Apple Releases Updated Mac OS X 10.6.3 Dev Build, Official Release Seems Close

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Date: Thursday, February 25th, 2010, 05:21
Category: News, Software

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Late Wednesday Apple released a new version of its Mac OS X 10.6.3 beta to its developer community. The build, labeled 10D561, currently lists no known issues, which suggests that a formal release via Software Update may be in the near term.

Per AppleInsider, sources familiar with the latest beta claim no changes have been made to the software’s enhancements checklist, which includes an update to QuickTime X that improves security and compatibility while simultaneously enhancing overall reliability.

Other changes present since earlier betas include tweaks that enhance the performance of Apple’s 64-bit Logic Pro audio suite and improved compatibility with third-party printers and OpenGL-grounded applications.

Those familiar with Wednesday’s beta say Apple is now asking developers to focus their evaluation efforts on Bluetooth, iChat, and USB, in addition to two previously listed focus areas: graphics drivers and QuickTime.

An earlier emphasis on AirPort testing has reportedly been omitted from build 10D561.

Mac OS X 10.6.3 currently weighs in at just over 716MB in Delta form, down slightly from the 737MB package distributed with the previous seeding.

If you’ve had a chance to play with the new build, let us know.

iSync Plugins 7.1.2.7 Released

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Date: Wednesday, February 24th, 2010, 05:45
Category: iPhone, Software

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iSync plugins, nova media’s shareware iSync extension package for Mac OS X and all-around useful utility that provides access to dozens of cell phones and handsets, received a small update over the weekend. Version 7.1.2.7, a 5.4 megabyte download, adds support for the following cell phone models:

- Nokia 5230
- Nokia 6700 slide
- Nokia X6
- Samsung SGH-D900E
- Sony Ericsson Pureness X5

iSync 7.1.2.7 retails for US$9.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 (under Mac OS X 10.4), Mac OS X 10.5.8 (under Mac OS X 10.5) and Mac OS X 10.6.2 (under Mac OS X 10.6) to install and run.

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.

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.

How-To: Repair Fuzzy Icons in Snow Leopard

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Date: Tuesday, November 24th, 2009, 07:35
Category: How-To

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There’ll always be bugs, you can count of that.

Per CNET, a number of Snow Leopard users have been complaining of blurry and pixelated icons showing up in the Finder. A thread on the Apple Discussion Board outlines this issue, where instead of the large and crisp icons that are so prominent in OS X, the system shows grainy and low-resolution versions of them, regardless of the icon size being used.

Mac OS X icon files are actually comprised of several files in one, each which represents a different version of the icon from low resolution to high resolution. This is so the system will not always load the high-resolution versions if the icon size does not call for it.

Potential fixes for this issue include the following:
An application called BlueHarvest allows users to repair the DS_Store files that might be causing this issue. The program can be located and downloaded here.

Remove system and user caches:
Additionally, you can try using a system maintenance tool to remove all user and system caches. This can be done with a utility like OnyX, and I would recommend tackling the following system caches:
dyld’s shared cache

All “System” cleaning routines

All “User” cleaning routines

After removing the caches, restart the computer.

Additionally, removing the Finder’s preference file may also help, since icon rendering is a function of the Finder. The preference file is called “com.apple.Finder.plist” and is located in the /username/Library/Preferences/ folder. Move this to the Desktop and restart the computer (or logout and log back in) and hopefully the Finder will load the icons properly again. Keep in mind that doing this will remove a few customizations of the the Finder, including sidebar additions and recent items, but that should be easy to set up again.

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

Hack Finds Ways to Reenable Atom Processor Support for Mac OS X 10.6.2

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Date: Friday, November 20th, 2009, 06:34
Category: News

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If Apple says you can’t do it, then someone out there will find a way.

Per Macworld, hackers have found a way to circumvent the changes in Mac OS X 10.6.2 to allow the latest upgrade to Apple’s Snow Leopard to run on netbooks with Intel Atom processors. When Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.2 earlier this month, Intel Atom support was missing from the release. Though no Apple-sanctioned hardware uses the Atom processor, some low-cost netbook users would use the hack to install Mac OS X on their systems.

The hack applies only to a select number of “Hackintosh” users, as not all who install Mac OS X on unauthorized machines use netbooks with Intel Atom processors. Atom is a low-voltage microprocessor used in inexpensive portable computers.

According to MacWorld, support for Mac OS X 10.6.2 has been brought to the Atom processor thanks to a complicated hack that requires use of the Terminal and replacing the kernel of the operating system.

As developer builds of Mac OS X 10.6.2 were released, the status of Atom support fluctuated, leaving hackers wondering Apple’s purpose.

For those of you willing to tear your Mac OS X kernel apart and spend a considerable amount of time in the Terminal program, go to this Insanelymac forum thread and follow the directions to the letter to reenable Atom support for Mac OS X 10.6.2 on your Atom-based netbook.

And please don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Still unknown is whether Apple actually had any intent in disabling Atom processor support. It’s possible the situation could be much like the cat-and-mouse game with Palm, where Apple released minor updates to iTunes that served only to break compatibility with the Pre smartphone. Or, since Apple likely does not test its software on products it does not ship, the Cupertino, Calif., company may have accidentally broken compatibility with Atom processors.

DivX Player 7.2 Released

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Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 08:34
Category: Software

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DivX for Mac, the shareware player that allows users to view high definition H.264 (.mkv) videos with AAC audio and video, hit version 7.2 yesterday. The new version, a 30.5 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), contains the followings changes and features:

- DivX Player for Mac now plays DivX Plus HD (.mkv) videos and H.264/AAC/MKV videos from the Internet.
- DivX Player for Mac sports a brand new design with translucent windows, cleaner play controls and more.

DivX Player 7.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for a US$19.99 registration fee.

Cocktail 4.6.1 (Snow Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Tuesday, November 10th, 2009, 08:59
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.6.1 of Cocktail (Snow 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 unexpectedly quit while clearing Mac OS X 10.6.2 system caches.
- Added Mac OS X 10.6.2 compatibility.

Cocktail 4.6.1 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 10.6.2 Update

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Date: Monday, November 9th, 2009, 14:14
Category: Software

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Late Monday, Apple released its second maintenance update to its Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) operating system. Mac OS X 10.6.2, a 473 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes for the following issues:

- An issue that might cause your system to logout unexpectedly.
- Graphics distortion in Safari Top Sites.
- An issue wherein Spotlight search results not showing Exchange contacts.
- A problem that prevented authenticating as an administrative user.
- Issues when using NTFS and WebDAV file servers.
- The reliability of menu extras.
- An issue with the 4-finger swipe gesture.
- An issue that causes Mail to quit unexpectedly when setting up an Exchange server.
- Address Book becoming unresponsive when editing.
- A problem adding images to contacts in Address Book.
- An issue that prevented opening files downloaded from the Internet.
- Safari plug-in reliability.
- General reliability improvements for iWork, iLife, Aperture, Final Cut Studio, MobileMe, and iDisk.
- An issue that caused data to be deleted when using a guest account.

Other fixes include improved video playback, fixes for performance on certain Nvidia graphics cards and assorted security updates.

As always, the update can be snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new update and noticed anything, positive or negative, please let us know in the comments.

Apple Seeds Latest 10.6.2 Build, Includes Bug Fixes for Fusion 3.0, iMacs, Retains Atom Support

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Date: Thursday, November 5th, 2009, 04:59
Category: Software

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Apple has released the most recent build of its upcoming Mac OS X 10.6.2 operating system update. Per AppleInsider, sources familiar with the build, titled 10C540 have said that it contains fixes for AirPort performance issues on the newly released iMacs and also resolves a problem which arose when plugging and unplugging a system to an Apple TV. A VMWare fix is also included, presumably for the newly released Fusion version 3.0.

The new build also fixes reported panic issues with USB, Apple Filing Protocol, and some video cards.

In the 10.6.2 update, Apple plans on fixing and tweaking nearly 150 OS X components.

Some components slated for fixes include: AppleBacklight, Battery Menu, Dictionary, Expose, FileSync, Family Controls, Fonts, Front Row, HFS, Inkwell, iPhoto, MobileMe, OpenCL, Parental Controls, QuickTime, Screen Sharing, Spell Checker, Spotlight, Time Machine, and USB.

The new build also reportedly restores support for Intel’s Atom processor, which was said to have been blacklisted and might not be supported in the update given its popularity in the “Hackintosh” community.

Mac OS X 10.6.2 is expected to be released sometime this month and will reportedly be around 480 MB in size.