Briefs

Non programming: Macromedia’s latest Web design offering is AppletAce. This application, for both System 7 and Windows, allows you to customise Java applets without having to learn Java or HTML. It comes with tools to create links, roll-overs, banners, bullets, bar charts, and so on. It’s downloaded from http://www.macromedia.com/software/powerapplets and is free for a limited time. Later this year it will be included with Backstage Designer, Macromedia’s WYSIWYG HTML editor. Macromedia is on 01344 458600.

Apple Expo: I know it’s not until 6 November, but the hotline number for free pre-registration for Apple Expo 96 is 0181-390 0203. The show runs in London’s Earls Court, and you have to register before 25 October. A new feature of the show will be an electronic imaging centre. For details of the conference and seminar programme call Tracy Collins on 0171-208 5008, or email to tracyc@computing.emap.co.uk

Grunge those pics: MetaTools is the company Kai Kraus co-founded. As well as producing his essential Power Tools and the Final Effects we’ve praised opposite. it now also produces the 50 Kai’s PowerGoo. As the price and the name suggest, this is funware. It enables you to modify perfectly innocent images using controls such as smear, smudge, nudge and smooth. It will also perform tweening and superimposition. Images can be output as Quicktime, AVI, or Goovie movies. Our demo version was a bit of a pain to use because we had to keep the CD-ROM in the drive all the time it was running. PowerGoo is available now. If you want further information or need to find your nearest outlet call Principal Distribution on 01706 832000.

Snap: Casio has had a low-end digital camera out for some months. Now Kodak, already with an expensive model in the shops, introduces its slightly cheaper Digital Science DC20 at 350. It has auto exposure, a 1Mb permanent memory and comes with cables and software, including Kai’s PowerGoo. It has a fixed-focus lens, so you will probably still have to use a bureau for high resolution scans. On the other hand, Kodak and its partners (including Microsoft) look as though they might have industry support for their FlashPix digital image file format which uses OLE structured storage. Although FlashPix files are inherently bigger, it may supplant TIFF and JPEG. Find out more at http://www.kodak.com

Master of the dimensions: Autodesk’s 3D Studio is the world’s most-used professional 3D modelling and animation package. However, for all those moving over to 3D, Autodesk is sniffy about re-coding for low volume markets. A DOS application 3D Studio has now been totally recoded as a 32-bit Windows95/Windows NT application called 3D Studio Max. This won’t support plug-ins from the DOS version, but third-party plug-in writers are beavering away on conversions. Should you be thinking about moving to the PC world, the price is 2 700 and distributor Datech is on 0800 181738.

Incidentally, Win95/NT users now have their own version of Adobe’s FrameMaker and a plug-in with the name of HoTaMaLe. This allows FrameMaker to save documents as HTML – which FrameMaker aficionados in the publishing world assure me the Mac version has been able to do for a long time.

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