EFI Update Enables Some DOS Tools

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Date: Thursday, November 16th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

Apple’s latest EFI updates noted improved support for Boot Camp functionality. This was in the form of updated code to Apple’s Compatibility Support Module (CSM). The CSM virtualizes BIOS functionality and allows “legacy” operating systems such as Windows and Linux to run on Intel-based Macs.
One of the largest criticism’s of Apple’s CSM was its lack of support for DOS-based applications. All other Intel system boards with EFI could run DOS-based applications without problem. Appple EFI/CSM criticism has not been delivered just by users, but also by developers such as Linus Torvalds.
The good news is that CSM support has been updated to include basic DOS support. While DOS does not work fully, some applications such as Maxtor’s PowerMax now do work. These low-level diagnostic tools allow you to check, test, and repair components on your Mac with the low-level capacities of PC-counterparts.
Most of these tools are now commonly offered in .iso format, and can be burned to a CD-R with Disk Utility. However, such support is currently limited. Apple’s CSM does not support a key DOS mode, A20, which is needed for many higher-memory calls. As such, most utilities still will not run. That said, you can now start diagnosing many hard drives with the same level of performance that you used to need to plug the drive into a PC to check.
Contributed by: Christopher Price – www.pcsintel.com


Report: Foxconn to Manufacture iPhone

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Date: Thursday, November 16th, 2006, 00:10
Category: iPhone

Foxconn Electronics, the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, has secured a contract with Apple Computer to manufacturer its first mobile handset that will also dual as a digital music player, according to an overseas report.

The Chinese-language Commercial Times on Wednesday cited Taiwan-based sources within Apple’s iPod component supply chain as saying the phone is due to arrive during the first half of next year.

The paper offered no other details of the phone or contract between the two companies, other than to say the initial build order was for some 12 million units.

AppleInsider | Foxconn to manufacture Apple’s iPhone – report

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Aperture Updated to 1.5.1; 30-Day Trial

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Date: Friday, November 3rd, 2006, 07:12
Category: Software

aperture-151-250.pngI made the jump from iPhoto to Aperture about six months ago and haven’t looked back since. If you’re a high volume, commercial or semi-pro photographer you owe it to yourself to check out Aperture. Apple has updated the pro photography application to version 1.5.1 and is now offering a free 30-day test drive.

Aperture 1.5.1 addresses more than 100 issues related to overall reliability and performance in all areas of the application. including:

– Keywords
– Loupe
– Cropping
– Previews
– Metadata presets
– Versions
– File renaming
– iPhoto Library import
– Watermarks
For more detailed information about this update, visit http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n304549.

In other Aperture news, Apple is now offering a free 30-day test drive.

Aperture: Changes in Aperture 1.5.1


MainMenu Makes Mac Maintenance Manageable

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Date: Wednesday, November 1st, 2006, 00:00
Category: Software

SantaSoftware has released MainMenu. The blurb on the homepage reads:
Don’t have time to run all the various tools and scripts to keep your Mac running smoothly? MainMenu makes these tasks quick and easy, right from your menu bar.
Rebuilding your Spotlight library for faster searching, repairing permissions, cleaning caches to improve application performance, and even more advanced settings — such as enabling and disabling the Dashboard — are no more than two clicks away.
MainMenu is full of powerful maintenance tools to keep your Mac running like new, within a slick, simple interface.
It doesn’t do anything that can’t already be achieved using freeware utilities, but it does bring a lot of useful functions under one easy-to-find/easy-to-navigate menu. I’ve been using it for a while now, and it does all the above functions, along with a number of others that I usually have to use a separate utility for, including ‘force empty trash’.
And it is free. Thank you Santa Software for my early Christmas present.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan


Fan Control 1.1 is a Must-Have for MBP Owners

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Date: Thursday, October 26th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Software

Fan Control 1.1 is an appication for controlling the fans in the MacBook Pro. It is is a prefpane than goes into your System Preferences and requires a restart after installation whereas smcFanControl is a standalone application.

Instead of setting the fans speed (like smcFanControl does) Fan Control 1.1 allows you to set an upper and lower temperature threshold for your MacBook Pro. The software then dynamically adjusts the fans speeds to keep your MBP at the temperature that you want it. Plus it displays a nice GUI with a graph to show you what is happening.

I set my base fan speed to be 3500 RPM (the max) and the upper and lower thresholds to be 104 and 158 degrees (the minimums) and my MBP (2.0GHz, week 7) barely breaks the 100 degree mark (according to CoreDuoTemp). My previous temps were consistently 135-165 degrees.

A little fan noise is small price to pay for a much cooler running MacBook Pro.

This software is required for all MacBook Pro owners and should be acquired by Apple and bundled into the Energy Saver System Preference. Period. End of story.

Lobotomo Software: Fan Control 1.1


Hack Your Ambient Light and Sudden Motion Sensors with Lilt

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Date: Monday, October 23rd, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

lilt.jpgJon Nathan has released a new application called Lilt that uses the ambient light and/or the sudden motion sensors in recent Mac portables to launch apps, files, or AppleScripts. Triggering a script allows you to do some pretty cool things (several example script actions are included).
Wave your hand over the light sensors (located under the speaker grills) and play your next iTunes track. Tilt the computer back and hear the time spoken to you. The possibilities are endless.


Apple Releases Mac OS 10.4.8

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Date: Monday, October 2nd, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

In addition to Aperture 1.5, Apple also shipped a major update to the Mac OS on Friday, 10.4.8.
The update is available for PPC (31MB) and Intel (206MB). Combo and Delta versions are also available. The best way to get the update is via Software Update.

What’s New in this Version
The 10.4.8 Update is recommended for all users and includes general operating system fixes, as well as specific fixes for the following applications and technologies:
– connecting to wireless networks using the EAP-FAST protocol
– Apple USB modem reliability
– using OpenType fonts in Microsoft Word
– compatibility with 3rd party USB hubs
– scanner performance
– RAW camera support
– printing documents with Asian language names
– performance of the Translation widget
– broadband network performance
– security updates


Aperture 1.5 Update Squeaks out as Promised

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Date: Monday, October 2nd, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

Apple slipped out the 1.5 update to Aperture late Friday, just inside of Steve Jobs deadline of before the end of the week. Aperture 1.5 may not show up in Software Update (it didn’t for me) and it requires that you have Mac OS 10.4.8 installed. You also have to register your copy of Aperture 1.x with Apple (this is not optional) and enter your serial number before it will let you download the 125MB update.

Aperture 1.5 delivers more than 20 new and enhanced features that improve file management, metadata handling, and image adjustment. This update also addresses numerous issues related to overall reliability, performance, and compatibility.

Apple – Support – Downloads – Aperture 1.5 Update


iLife and iWork Updated for Aperture 1.5

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Date: Thursday, September 28th, 2006, 20:09
Category: Software

ilife-iwork-updates.jpgiPhoto 6.0.5 (57.7MB) contains new calendar, greeting card, and postcard themes for use with Apple print services, including a variety of holiday card designs. It also addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in iPhoto.
iMovie HD 6.0.3 (6.6MB) addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in iMovie HD. It also improves overall stability and addresses a number of other minor issues.
The rest of the software updates address compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content:
iWeb 1.1.2
Pages 2.0.2
Keynote 3.0.2
iDVD 6.0.3
GarageBand 3.0.4


MSN Messenger 6 adds Mac IM Interoperability

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Date: Thursday, September 28th, 2006, 13:35
Category: Software

Messenger for Mac 6.0We need a universal IM protocol and we need the sotware vendors to support it. The fact that you can’t IM your friend because they’re on x service is almost is bad as the whole BluRay/HD DVD fiasco.

Microsoft on Wednesday released Messenger 6.0 for Mac, allowing Appleusers of its instant messaging software to connect to Yahoo Messengerusers. The company added that feature for PC users in July, but Mac support has been notably absent.

News.com >> Yahoo! MSN adds Mac IM interoperability