Cocktail 4.5.2 (Snow Leopard Edition) Released

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, 05:37
Category: Software

cocktaillogo.jpg
On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.5.2 of Cocktail (Snow Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.

The new version, a 2.0 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
– Fixed a bug causing high CPU usage on 32-bit Macs.
– Improvements on the clear font caches procedure.
– Improvements on the clear dynamic link editor’s shared caches procedure.
– Addresses compatibility issues with QuickTime X.
– Addresses compatibility with the latest versions of Camino, Firefox, Flock, OmniWeb, Opera and Shiira web browsers.
– Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may report problems with diskutil.
– Fixed a bug in which some items in /private/tmp folder were not deleted during clearing of the temporary files.
– Addresses an issue in which check of the S.M.A.R.T. status may fail.
– Addresses an issue in which two Help menus are displayed.
– Fixed miscellaneous issues with the Sparkle software update framework.
– Fixed other minor bugs discovered in the previous version.

Cocktail 4.5.2 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Apple Acknowledges Snow Leopard Data Loss Issue

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, 07:35
Category: News, Software

snowleopard

Since the release of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), a number of users have reported that their personal data has gone missing after logging into their guest accounts. According to CNET, Apple now says it’s working on finding a fix.

“We are aware of the issue, which occurs only in extremely rare cases, and we are working on a fix,” an Apple representative said in a prepared statement Monday.

The statement marks the first time Apple has said it is looking into the issue. In early September, a handful of Mac users reported the issue on Apple’s discussion boards. The problem, when it occurs, goes like this: when logging into the guest account on their Mac first and then logging into their regular account, some users are finding all their data to be missing and their accounts completely reset.

This doesn’t appear to be a widespread problem and there are currently less than 100 posts on several current discussion threads on the issue. Microsoft is currently dealing with a massive data loss at its Danger subsidiary, the company it acquired that makes the Sidekick mobile phone.

Apple’s data loss issue marks the most recent significatn bug with the Mac OS X 10.6 operating system, including the Finder hanging or crashing, incompatibility with certain apps, and the AirPort connection dropping.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know.

TechRestore Now Offering MacBook Glossy to Matte Screen Conversion for $200

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, 04:42
Category: MacBook, News

el17.jpg

You either love Apple’s glossy displays or hate them with the fury of a thousand suns.

Until now, shoppers could get either a glossy or matte display with the 15″ MacBook Pro, but not the 13″ model. Per Cult of Mac, TechRestore (disclaimer: a PowerPage sponsor) has stepped in to do the “repair.” For US$200, they’ll remove your 13″ MacBook or MacBook Pro’s glossy display and slap a matte screen in its place. The work comes with a 1-year warranty and TechRestore says they’ll have your notebook back to you within 24 hours of receipt. Note that this requires a trade-in of your existing screen and it’s theirs forever.

If you’ve tried this service before, let us know in the comments.

Prosoft Releases Data Rescue 3.0

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, 03:10
Category: Software

datarescue.png

Data Rescue II, Prosoft Engineering’s data rescue and recovery program, was updated to version 3.0 on Tuesday. The new version, a 14.8 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:

– Data Rescue 3 runs on OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger) and later, including OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) and OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard)
– Data Rescue 3 sports a brand new Graphical User Interface, with animated visual effects.
– Many (over 100) new Reconstructed file types have been added for Deleted and Deep scans. See the last section of this file for a current list of supported types.
– A powerful new feature called FileIQ allows Data Rescue 3 to learn about new file types from user-supplied samples. This greatly extends the number of potential Reconstructed file types supported.
– A new File Previewer feature, which can preview many file types prior to recovery.
– The ability to suspend and resume scans, and to manage the results from multiple scans.
– Improved support for scanning Apple software RAID drives.
– Improved support for scanning large > 1TB drives.
– Improved support for recovering large sparse disk image files.
– Improved support for recovering pkzip files.
– Improved recovery of hard linked files.
– Added ability to unmount or eject a volume (useful when booted from DVD-ROM).
– Automatic check for updated Data Rescue 3 version.
– Improved features to assist if a call to Prosoft technical support becomes necessary.
– New Home Folder feature when booted from DVD; avoids the need to re-enter activation key each time it’s booted.
– Numerous bug fixes.

Data Rescue 3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.

Apple Releases Second Mac OS X 10.6.2 Developer Build, Focuses on Wide Array of Fixes

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 12th, 2009, 11:38
Category: News, Software

snowleopard

Apple’s second beta of its Mac OS X 10.6.2 update hit the developer circles recently, the new build incorporating numerous fixes for a wide variety of issues.

Sources familiar with the latest build, dubbed 10C519f, said the update addresses nearly 150 “general focus areas” ranging from applications like Address Book, Photo Booth and QuickTime Player to core services including Front Row, Spaces, and Time Machine.

The update also specifically targets WWAN support for mobile data services and enhances Exchange support, MobileMe and iDisk features, as well as NTFS and WebDAV file system support.

The new beta also addresses specific issues related to the app switching in the Dock, performance and stability issues tied to graphics drivers and the OpenCL compiler, as well as patches impacting bugs in Parental Controls Preview, printing, and the software update mechanism itself.

Apple Updates MobileMe Service, Revises File Sharing and iPhone Services

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 12th, 2009, 04:20
Category: Software

mobileme.jpg

In a behind-the scenes fix, Apple’s MobileMe cloud services package has been updated to improve its public file sharing features and make it easier to locate the Find My iPhone page. The web apps still can’t be accessed from the iPhone however. Per AppleInsider, The company issued the update Friday. Users who login will notice a new “radar sweep” icon in the navigation bar, which serves as a direct link to pull up the Find My iPhone page. This feature was previously hidden in under the Settings page.

The update also addresses Public shared files in the user’s iDisk, which can be made fully available to anyone or restricted to users who know a Public password set by the user. The revamped interface now allows users to password-protect their Public folder and provides the option to enable visitors to upload, move and delete any publicly shared files.

However, the new settings are hidden behind a Preferences item within the drop down menu displayed by the “gear icon” action button.

Apple also gave the public iDisk page MobileMe’s SproutCore treatment, which provides a cohesive look and feel and supports direct drag and drop of files between folders within the web page (but not to or from the desktop). The update also enables users to connect to another user’s Public folder while being currently logged into their own MobileMe account.

As with the previous version, MobileMe makes access personal and public iDisk files available from the desktop as a WebDAV file share on Windows or via the Finder using the Go/iDisk menu, and viewable from the iPhone using the free iDisk app.

Apple still has yet to address the most bizarre problem with MobileMe: the web service is completely and intentionally blocked to iPhone users. Rather than providing web-based access to the site via the iPhone’s browser, users attempting to pull up me.com are sent to a special landing page that tells them to use the phone’s native Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Photos apps instead.

This prevents iPhone users from accessing their MobileMe account information (such as changing their password), looking up the location of other iPhones attached to their MobileMe account with Find My iPhone, logging into an alternative account (such as offering a guest web access to their own account on the iPhone) or troubleshooting problems with email connectivity (such as local SMTP mail delivery problems in a given location that could be resolved with direct webmail access).

Apple has also added some custom support for accessing MobileMe features from the web, including a mobile-optimized Gallery for viewing shared pictures. Apple’s refusal to support access to more or most of MobileMe from the iPhone or iPod touch is particularly strange given the company’s marketing that referred to the iPhone’s browser as providing access to the “real Internet.”

If you’ve played around with the new version, let us know what you make of it.

Google Chrome Web Browser Could Hit the Mac by Christmas

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 9th, 2009, 07:00
Category: Software

chromeicon.jpg

A Mac OS X version of Google Chrome could arrive as early as Christmas. According to Macworld UK, Google CEO Eric Schmidt broke the news at a New York press conference responding to a question about Chrome’s market share, which some have claimed is disappointing.

“I see a lot of Macs in this room, and a lot of very sophisticated people are using Macs now and we need to get a version of Chrome out for that, which we’ll have in a couple of months. The key to browser strength is speed.”

Google Chrome is billed as a browser that combines minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer and easier.

The Mac version was expected sometime in 2010.

United Airlines Begins Wi-Fi Rollout

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 9th, 2009, 06:02
Category: News, wireless

unitedlogo

United Airlines this week began deploying Wi-Fi on some of its flights. Per the Chicago Tribune, the rollout will at first cover longer flights between California and New York and should have 13 Boeing 757 planes in United’s fleet offering Internet access by mid-November. Like similar approaches from Virgin and other airlines, the new approach is based on Aircell’s Gogo technology and shares a 3G cellular connection (typically EVDO Revision A) with the entire cabin over a Wi-Fi hotspot in the plane itself.

All the proposed flights so far will be long-haul trips and so will use the higher end of Gogo’s existing pricing plans. Those with notebooks or netbooks will pay US$13 for access during the entire flight, while owners of iPhones and other handhelds/smartphones pay US$8 for the same period. Voice over IP remains off-limits as a consideration for other passengers.

Echoing the strategies of Delta and US Airways, United so far is using the service in trial form and will wait for feedback before it decides to bring Wi-Fi to all of its flights.

Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.1.2 Update

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 9th, 2009, 06:49
Category: iPhone, Software

3gs.jpg

Late Thursday, Apple released version 3.1.2 of its iPhone OS firmware. The update, which weighs in at over 200 megabytes and can be downloaded by attaching your iPhone to your Mac or PC, clicking the device in iTunes, then clicking the “Check for Update” button, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Resolves sporadic issue that may cause iPhone to not wake from sleep.
– Resolves intermittent issue that may interrupt cellular network services until restart.
– Fixes bug that could cause occasional crash during video streaming.

The update also leads to a small carrier update from AT&T for American users.

If you’ve installed 3.1.2 and noticed any changes, for good or ill, please let us know what you think.

Strange Keyboard/Spaces Bug Found in Snow Leopard

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 8th, 2009, 05:17
Category: Software

snowleopard

Maybe Apple will fix it in Mac OS X 10.6.2.

Per CNET, a strange bug is still hassling users taking advantage of Spaces in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. When another Space is selected using the keyboard shortcut, the Spaces selection window freezes on screen and disables the keyboard for typing.

The issue is described over on the Apple Support Discussions thread by poster “neu242″:
“A couple of times a day, the keyboard stops working when I select another space using a keyboard shortcut. It does not happen every time I switch spaces.

Symptoms:
The Spaces selector stays on-screen, it doesn’t fade away as usual
The keyboard is unresponsive for regular typing (such as in a text document or in Terminal)
I can still use keyboard shortcuts to move to another space
The Keyboard Viewer still shows keys as I type them
The mouse and touchpad works as it should

The only thing that makes the keyboard responsive again is either a reboot, or performing a standby + resume.”

Another thread shares similar issues. Some users have reported that by unplugging their keyboard (for those using external keyboards) and plugging it back in they regain functionality. The only other workarounds that seem to help are the ones described in the post by “neu242″.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end or have found a workaround or fix of your own, please let us know!