Cocktail 4.4 (Tiger Edition) Released

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Date: Wednesday, September 30th, 2009, 03:25
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.4 of Cocktail (Tiger Edition), Cocktail, the popular freeware 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 miscellaneous bugs discovered in the previous release.
– Now distributed as freeware.

Cocktail 4.4 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

Apple Releases iWork ’09 9.0.3 Update

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Date: Tuesday, September 29th, 2009, 04:58
Category: Software

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Late Monday, Apple released version 9.0.3 of its iWork ’09 productivity suite. The update, a 59.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
– Addresses general compatibility issues, improves overall stability, updates the help, and fixes a number of other minor issues in Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.
– Reducing file size of images that have Instant Alpha applied.
– Managing file size when inserting some movies.
– Working with dates and durations in the Chart Data Editor in Keynote and Pages.
– Exporting to CSV from Numbers when using table categories.

The update, which can also be located via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature, requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later to install and run.

Some Snow Leopard Users Complain of Spontaneous Logouts

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Date: Monday, September 28th, 2009, 05:31
Category: Software

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If Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) is behaving strangely for you, you’re not alone. Per CNET, a number of users have reported that Mac OS X 10.6 (as well as 10.6.1) will spontaneously log out of their account in the middle of using applications. The issue does not appear to be related to specific applications running as users have reported it happening while using Excel, Word, Safari, Photoshop, and Filemaker Pro among others. Most guesses have the problem related to Rosetta running on the new operating system, though an official fix has yet to be reported.

Over on the Apple Support Discussions, forum poster “Stu Baker” writes:
“I am having spontaneous logouts while I am in Snow Leopard. This is happening a couple times a day and it is very annoying. When it logs out it instantly goes to a blue screen and then the login screen appears. When I log back in all my apps have quit and it is like I am logging in for the first time. I did have this happen in Leopard too, but very rarely.”

One forum poster suggested a complete erase and install of Snow Leopard. If you’re going to attempt this, make sure you have all your data backed up to a safe location, if not a Time Machine archive on an external disk to make setup that much easier after the OS is installed.

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

Skype 2.8.0.722 Released

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Date: Thursday, September 17th, 2009, 12:31
Category: Software

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On Monday, Skype released version 2.8.0.722 of its popular Voice over Internet Protocol communications program.
The new version, a 43.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– Platform specific: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard – Call Phones and Send SMS window “Type number” text field is too dark.
– Chat window does not refresh properly when chatting with a user whose avatar file is corrupted.
– When creating a new contact request, the option to request to see the contact’s status but not let them see yours is disabled.
– In a contact request, the option to add a new contact to your Contact list is disabled when the user chooses not to let the contact see when they are online.
– In a contact request, new contacts are added to a user’s Contact list even when they uncheck the option to add them.
– When screen sharing in fullscreen mode, the user can’t click on Skype menu items at the top of the screen.
– Platform specific: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard – Layout issues in the video window when a video call is put on hold.
– The Hold button appears over the Call on Hold message.
– Skype sometimes crashes when plugging in or removing a webcam.
– Skype sometimes crashes soon after launching when an auto-config (PAC) file was used to connect to the internet.
– Skype sometimes crashes when shutting down.
– Platform specific: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.
– Main window does not display properly when signing in as another user from the Account menu.

Skype 2.8.0.722 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to install and run.

Cocktail 4.5.1 (Snow Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Wednesday, September 16th, 2009, 03:07
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.4.1 of Cocktail (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:
– Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may not launch on 32-bit only Macs.
– Addresses an issue in which Cocktail was unable to search for corrupted preference files.
– Added Mac OS X 10.6.1 compatibility.
– Other minor improvements and bug fixes discovered in the previous version.

Cocktail 4.5.1 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.6.1 Update

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Date: Friday, September 11th, 2009, 04:23
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released its first maintenance update to its Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) operating system. Mac OS X 10.6.1, a 71.5 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
– Compatibility with some Sierra Wireless 3G modems.
– An issue that might cause DVD playback to stop unexpectedly.
– Some printer compatibility drivers not appearing properly in the add printer browser.
– An issue that might make it difficult to remove an item from the Dock.
– Instances where automatic account setup in Mail might not work.
– An issue where pressing cmd-opt-t in Mail brings up the special characters menu instead of moving a message. – Motion 4 becoming unresponsive.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.6 to install and run and can also be snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.1, iTunes 9.0 at Media Event

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Date: Wednesday, September 9th, 2009, 11:14
Category: iPhone, iPod, Software

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An Apple media event is nothing without significant software releases and to this end, iTunes 9 and the long-awaited iPhone OS 3.1 update should suffice.

iTunes 9, which is available as an 82.8 megabyte download, features the following changes and fixes:
– An improved look and feel, including a new Column Browser for easily browsing your artists or albums, movies, TV shows, and more.
– iTunes Store has a brand new look, with improved navigation for quick and easy exploration.
– iTunes LP and iTunes Extras create unique experiences that feature exclusive interviews, videos, photos, and more – available with select album and movie purchases on the iTunes Store.
– Home Sharing helps you manage your family’s iTunes collection between computers in your home. iTunes can automatically transfer new purchases, or you can choose just the items you want.
– Genius Mixes are created for you by iTunes and play songs from your library that go great together.
– iPod and iPhone syncing now allows you to organize your iPhone and iPod touch home screens directly in iTunes. Syncing is now also more flexible, allowing you to sync individual artists, genres, or TV show and Podcast episodes.
– iTunes U items are now organized into their own section in your iTunes library.
– Sync with iPod nano (5th generation), iPod classic (Fall 2009), and iPod touch (Fall 2009)..
– iTunes 9 also includes many other improvements, such as HE-AAC encoding and playback, more flexibility with Smart Playlists rules, simpler organization of your media files inside an iTunes Media folder, and more.

iTunes 9 is also available for free via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

For iPhone and iPod touch users, iPhone OS 3.1 offers the following features and changes:
– Improved syncing for music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and photos.
– iTunes U content organization.
– Redeem iTunes Gift Cards, codes, and certificates in the App Store.
– Display available iTunes account credits in the App Store and iTunes Store.
– Save video from Mail and MMS into Camera Roll.
– Option to “Save as new clip” when trimming a video on iPhone 3GS.
– Better iPhone 3G Wi-Fi performance when Bluetooth is turned on.
– Remotely lock iPhone with a passcode via MobileMe.
– Use Voice Control on iPhone 3GS with Bluetooth headsets.
– Paste phone numbers into the keypad.
– Option to use Home button to turn on accessibility features on iPhone 3GS.
– Warn when visiting fraudulent websites in Safari (anti-phishing).
– Improved Exchange calendar syncing and invitation handling.
– Fixes issue that cause some app icons to display incorrectly.

Like previous iPhone OS updates, simply attach your iPhone or iPod touch to your computer, go into iTunes, select the device and click the “Check for Update” button. iTunes will then download and install the update, which requires a Mac running Mac OS X 10.4 and iTunes 8.0 or later to run.

As always, let us know if good things happen (your terrier begins teach physics at the local high school), bad things happen (the living room is now on fire) or if things remain relatively hunky-dory per your Mac, your iTunes and your iPhone or iPod touch.

Early Mac OS X 10.6.1 Update Details Emerge

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Date: Tuesday, September 8th, 2009, 05:32
Category: Software

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As spiffy as Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) is, there will always be patches. Per AppleInsider, Mac OS X 10.6.1 will deliver a number of fixes and tweaks focusing on Mail, networking, Bluetooth, Flash and more.

The first external pre-release build, labeled Mac OS X 10.6.1 build 10B503, began making its way to Apple’s broad Apple Developer Connection community Thursday evening in the form of a 74.1MB delta image.

The update apparently addresses some problem areas with fixes such as Bluetooth, the Dock, Mail, printing services, Software Update, and System Preferences.

Once released, Mac OS X 10.6.1 should allow users to delete manually-entered DNS values for DHCP configurations via the system’s Network Diagnostics, people familiar with the software say. Meanwhile, a couple of SMTP-related tweaks to Mail.app will tackle issues with blank server responses and upgrades on email accounts that require authentication.

Also planned are a number of printer-related enhancements. For example, local Bluetooth printers should properly connect to Snow Leopard-based Macs on startup. Additionally, printer drivers for both Bonjour and USB printers will be delivered over Software Update, while generic drivers should become visible from printer driver list.

Following this week’s news that the retail version of Mac OS X 10.6 bundled an older, less secure version of Adobe Flash, those familiar with with the first builds of 10.6.1 say the update will bump the plug-in to version 10.0.32.18.

Other focal areas of Mac OS X 10.6.1 include graphics drivers, wireless WAN cards and the DVD player. In all, 11 specific issues with Mac OS X 10.6 have been addressed thus far by 10.6.1.

Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0 Build 3846 Released

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Date: Monday, August 31st, 2009, 03:17
Category: News

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Virtualization software maker Parallels released Parallels Desktop for Mac build 3846 on Monday. The new version, which can be downloaded from here (courtesy of VersionTracker), contains the following fixes and changes:

Improvements:
* Improved 3D graphics in Windows virtual machines.
* Problems with Palm synchronization in Windows virtual machines — fixed.
* Random disconnection of USB 1.1 devices in Linux virtual machines — fixed.
* Invisibility of the text mouse pointer on black background in Windows virtual machines — fixed.
* Problems with SMB shares in native Windows Boot Camp installations that have Parallels Tools installed — fixed.
* Problems with Shared Networking on Snow Leopard host computers — fixed.

Improvements:
* General performance improvements.
* Improved USB support (performance, USB1.1 compatibility fixes).
* Better performance of Suspend/Resume operations.
* Improved hard disk performance for virtual machines converted from Parallels Desktop 2.5 and 3.0.
* Memory leak in Parallels Desktop GUI that might happen after 1-2 days of work — fixed.
* Accidental crash in Redhat Linux 5.2 Server x86_64 during installation — fixed.
* Problems with connecting Palm handheld devices via USB — fixed.
* Improved sound playback via USB devices.
* Empty keyboard remapping in the clean PD4 installation — fixed.
* Networking issues when the Mac network location changes — fixed.
* Timezone and daylight saving time were not synchronized in the virtual machine with time synchronization enabled — fixed.

Click the jump for the rest of the story…

Apple Releases Aperture 2.1.4 Update

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Date: Friday, August 28th, 2009, 03:34
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released Aperture 2.1.4, the latest version of the company’s professional image editing application. The new version, which can be downloaded here or via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature, boasts the following fixes and changes:
– Addresses general compatibility, improves overall stability and fixes a number of issues involving import, web publishing, and the creation and ordering of books.

Aperture 2.1.4 retails for US$199.00 requires the following specifications to install and run:
– 1.25 GHz G4, G5 or Intel-based processor
– 1.5 GB of RAM
– Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later.