Parallels Desktop updated to 8.0.18354

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Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012, 06:12
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Parallels released version 8.0.18354 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 333.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Resolves an issue with the built-in camera not working with Windows.

– Resolves an issue with some USB devices not working in virtual machines.

Parallels Desktop 8 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.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard install DVDs surface in Apple online store, available for $19.99

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Date: Friday, November 23rd, 2012, 08:45
Category: News, retail, Software

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In as much as it’s useful to keep operating systems on thumb drives and recovery partitions, there are times where you miss having an emergency DVD on hand.

That being said, this should be useful.

Discovered by French web site MacGeneration and the mighty Mac Observer, Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard has returned to Apple’s Online Store as a physical disc purchase after being removed upon the launch of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in July.

Snow Leopard, released in August of 2009, was the first Apple operating system to run exclusively on Intel processors. It was also the last version of OS X to include Rosetta, Apple’s translation software that allowed applications written for PowerPC-based Macs to run seamlessly on Intel-powered machines.

Most importantly for owners of older Macs, Snow Leopard represented a crucial transition point for Apple. The Mac App Store, which launched in early January 2011 exclusively on Snow Leopard 10.6.6, inaugurated a new era of digital software distribution. Starting with the launch of OS X 10.7 Lion in July 2011 and continuing with Mountain Lion in July 2012, the primary method for Mac owners to receive new versions of OS X became the Mac App Store (there were indeed other methods of acquiring a new version of OS X, such as the short-lived official USB installer or by making your own, but these were limited options for relatively advanced users).

For users who had already upgraded their eligible Macs to Snow Leopard, the upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion was simple: purchase and download it from the Mac App Store. But if users were still on OS X 10.5 Leopard or 10.4 Tiger, they would first have to install Snow Leopard to gain access to the Mac App Store, and then purchase and download Lion or Mountain Lion.

As a result, Apple kept OS X Snow Leopard for sale in its online store until the launch of Mountain Lion when, for reasons unknown, the company removed it. Now, thankfully, the Snow Leopard installation DVD is back for US$19.99, and is currently in stock with free shipping.

While it is true that most Mac owners who are eligible to upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion have already done so (or have at least upgraded to Snow Leopard), for the remaining holdouts who want to try a newer version of OS X, or for current users who want a copy of Snow Leopard in case they ever need to run a PowerPC app via Rosetta, now is the time to snag it while it’s still available.

VMWare releases Fusion 5.0.2 update

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Date: Monday, November 12th, 2012, 07:11
Category: News, Software

Late Wednesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 5.0.2 of its Fusion software for the Mac.

Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.

The new version, a 215.9 megabyte download, can be found here and offers the following fixes and changes:

– USB 3.0 stability improvements.

– Graphics improvements when running the Microsoft Office 2013 preview.

– Fixed an issue that caused the library and the Fusion start menu contents to get out of sync.

– Fixed an issue that caused Mac OS X (Mountain Lion) guests to see stale directory information when using HGFS.

– Fixed a multi-monitor behavior on Mac OS X (Mountain Lion) when Use All Displays in Full Screen is selected.

– Fixed an issue that caused the full screen short-cut key to intermittently fail when Caps Lock was on.

– Easy Install improvements for Microsoft Windows 8.

– Fixed key repeat behavior (typematic) on certain versions of Mac OS X (Mountain Lion).

– Fixed an intermittent problem that caused Fusion to quit when the network editor was opened.

– Fixed cancelling of the import of OVF virtual machines.

– Addressed graphics issues with Autodesk Inventor, Altium Designer, and Solidworks.

– Fixed an issue installing on Macs with a user or group named “0”.

– Fixed error compiling HGFS on Linux 3.6 kernels.

– Changed the selection color in the library icon view.

– Renamed the Pause key menu item to aid with accessibility and automation.

– Fixed an issue importing a Parallels virtual machine that has no network devices.

– Resolved an issue that caused the PC Migration Assistant to not complete when migrating a Windows PC.

Fusion 5.0.2 retails for US$49.99 and requires an Intel-based Mac, 2 GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later (10.7 recommended) and a copy of Windows (if you’ll be installing Windows).

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

Apple releases MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 2.0 for mid-2012 notebooks

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Date: Friday, November 9th, 2012, 07:27
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

It’s the firmware updates that really make a difference.

Late Friday, Apple released its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 2.0, a firmware update for its June 2012 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks. The update, a 76.6 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– This MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update includes graphics performance and reliability enhancements and improves compatibility with some USB devices.

The update requires a Mac notebook introduced in June of 2012, Mac OS X 10.7.4 or higher and can be downloaded and installed via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

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

Apple introduces Lightning to Micro USB adapter to North American customers

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Date: Monday, November 5th, 2012, 07:02
Category: Hardware, News

You can’t knock a useful adapter.

Per AppleInsider, alongside the iPad mini, Apple on Friday introduced the Lightning to micro USB adapter, a tiny dongle first available in Europe, to the U.S. market.

Initially built and released in tandem with the iPhone 5 in Europe to fulfill the European Commission’s regulation that all smartphones sold in the region be micro USB compatible, the US$19 adapter has now become available in North America.

Previously, those iPhone, iPod and now iPad users needed to buy the component through third-party resellers or directly from an Apple Store in Europe if they wanted to charge and sync their devices via micro USB. As there is no official standard in the U.S., manufacturers offer their products in a variety of charging methods, causing many consumers to build up a stockpile of various cables and chargers. The Lightning to micro USB adapter looks to do away with at least one of those cables.

Apple’s adapter is compatible with the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, seventh-generation iPod nano, fourth-generation iPad, and iPad mini. According to the company’s website, the dongle is able to both charge and sync devices, though it is unlikely that audio line out is supported as the Lightning protocol is completely digital and would require an embedded digital-to-analog converter to function.

The US$19 adapter can be purchased directly from store.apple.com, with shipments available to ship in one to three days.

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

Apple releases OS X 10.8.2 Update for 13″ Macbook Pro with Retina Display, late 2012 21.5″ iMac and Mac mini models

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Date: Thursday, October 25th, 2012, 07:48
Category: iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, News, Software

Where new hardware is released, the software updates will follow.

Per AppleInsider, only one day following the announcement of new iMac, MacBook Pro and Mac mini models, Apple on Wednesday released an OS X Mountain Lion update built specifically for those devices.

While the download is called OS X 10.8.2, just like the most recent update to Apple’s current operating system for all other Macs, Wednesday’s release is “for 13″ Macbook Pro with Retina Display, 21.5″ iMac (Late 2012)Mac mini (Late 2012).”

A quick look at the release notes doesn’t yield much in the way of new information, possibly pointing to issues the new 2012 units are facing with some features in 10.8.2. Of note is the update’s compatibility with the 21.5-inch iMac, a model that has yet to be released, though the no mention was made of the 27-inch version.

The update, a 654 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Facebook:
– Single sign on for Facebook.
– Facebook as an option when sharing links and photos.
– Facebook friends’ contact information and profile pictures in Contacts.
– Facebook notifications in Notification Center.

Game Center:
– Share scores to Facebook, Twitter, Mail, or Messages.
– Facebook friends are included in Game Center friend recommendations.
– Facebook Like button for games.
– Challenge friends to beat your score or achievement.

Other new features:
– Power Nap support for MacBook Air (Late 2010).
– iMessages sent to your phone number now appear in Messages on your Mac.
– From Safari and Mail on your Mac you can add passes to Passbook on your iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 6.
– New shared Reminders lists.
– FaceTime now receives calls sent to your phone number.
– New sort options allow you to sort notes by title, the date you edited them, and when you created them.
– Dictation now supports Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Korean, Canadian English, Canadian French, and Italian.
– The Dictionary application now includes a French definition dictionary.
– Sina Weibo profile photos can now be added to Contacts.

This update also includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac, including the following fixes:
– An option to discard the changes in the original document when choosing Save As.
– Unsent drafts are opened automatically when launching Mail.
– Receive Twitter notifications for mentions and replies from anyone
– URLs are shortened when sending tweets from Notification Center
– Notifications are disabled when AirPlay Mirroring is being used
– SSL support for Google searches from the Smart Search Field in Safari
– New preference to have Safari launch with previously open webpages
– Graphics performance and reliability enhancements
– USB 3.0 reliability enhancements

As always, the update can be located and installed via the Mac App Store or OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

Apple Store now offering Lightning to VGA, HDMI adapters

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Date: Wednesday, October 24th, 2012, 08:58
Category: Hardware, iPad, Lightning, News

You’ll never go broke selling the adapters that people need.

Per Engadget, Apple’s online store has begun offering up some of the accessories as of yesterday.

First up are the Lightning adapters, with a new Lightning to VGA Adapter and Lightning Digital AV Adapter selling for US$49 each. While these are available for purchase today, at the Apple online store shows an available to ship date of two to three weeks.

A new US$19 12W USB power adapter (which connects directly to the Lightning port) has also appeared for the 3rd and 4th generation iPads, bumping the previous version’s 10W — meaning your tablet might get charged a bit quicker.

The new adapters can be found here.

As always, please let us know what’s on your mind in the comments section.

Apple announces updated, Ivy Bridge Mac mini

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Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, 18:23
Category: Hardware, Mac mini, News

The Mac mini, it’s now equipped with Ivy Bridge goodness.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, besides a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, Apple also updated its Mac mini line of desktops. The affordable Mac computer keeps the same boxy form factor, but soups up internals with a Core i5 or Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor (dual-core or quad-core configuration), integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, up to 16 GB RAM and up to 1 TB hard drive or 256 GB SSD. Other features include Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI out, FireWire 800, Thunderbolt port, four USB 3.0 ports and an SD card slot.

The base model starts at US$600 with a 500 GB hard drive and 4 GB of memory. It is available starting today. A server edition will be available for US$999.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple announces 13-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro

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Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, 18:18
Category: MacBook Pro, News

You’ve been waiting for this for a long time now.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Tuesday took the wraps off its redesigned 13-inch MacBook Pro, featuring a high-resolution Retina display.

Apple executive Phil Schiller noted that the 13-inch MacBook Pro is Apple’s best selling Mac in its entire product lineup. With that in mind, the company has high expectations for its new MacBook Pro with Retina display.

The pixel count on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is so high that it is now the second highest resolution notebook, ahead of all competitors’ models with larger 15 or even 17 inch screens, the company said. The new screen features rich color, deep blacks, a 29% higher contrast ratio, a 75% reduction in reflection, uses IPS for 178 degree viewing, and delivers 300 nits of brightness.



“The 13-inch MacBook Pro is our most popular Mac, and today it gets completely reinvented with a new thin and light design, fast flash storage and a gorgeous Retina display,” Schiller said. “With vivid colors, razor sharp text and more pixels than anyone else’s 15 or 17-inch notebooks, the Retina display completely changes what you expect from a notebook.”

The new model weighs just 3 lbs, almost a full pound lighter than the previous 13-inch MacBook Pro, and is 0.75 inches thick, 25% thinner than before and the lightest ever. Schiller noted that the MacBook Pro’s Retina display has more than 4 times as many pixels than its predecessor.

The 13-inch Retina display has a pixel density of 227 pixels per inch. It also uses IPS technology for a 178-degree-wide viewing angle, and has 75 percent less reflection with 28 percent higher contrast than the current generation.

Beyond the screen, it has a FaceTime HD camera, dual microphones, stereo speakers, a backlit keyboard, and glass multi-touch trackpad, as well as the new MagSafe 2, dual Thunderbolt ports and USB 3.0.

Schiller said the “most exciting” part of the computer is on the inside: It’s been re-engineered from scratch, with asymmetric battery technology, Intel Core i5 or i7 “Ivy Bridge” processors, and Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics.

It also has up to 7 hours of battery life and comes with 8 gigabytes of RAM. Like its 15-inch brethren, the new MacBook Pro is only available with flash storage, which can be upgraded to 768 gigabytes.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is available with a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage starting at US$1,699; and with 256GB of flash storage starting at US$1,999. Configure-to-order options include faster dual-core Intel Core i7 processors and flash storage up to 768GB. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at apple.com/macbook-pro. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is available today through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

VirtualBox updated to 4.2.2

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Date: Friday, October 19th, 2012, 07:02
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.2.2. The new version, a 102.3 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:
– VMM: adapted to changes in Mac OS X 10.8.2 (bug #10965).

– GUI: restored VM item tool-tip functionality (4.2 regression).

– GUI: added group item tool-tip functionality.

– GUI: fixed handling of the .ova/.ovf file name association (4.2 regression).

– GUI: it was not possible to change any setting before the first VM was created (bug #10928).

– GUI: disable grouping action if all the selected items are full children list of the same group already.

– GUI: added menu for runtime drag-and-drop option change.

– GUI: cleanup shared-clipboard menu on visual-mode change.

– GUI: make sure VM receives keyboard focus on entering fullscreen-mode on Win host (bug #11051).

– GUI: disable proxy authentication for security reasons.

– 3D Support: DrawIndexedPrimitiveUP implementation fixes for the Windows WDDM video driver (bug #10929).

– Storage: fixed a release assertion in the AHCI emulation when requests where canceled with asynchronous I/O disabled.

– Storage: fixed a hang during VM reset under certain circumstances (bug #10898).

– NAT: fixed a crash under rare circumstances (Windows hosts only; bug #10128).

– NAT: automatically use the host resolver if the host name server is set to some unusual loopback value (bug #10864).

– E1000: fixed a VirtualBox crash during intensive network transfers (4.2 regression; bugs #10936, #10969, #10980).

– ICH9: fixed PCI bridge initialization.

– USB mouse: ensure that the last mouse event doesn’t get lost if no URBs are available.

– BIOS: certain legacy guests (e.g. Windows 95) didn’t find the boot device after a warm reboot.

– BIOS: don’t trash the palette in text modes when setting the border color.

– EFI: fixed OS X guest autoboot (4.2 regression).

– VBoxManage: fixed output of showvminfo –machinereadable (bug #10973).

– VBoxManage: fixed parsing of storageattach –discard (bug #11023).

– VBoxManage: fixed wrong output of the HPET setting in showvminfo (bug #11065).

– VBoxManage: fixed closing the guest session after executing a guest process via guest control.

– VBoxShell: adaptions to interface name changes.

– Guest Additions device: fixed a Guest Additions hang when a machine was reset after a crash.

– Linux hosts / guests: Linux 3.7-rc1 fixes.

– Linux Additions: support X.Org Server 1.13.

– Linux Additions: fixed a hang when the X server was restarted with old guest kernels.

– Linux Additions: fixed a VBoxService crash during CPU hot remove (bug fixed in … (new)”>#10964).

– Windows Additions: fixed automatic screen resize issue for NT4 guests.

– OS/2 Additions: fixed shutdown hang.

– OS/2 Additions: fixed mouse driver panic.

– Solaris hosts: fixed autostart service going into maintenance mode after all VMs started.

– Solaris hosts: fixed linking the host driver with the dtrace module.

VirtualBox 4.2.2 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 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.