October 1991

Adobe Systems will add Illustrator file compatibility, greater control over kerning and baseline shift of letters, and new menus to TouchType in version 2.1, now in beta testing. The updated version of the type-manipulation package Adobe acquired from Right Brain Software also will get new packaging, documentation, and technical support. "We're committed to the NeXT and want to publish applications that we think are worthy," said Tim Myers, product manager. Adobe is also now shipping three sets of PostScript fonts to complement its original package of type styles available for the NeXT. Types include Bodoni Poster, Trajan, Cooper Black, Lithos Bold, and the Adobe Garamond family. "Eventually we'll make all our fonts compatible with the NeXT," a representative said.

Lighthouse Design recently shipped Void, a networked multiplayer video game for the NeXT. Void features stereo sound, color graphics, and near-3-D animation. Multiple users can play simultaneously across the network, communicating via "intercockpit messaging." The object of the game is to destroy opponents or opposing teams. It lists for $149 for a three-player pack and is available through NeXT Connection and dealers. Lighthouse also began shipping Diagram! 1.1 in August. This interim release makes Diagram! files and files linked to them usable with Digital Librarian. Other changes include bug fixes and more sample files. Diagram! 1.1 costs $399, the same as the previous version; upgrades are free. Lighthouse can be reached at 800/366-2279.

NeXT's third tech alert of 1991 relates to a potentially serious bug in NetInfo. Spurious directories can appear as a result of normal operations. When the directories are deleted, the NetInfo database may become corrupted. Network administrators can obtain the full tech alert from NeXT or any dealer.

Ingres Division of ASK Computers has dropped the NeXT from its list of supported platforms by nixing plans to offer the latest release of its relational database on the NeXT. "We have no plans to abandon that particular platform, but we don't know when and if we'll be porting 6.0 to the NeXT," said Glynnis Sears, an Ingres spokeswoman. This policy could leave some users orphaned, especially if the current version isn't compatible with the forthcoming NeXTstep 3.0. NeXT and Ingres are still talking, however, according to Margaret Chan, NeXT database advocate. "The excitement around DBKit [being released] in the near future could get them to port at least part of their product," she said.

Metaresearch has unbundled its popular SoundWorks program from its Digital Ears digitizer, for people who want to edit sounds but are satisfied with the quality offered by analog microphones and the NeXT microphone port. The unbundled SoundWorks version 2.0 costs $395. Digital Ears alone lists for $595. A bundle of the two is $795. SoundWorks allows users to cut, copy, and paste digitized sounds, as well as to control echo, reverb, and filtering. Metaresearch can be reached at 503/238-5728.

Wolfram Research recently released Mathematica 2.0 for the NeXT. Mathematica 1.0 or 1.2 users will be upgraded for free. Higher-education users will receive 2.0 bundled with new machines at no extra cost; for other users the program costs $1495. The documentation is an additional $75. Wolfram Research can be reached at 207/398-0700.

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