MacPhoenix Eggheads Recommend

Image Tricks

Apple’s latest operating system, Tiger, has a snifty new technology called Core Image that speeds up certain graphic tasks, which is all very esoteric for most of us. But with Core Image, there are many filters now available to use that will render quickly, and it eliminates the need something like Photoshop to sharpen an image or adjust the color, but how exactly to access all these cool image filters? Image Tricks, from BeLight Software, is a simple and elegant way to access all these filters; it’s easy to use, and best of all, it’s free. It does require Tiger (OS X 10.4), however, and it has to install on the root drive, for some reason. It can import just about anything including PSD layered files, and it can output to GIF, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF. As a bonus they have several masks that can be thrown over the image, but there is no way to adjust where the mask sits over your image, but there’s power in this free program, and we can’t see any reason not to recommend it.

Posted 16 Sep 2005


Are you a dirty thief using peer to peer file-sharing programs, like Limewire, on the Mac? Well, honest or no, you’ll do far better with Acquisition. It’s utilizes the Gnutella network, just like Limewire, but it is written for the Mac, and the user interface is so much nicer. Try it for a spin; the program is shareware and lets you use it, fully-functional, with just a reminder every now and then to register.

Posted 2003


Having used PageSpinner, a Macintosh-only HTML editor, on all our web page creations for over four years, we’d highly recommend this software to anyone coding sites on the Mac, simply for ease of use and rich features. But, when we had a minor quibbling with an editing glitch and emailed in a bug report ON A SATURDAY, we were amazed with the prompt response time—within fifteen minutes. In five years, we never even had to send in a technical report issue to the good people at Optima Systems, and when we did, the courteous and quick response made our jaded heads spin.

Posted 2002

MacPhoenix Eggheads Do Not Recommend

Griffin Technology’s iTrip

We were very excited to hear about the iTrip. It lets you broadcast your iPod onto any FM frequency, so you can use your iPod on any FM-enabled stereo. It is meant to fit nicely onto the iPod, without anything dangling or hanging. And it uses the iPod’s battery, so the iTrip is light and tiny. Sadly, so is its range. We used a first generation iTrip for the second generation iPod (got that?) so the quality may be improved for the 3G and mini iPod versions of the iTrip, but it isn’t an investment we’d make again. The iTrip costs $35 ($40 for the mini iTrip), which is on the more expensive end for FM transmitters with puny ranges.

Additionaly, the iTrip did not sit very well on our iPod and would pop out, causing the signal to degrade rapidly into noise, as in static blasted out of the car’s speakers until we stopped swerving from the shock in order to re-seat the damned thing. Eventually, this constant effort to push the iTrip into our iPod caused the phono jack to crack, and now even using headphones is a dicey proposition. If anyone has had better luck with their iTrip, we’d like to know. Until then, we highly recommend using something else.

Posted 2003