MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2008 (#38)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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MacDirectory 145 REVIEW EAZYDRAW > MACDRAW ON STEROIDS The EazyDraw Web site describes the product as "MacDraw on steroids." What makes the product so different from other electronic drawing programs? First, EazyDraw programs use vector graphics instead of raster graphics. But what does that really mean? In computer graphics, a raster graphics image, or bitmap, is a data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color. A bitmap corresponds bit- for-bit with an image displayed on a screen, generally in the same format used for storage in the display's video memory, or maybe as a device-independent bitmap. Bitmap is technically characterized by the width and height of the image in pixels and by the number of bits per pixel. The printing and prepress industries know raster graphics as contones -- "continuous tones" and refer to vector graphics as "line work." Vector graphics work slightly differently — the graphic files store the lines, shapes and colors that make up an image as mathematical formula. A vector graphics program uses the mathematical formula to construct the screen image by building the best quality image possible, given the screen resolution, from the mathematical data. The mathematical formula determines where the dots that make up the image should be placed for the best results when displaying the image. Since these formulae can produce an image scaleable to any size and detail the quality of the image is only determined by the resolution of the display and the file size of vector data generating the image stays the same. Printing the image to paper will usually give a sharper, higher resolution output than printing it to the screen but can use exactly the same vector data file. With that explanation of the basics of graphic design, now the user can appreciate what EazyDraw has to offer. Tools exist for the creation of everything from architectural drawings to genealogy charts. Older file formats such as Claris Works and Apple Draw can be opened with EazyDraw products and there are too many features to list. For an exciting new design experience take a look at EazyDraw. At just $20 for nine months of use, it is a bargain. WORDS BY MARY ROSENTHOL wide range of subjects for third- to 12th- grade students. Two animated characters, Tim and Moby, help explain simple to difficult subject matter, from art history, algebra to chemical equations. Families and schools use this visual teaching method to introduce and reinforce simple to complex topics. For state specific material, click on the state standards button, choose your state and grade, and related videos pop up for required material. Most video clips run two to five minutes, and incorporate a quiz with an experiment activity. Brainpop is available in English and Spanish. An annual family online subscription costs $85.00 (Spanish) and $99.00 (English), or can be purchased in monthly installments of $8.45 to $9.95. Inspiration Data v.1.5 by Inspiration Software assists students and teachers to investigate, organize and analyze data in math, science and social studies. Pictures, especially charts, can better explain detailed analysis rather than dry, lengthy paragraphs. With more than 100 content-rich data bases, the e-Survey and data base templates aid jumpstarting data collection. Students can develop simple to detailed graphs using Venn diagrams, bar, stack, pie and axis plot charts to help interpret material. Single or multiple tables can be transformed into visual represen-tations, and then imported into word documents, or represented as a slide show. Priced at $79, Inspiration Data helps develop literacy skills and critical thinking with a visually, enriched program. Learning can be just as invigorating as an adventure computer game, as long as the right tools are provided to each student. APEX LEARNING

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