MSI demoes external Thunderbolt-based GPU for Apple notebooks at CES

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, 05:49
Category: Accessory, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

Ok, this is interesting.

Over at CES this week, MSI is showing off a new external graphics solution that can connect to a Mac through a high-speed Thunderbolt port. Per AnandTech, the MSI GUS IIrelies on the high bandwidth capacity of the 10Gbps Thunderbolt port found on the latest Mac models, including the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

“The external chassis features a Thunderbolt interface and an internal PCIe slot,” Anand Lai Shimpi noted. “Despite running on a MacBook Pro there is currently no OS X support for the solution, but it does work under Windows. Presumably if there’s OS X support for the GPU inside the enclosure it would work under OS X as well.”

No timeframe for launch or price for the external GPU were given, but the product could be a solution for users who want more graphics processing power for their MacBook when it’s in use at home. The GPU featured in the MSI GUS II must be powered by PCIe alone, as there are no auxiliary power connectors inside the device.

Thunderbolt-based external drives have also been prevalent at CES this year. Seagate plans to ship by the middle of this month adapters that will allow existing Seagate GoFlex drives to fit into a Thunderbolt slot, while Western Digital plans to release new Thunderbolt drives by the middle of 2012.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Adobe releases Lightroom 4.0 public beta, adds slew of fixes and features

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Date: Tuesday, January 10th, 2012, 10:47
Category: News, Software

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On Tuesday, software giant Adobe released a public beta of version 4.0 of its Lightroom photo editing utility. The Lightroom 4.0 beta, a 409 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), adds the following fixes and changes:

- Highlight and shadow recovery brings out all the detail that your camera captures in dark shadows and bright highlights.

- Photo book creation with easy-to-use elegant templates.

- Location-based organization lets you find and group images by location, assign locations to images, and display data from GPS-enabled cameras.

- White balance brush to refine and adjust white balance in specific areas of your images.

- Additional local editing controls let you adjust noise reduction and remove moiré in targeted areas of your images.

- Extended video support for organizing, viewing, and making adjustments and edits to video clips.

- Easy video publishing lets you edit and share video clips on Facebook and Flickr.

- Soft proofing to preview how an image will look when printed with color-managed printers.

- Email directly from Lightroom using the email account of your choice.

The Adobe Lightroom 4.0 beta is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

CrossOver Games updated to 10.3

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Date: Monday, January 9th, 2012, 04:21
Category: News, Software

CrossOver Games, the popular gaming emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 10.3. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Fixes for Skyrim on Linux.

- Patch fixes for World of Warcraft.

CrossOver Games 10.3 retails for US$39.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 and or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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

Onyx 2.4.3 released

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Date: Monday, January 2nd, 2012, 04:46
Category: News, Software

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Onyx, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.4.3. The new version, a 13.7 megabyte download adds the following fixes and changes:

OnyX doesn’t relaunch anymore after restart or shut down
Deleting the Logs improved
- Enable/disable Text Selection in Quick Look.

- Enable/disable iTunes notifications.

- Choose search option by default in Safari.

- Path Bar displayed from the Home folder or root.

- Show/hide the path of background image on the Desktop.

- Enable/disable Time Machine Local Backups.

- Translations improved.

- New version integrated 3.7.9 of sqlite3.

- Info panel improved.

- Bug corrected while rebuilding the Mail Envelope Index

- Bug corrected while emptying the trash.

Onyx 2.4.3 requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later to install and run.

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

Boxee updated to 1.5, sings swan song for Mac OS X, Windows versions

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Date: Monday, December 26th, 2011, 09:05
Category: News, Software

The good news: There’s a nifty new version of Boxee available for the Mac.

The bad news: This will be its final version for the Mac.

Per Electronista, Boxee marked a swansong for its desktop app with the launch of version 1.5. The new version, an 82 megabyte download, has a newly refreshed interface with quicker access to the browser and the menu appearing as an overlay with quicker search. Movie and TV sections have been given their own updates, such as easier navigation by genres and sources, more details, and a better way to check for unwatched video episodes.

The app requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run. Its release is the last official desktop version and will be pulled after late January, when the interface comes to Boxee’s own hardware with the Live TV Tuner add-on.

Andrew Kippen from the company explained the decision to axe the desktop app as a virtue of a widening gap between the software version and what the team was allowed to do with the Boxee Box. Limitations on certification and copy protection imposed by Netflix, Pandora, Vudu, and others prevented Boxee from offering much of what it wanted.

TV was also more likely to be driven by dedicated hardware, Kippen argued. Along with the Boxee Box, it saw Internet-aware Blu-ray players and TVs leading the charge as well as sharing-capable smartphones and tablets. Makeshift setups with computers hooked up to TVs were less likely to stay.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Intuit to revise Quicken 2007, add Lion compatibility in “early 2012″

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Date: Friday, December 23rd, 2011, 06:00
Category: News, Software

You either love or hate Quicken, but you’ve got to admit it’s useful.

Per AppleInsider, Intuit announced to customers on Thursday that it plans to release a “re-engineered” version of Quicken for Mac 2007 that will be compatible with the latest version of Apple’s Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion.

A note from Aaron Forth, general manager of the Intuit Personal Finance Group, was sent out to customers Thursday, acknowledging that the company has “not always delivered” on its promise to deliver the best products to Mac customers. In particular, he was addressing the fact that Quicken for Mac 2007 does not have compatibility with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

“I understand the frustration this may have caused you and have put a team in place to address this issue,” Forth wrote. “I am happy to announce that we will have a solution that makes Quicken 2007 for Mac ‘Lion-compatible’ by early spring.”

Details on the forthcoming release are available on Intuit’s support website with a newly published list of questions and answers. There users can request to be notified when more information becomes available.

Forth told customers that the Quicken for Mac 2007 solution is “just a first step” in winning back the confidence of customers. Intuit is also expanding its development team to better support Mac users.

“I understand we have a way to go, but I wanted to start by communicating our commitment to Mac and look forward to sharing the details with you as they emerge,” he said.

Intuit last overhauled Quicken for Mac with Quicken Essentials, released in early 2010. But its latest efforts aim to support legacy customers, who have been locked out from Quicken for Mac 2007 since Apple launched Lion in July.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available. And for Mac users looking to motivate Intuit’s developers regarding the next version, you can always look up their headquarters and send them snacks and cocoa given the holiday season.

Mozilla releases Firefox 9.0.1 update

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Date: Thursday, December 22nd, 2011, 14:19
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Mozilla.org released version 9.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version stands as a 30.8 megabyte download (via MacUpdate) and adds the following fixes and changes:

- Added Type Inference, significantly improving JavaScript performance.

- Improved theme integration for Mac OS X Lion.

- Added two finger swipe navigation for Mac OS X Lion.

- Added support for querying Do Not Track status via JavaScript.

- Added support for font-stretch.

- Improved support for text-overflow.

- Improved standards support for HTML5, MathML, and CSS.

- Fixed several stability issues.

- Fixed security issues.

- Fixed add-on crashes.

Firefox 9.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Parallels Desktop updated to 7.0.15052

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Date: Thursday, December 22nd, 2011, 10:57
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Parallels released version 7.0.15052 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 304 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Better compatibility with Mac OS X 10.7.2 Launchpad.

- Improves network stability.

- Addresses the issue of Linux virtual machine not resuming upon waking the Mac from Sleep mode.

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 releases updated Mac OS X 10.7.3 beta to developer community

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Date: Wednesday, December 21st, 2011, 05:37
Category: News, Software

Apple on Tuesday issued a new beta version of Mac OS X 10.7.3, labeled build 11D36, to developers for testing.

Per AppleInsider, sources familiar with Apple’s seed notes for the release, focus areas for the beta include iCloud Document Storage, Address Book, iCal, Mail, Spotlight and Safari. The build was reportedly seeded with no known issues.

The combo update is a 1.25GB download, while the delta version weighs 986.68MB.

Developer releases of Mac OS X 10.7.3 have come fairly regularly in recent weeks, with the previous build, labeled 11D33, arriving on Dec. 15. Apple began testing the update in mid-November.

Earlier this month, beta drivers for AMD’s next-generation graphics cards were discovered in a beta build of the update. AMD’s new cards, which are expected to arrive on the market in the first quarter of 2012, could power a future iteration of the Mac Pro, though Apple is believed to be debating whether to continue making its full-sized workstation line.

Apple released OS X 10.7.2 in October, adding iCloud support to the desktop OS.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

VirtualBox updated to 4.1.8

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Date: Tuesday, December 20th, 2011, 07:40
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.1.8. The new version, a 88.9 megabyte download, sports an extensive list of changes that can be found here.

VirtualBox 4.1.8 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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