New 13″, 15″ MacBook Pro Notebooks Capable of Booting from SD Card Clot

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Date: Friday, June 12th, 2009, 17:23
Category: MacBook Pro

Apple’s newly-released 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro notebooks now boast a feature in which users can boot from the SD card slot in a pinch.

According to a tech note published by Apple, users can install Mac OS X on an SD card and use it as a startup volume simply by changing the default partition table to GUID using Disk Utility, and then formating the card to use the Mac OS Extended file format.

This capability can be particularly useful in the event that you run into problems with a MacBook Pro’s built-in storage options, particularly those equipped with traditional hard disk drives, which include moving parts.

The company notes that the new MacBook Pros have a maximum speed of 240 Mbit/s for SD media using the SD card slot, which easily exceeds the transfer rate of most SD media. For example, Class 2 media has a maximum transfer rate of 4 Mbit/s; Class 4 media has a maximum transfer rate of 4.8 Mbit/s; and Class 6 media has a maximum transfer rate of 45 Mbit/s.

SD cards that conform to the SD 1.x and 2.x standards should work in the slots, though they also accept cards that are Standard SD (4 MB to 4 GB) and SDHC (4 GB to 32 GB).  MultiMediaCards (MMC) can also be used, as well as MiniSD, MicroSD, and higher density formats like MiniSDHC and MicroSDHC, assuming they’re first inserted into one of the “passive” adapters on the market that conform to the width and thickness specifications for the slot.

Although the SD card specification for a memory card is 32mm x 24mm x 2.1 mm, Apple says you can also use thinner cards, such as the aforementioned MMCs.  Cards that have a thickness greater than 2.1mm or that have surfaces that exceed 2.1mm, should not be used, the company warns, as they may damage the SD card slot if inserted.

The slots also accept cards that exceed 32 GB, but as Apple notes, most media manufactures preformat their media using common block-and-cluster sizes that do not approach the theoretical limits of a given file system.

Most SD cards use the FAT32 file format which is commonly available up to a capacity of 32 GB.  Some smaller capacity cards use the FAT16 file format, which is generally available in capacities of up to only 2 GB.

SD cards that use the exFAT file system are not supported, nor are SDIO (Secure Digital Input Output) cards.

Delicious Library Updated to 2.1.1

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Date: Friday, June 12th, 2009, 17:33
Category: Software

Late Thursday, software company Delicious Monster released version 2.1.1 of the shareware favorite, Delicious Library. Delicious Monster allows Macs with webcams to scan the bar codes of any book, movie, music CD or video game, then creates an archive based on background information from the Internet. Additional features help keep the library organized and reseller’s tools allow for items to be quickly posted for sale online.

The new version, a 15.8 megabyte download, incorporates the following major fixes and changes:

  • There is a free Delicious Library iPhone app for viewing your collection on-the-go (without needing a network connection).
  • When you first run Delicious Library 2.1 you’ll be prompted to download the iPhone app, if you have an iPhone.
  • Our long national nightmare is finally over, and details are vertical again (like in version one), instead of horizontal.
  • Lots of layout changes because of this. Rather than merely going back to version one’s look, I’ve tried to improve on it.
  • We now allow copying / pasting the raw cover image from the details pane using standard copy menu item. (Just click on image first.)
  • Some fields have been added to make syncing and publishing your collection faster in the future, but this requires a one-time upgrade when you first launch version 2.1.
  • This upgrade may take a long time. Sorry.
  • Your new file will NOT work with 2.0, but a backup of your 2.0 data is made in the folder Library / Application Support / Delicious Library 2 – you can use that if you want to go back for some reason.
  • If you launch Delicious Library after upgrading, and get a message to the effect of “the model file can’t be used with the data file,” that means you’re accidentally running an your old 2.0 version, not 2.1. You probably don’t want to leave Delicious Library 2.0.7 on your system after going to 2.1.
  • Scanning with your web cam, our Bluetooth scanner, or a USB scanner has been enhanced so you can select different kinds of shelves and scan new or existing items and the functionality you might expect now actually works:
  • If you select a custom shelf in your collection and scan a new or existing item, the item will be created if needed, then added to the selected shelf.
  • If you select a friend’s shelf and scan a new or existing item, the item will be created if needed and then loaned to the friend. (If you have multiple copies of the same item already in your library, only the first one that hasn’t already been loaned out will be lent.)
  • If you select one of your shelves (or your main library) and scan an existing item that has been loaned out, the item will be checked-in. (If you have multiple copies of the same item in your library, only the last one on your shelf that has been loaned out will be checked-in.)
  • ‘Number in Series’ property is now present for all media types.
  • Worked around a Logitech mouse driver bug – people who installed the Logitech mouse driver found that many items would draw as their generic types instead of specific types (eg, Nintendo video games would draw as DVDs instead of in Nintendo boxes). Logitech illegally injects their code into ALL running programs in their current software, and actually messes up other people’s code.
  • Fixed a very rare bug we’d fail to scan items that had two different keywords in their subtitles that we recognized, like “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Widescreen & Full Screen Edition)”
  • Fixed a bug where Backups were sometimes truncated when they were written out, so they couldn’t be read in again. (Sorry!)
  • iPods (non-touch) are now listed under the new “DEVICES” header shelf.
  • iPods present themselves like iPods do in iTunes, for syncing libraries.
  • iPods now delete the library out of their “Notes” directory if you set them to no longer sync.
  • iPods won’t needlessly sync as often if you leave them plugged in.
  • iPods won’t ever be duplicated (rare bug).
  • Only write out the first 1,000 items to the iPod, since iPods are hard-wired by Apple to never display more than 1,000 notes, and it just slows us down to write, like, 7,000 items every time a single one changes.
  • Pop up a HUD when updating the iPod’s contents.
  • Searches are now encoded correctly when searching for items by keywords in non-English alphabets, including Japanese (finally), German, and French. It turns out there’s no real standard for these searches, but I finally figured out what Amazon does.
  • ‘Search for Cover Art’ now works for items with special characters in their names (eg, “Harold & Kumar”).
  • Added a first Korean localization.
  • Fixed some translations from user suggestions.

Delicious Library 2.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.0.11 Update

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Date: Friday, June 12th, 2009, 17:19
Category: Software

Late Thursday, Mozilla.org released version 3.0.11 of its Firefox web browser.

The new version, a 17.3 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed several security issues.
  • Fixed several stability issues.
  • Several issues were reported with the internal database, SQLite, which have now been fixed by upgrading to a newer version.
  • Fixed an issue where, in some specific cases, the bookmarks database would become corrupt. (bug 464486)

The program requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.