Drive Genius 2.1.1 Released

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

drivegenius.jpg
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.

    (more…)

    Apple Releases iMovie 8.0.2 Update

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, April 15th, 2009, 07:35
    Category: Software

    imovieicon.png
    Tuesday afternoon, Apple released iMovie 8.0.2, the latest version of its consumer-level video editing application. The new version, a 24.5 megabyte download, fixes an issue with projects having a size of 0 KB. Attempting to open these projects would cause iMovie to quit unexpectedly at launch. The update also addresses a problem where full-screen mode could not be accessed on some systems.
    The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

    (more…)

    Microsoft Releases Office 2004 11.5.4, Office 2008 12.1.7 Updates

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, April 15th, 2009, 07:17
    Category: Software

    microsoftlogo.jpg
    On Tuesday, Microsoft released updates for both its Office 2004 and Office 2008 suites for the Mac.
    Microsoft Office 2004 version 11.5.4, a 9.7 megabyte download through the AutoUpdate program, offers stability and performance fixes and repairs a vulnerability in which an outside party could insert malicious code.
    The program requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later to install and run.
    The company also released Microsoft Office 2008 12.1.7, a 267.7 megabyte download through the AutoUpdate program that offers improvements to enhance security, stability, and performance, including fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.
    Additional details regarding the update can be found here.
    Microsoft Office 2008 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

    (more…)

    How-To: Work Around Delays, Hangs in Time Machine

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, April 14th, 2009, 09:23
    Category: How-To

    eltimemachine.jpg
    Let’s face it, Time Machine is a spiffy and useful thing as well as one of the main bells and whistles of Mac OS X 10.5. This isn’t to say it’s without its bugs and despite Apple’s best efforts, there are times where backups appear to hang or stall out sans warning.
    You may be familiar with the situation, as described by poster “PaulArthurUK” in the Apple Discussion forums:

    “When time machine starts to back up my machine, it hangs (the clock icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen spins, but the backup disk is not being accessed and currently Time Machine shows no backup in the last five days). Once it has hung, various applications start to behave oddly and generally I am unable to shut them down, even via force quit.”

    Per MacFixIt, there are a variety of reasons why this could happen. The most common is when the backup daemon is doing a “Deep Traversal” of the source drive to ensure its catalog of changed files correctly reflects the status of the source disk. When this happens, Time Machine will stick at “Preparing…,”. This can take a long time, depending on the size of the node being traversed, but usually speeds up once the deep traversal is completed.
    To easily check out Time Machine logs and track down problems and exactly what Time Machine is doing, download the “Time Machine Buddy” widget, which will display the TM logs in the dashboard.
    Time Machine’s hanging may affect other chunks of the operating system, causing widespread slowdown. This type of behavior usually indicates the system resources are not accessible to the system when the system is expecting them to be.
    Other scenarios that may cause a slowdown include the following:

    Drive malfunction: If the drive is making clicking sounds, or doesn’t appear properly either on the Desktop or in Disk Utility, then there may be a problem with the drive. For external drives, low power to the drive can cause the system to hang.
    Volume corruption: While the disk may be fine, if the formatting or partitioning of the drive has problems, then the drive will not be properly accessible by the system.
    Drives being put to sleep: The energy-saver setting to put drives to sleep whenever possible can cause them to go into a state where they won’t wake up properly. This depends on the drive itself, but while the system waits for the drive, you can experience a hang.

    User can try running Disk Utility to check for and repair errors on the drive or perform these tasks more thoroughly with a third-party disk utility software such as “Disk Warrior,” “Drive Genius,” “Disk Tools Pro,” or “Tech Tool Pro.” Checking both the boot drive and the Time Machine drive for errors is recommended.
    Beyond drive-specific issues, there can be incompatibilities both with other system resources and third-party applications, which can cause Time Machine slowdowns. Antiviral software can interfere with Time Machine’s functions, especially if you have live scanning or “on-access” scanning enabled. Turning off these settings in the antivirus software may help this situation. Additionally, if you have Spotlight enabled for the Time Machine drive (it is enabled by default), this can sometimes endlessly try to index the drive. As such, you can try adding the Time Machine drive to Spotlight’s privacy list, and then remove it to restart indexing.
    A similar trick can also be performed via Mac OS X’s Terminal application, which will ensure the spotlight stores are deleted and started anew via the following steps:

    Open Terminal
    Type the following command and include a space after the command:
    mdutil -E -i off
    Drag the Time Machine disk to the Terminal window to enter the full path to the disk, such as the following:
    mdutil -E -i off /Volumes/TMDisk/
    Ensuring a space is between the “off” and the drive path, press enter
    Repeat this command, changing the “off” to “on” in order to enable spotlight on the drive again.

    Finally, if you are backing up over a network (especially a wireless network), backups can be slow by nature. At 54Mb, speeds of most wireless connections, you will run at a maximum of 6MB per second, which translates to 14 hours for a 300GB backup when running at optimal conditions. Given network overhead and other interferences, this can easily double and result in the backup taking a day or two. For the initial backup to a networked device, you might try plugging in the Ethernet connection, which should be at least double the speed, but up to 20 times faster than wireless.
    A final fix for slow backups can be to restart Time Machine on the drive by removing it and re-adding it in the Time Machine preferences. Doing this seems to clear various bottlenecks in Time Machine and start backups running at faster speeds again.

    (more…)

    SpamSieve Updated to 2.7.4

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, April 13th, 2009, 17:05
    Category: Software

    spamsieve2.jpg
    Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.7.4. The new version, a 5.8 megabyte download, makes the following fixes and improvements:

  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
  • SpamSieve is better able to recover from corpus files that were damaged due to disk errors.
  • Improved the Entourage installer’s error handling.
  • Improved the error reporting when saving the corpus.
  • Improved the troubleshooting instructions.
  • Fixed a problem where messages trained as good in Apple Mail could be moved into the inbox of a disabled account.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause harmless error messages to be logged to the Console when playing System 7 sound files.
  • The crash reporter now warns before sending a report without an e-mail address.
  • You can now press Enter to click the Send Report button in the crash reporter.
  • SpamSieve is available for a US$30 registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The new version can either be downloaded directly from the web site or brought up to the current version via the program’s built-in update feature.

    (more…)

    Apple Releases VoiceOver Kit 1.0.1 Update for iPod Shuffle

    Posted by:
    Date: Monday, April 13th, 2009, 06:50
    Category: iPod shuffle, Software

    newipodshuffle.jpg
    Late Friday, Apple released its VoiceOver Kit 1.0.1, an update containing several fixes for the newest generation of its iPod Shuffle media player. According to Macworld UK, the update, a 17 megabyte download contains corrected pronunciations for several artist names as well as a series of unspecified minor bug fixes.
    The update is currently not listed on Apple’s Web site, but it is available via the Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

    (more…)

    Roxio Toast Titanium 10.0.2 Update Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, April 9th, 2009, 07:19
    Category: Software

    toastlogo.jpg
    Late Wednesday night, Roxio released version 10.0.2 of its Toast Titanium authoring software. The new version, available here, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Resolves crash issue that may occur with some FLAC audio files.
  • Resolves issue when converting QuickTime movies with text tracks.
  • Improved handling of corrupt PCM audio packets.
  • Toast 10 Titanium requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.

    (more…)

    Skype 2.8.0.438 Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, April 9th, 2009, 07:20
    Category: Software

    skypelogo.jpg
    On Thursday, Skype released version 2.8.0.438 of its popular Voice over Internet Protocol communications program.
    The new version, a 41.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

  • change: spectator window for screen sharing.
  • change: My Account page embedded in the client.
  • bugfix: Skype didn’t hide on OS X login< ./li>
  • bugfix: copy/paste from chats was not working correctly.
  • bugfix: sometimes Skype froze for a couple of seconds when starting or stopping screen sharing.
  • bugfix: screen sharing windows could be left on screen when a call was joined to a conference.
  • bugfix: PiP didn’t appear in full screen when receiving screen sharing.
  • bugfix: the overlay didn’t appear for fullscreen screen sharing and then the exit fullscreen button didn’t work.
  • bugfix: fullscreen mode would exit after a held call was resumed.
  • bugfix: call could not be ended after being redirected to voicemail.
  • bugfix: the call window layout was broken if the dialpad was shown during a video call
  • bugfix: URLs inside brackets were not clickable.
  • bugfix: sometimes Skype crashed after deleting missed events without reading them.
  • Click the jump for the full story…

    (more…)

    Recent Mac OS X 10.5.7 Beta Focuses on 100+ Fixes, Second Security Update for 2009

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 07:44
    Category: Software

    applelogo1.jpg
    A recent Mac OS X 10.5.7 beta has made its way among Apple developer with Apple apparently also beta testingits second security update of the year for certain Mac OS X distributions.
    According to AppleInsider, build 9J44 of Mac OS X 10.5.7 was released to developers. The new beta arrives a little more than a week after the company issued build 9J39 and, per sources close to the story, offers a fix for a PDF font render along with four other fixes, thus bringing the number of documented code corrections to 104.
    Similarly, the lone issue affecting the last several builds has been the inability to install Apple’s Safari 4 beta, which hasn’t been tweaked to run on the new system update.
    Mac OS X 10.5.7, code-named Juno, is expected for a release sometime this month and reportedly weighs in at approximately 442MB. A combo updater capable of updating versions of Leopard prior to 10.5.6 and bundling earlier security improvements is currently about 730MB.
    Where the second security update is concerned, Apple has reportedly tasked security experts with evaluating its second security update to Mac OS X of the 2009 calendar year. The release is said to be in testing for versions of Apple’s Mac OS X 10.4 operating system and a version for Mac OS X 10.5 has yet to be reported.
    People familiar with the situation say Apple doesn’t brief its security testers on the improvements it bundles into beta security updates and instead asks them probe for holes blindly. As such, it’s not entirely clear what components of Tiger it targets, though the rumor is that it addresses a networking vulnerability.
    Apple is expected to recommend the update “for all users” saying it “improves the security of Mac OS X.” Four different distributions are currently being evaluated: Tiger client (PPC), Tiger server (PPC), Tiger client (Intel), and Tiger server (Intel).
    The latest known builds are reportedly 8S410 (PPC) and 8S2410 (Intel).

    (more…)

    How-To: Reset Mac OS X’s Software Updater Function

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, 07:20
    Category: How-To

    applelogo1.jpg
    As nigh-indispensable as Mac OS’s Software Update feature can be to locate and install patches for the operating system and supported applications from Apple, there remains the fact that some items might not install or the updater may not seem to work at all.
    Per MacFixIt, a user identified as “The Dragon” posted this comment over in the Apple Discussion Boards:

    “After a longish while, the “Checking for new software…” progress bar [in Software Update] had reached about halfway, and the update list indicated it had found five updates. At that point however, the progress bar chose to freeze entirely. After a good while and no further progress, I Cancel the update, and attempt to relaunch. Software Update opens, but the aforementioned progress bar freezes immediately.”

    Like any other application, problems can occur if any required resources have become corrupt. From here, the application will start properly and not run correctly. These resources can include the program’s preferences files and caches. In addition, when updates are applied, a receipt is generated that Software Update reads to know what updates have already been installed. If an installation fails, but the receipt is left, software update may not try to install a needed update. Additionally, if a receipt is corrupt, then software update may try to repeatedly install the same update.
    Assorted fixes for the issue include the following steps:

    Fixes:
    1. Remove Software Update preference and cache files.
    If Software Update seems to be unable to complete an update, and either freezes or quits half-way through checking for updates, then try removing the application’s preferences and cache files from the following locations:
    /username/Library/Preferences/ByHost/ –> remove “com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.NUMBER.plist”
    /username/Library/Preferences/ –> remove “com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist”
    /username/Library/Caches/ –> remove “com.apple.SoftwareUpdate” (folder)
    /Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/ –> remove”com.apple.SoftwareUpdate.plist”
    After removing these items, restart the system for the changes to take effect and try launching Software Update again.
    2. Remove faulty receipts.
    If an update continuously appears and is being applied, try removing the receipt for that specific update. The receipt should be located in the /Macintosh HD/Library/Receipts/ folder and will be named something similar to the update files (i.e., FrontRowUpdate2.1.7.pkg). Do not delete the receipt, but instead move it to the desktop or some other location and retry the update. If it still does not work, replace the receipt in its original location, since it may be required and isn’t the root of the problem.

    (more…)