Help with Lingo: On the subject of Lingo scripting, there’s a new release called Mediabook CD from Grey Matter Design. This is an interactive guide to Lingo programming, with animated examples of how different scripts work. You can copy and paste these scripts into your own projects. Also included are a Lingo dictionary, debugging tools and “the largest collection of Xobjects ever assembled”. Unfortunately, the on-screen graphics feature the ugliest “brain” graphic I’ve ever seen. It costs 239 for Mac and Windows and is available from Computers Unlimited on 0181-200 8282.
Zippy stuff: Iomega has launched a portable disk drive that looks set to give Syquest a run for its money. The Zip Drive uses removable 25Mb or 100Mb cartridges and costs just 150. Iomega has reduced size and cost by using a Swatch-type design where components are attached directly to the case. Looking at the figures, they’re a bit slower than Syquest drives, but the cartridges are floppy-size and cheaper, at 25 for 100Mb. Also, they don’t rattle.
New KPT Stuff: Photoshop fans will be scrambling to get KPT Convolver, the latest plug-in from HSC Software. This lets you explore and preview combinations of existing filters before applying them to artwork. As with all of Kai Krause’s stuff, the key is the instinctive interface. Your image is shown in a series of diamond-shaped preview boxes with different combinations of filters. You then alter the level of each filter to get the desired result. It’s got to be a winner just for letting you preview filters quickly. And it’s only 152 from Principal.
Easy Mac Projection: Using video and data projectors has always been a pain. LCD projectors simplified the set-up process, but the quality was never great and the light output a bit weedy. But they’re getting better. The LitePro 580 from Infocus is a bit bigger than a carousel slide projector and gives a very decent picture from video, PC or Mac. It’s pricey at around 9000 but well worth a look. Give Steljes a ring on 0181-213 2130 for more details.
Cheaper video capture card: Gomark is offering a new full-motion video capture and playback card called Merlin. At around 2500, it’s a lot cheaper than Radius’s Videovision Studio. It features composite, S-Video and YUV/RGB component input and output in PAL and NTSC. The component inputs mean you can digitise from high-quality sources such as Betacam with less loss of quality. Audio is grabbed at full 16-bit CD quality. There must be a catch somewhere…Call Gomark on 0171-731 7930 to find out.
InfiniD Update: Specular is updating its InfiniD 3D package to support the new 3DMF file format to be used by Apple’s Quickdraw 3D extension. The new version will also offer speed improvements for all Macs (always welcome in 3D apps), particularly those using the new 604 chips. The planned release date is October. Contact Gomark for more details on 0171-731 7930.