O'Grady's PowerPage » OS X

Microsoft to release Windows 8 on October 26th

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 19th, 2012, 05:05
Category: News, Software

You can pick up Windows 8, then begin working on a Halloween costume this year.

Per Electronista, it was revealed during Microsot’s annual sales meeting that the company’s next-generation operating system will hit shelves on Oct. 26 meaning new hardware will shortly follow including the Surface tablet.

Microsoft’s Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky made good on a promise from Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller who said Windows 8 would see release sometime in October. A subsequent post on the company’s dedicated Windows blog detailed the meeting, describing upgrade tiers and purchasing options.

Windows 8 will debut in 231 markets covering 109 languages on launch day and existing users of the ubiquitous OS can upgrade to the revamped software online for US$40. According to Microsoft’s website, all PCs running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 qualify for the US$39.99 upgrade with the option to add on Windows Media Center for free though the operating system’s “add features” option.

Wednesday’s announcement also portends the imminent release of tablets, PCs and Ultrabooks running the one-OS-for-all software when Microsoft announced as much during the Surface unveiling in June.

Microsoft’s Surface will likely be one of the first Windows 8 examples on offer when the OS debuts as the device marks the Redmond-based company’s first foray into the tablet hardware market. Initially, a stripped-down ARM-based iteration called Surface for Windows RT will roll out before a more full-featured Intel version dubbed Surface for Windows 8 Pro hits stores later this year.

It is unclear what features are missing from Windows RT but Microsoft is claiming the new OS is meant to reflect a “PC+” era where all devices run identical operating systems. This is counter to Apple’s “post-PC” era which describes multiple devices running software tailor-made for specific tasks, an example being OS X for laptops and iOS for iDevices. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner claimed that the iPhone maker’s view future computing is incorrect and instead believes in a “ond-OS-fits-all” approach to OS coding. Interestingly it appears that Windows RT skews toward the “post-PC” model.

Apple is looking to release its own next-generation operating system with OS X 10.8 later in July, and while no specific date has been set a launch should be imminent as the company seeded the Mountain Lion gold master last week.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 1.0 for 2012 notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2012, 15:44
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

This could be helpful.

On Wednesday, Apple released its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 1.0 for its 2012 notebooks. The update, a 76.6 megabyte download, fixes an issue that can lead to increased CPU power consumption, and it improves compatibility with some USB devices.

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

The update requires a 2012 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro notebook and Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

Obviously, this is a significant firmware update, so please let us know how it went for you via feedback in the comments section.

HandBrake updated to 0.9.8

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2012, 06:24
Category: News, Software


Handbrake, Eric Petit’s incredibly useful open-source DVD ripping/conversion utility, has been updated to version 0.9.8.

The new version, a 7.1 megabyte download, offers a list of fixes and changes available at this changelog.

HandBrake 0.9.8 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Mozilla releases Firefox 14.0.1 update

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2012, 05:14
Category: News, Software

elfirefox

On Monday, Mozilla.org released version 14.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 30.7 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

New:
- Google searches now utilize HTTPS.

- Full screen support for Mac OS X Lion implemented.

- Plugins can now be configured to only load on click (requires an about:config change).

- The Awesome Bar now auto-completes typed URLs.

Changed:
- Improved site identity manager, to prevent spoofing of an SSL connection with favicons.

Developer:
- Pointer Lock API implemented.

- New API to prevent your display from sleeping.

- New text-transform and font-variant CSS improvements for Turkish languages and Greek.

Fixed:
- Various security fixes.

- GIF animation can gets stuck when src and image size are changed (743598).

- OS X: nsCocoaWindow::ConstrainPosition uses wrong screen in multi-display setup (752149).

- CSS :hover regression when an element’s class name is set by Javascript (758885).

Firefox 14.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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

Adobe releases InDesign fix to alleviate crash on Ivy Bridge-equipped MacBooks

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 17th, 2012, 06:19
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

It never hurts to issue a bug fix.

Per AppleInsider, Adobe on Monday issued a ZIP file complete with instructions to manually fix an API bug that would crash the company’s InDesign professional layout software on Intel Ivy Bridge-equipped MacBooks.

The fix comes less than a week after Adobe acknowledged a problem with its program and Apple’s OS X 10.7.4 which comes pre-installed on all 2012 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs. According to a user support forum thread started in mid-June, the issue can be traced back to an API that handled InDesign’s system icons which was removed in the latest update to OS X.

The problem caused blank dialogue boxes to pop up as InDesign failed to retrieve the correct icon assets which in turn crashed the program.

It appears that the issue is confined to mid-2012 MacBooks that have “MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) Software Update” installed. Previous to Monday’s response some users created a workaround by rolling back the machine’s operating system to factory defaults.

Adobe is working closely with Apple on both their current and future OS releases to resolve this issue in a more comprehensive manner.

Adobe’s pseudo-patch involves the running of a script that installs three InDesign icons automatically or, for cases where the script does not run, a manual installation of the files directly into the application’s resources folder.

If you’ve tried the patch and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

HandBrake updated to 0.9.7

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 16th, 2012, 05:18
Category: News, Software


Handbrake, Eric Petit’s incredibly useful open-source DVD ripping/conversion utility, has been updated to version 0.9.7.

The new version, a 7.1 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

Supported Sources:
- VIDEO_TS folder, DVD image or real DVD (unencrypted — CSS is not supported internally and must be handled externally with third-party software and libraries), BDMV folder (unencrypted), and some .VOB and .TS files.

- Any multimedia file it can get libavformat to read and libavcodec to decode.

Outputs:
- File format: MP4 and MKV.

- Video: MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264 or Theora (1 or 2 passes or constant quantizer/rate encoding).

- Audio: AAC, HE-AAC, AC3, MP3, Vorbis, FLAC or AAC, MP3, AC3, DTS and DTS-HD pass-through (supports encoding of several audio tracks).

Misc features:
- Chapter selection.

- Soft subtitle support (DVD/VobSub in DVD/MKV/MP4, SRT files, SRT/UTF-8 in MKV, ASS/SSA in MKV, TX3G/3GPP in MP4 – DVD/VobSub and ASS/SSA subtitles can also be burned-in the picture).

- Picture deinterlacing, cropping and scaling.

- Grayscale encoding.

WHAT’S NEW:
- Fixes several small bugs from the previous version.

HandBrake 0.9.7 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

Apple releases iPhoto 9.3.1 update

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 13th, 2012, 06:17
Category: News, Software

eliphoto

Late Thursday, Apple released its anticipated iPhoto 9.3.1 update. The update, a 600 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Addresses a problem during the migration of albums from MobileMe Gallery that may cause photos to be moved from their original events into a new event called “From MobileMe”.

- Fixes an issue that in rare cases could cause iPhoto to hang when upgrading libraries.

iPhoto 9.3.1 retails for US$49 as part of iLife ’11 and requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

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

Parallels Desktop updated to 7.0.15104

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 12th, 2012, 06:38
Category: News, Software

parallelslogo1.jpg

On Thursday, Parallels released version 7.0.15104 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 306 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Run Windows 8, Ubuntu, and Fedora on the latest models of Mac computers (MacBook Air (mid 2012), MacBook Pro (mid 2012) , MacBook Pro with Retina display).

- Run Fedora 17 in virtual machines.

- Install Parallels Desktop on Mac computers running OS X Mountain Lion.

- Use IMG disc images for the virtual machine CD/DVD-ROM drive.

- Use USB 3.0 devices in virtual machines.

- Improved Parallels Mobile connectivity with Mac.

- Improved Linux distributions detection during Express installation.

- Enhanced Retina display support.

Parallels Desktop 7 retails for US$79.99 and requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended to run Windows 7), at least 700 MB of space available on the boot volume for Parallels Desktop installation and 15 GB of available disk space for Windows.

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

Apple posts official list of OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)-compatible Macs

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 12th, 2012, 06:38
Category: News, Software

If you qualify, you’ll try to high-five everyone you meet today and your friends will eventually want you to shut up about it.

If you don’t, well, you can meet me down at the corner pub for happy hour…

Per The Verge, Apple has posted a “How to Upgrade” page on its website that contains a list of Mac models with Intel chipsets that qualify for Mountain Lion:

- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)

- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)

- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)

- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)

- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)

- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

- Xserve (Early 2009)

After verifying that a Mac is eligible for the upgrade, users are instructed to check that they have OS X Lion or the latest version of Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.8) installed. The third step is simply to “download OS X Mountain Lion when it becomes available in July” and follow the onscreen instructions to install it.

Apple announced OS X Mountain Lion in February, specifically mentioning newer Macs as qualifying for the upgrade. At the time, it was suspected that Macs with Intel’s GMA 950 and GMA X3100 integrated graphics processors would not be capable of running OS X 10.8.

By distributing new versions of OS X solely on the Mac App Store, Apple has also drawn a line in the sand, since Macs not capable of installing at least OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 won’t be able to access the App Store.

The Mac maker appears on track to release Mountain Lion this month as promised. Developers received the Golden Master version of the OS on Monday and an invitation from Apple to submit applications for the update to the Mac App Store. The US$19.99 upgrade contains over 200 new features, such as closer integration with iCloud, new security checks and voice dictation.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

And as much as I love my 2006 Mac Pro, maybe it’s time we started seeing other people…

Google Chrome updated to 20.0.1132.57

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012, 11:56
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 20.0.1132.57 for the Mac. The new version, a 40.7 megabyte download, offers the following changes:

- Along with security fixes, this build contains an update to Flash player, v8 (3.10.8.20) and couple of stability/bug fixes.

Google Chrome 20.0.1132.57 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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