Non-Genealogy Software Updates – Feb 23, 2012 Edition

Following in the footsteps of last week non-genealogy software updates (Feb 16, 2012 Edition), the following is a list of recent software updates that may be of interest to Mac-using genealogists.

VueScan Version 9.0.81 has been released.
VueScan is scanning software that supports a large number of scanners (and it’s what I use). Version 9.0.81 has fixes for Plustek, PIE, and Reflecta scanners, and addresses an issue with option changes and the scroll wheel.
More information: (VueScan website).

ExactScan version 2.19.3
ExactScan is also scanning software, however it is focused on document scanning, including as an example, support for document scanners that handle 60 and 120 pages per minute. It supports over 200 document scanners (Avision, Kodak, Oki, Visioneer, Xerox, Canon, Fujitsu, and others, including many that do not have support for Mac OS X from the manufacturer.

There are two versions, both available through the App Store
ExactScan – ExactCODE
ExactScan Pro – ExactCODE

ExactScan Pro offers the ability to do Optical Character Recognition (OCR) directly to PDF (in a searchable format), “Imprinter” to print text into the scanned image, barcode recognition to file stacks by barcodes, and batch processing of existing image files.

WordPerfect Spotlight and Quick Look Plug-ins Version 3.6 (February 18, 2012)
This is a set of two plugins that do what they describe – they enabled Spotlight search and Quick Look thumbnails/previews for documents and graphics files created by any version of WordPerfect running on any operating system from WordPerfect 1.0 up through WordPerfect 11. They will even pass information such as the document format/WordPerfect version and whether a file is encrypted (password protected).

Read more

Macs, Virtualization, and Genealogy Software has written up a fairly extensive overview of the new Intel-based MacBooks/MacBook Pros, and how they could be of use to those genealogists wanting to switch to Macs, but still hold onto some of their Windows software until they have any and all migration issues sorted out.

You have to understand, this is head and shoulders above previous “Windows on a Mac” software – in this case, Windows has direct access to the Intel hardware and can run very fast. He discusses both options – completly booting Windows by itself with Boot Camp (there probably is no Windows genealogy software that would ever need to have Windows booted by itself), and using a new (and it looks like the only) piece of virtualisation software available – Parallels Desktop. It’s running Windows in a window under Mac OS X (although you can switch to full-screen, you are still running under Mac OS X). It’s not just for Windows either – it’ll handle DOS and other applications written to run on Intel (and AMD) hardware.

It’s interesting, and reasonably priced – if you know of anybody thinking about switching to a Mac, this might be the article to email them.

The article –

Apple MacBooks

As you may or may not know, Apple has rolled out their iBook replacement, the MacBook, which is based on an Intel CPU. This replaces the iBook series (both the 12-inch and 14-inch), as well as the 12-inch PowerBook. It starts at $1099 US, and surprisingly, it is an Intel Core Duo – that is is, it’s a dual-core CPU – the equivalent of having two CPUs inside of your machine.

They are going with only one display for the MacBook, a “glossy” 13.3-inch widescreen display. It’s also back to being available in more than one color – black or white.

Virtualization for Mac OS X

The hits keep coming:

It’s here! Parallels is proud to launch the Beta program the first virtualization solution specifically designed to work with Intel-powered Apple computers! Parallels Workstation 2.1 Beta for Mac OS X is NOT simply a “dual-boot” solution; rather, it empowers users the ability to use Windows, Linux and any other operating system at the same time as Mac OS X, enabling users to enjoy the comfort of their Mac OS X desktop while still being able to use critical applications from other OSes.

Driven by full support for dual-core processors and Intel Virtualization Technology (included in almost every new Intel-powered Mac), virtual machines created using Parallels Workstation 2.1 Beta offer near-native performance and rock-solid stability.

Their versions for Linux and Windows cost $50.

Keep in mind this allows you to run Windows inside of Mac OS X – it’s not a “dual-boot” solution like Apple’s ‘Boot Camp’ that came out yesterday, and it’s not limited to Windows XP, but everything from MSDOS/Windows 3.1 all the way up through Windows 98 and XP. It won’t be as fast as the dual-boot option, but for most of your applications, you won’t care.

This makes it extremly easy to get people to switch to Mac OS X – if they just have a few applications they can’t let go of, they can just pop open a window running Windows, access the application, and then exit out, without having to reboot.

Apple Boot Camp – Dual-Boot Windows on Intel Macs

I am still shocked. If I didn’t know better, I’d have to check the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. Apple has released a new beta product, “Boot Camp”, that will allow you to easily install Microsoft Windows XP on Intel-based Macs. It has a drivers CD for Windows XP, plus the partitioning software, and you basically run the CD, partition your Mac, install Windows XP, and then select which OS you want (normally it will default to one, but you can hold down a key right when it boots to select). This software is going to be a part of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

This is huge. If you know somebody that is thinking about switching to Macs, but they still have some Windows software they want to run (perhaps an older or proprietary application or some games or whatever), this is a huge incentive to switch, as they can get all of the benefits of using a Mac, while still having a “safety net” if you will.