To Pif or not to Pif

Pif file contains W32.Netsky.D@mm

Over the last few weeks I have received dozens of “.pif” files via email. They are usually named “document.pif”, or “document_word.pif”, or “requested_file.pif”, or some other variation. The body of the email usually says something like “Please read the attached file” or “here is the document you requested”. They have come from several reputable domains. The files do contain a virus that Norton identifies as “W32.Netsky.D@mm”. Fortunately I am immune because I am on a Mac, but I can become a carrier for certain viruses… that sounds so dirty. There must be a new wave of attacks going on. I don’t ever remember getting so many things like this in such a short period of time.

If you’re on a PC, you do NOT want to open these attachments.

Adobe Illustrator CS: Revolve

Adobe Illustrator: Revolve

Illustrator CS has a great little effect callled “revolve”. Good thing for me, because I needed to mock-up some products for one of my clients. I used the effect to create these bottles (above). The real graphics are hi-rez, and look pretty convincing. I didn’t know about the feature until I saw an article in MacWorld (Sept. 2004) this weekend. That was good timing. Adobe has a tutorial on how to use it on their site.

Apple Motion Now Shipping

Apple ships motion

Today Apple began shipping “Motion“, the only motion graphics package with real-time previews, procedural behavior animation and Final Cut Pro HD integration. It is Apple’s equivalent to Adobe After Effects.

Apple also announced their new Production Suite. The new Production Suite contains Apple’s Final Cut HD, DVD Studio Pro, Motion, and Soundtrack.

Apple is offering a $699 upgrade price to the new Production Suite for registered owners of any version of Final Cut Pro. The reqular price is $1299. Motion is available as a stand alone app for $299.

That’s a big bummer for me because I own Final Cut Express, and DVD Studio Pro, which does not qualify me for the upgrade.

DVD Studio Pro 3 Ranked #1 by PC Magazine

Apple: DVD Studio Pro 3 Ranked #1 by PC Magazine

I love it when PC people rate Apple software #1, even though it isn’t available for their platform.

From PC Magazine…
“No other DVD authoring program in the $500 price class is capable of creating such stunning, highly creative DVDs as Apple’s DVD Studio Pro 3. For video pros looking to take their productions to the next level, it’s worth a serious look. That said, DVD Studio still needs work in several key areas – namely its preview and error-checking capabilities.

Read more

Adobe Streamline for Mac OS X?

The return of Adobe Streamline

So, who remembers Adobe Streamline? It’s an application used to trace bitmapped graphics, into vector files. Adobe had seemingly forgotten about it. Streamline hasn’t been updated in a number of years. That’s a bummer for me, because there is no native OS X version. I refuse to run apps in classic.

Last night I was at a meeting of The Bay Area Motion Graphics user group to watch a demo of After Effect 6.5. I started talking to the Adobe rep who was giving the demo. The subject of Streamline came up. He said that when Adobe bought Streamline, it was written into the agreements that Adobe would not incorporate Streamline’s functionality into the other Adobe apps, nor would they try to reverse engineer Streamline, or anything like that for a period of 10 years. Well, that 10 years is up. The rep didn’t say that Adobe would be upgrading Streamline, but he did imply that we would be seeing Streamline’s functionality, built into another Adobe app. very soon. So no, there probably won’t be a Mac OS X version of Streamline, but it sounds like OS X will be getting Streamlines functionality back… Thank you Adobe!

By the way… The After Effects 6.5 demo was awesome! I want it!

DVD Studio Pro 3.0

Apple: DVD Studio Pro 3.0

My DVD Studio Pro 3 upgrade came today. I can’t wait to explore the new features…

  • Render-free Transition Preview
    Add transitions to menus, slideshows and tracks and preview instantly.
  • Alpha Transitions
    Blend menus, titles and video imagery using new Alpha Transitions.
  • Graphical View
    See projects in storyboard form with nodes and connections.
  • DTS Audio®
    Author using DTS audio, Dolby Digital Professional AC-3 and stereo.
  • Photoshop Integration
    Edit and update Photoshop assets seamlessly within DVD Studio Pro 3.
  • Compressor 1.2
    Encode to SD MPEG-2 using superior optical-flow technology.
  • Jacket Picture
    Add a professional, differentiating detail easily.
  • Output in More Formats
    Format for every major DVD player, including DLT.
  • Import iDVD 4 Projects
    Update and enhance projects with ease.
  • Edit with Power
    Do more, faster using DVD Studio Pro enhanced editors.

Mac OS X ‘Tiger’

Mac OS X 'Tiger'

Tiger keeps up Apple’s blazing pace of innovation with more than 150 breakthrough new features, including Spotlight, a revolutionary new way to find files and information on your personal computer; Safari RSS, a new version of Apple’s innovative web browser that provides instant access to the most current RSS information on the web; Dashboard, a dazzling new way to get in and out of a collection of new all-purpose “widgets” quickly; and iChat AV multi-way video and audio conferencing, the industry’s first consumer solution with a stunning 3D interface.

[ ]

Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Creative Suite Quick Tour
[ Watch Movie ]

I have been awarded a new CD-ROM project that I had put a bid on. Yay! The only problem is it requires Adobe Acrobat Pro. I don’t actually own that, but instead of buying it as a stand-alone app, I decided to just upgrade to the full Creative Suite. I was one version behind on the Adobe apps. Getting A full version of InDesign, when I didn’t own that at all, makes it more than worth the price of the upgrade. Besides, I am a software whore ;)

While looking into the upgrade, I came across this great little animation for the Adobe Creative Suite. It made me drool.

Entourage vs. Mail, iCal, and Address Book

So I’m in the process of switching from Apple’s ‘mail’, ‘iCal’, and ‘address book’ to Microsoft’s ‘Entourage’. It totally sucks though. I actually really like iCal and address book, I just don’t like Apple’s It’s not quite up to snuff. I have PC based clinets who were getting blank emials from me, or attachments that were embeded, and they couldn’t save them to their drive. I hate to use Entourage just for email, because that kind of defeats the purpose (and benefits) of using the all-in-one app. On the other hand I really don’t like the idea of giving up my .Mac synchronization if I don’t use iCal / address book. I really like having the ability to keep my desktop and laptop in sync, with little or no effort. But, Enourage’s new ‘Project Center’ is awesome. It’s so nice being able to link contacts, calender items, tasks, emails, and files in one central location.

There are a lot of other little ups and downs to both systems. Why, oh why, can’t I just have one solution that does everything I want? Is that to much to ask? :)

iTunes: Software Newcomer of the Year

iTunes for Windows

— from PC World’s ‘Best of 2004’
Apple makes Windows apps about as often as Microsoft ships bug-free products, and if iTunes for Windows (free) is any indication, that’s a crying shame. The iTunes media player works on PCs the same way it does on Macs, right down to the handy feature that lets you share your music library with other PC or Mac iTunes users on your network. It looks great, it’s easy to use, and it has a surprising number of useful features, like the abilities to generate rules-based Smart Playlists and to trim individual tracks.

Meanwhile, Apple’s complementary iTunes Music Store (99 cents per track, album prices vary) started the party last year on subscription-free digital tunes, pioneering the 99-cents-per-track model that most online music stores now use. With easy navigation, an impressive exclusive track selection, and such innovative offerings as audiobooks and radio show archives, iTunes Music Store is going strong. Competitors like RealPlayer Music Store made this a tough choice, but it’s hard to beat a store that’s built into the best media player software around. We do have one major complaint: iTunes tracks are incompatible with digital audio players other than Apple’s own IPod. How selfish!