packs professional performance into the convenience of an all-in-one design and includes a 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB of shared L2 cache, 1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory, a 250GB Serial ATA hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics with 128MB of GDDR3 memory and a SuperDrive™ for burning professional-quality DVDs. Delivering greater customization for performance and expansion needs, users can configure the new 24-inch iMac with a 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, up to 3GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory, a 500GB Serial ATA hard drive and the NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory for outstanding graphics performance.

The new iMac line is shipping today and will be available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Apple today also increased processor speeds on both models of the Mac mini, delivering dual-core performance across the line at no additional cost. The $799 model now includes a 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, up from 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, and the $599 model now includes a 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, up from a 1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo processor.

The new 24-inch 2.16 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:

• 24-inch widescreen LCD display;
• 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor;
• 1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 3GB;
• 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
• PCI Express-based NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 128MB GDDR3 memory;
• built-in iSight video camera;
• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
• 250GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
• mini-DVI out (adapters for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);
• built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
• the infrared Apple Remote, Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard.

The new 20-inch 2.16 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), includes:

• 20-inch widescreen LCD display;
• 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor;
• 1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 3GB;
• 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
• PCI Express-based ATI Radeon X1600 with 128MB GDDR3 memory;
• built-in iSight video camera;
• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
• 250GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
• mini-DVI out (adapters for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);
• built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
• the infrared Apple Remote, Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard.

The new 17-inch 2.0 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,199 (US), includes:

• 17-inch widescreen LCD display;
• 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor;
• 1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 3GB;
• 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
• PCI Express-based ATI Radeon X1600 with 128MB GDDR3 memory;
• built-in iSight video camera;
• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
• 160GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
• mini-DVI out (adapters for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);
• built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
• the infrared Apple Remote, Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard.

The 17-inch 1.83 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $999 (US), includes:

• 17-inch widescreen LCD display;
• 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor;
• 512MB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 2GB;
• 24x Combo drive;
• Intel GMA 950 graphics;
• built-in iSight video camera;
• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking;
• 160GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
• mini-DVI out (adapters for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);
• built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
• Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard.

For more on the new iMacs, head over to Apple.

Apple


Macgamestore: Europa Universalis II Digital Download
3:25 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 4 comments

Europa Universalis II is now available as a digital download purchase from Macgamestore.com for $19.95.

Europa Universalis II is a historical strategy game simulating all aspects of world history from 1492 to 1792. Each player takes on the role of one of the major nations of the era, controlling diplomacy, economy, warfare, exploration and colonization. A number of unique features ensure historical accuracy, including period monarchs, military leaders, and technological gains.

For more on Europa Universalis II, follow the link below.

Macgamestore: Europa Universalis II


Apple Posts New Hot Deals
11:43 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

CDW Mac Warehouse has deals on a wide variety Mac compatible hardware and software products including: convert your Apple laptop to a desktop system in seconds with the BookEndz Docking Station for the 15" MacBook Pro for only $299.95!; Microsoft Office 2004 Pro (w/VirtualPC - does not run on Intel-based Macs or G5 systems) for only $469.00; Lexmark C522N network ready color laser printer for nly $499.99!; Wacom Graphire4 4"x 5" USB tablet with wireless mouse and pen for only $99.99!; Logitech NuLOOQ Professional Series navigator a customizable USB-based input device designed to control applications (like ,Photoshop, iTunes, etc) for only $79.99!; run Windows XP on your Intel-based Mac without rebooting w/Parellels Desktop for only $71.99!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL: 

http://hotdeals.apple.com/macwarehouse/index.php

Sweetwater Sound has deals on a wide variety Mac compatible hardware and software products including free shipping on the following products: Edirol PCR-M50 49-key USB MIDI controller w/27 assignable knobs, faders and buttons for only $149.97!; PreSonus FIREPOD 24-bit/96K 10x10 FireWire recording studio w/Cubase LE software for only $499.99!; Alesis io|2 USB portable 2-channel audio/MIDI interface for only $149.97!; get a Sweetwater Exclusive training video when you purchase Reason from Propellerheads for only $399.97!; Ableton Live 5 w/free upgrade to Live 6 for only $399.97!; Ultrasone HFI.700 premium headphones for only $199.97 after a limited time $50.00 mail-in rebate!; and much more. Get all the details at the following URL: 

http://hotdeals.apple.com/sweetwater/index.php



IMG Interviews MacSoft's Phil Sulak
11:42 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted an interview with MacSoft's Phil Sulak, who has spent many years porting games to the Macintosh. Formerly the co-owner of the now defunct Westlake Interactive, Sulak is now a programmer at MacSoft and recently completed work on Halo Univeral Binary and is currently working on the Mac port of Age of Empires III. We recently caught up with Sulak to talk about MacSoft, Apple, Mac OS X, and more.

To check out the interview, follow the link below.

IMG Interview: MacSoft's Phil Sulak


Aspyr Seeks Mac Product Manager
10:10 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 3 comments

Aspyr Media is looking for a Macintosh Product Manager to manage all Mac port projects and Mac game products as well as represent the Mac gaming community within Aspyr. The position will work closely with the Project Office, Development, Quality Assurance, Marketing, Sales and Technical Support teams, so effective communication skills and teamwork are key.

Here's the requirements:

• At least 2 years experience in the video game industry, preferably with the MAC platform, with at least one Associate Producer or Project Manager credit on a major title.
• Good working knowledge of project management principles.
• Great problem-solving skills that can quickly resolve project issues or propose options for quick resolution.
• Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, assisting with multiple projects simultaneously.
• Strong organizational and time management skills.
• Expertise with Word, Excel and various project management tools.
• Ability to travel with limited notice for project needs.
• Passionate and experienced MAC user, prefer experience with the MAC user community.
Aspyr offers competitive salary and benefits, a relaxed casual work environment, and you get to live in beautiful Austin, Texas! Interested applicants can send a resume to jobs@aspyr.com.



Early CrossOver Feedback
6:56 AM | Cord Kruse | 7 comments

Macintouch has posted some early reader feedback of Codeweaver's recently released public beta of its CrossOver software. The program allows Intel Mac owners to run PC software without the need to install a copy of Windows.

While the Windows UI is ugly in an Aqua window, it gives a Mac user the ability directly to compare Mac and WIndows versions of the same software. If anything, CrossOver can do many things: provide Classic-like support for Mac apps that will not be Carbonized or upgraded to UB, that have Windows counterparts (think PageMaker 7.x PC running in OS X via CrossOver); bring multitudes of PC only apps (think GAMES) to the Mac; provide a benchmark environment for comparing Mac vs. PC functions, performance and features; and spur talk about the differences between the platforms.

This last point is very exciting, I think, as we gain the ability to compare Mac vs. Windows software, the interface differences starkly contrast. And it is apparent that performance issues can finally be discussed at a new level. Show a PC user the Windows interface running in an Aqua window next to the same app with a native Mac interface, and they will begin to get the message. Developers will beging to get a better understanding of the differences between the two UI's, and be stimulated to move their software to a native Mac version. I think that the worst scenario is that a bunch of ugly Windows software will start showing up with just a CrossOver style wrapper (one company is starting to do this with games--I forget their name) included.

More commentary on the virtualization software is available at the link listed below.

Macintouch CrossOver Reader Feedback
CodeWeavers



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World of Warcraft Conquers The World
6:56 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new New York Times article examines Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft, the company's worldwide MMORPG success story. Offering comments from players and Blizzard representatives, the feature examines the formula which has managed to capture the imagination of both casual and hardcore gaming enthusiasts.

There were massively-multiplayer games before World of Warcraft, just as there were MP3 players before Apple ’s iPod . Like the iPod, World of Warcraft has essentially taken over and redefined an entire product category.

“I think the real key to WOW’s success has been the sheer variety and amount of things to do, and how easy it is to get into them,” said Kim Daejoong, 29, a doctor of traditional herbal medicine in Iksan, Korea, who had traveled to Seoul for one of (his guild's) regular in-person sessions.

“Hard-core gamers will play anything, no matter how difficult it is,” Mr. Kim said. “But in order to be a mainstream game for the general public, it has to be easily accessible, and there have to be lots of things for you to do, even alone. What WOW has done better than other games is be able to appeal to both audiences — hard-core players and more casual players — all within one game and bring them together. That’s why you’ve seen people all over the world get into the game.”

The full article is available at the link below.

The New York Times: World of Warcraft Seizes The Globe
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft


Penny Arcade Creators Interviewed
6:56 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Joystiq recently posted a video interview with Penny Arcade's Gabe and Tycho. The interview covers a range of topics including their charity work, gaming conventions, and the amount of time they spend playing games. The Joystiq feature also touches on Penny Arcade Adventures, the company's upcoming game.

The interview can be downloaded at the site below. A transcript of the interview will soon be available as well.

Joystiq: Penny Arcade Interview
Penny Arcade Adventures


Mac Games News for Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Macgamestore: Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects12:25 PM
Civilization IV: Warlords Reviewed9:22 AM
Darwinia Examined9:22 AM
HoMM V: Hammers of Fate Announced For PC9:22 AM
Music Challenge Released9:22 AM
Scary Forest Breaks Out9:22 AM
SOCKS/SSH Tunneling for World of Warcraft9:22 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, September 5, 2006 on one page


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