First Photoshop CS3 Public Beta Speed Tests Emerge

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Date: Wednesday, December 27th, 2006, 08:41
Category: Software

The guys over at creativetechs.com have put the recently-released Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta through its paces via a battery of tests and discovered that the new version is on average 40 to 55 percent faster (some test results being as much as 60% faster) than the present Photoshop CS2 version.
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For the full rundown as well as individual test results, click here. The tests were performed on a newly shipped 3 GHz Mac Pro with 4 gigabytes of RAM and the History States set to 1.
Adobe Photoshop CS3 is expected in 2007 and is the first version of Photoshop to be a full Universal Binary, functioning natively on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
The Photoshop CS3 beta requires a Macintosh running Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, a 1 GHz G4 or G5 PowerPC processor of an Intel-based Macintosh. 512 megabytes of RAM and a minimum screen resolution of 1024×769 are also required.
If you have any comments, feedback or Photoshop tests of your own, let us know.

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Apple Store Using Wasteful Packing?

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Date: Wednesday, December 27th, 2006, 08:20
Category: Environment

An e-mail from reader R. Emory Williamson-Lundberg pointing to a Flickr.com photo demonstrates that despite Apple’s efforts to become more environmentally conscious via reduced packaging and computer recycling programs, small items are still being shipped in excessive materials:
“I can’t believe that is the box a mini-DVI video adapter came in. No bubble wrap. No filler. Just the packet for the adapter and an invoice.”
Take a look and let us know what you think.

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Micromat Releases Security Patch, Repairs Serial Number Visibility

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Date: Wednesday, December 27th, 2006, 08:49
Category: Software

Micromat, makers of the TechTool Pro utility program, released a small patch for installed versions of TechTool Pro 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 as of December 18th.
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The patch, a 1.3 megabyte download, removes the visibility of the computer’s serial number, user name and other machine information from TechTool Pro’s local area network scans (full details of this can be found in PowerPage’s December 13th article regarding the issue).
The update functions with installed versions of TechTool Pro 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 and no CD or DVD update is necessary.
TechTool Pro is available for $98 and requires a G3 processor or better, 512 megabytes of RAM, Mac OS X 10.4 or later and a DVD-ROM drive to run. The program has been rewritten as a Universal Binary and runs natively on both the PowerPC and Intel-based hardware architectures.
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this, let us know.

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Users Reporting Erratic Trackpad Behavior Under Windows

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Date: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 12:01
Category: News

According to an article on MacFixIt, several users have reported erratic trackpad behavior on their Intel-based MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops when running Windows under both Apple’s Boot Cap and Parallels Desktop for Mac OS X.
While behavior will be normal for a while, readers have commented that after a given period of time, behavior will become erratic.
The article reports that running a trackpad reset, or running a hand across the entire trackpad in a wiping motion, can resolve the issue as a short term fix (the solution is covered in this Apple Knowledge Base article, which discusses resetting the trackpad on various PowerBook G4 laptops).
As of now there’s been no comment regarding this issue from Apple.
Please let us know if you’ve encountered this or similar problems and what fixes or workarounds have resolved the situation for you.

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Crossover for Mac 6.0 Final Candidate Beta Released

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Date: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

A recent post on VersionTracker.com points out that CodeWeavers has released the latest beta of CrossOver for Mac, its Windows-emulation software for Mac OS X.
Like Parallels, CrossOver for Mac allows users to run a Windows environment within their Mac OS X operating system without needing to create and boot into a new partition a la Apple’s Boot Camp. The new beta, a 28.6 megabyte download, the new version of the software includes the following fixes and changes:
-Modified handling of Mac Suitcase fonts so that they are avalable to more Windows applications. In particular, fonts should now work properly in Visio 2003.
-Altered menu generation so that Managed bottles produce usable menus.
-Extensively revised the documentation and online help.
-Cut/Copy/Paste keyboard shortcuts (Command-X,C,V) work better.
-Added several general printing fixes.
-Fixed several Half-Life 2 crashes.
-Improved support for non-American keyboards.
-Improved support for non-English versions of some applications.
-Adjusted the GUI in numerous small ways.
-After this version, it will no longer be necessary to quit the CrossOver CD Helper in order to overwrite CrossOver.
-Macs with integrated Intel graphics chips (MacBook, Mini) can run DirectX 8.x graphics.
-Fixed crashes and install failures due to libraries in /usr/local.
-Fixed crashes due to certain font files.
-Tool palette windows are now movable.
-Improved scroll-wheel responsiveness.
-Fixed Create Icon to preserve working directory and command arguments more reliably.
-Fixed handling of Caps Lock.
-Fixed the IE screen-flicker that appeared for pages with Flash content
-Many other improvements to Internet Explorer’s behavior.
-Improved handling of CD detection and ejection. Installers that require multiple CDs should now install more graciously.
-Some fixes to Outlook 2003 behavior, including printing fixes.
Improved support for Equation Editor
-Corrected display of fonts in DirectX 8.x games, like Half-Life 2.
-Changes resolution in full-screen games should work better.
-Numerous other Direct3D improvements.
CrossOver for Mac requires Mac OS X 10.4 and an Intel-based Mac to run. The software retails for $39.95.
If you have any comments, suggestions or feedback, let us know.

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WebcamTweaker Allows Easy Filters for Captured Video

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Date: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

A quick entry on The Unofficial Apple Weblog points out WebcamTweaker, a nifty piece of shareware available for a $15.95 registration fee that essentially works like Apple’s PhotoBooth for video files.
Users can import and create movies using different filters as well as create time lapse movies. WebcamTweaker also supports the Apple Remote control and is a Universal Binary program capable of running natively under both Apple’s PowerPC and Intel-based hardware. The shareware registration fee includes free upgrades for life that aren’t simply limited to a current version.
WebcamTweaker requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and a G4, G5 or Intel processor, 256 megabyte of RAM and costs $15.95 (though that includes free upgrades for life). A free demo, a 2.8 megabyte file, can also be downloaded to try out the software.
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this, let us know.

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Legend of the Dogcow Posted

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Date: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Fun

Technology blog Uneasysilence.com has posted an abridged history of Apple‘s legendary Dogcow, the cult favorite icon originally designed as part of the Cairo font by Susan Kare when Apple was designing its own fonts back in the 80′s.
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In 1986, the Dogcow image became more prevalent as Apple was looking for an image to demonstrate what its Laser printer line was capable of. The printer development team decided to incorporate the dogcow image, in various positions, to show different page orientations such as Portrait, Landscape, Invert, Flip, etc.
The icon was used in every iteration of the Macintosh operating system until Mac OS 7.1 and was officially dubbed “Clarus”, complete with her own backstory and origin as well as a distinctive “Moof!” sound when necessary.
The Dogcow was present in Apple’s Icon Garden from 1993 until 1998 and remains the mascot of the Apple Worldwide Developer Tech Support Group.
If you’ve seen the Dogcow in any hacks, web sites or other locations, please let us know.

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Apple Shipping Misprinted MacBook Replacement Keyboards

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Date: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Sighting

An article on digg.com points to a possible misprint on replacement MacBook keyboards. The left parentheses symbol above the “9″ on the keyboard is marked as a right parentheses.
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Although the key itself is said to function perfectly well, it’s an odd printing error that others commenting on the article claim to have experienced for themselves.
Not the end of the world, but it’s a little strange and I’ve never seen an error quite like this in my years of owning the following Apple laptops: PowerBook 145B, PowerBook 150, PowerBook 5300C, clam shell iBook, iBook G3, iBook G4 and currently a white MacBook.
If you’ve had a similar experience or have any comments or suggestions, let us know.

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MiniBatteryLogger Receives Update, Bug Fixes

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 14:16
Category: Software

Claudio Procida, author of MiniBatteryLogger, has released version 1.5.4 of the shareware program. The new version, a 3.2 megabyte download by way of MacUpdate.com, brings new Panther-specific fixes as well as German language localization.
The program, which is available as shareware for $15, monitors power charge and amperage through any Macintosh laptop over time and can keep logs as to significant events such as brownouts, power surgest and battery failures. The saved data can be shared through the MiniBatteryLogger program and compared with that of the program’s other users.
The new version offers the following changes:
-Bugfix: preferences window won’t show on Panther.
-Fixed ugly looking HUD inspector title in Panther.
-Added German localization.
MiniBatteryLogger requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 and a laptop computer to run.

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Apple Updates First Generation iPod Shuffle Reset Utility

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Date: Friday, December 22nd, 2006, 14:10
Category: Software

Apple Computer has recently released version 1.0.1 of its Reset Utility for the first generation of its iPod Shuffle music player. The utility, when activated, erases all music and data from the iPod Shuffle and installs version 1.1.4 of the software.
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The software, a 2.1 megabyte download through VersionTracker.com, applies only to the first generation of the iPod Shuffle, which shipped in 512 megabyte and one gigabyte capacities. Later generations of the Shuffle, including current, smaller versions, are not supported by the Reset Utility.
The Reset Utility repairs the following issues:
-With the iPod shuffle switched on, pressing the Play button will cause amber and green LEDs to flash for a few seconds, and the unit will not play any music, nor can you sync music to it from iTunes.
-On a Windows PC, the iPod shuffle will appear in My Computer as a “Removable Disk,” however the iPod shuffle volume will not mount correctly. The unit is listed in Device Manager under “Disk Drives” as “Apple iPod USB Device.”
-On a Mac, the unit will only be recognized in Apple System Profiler under Hardware -> USB and will not appear or mount in the Finder.
-When attempting to restore, the unit may not be recognized at all. However, if it is recognized, the restore may fail with an error dialog “Firmware update failure. Disk write error” or another error. It may take three restore attempts before the error appears. Note: iPod shuffle may take several minutes to be recognized.
The iPod Shuffle Reset Utility requires a first generation iPod Shuffle and Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later to run.
If you’ve had experience with this utility, either positive or negative, please let us know.

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