If you've used the Internet at all in the last few years, no doubt you've heard of RSS. RSS (commonly understood to mean "really simple syndication," though different names exist) is a format for online data that allows website publishers to quickly and easily disseminate quick content updates to their readers. This can be especially useful for sites that publish constantly updating news stories.
RSS is a modern and evolving format. The specification is still being defined. That hasn't stopped many publishers from using it already, however. In fact, RSS is so popular that Apple and Mozilla have built support for RSS "feeds" into their browsers! There are, of course, many full featured RSS readers for Windows and OS X, but there are virtually none for OS 8 or OS 9 (and there really are none for 68k Macs).
Acuity was developed by AlkSoft to allow those Macs running the classic Mac OS to have access to RSS feeds. There's nothing wrong with the classic Mac OS, and RSS certainly doesn't require a fancy new Mac to work. Heck, we're even making RSS feeds work on a 68k Mac!
Acuity allows the contents of a feed to be browsed as a list of headlines. Click on a headline to view that story's summary as prepared by the publisher. Feeds can be automatically updated every so many minutes, and a feed can be subscribed to in a fashion similar to bookmarks in your favorite web browser.
Acuity is still in development, and not all the features have been defined as yet. Development is driven entirely by user input. If you have any suggestions or bug reports, just send an email to acuity at alksoft dot com!
New in 1.0b8:This release is a bug fix. The previous fix implemented in 1.0b7 also caused a new bug that prevented changes to the preferences including user font and text size selections as well as new subscriptions from being saved between sessions. This bug is fixed in 1.0b8
New in 1.0b7: This release is a bug fix. 1.0b6 had a bug that prevented it from running if it couldn't find of preferences file already present in the Preferences folder. Of course, this is a problem if you've never run Acuity before!
New in 1.0b6: Acuity now allows you to select the fonts and font sizes for the story headlines and summaries. Make it look the way you want it to look! Check it out in the Preferences window.
New in 1.0b5: Acuity is now a fat binary. That means that the same application will run on both PowerPC and 680x0 based Macs! Also, Acuity is much faster than before. Several times faster, in fact, at downloading the news. And it's more tolerant of servers that don't properly disconnect when the news transfer is complete. Also, Acuity is now more compatible with the major RSS feed formats on the web. Plus, we've included 50 feed bookmark files (just drag them to the Acuity icon to open them) in addition to the default bookmarks in Acuity itself.
Acuity will run on just about any Mac that can run OS 8 or later.
Auity requires a 68020 or better (including PowerPC), a network connection, Mac OS 7.6 or higher, and at least 2 MB of RAM.
Although the GUI was designed to support 512x384 sized screens, it assumes you've got 640x400 or better. You can make Acuity work with a 512x384 screen if you must.
Other than that, there are no specific system requirements.
Acuity is BETA software. It's still in the development phase with the feature set in flux and still has some unpolished corners. It may exit with "unhandled nil object exception" errors. If you spot any such ugly behavior, please let us know by sending us an email at acuity at alksoft dot com.
Acuity comes as a stuffed, binhexed file (.sit.hqx). Stuffit 5 or later is required to open it.
Acuity is a 1.4 MB download. The same application will run on 68k and PowerPC processors. Click to download Acuity!