Recent NPD Group Report Finds Mac Market Share up to 12% in U.S. Households

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Date: Tuesday, October 6th, 2009, 05:59
Category: News

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If you’ve been having the market share debate with your friends for years (if not decades), this may come as a welcome surprise. Per an article on The Loop, nearly 12% of U.S. computer-owning households now own a Mac according to the NPD Group’s second annual Household Penetration Study. The new report places the market share up three percentage points from the market-research firm’s 2008 findings.

According to the report, 72% of those Mac users have laptops, and are very likely to live in mixed environments, a staggering 85% of those Mac users surveyed also own a Windows-based PC and 66% of those households contain three or more computers, compared with 29% for Windows households.

Those in Mac households are also greater consumers of consumer electronics. The survey found that 63% of Apple households own an iPod, compared to 36% of overall computer owners. 32% own a DSLR camera (versus 12%), while 18% own a 50+” LCD TV (versus 8%).

The report went on to explain that Mac households tended to make more money and thus had additional income for gadgets. In a statement accompanying the report, Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president of industry analysis, wrote, “36% of Apple computer owners reported household incomes greater than $100,000, compared to 21% of all consumers. With a higher household income, though, it’s not a surprise that those consumers are making more electronics purchases.”

He also said that Apple households own twice as many consumer electronics devices—48—as the average computer household.

The results come from a survey of more than 2300 of NPD’s online panelists.

Some Mac OS X 10.6 Users Report Difficulty Using .DMG Files

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Date: Thursday, October 1st, 2009, 03:17
Category: Software

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As cool as Snow Leopard may be, if this issue happens, you’re going to notice it:

Per CNET, a number of users are experiencing issues concerning Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard’s handling of .dmg files. Since upgrading to Snow Leopard these users are not able to mount the files or run packages stored in them.

Over on the Apple Support Discussions web site user “Logan G” described the following:

“Since upgrading to Snow Leopard, I cannot get any downloaded .dmg files to do anything. After downloading them, I double click on them and nothing happens. Nothing. No error message. No bouncing dock icons. Nothing. I’ve tried downloading them using Firefox and Safari with the same results. This is happening with all .dmg files, not just the same ones, so I know it’s not unique to a particular .dmg file.”

Several suggestions are made regarding a fix for this issue, although none seem to permanently solve the problem. First, check to be sure your Disk Image files are set to open with the correct program–in this case, DiskImageMounter. To check, highlight a disk image file and press (Command + I) to Get Info. In the Open with: section, if DiskImageMounter is not selected, choose it and click “Change All…”

Users can also try deleting the following files:
Home > Library > Preferences > com.apple.frameworks.diskimages.uiagent
Home > Library > Preferences > com.apple.diskimages.fsck

From here, log out, log back in again or restart your Mac. This appears to be a temporary fix only and a long term solution has yet to be discovered and reported back. If you’ve seen this on your end or, better yet, found a fix, let us know!!!

Elgato Releases EyeTV 3.2 Update

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Date: Thursday, October 1st, 2009, 03:37
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, Elgato Systems released version 3.2 of its EyeTV software application, which finds and tracks all television programming you want to see and allows users to pause live television and save content to file.

The new version, which can be found here (and can also be found through EyeTV 3.0′s update feature), adds the following fixes and features:
- Turbo.264 HD users can now access the Turbo custom options when exporting from EyeTV.
- Fixed a crash when using the digital audio output.
- Fixed missing commands in AppleScript dictionary.
- Improved H.264 playback with certain channels.
- Improved tuning for both DVB-S and DVB-S2 with EyeTV Sat and Terratec S7
- Fix default sort order and improved channel assignments on several different channels.
- Fix a problem where EyeTV Sat could not manually add DVB-S2 channels.
- Reception improvements with the EyeTV DTT.
- Improved localizations.

EyeTV 3.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run. The program retails for US$79.95.

Microsoft Releases Version 7.0.1 of IntelliPoint, IntelliType Drivers

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Date: Thursday, October 1st, 2009, 03:42
Category: Software

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On Saturday, Microsoft released version 6.2 of their drivers for their IntelliType keyboards and IntelliType mice. The drivers, which can be selected and downloaded here, bring the software up to speed with Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) and offer full 64-bit compatibility with the operating system.

The drivers require Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, let us know what you think and feel free to hurl your two cents in.

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.

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.

Carbon Copy Cloner Updated to 3.3

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Date: Thursday, September 24th, 2009, 04:42
Category: Software

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Late Monday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, has released version 3.3 of the program. The new version, a 3.2 megabyte download, adds the following changes:

- Added support for HFS+ filesystem compression that was introduced in Snow Leopard.
- To correspond with how the Finder and Disk Utility report these values on Snow Leopard, CCC will now use base 10 for reporting MB and GB on Snow Leopard. CCC will continue to use base 2 to report these values when booted from Leopard or Tiger.
- Improved the performance of backing up a large number of files with extended attributes.
- It is no longer a requirement that CCC be installed on media that supports the setuid bit.
- Added a bootability notification that will notify users when a target volume’s underlying disk is partitioned with the MBR partitioning scheme (rather than the Apple-recommended GUID or APM partition scheme).
- Increased the increment value of the disk image segment size stepper from 1 to 25. Now it takes mere seconds to get from 650MB to 4.6GB.
- Addressed an issue in which the source and target menus would not be properly updated if a disk disappears unexpectedly in the middle of a backup task.
- CCC now properly excludes the Time Machine database when backing up a hard drive using the “Backup everything” cloning method in file-level mode.
- Much like the Snow Leopard update, this release includes hundreds of tweaks and adjustments to improve performance and reliability.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3 retails for a US$10 shareware registration fee. The application requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

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.

Adobe Releases Lightroom 2.5 Update

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Date: Tuesday, September 15th, 2009, 03:50
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Adobe released Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.5, the newest version of its professional-grade image editing program and Adobe’s first application to support 64-bit processing under Mac OS X 10.5.
The new version, a 67 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), adds the following fixes and changes:
- Additional camera support for several new camera models including the Nikon D3000 and Olympus E-P1.
- Includes several corrections for issues introduced by previous Lightroom 2 releases.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.5 retails for US$299 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the new version, let us know what you think of it over in the comments or forums.

Apple Releases Security Update 2009-005 for Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5 Operating Systems

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Date: Friday, September 11th, 2009, 04:56
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Apple released Security Update 2009-005, its consolidated security update containing the four previous security fixes for the Mac OS X 10.4 (“Tiger”) and Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”) operating systems.

Full details as to fixes and changes within the update can be found here.

The updates are also available as regular downloads for the following operating systems:
- Tiger PPC
- Tiger Intel
- Leopard
- Tiger Server PPC
- Tiger Server Universal
- Leopard Server

As usual, the update can also be downloaded and installed via Mac OS X’s Software update feature.