Steam Support for Mac Platforms a Success

Screen capture of the Portal promotion on Steam's webpage

Steam, the popular digital gaming distributor, finally launched for Mac systems on Wednesday, May 12, and Valve reports that the launch was a huge success. Steam will add several collections of Mac titles to its repertoire every Wednesday for the next few weeks. Valve also introduced what it dubbed “Steam Play,” which allows customers who purchase games on Steam to play on all Steam supported platforms on any computer.

This week, Steam offers a dozen titles in its line of cross-platform multiplayer games. These titles include the zombie-killing co-op title Killing Floor, Altitude, and Madballs in Babo: Invasion.

“We were thrilled when we learned that Steam was coming to the Mac platform and started working on a native Mac version of Killing Floor immediately,” said John Gibson, President of Tripwire Interactive, creators of Killing Floor. “Steam’s advanced multiplayer support on both the PC and Mac has enabled us to bring Killing Floor to a whole new audience on the Mac and introduce them to the existing PC player community.”

Portal, Valve’s own FPS action/puzzle title, is included as a free download to celebrate the launch of Steam on the Mac. Available for both PC and Mac systems until May 24th, Steam is happy to report that there have been 1.5 million downloads since the promotion kicked off last week.

Valve also reports that, within only on week of launching, eleven percent of all Steam purchases are for Mac systems. Pretty impressive numbers.

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Noteworthy

Humanities September 1, 2003 | Doetzer, Ruthanne ALERT FOR APPLICANTS Beginning October 1, all federal grant programs will require institutional applicants to provide a DUNS number, which is issued by Dun & Bradstreet. Project directors should contact their institution’s grant administrator or chief financial officer to obtain their institution’s DUNS number. If an institution does not have a DUNS number, one may be obtained by calling 1-800-333-0505.

NOMINATIONS AND AWARDS The NEH-supported documentary Benjamin Franklin has been nominated for an Outstanding Nonfiction Special Emmy award by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The film, produced by Ellen Hovde and Muffle Meyer, premiered on PBS in November 2002. Receiving Emmy nominations for outstanding historical programming are two episodes of the NEH project, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow: “Don’t Shout Too Soon” and “Terror and Triumph.” The four-part series premiered on PBS in October 2002. Emmy winners will be announced September 21.

Off-screen, the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum has earned an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Eocal History. The museum’s exhibition, “To Get the lob Done: Employing Prisoners of War in New Mexico during World War II,” traces thousands of German and Italian POWs sent to New Mexico to supply agricultural labor during the second World War. Research for the exhibit involved nearly one hundred oral history interviews. go to site duns number lookup

READING THE EXPEDITION New books on the Lewis and Clark expedition have been produced by the Kentucky Humanities Council and by the OASIS Institute in neighboring Missouri. this web site duns number lookup

Into the Wilderness by James Holmberg is written specifically for adult literacy students. It is part of the Kentucky Humanities Council “New Books for New Readers” series. For each of the twelve books in the series, a Kentucky author works closely with adult students and receives feedback from their teachers. Together, they produce books written at a fourth-grade reading level, dealing with issues that appeal to adult readers.

A second book on the Lewis and Clark expedition has been produced by the OASIS Institute to provide educational opportunities to older adults. Lewis and Clark: Journey to Another America contains essays to guide the institute’s scholar-led discussion series, part of the OASIS Lewis and Clark Project that includes a film program, slideshow, website, reading group, and a trip to Monticello.

“Part of the appeal of Lewis and Clark is that it’s a multi-dimensional story. There is something to interest everyone,” explains project director Marsha Bray. “Military and political history, scientific history, cultural studies, and the role of women are all part of the story.” At the twenty-six OASIS branches nationwide, program topics range from medicine on the Corps of Discovery to Chautauqua portrayals of expedition figures. Some OASIS participants are training to become living history performers; others will act as docents when the National Lewis and Clark Exhibition opens in January at the Missouri Historical Society.

HISTORY’S SHELF LIFE With funding from NEH, the Image Permanence Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology has begun a three-year study to efficiently test the level of decay in magnetic tape collections-magnetic tape has been used for decades to store every kind of audio and video information. The project will result in archivists being able to easily assess their collections and copy the most fragile items first. “The trick is to know which ones are in good shape and prioritize,” says James Reilly, director of the Image Permanence Institute.

While most magnetic tape since the late 1960s has a durable polyester base, it was never intended as a permanent medium and earlier recordings were made on less-stable acetate. The shelf-life of magnetic tape is undetermined; estimates range from forty to one hundred years, much less than high-quality paper or even photographic film. In storage, heat and humidity cause tape to flake apart and shed the magnetic particles that fix sounds and images. “You open up some cans,” says Reilly, “and it’s like rust inside.” Doetzer, Ruthanne