Details Emerge for Expected Mac OS X 10.6.3 Changes

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Date: Friday, January 22nd, 2010, 15:28
Category: News, Software

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Mac OS X 10.6.3 will include significant enhancements to QuickTime X while also focusing on printing and Logic performance.

Per AppleInsider, sources close to the story have stated that build 10D538, which arrived roughly two weeks after the company issued build 10D522, included support for OpenGL 3.0 as well as an update to QuickTime X that, when finalized, will improve security and compatibility while simultaneously enhancing overall reliability. The release will also include tweaks that aim to enhance the performance of Apple’s 64-bit Logic pro audio suite. Other planned improvements include better compatibility with third-party printers and OpenGL-grounded applications, those same people say.

In addition to those areas, Apple is reportedly asking developers to focus their evaluation efforts on a few other core system components, such as AirPort, VoiceOver and graphics drivers.

A single issue related to photo albums viewed via the company’s Front Row media center software is said to be plaguing the latest beta.

The 665+ megabyte release is expected to be made public sometime in the next six weeks.

Apple Releases Security Update 2010-001

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Date: Wednesday, January 20th, 2010, 06:58
Category: security, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple released Security Update 2010-001 for its Mac OS X operating systems. The updates, which range between a 21 and 159 megabyte download (depending on operating system), address critical vulnerabilities in the system where hackers and malicious software can take advantage and either compromise the system or steal personal information.

The update requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later for the Mac OS X 10.5 operating system and Mac OS X 10.6.2 or later for the Mac OS X 10.6 operating system and can also be located and snagged with Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the updates and noticed any major changes, please let us know.

QuarkXPress 8.1.5 Update Released

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Date: Friday, January 15th, 2010, 07:50
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, software developer Quark released version 8.1.5 of its QuarkXPress design application. The 748 megabyte update, which can be downloaded here, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Fixes an issue that could cause QuarkXPress to unexpectedly quit during activation on some newer Macs.

QuarkXPress 8.1.5 requires Mac OS X 10.4 later to install and run and retails for US$799.00 for the full version.

Users Report Window Rendering Bug on MacBooks Under Mac OS X 10.6.X

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Date: Thursday, January 14th, 2010, 06:18
Category: MacBook, Software

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As much as you may like Mac OS X, there may still be some bugs to hash out. Per CNET, several MacBook users have reported experiencing a problem in OS X where the system shows areas of graphics corruption around windows. The corruption appears to be a black area of blocky lines in no particular pattern, and seems to be in the area of the window’s shaded region, moving with the window when it is moved.

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The behavior seems to be specific for computers that are running Intel GMA X3100 graphics chipsets. It started occurring with Mac OS X 10.6 for some people, though for others the 10.6.1 update spurred the problem, and as of the latest 10.6.2 release this problem has not been addressed. The issue seems to happen most when multimedia files are being played, especially with beta versions of Adobe flash are being used. From user descriptions, the problem seems to stem from a bug waiting to be fixed in the Mac OS X 10.6 operating system.

Recent reports suggest Apple is working on significantly improving support for more OpenGL 3.0 functions and extensions in OS X 10.6.3, which implies Apple will be updating the graphics drivers in the next update. Hopefully the bug that is causing this problem will be addressed then.

In the meantime, you can try the following fixes and workarounds:

- Reset PRAM and SMC.

- Boot into safe mode and clear caches with OnyX or other maintenance utility.

- Try a different user account.

- Try different graphics settings (bit depth, resolution).

This glitch won’t hurt anything and only affects the MacBook’s rendering of window shadows, which can still be interacted with normally. If you’ve seen this issue on your end and found your own fix or workaround, please let us know.

Adobe Releases Acrobat, Acrobate Reader 9.3 Updates

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Date: Wednesday, January 13th, 2010, 05:00
Category: News

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Last Friday, Adobe released version 9.3 of Acrobat and Acrobat Reader, the company’s Portable Document Format reader and creation utility.

Adobe Systems has updated Acrobat and Reader to version 9.3. Both updates are available through the Adobe Updater application or for download through Adobe’s Web site.

The new versions address a number of customer workflow issues, security vulnerabilities, and offer additional stability.

Both Adobe Reader 9.3 and Adobe Acrobat 9.3 require Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run. Adobe Reader 9.3 is available for free while Adobe Acrobat 9.3 retails for US$299.

Apple Releases Developer Builds of Mac OS X 10.6.3 Update

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Date: Thursday, January 7th, 2010, 06:31
Category: News, Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple began shipping out a new build of its upcoming Mac OS X 10.6.3 operating system. The new build, labeled “10D522″, weighs in at 665.7 megabyte and, according to AppleInsider, includes a total of 221 code corrections to 92 distinct system components.

Among those components receiving the most attention are AppKit, CoreMedia, Desktop Services, FileSync, Fonts, HIToolbox, iCal, Mail, MobileMe, and QuickTime Player X, those same people say.

Other focus areas automatic spell correction, and fixes for crashes while printing and using AppKit, the Dock, iCal, Mail, Photo Booth, Rosetta, Spotlight, Screen Sharing, and Software Updater.

In total, nearly 60 individual pieces of crash-prone code have reportedly been addressed as of build 10D522.

Apple also reportedly noted four known issues with Wednesday’s beta, including hangs in iTunes, and potential anomalies while updating applications, viewing Display preferences, and navigating the ColorSync Utility Filters tab.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.5.7 Update

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Date: Wednesday, January 6th, 2010, 05:10
Category: Software

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Late Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 3.5.7 of its Firefox web browser.
The new version, a 17.6 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

- Fixed a common stability issue.
- Fixed a problem with how updates were being presented to users.

Firefox 3.5.7 is available in more than 70 different languages and requires a G3, G4, G5 or Intel-based Mac, Mac OS X 10.4 or later and 128MB of RAM to install and run.

If you’ve snagged the new version and have any feedback to offer about it, let us know in the comments.

Onyx 2.1.2 Released

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Date: Monday, December 21st, 2009, 06:47
Category: Software

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Onyx, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.1.2. The new version, a 16.3 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), adds the following fixes and changes:

- Bug corrected while deleting System Caches.
- Deleting the internet cache improved.
- Searching update improved.
- Log panel improved.
- New alternative icon.
- Help improved.

OnyX requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Perian 1.2 Released

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Date: Friday, December 18th, 2009, 05:04
Category: Software

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Late Monday, the Perian team released version 1.2 of Perian, the open-source QuickTime components effort that allows QuickTime to support and play a variety of additional formats beyond what it would normally be able to handle.

The new version makes the following fixes and changes:
- Matroska cover art is now imported as iTunes cover art [r1149].
- Video tracks now have their colorspace set based on the size of the video [r1170].

Mac OS X 10.6/Snow Leopard compatibility fixes:
- QuickTime Player 10 refused to open some files due to missing type identifiers [r1126].
- Worked around 96khz HE-AAC audio tracks not playing or playing noise [r1128].
- Extended Front Row subtitle hack to cover 10.6 and reduced its ugliness [r1130, r1186].
- Worked around re-encoding files with subtitles not working [r1177].
- Worked around some MKV embedded fonts being incompatible with 10.6 [r1193].
- Fixed RGB HuffYUV video displaying black bars over the video on 10.6 [r1198].
- Now compiles under Xcode 3.2

Fixes:
- Using a debugger on a process with Perian loaded printed warnings about missing files [r1122].
- Fixed decoding of WMA audio tracks [r1131].
- Fixed a crash in LoadExternalSubtitlesFromFileDataRef [r1153].
- Fixed some VobSub video tracks displaying with wrong colors [r1171].
- Better support for tracks with delayed start times [r1181].
- Fixed MPEG1/2 in Matroska playing out of order [r1188].
- Fixed a crash opening files while they were being downloaded [r1227].

SSA:
- Fixed some top-aligned subtitles being too low [r1163].
- Vertical text is re-enabled and works somewhat better [r1208].

Perian is a 3.3 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

First Builds of Mac OS X 10.6.3 Update Due This Week

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Date: Thursday, December 10th, 2009, 07:42
Category: Software

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The first external builds of Mac OS X 10.6.3, the next incremental update to Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system, should be seeded to developers this week. Per AppleInsider, sources close to the story say the forthcoming builds are likely to be released to some developers in the next 48 hours, and carry the expected prefix of 10Dxx. It is not yet known what issues Apple hopes to address with the latest update.

A month ago, Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.2, which corrected a guest account bug that could potentially delete a user’s account data, triggered by logging in and out of a guest account on a Snow Leopard machine. The update also included native support for the Mac maker’s new multi-touch Magic Mouse.

That update was in beta for just over a month, before its release to the public on Nov. 9. A timeframe for the potential Mac OS X 10.6.3 release is not yet known.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.