VMWare Releases Fusion 2.0.5

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Date: Wednesday, June 24th, 2009, 04:27
Category: Mac, Software

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Late Tuesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 2.0.5 of its Fusion software for the Mac.

Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.

The new version, a 289 megabyte download, offers the following new features and fixes:

  • Supports Mac OS X Server guest operating systems on Macs with Intel Xeon 5500 and 3500 Series processors (based on Nehalem micro-architecture).
  • Provides experimental support for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server as a guest operating system (32-bit only).
  • Provides experimental support for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard as a host operating system (32-bit only).
  • Supports Ubuntu 9.04 as a guest operating system, including features such as VMware Tools pre-built modules and Easy Install.
  • Reduces CPU usage when a virtual machine is idle under VMware Fusion.
  • Contains fixes for more than 80 bugs.

The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

Adium X Updated to 1.3.5

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Date: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009, 05:11
Category: Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.3.5.

The new version, a 21.2 megabyte download, fixes a connection issue with Facebook, Yahoo and MSN.

Adium X is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) to Retail for $29 Upgrade Price

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Date: Thursday, June 11th, 2009, 09:26
Category: News

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Recently, Apple announced a final ship date and upgrade price its upcoming Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) operating system. The new OS will hit this September as an upgrade for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) users and be available for US$29.
According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Snow Leopard features include built-in Microsoft Exchange 2007 support along with a slicker install process, faster applications, and 64-bit versions of standard applications that boost overall performance. Apple brags that “[u]sers will notice a more responsive Finder; Mail that loads messages 85 percent faster and conducts searches up to 90 percent faster; Time Machine with up to 50 percent faster initial backup; a Dock with Expose integration; a 64-bit version of Safari 4 that boosts the performance of the Nitro JavaScript engine by up to 50 percent and is resistant to crashes caused by plug-ins.”
In addition to the US$29 single user upgrade, a family pack upgrade will cost US$49. Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) users will pay US$169 for a 10.6/iLife box set or US$229 for a family pack.
All users who purchased or will purchase a new qualifying Mac between June8th and December 26th will receive a free upgrade package and pay US$9.95 for shipping and handling. You must request your up-to-date upgrade within 90 days of your original purchase.
Snow Leopard requires a minimum of 1GB RAM and runs on Intel-based Macintoshes. Full system requirements are hosted at Apple’s tech specs page.

E3: Gallery and Final Thoughts

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Date: Sunday, June 7th, 2009, 12:54
Category: Opinion

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With the cacophony of E3 2009 over and done with, here are some parting thoughts as well as an event gallery with which to remember the event:
-iPhone Development: The same conumdrum Mac gaming has always faced is back, but in a different format. While there are some great titles out there for the platform and it’s gotten easier to code games for the platform via the Intel architecture, it’s still questionable as to whether it’s worth the investment to write a title for the Mac (thereby helping to explain why Apple has never kept an official booth at E3).
This situation is flipped on its head when it comes to the iPhone and with an installed base numbering in the millions, a growing market and the App Store as the current king of online efficiency. The end result is a developer community that seems to be tripping over itself to write games for the iPhone and the iPod touch. Upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 features such as micropayments, Push Notification, Bluetooth multiplayer, improved networking and the like make the platform even more attractive and those who had seen prototypes for the new iPhone hardware didn’t seem disappointed in the least.
This isn’t quite the dream of hordes of developers rushing to create titles for the Mac (especially when there are more guaranteed profits with writing for Windows or the consoles), but the mobile gaming market is exploding, there are some great titles on the horizon and there are some great, affordable titles on the horizon.
-Yoostar: This one came out of nowhere and it was a bit odd to find it at a gaming expo, but Yoostar could be one of the best surprises of the year. Essentially your own green screen movie kit and retailing for US$169.95, the kit includes a webcam, portable green screen and software for Mac OS X and Windows that allows users to place themselves in given movie scenes as their character of choice. Clips can then be cleaned up and exported and the creators have negotiated continuous streams of new content, including clips from classic titles such as “Rocky”, various NBA games, Children’s Televisions Workshop (creators of “Sesame Street”) and memorable commercials.
There’s something potentially great here and it’ll be interesting to see how this sells during the holidays, especially if it hits the right price point as a digital gift.
Click the jump for the full story…

CrossOver Reaches Version 7.1.2

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Date: Wednesday, May 20th, 2009, 08:31
Category: Software

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CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 7.1.2. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following change:

  • Fixed an incompatibility with the quartz-wm packaged in XQuartz 2.3.3.2.
  • CrossOver retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and Intel-based hardware to run.

    Adium X Updated to 1.3.4

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, May 18th, 2009, 07:39
    Category: Software

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    Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.3.4.
    The new version, a 21.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Facebook fixes:
    Updated to pidgin-facebook 1.5.0, fixing a major bug in which massive amounts of data could be continuously sent and received under certain situations as well as several minor bugs.
    Fixed a bug in which the Facebook numeric ID rather than name could be shown in the contact list (#11676).
    Improved proxy support.
  • Fixed a crash when loading Jabber/XMPP account preferences when the computer’s host name is not set (#11246).
  • Fixed a display issue in message windows when running Safari 4.
  • Updated to libpurple 2.5.6.
  • Adium X is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

    Scientists Look Towards Ferroelectric Transistors for Instant-On Notebook Technologies

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, 08:45
    Category: battery, News

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    Researchers have apparently developed a technology that could allow notebooks to wake up instantly from shut-down states without draining battery life, as is commonly seen today.
    According to Macworld UK, researchers have built ferroelectric material (which is usually found on smartcards) onto silicon, which could allow certain transistors to retain information after power is shut off. Scientists from Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University and Northwestern University are involved in the project.
    The new findings could save users time by instantly booting laptops to an active and ready state when shut down.
    “It would be instant-on, meaning as soon as the power comes back on, your computer would be in exactly the same state it was when you turned it off and ready for action,” said Darrell Schlom, principal investigator and professor at the department of materials science and engineering at Pennsylvania State University.
    Quick-boot capabilities are enabled in Notebooks and most mobile devices, though many are unable to recreate shutdown states. As a result, notebooks usually never reboot back to their shutdown state, unless they are in sleep mode, which drains battery power. In essence, ferroelectric materials could wake up laptops from sleep mode, but without drawing any battery power.
    The research could pave the way for a new generation of lower-power, higher-speed memory devices, Schlom said. For notebook users, it could reduce the time to load an OS from storage devices like hard drives. The ferroelectric material could also retain data in case power is lost.
    The research itself revolves around building ferroelectric transistors, which are capable of retaining data in any electric state, onto hybrid transistors.
    The researchers took strontium titanate, a variant of the ferroelectric material used in smartcards, and deposited it on silicon, putting it in a state where it could retain information even when power is off. The new findings cut the intervening layers that made it difficult to put the material on silicon.
    Typically when power is turned off, voltages disappear from transistors, which have to be recreated when power is turned on. To recreate them, the relevant information is loaded from nonvolatile storage mediums like hard drives, which takes time. The ferroelectric transistors retain magnetization when the electric field is turned off, allowing it to retain data.
    The technology will load operating systems differently from existing memory technologies like DRAM and storage technologies like hard drives and solid-state drives, Schlom said. Ferroelectric transistors conceptually differ in the way data is loaded and retained, Schlom said.
    Benefits of ferroelectric transistors were first realized in 1955 by scientists at Bell Labs, Schlom said. Though the recent findings are a major step ahead, additional research is needed to build an actual ferroelectric transistor to make instant-on computing a reality, Schlom said.
    He couldn’t provide a timeline for when such transistors would be built.
    The researchers also include scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Motorola and Intel. The research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the US government.

    The $200 Mac Netbook – By Dell

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2009, 10:58
    Category: Hacks, netbook

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    For users hankering for a Mac netbook at long last, Dell might have something right up your alley. According to the Apple Core, Dell’s Vostro A90 netbook, which retails for US$199 (less than the price of an iPod touch) can be turned into a computer running desktop-class Mac OS applications as well as a Flash-equipped web browser.
    The unit is Dell’s business equivalent of the Mini 9 and uses the same components as the Mini 9 with the only difference being its all-black enclosure, as opposed to the Mini 9′s black and silver styling, and, according to forum posts, a little more metal inside making it more rigid than the Mini 9.
    Users will still have to purchase Mac OS X and there are compromises that come with any netbook (1.6 GHz Atom processor, small keyboard, screen and HDD) but the machine can still offer the most bang for the buck of any Apple machine bar none, even if it won’t blow away the MacBook Pro on performance.

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    TechTool Pro 5.0.4 Released

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    Date: Monday, April 20th, 2009, 07:59
    Category: Software

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    Over the weekend, Micromat released version 5.0.4 of TechTool Pro, its best-selling utility software for the Mac. The new version offers features and changes such as the eDrive, which allows users to create an emergency startup partition that includes TechTool Pro on one of your hard drives without the need to reinitialize your hard drive.
    Note: Users can download the version 5.0.3 updater here (courtesy of MacUpdate) but will need to use the software’s built-in update feature to access version 5.0.4.
    TechTool Pro 5.0.4 retails for US$98 and requires a Mac with a G4, G5 or Intel-based processor running Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later to install and run.

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    Drive Genius 2.1.1 Released

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    Date: Thursday, April 16th, 2009, 13:35
    Category: Software

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    Prosoft Engineering has released Drive Genius 2.1.1, an updated version of its drive repair and recovery program for Mac OS X.
    The new version, a 23.3 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and features:

  • Enhanced Duplicate tool has an option to verify the destination of whole-drive copies. In addition, source bad blocks can be skipped if found during a whole-drive copy.
  • Increased performance and reliability of Defrag.
  • Bug Fix: spurious “test aborted by disk” S.M.A.R.T. warnings in 10.5.x
  • Bug Fix: after shredding a volume, a new volume would always be created as “Untitled” instead of using the previous volume name.
  • Bug Fix: the tooltip displayed for duplicate files in DriveSlim contained an invalid path to the original file when displaying results from the boot volume.
  • Bug Fix: crash during launch if information about installed languages could not be obtained (10.4.x/PPC only).
  • Bug Fix: Adobe and Microsoft application updates would fail if language bundles were removed or their binaries trimmed; these are now excluded from the DriveSlimsearch results.
  • Other bug fixes.
  • Drive Genius retails for US$99 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later installed to work. The application is a Universal Binary and functions natively under both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

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