Recent support note indicates that 2011 MacBook Air, Pro units will only support Windows 7 under Boot Camp

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Date: Monday, February 28th, 2011, 06:50
Category: MacBook Pro, News

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Per a recent Apple support note released Friday, the company’s new MacBook Pro models and the recently refreshed MacBook Air won’t support Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Note: Windows XP and Vista drivers are not supplied for these computers and are not supported.

According to the Apple Core, the note states that Book Camp will support 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, or Windows 7 Ultimate. If you’re running Window XP or Vista on an older Mac and are moving up to one the new notebooks, then you will have to put a Windows upgrade into your budget.

Window 7 running on Boot Camp requires:

-An optical drive (MacBook Air computers require an external optical disc drive to install Windows 7).

-A blank CD or USB storage device to contain the Windows Drivers created by the Boot Camp Assistant.

-For 32-bit versions of Windows, at least 16 GB of free space.

-For 64-bit versions of Windows, at least 20 GB of free space.

-Boot Camp Assistant, which is pre-installed in /Applications/Utilities/

-An authentic, 32-bit or 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate disc.

Stay tuned for additional details and if you have a new early 2011 MacBook Pro notebook and have had any experience with Boot Camp, please let us know in the comments.

Parallels Desktop 6.0.11994.637263 released

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Date: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011, 05:13
Category: News, Software

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Parallels Desktop, the popular virtualization application that allows users to run the Windows and Linux operating systems simultaneously alongside Mac OS X, reached version 6.0.11994.637263 on Thursday. The new version, available here, sports the following major change:

- Resolves compatibility issues with Mac OS X 10.6.5 and 10.6.6.

Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac retails for US$79.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.5.2 later to install and run.

VLC 1.1.6 update released

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Date: Monday, January 24th, 2011, 05:36
Category: News, Software

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Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to version 1.1.6. The new version, a 40.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Security updates in codecs and demuxers.

- Support for RTP/PCM 24bits, audio/L24.

- Support for MPC SV7/SV8 on Windows and MacOS builds.

- Faster Webm/VP8 decoding.

- Support for Midi on MacOS.

- Major updates in most language translations.

- Support for projectM visualisation on Windows.

- KDE and PulseAudio integration improvements.

- Subtitles fixes and improvements.

- Improvements in visualisations and interfaces.

- Codecs updates.

- Many miscellaneous fixes.

VLC 1.1.6 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

HandBrake updated to 0.9.5, now Intel-only

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Date: Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 05:14
Category: News, Software


Handbrake, Eric Petit’s incredibly useful open-source DVD ripping/conversion utility, has been updated to version 0.9.5 and gone Intel-only.

The new version, which can be found here, boasts the following fixes and changes:

Core Library:
- BluRay disc structure support (No decryption support)
- Updated Libraries (x264, ffmpeg)
- SSA Subtitle support (Including burn-in)
- MP3 audio now supported in MP4 files (Note: Limited Player compatibility)
- VOBSUB subtitle now supported in MP4 files (Note: Limited Player compatibility)
- Updated Presets for newer devices and better quality
- AC3 encoding support
- Many Bug Fixes and other small improvements
- Improved DVD Main Feature detection (when using dvdnav)
- Universal audio downmix support (all audio types can be downmixed)
- Poin-to-Point encoding (second or frame start and end times)
- Peak framerate option (Capped VFR)

All GUIs:
- Updated x264 Advanced Panel
- Video Quality Slider drops % value and only shows RF for x264
- Batch Scan (Scan Multiple files at once. N.B: Does not include multiple VIDEO_TS folders / Image files)
- Many Bug fixes
- Many Tweaks to improve usability
- Ability to edit queue jobs

Mac GUI:
- New Audio Panel supporting >4 Audio Tracks
- VLC detection in /Applications and ~/Applications
- Multiple instance support

Windows GUI:
- Encode Status in GUI. (CLI window is now always hidden)
- Improved Auto-Naming for Destination file name
- Drag / Drop Video onto Main Window to scan

Linux GUI:
- Multiple instance support (run multiple copies of ghb at once)
- Many Bug fixes and UI improvements

Handbrake 0.9.5 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Apple addresses security concerns with QuickTime 7.6.9 update for Mac OS X 10.5.x operating systems

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Date: Wednesday, December 8th, 2010, 05:14
Category: News, security, Software

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Per the cool cats over at CNET, Apple has updated its Quicktime software, now at version 7.6.9, to fix vulnerabilities where a maliciously designed file could execute arbitrary code or lead to the application terminating.

As Apple describes in its knowledge base article:
“Description: A heap buffer overflow exists in QuickTime’s handling of JP2 images. Viewing a maliciously crafted JP2 image may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This issue is addressed through improved bounds checking. For Mac OS X v10.6 systems, this issue is addressed in Mac OS X v10.6.5. Credit to Nils of MWR InfoSecurity, and Will Dormann of the CERT/CC, for reporting this issue.”

Also included in this security update are fixes to maliciously crafted avi file types, other movie file types, FlashPix image files, GIF image files, or PICT image files, as well as a possibility that local users may have access to sensitive information on certain Windows machines.
The update is for Mac users running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or Server 10.5.8. For more information, visit the entire security update article.

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

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

Parallels Desktop 6.0.11990.62101 released

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Date: Monday, December 6th, 2010, 10:57
Category: News, Software

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Parallels Desktop, the popular virtualization application that allows users to run the Windows and Linux operating systems simultaneously alongside Mac OS X, reached version 6.0.11990.62101 on Thursday. The new version, available here, sports the following major fix:

- Address stability and performance of Parallels Desktop and virtual machines.

- Resolve various networking issues.

- Improve the process of converting third party virtual machines.

- Address an issue when Parallels Desktop won’t start.

- Address an activation issue when upgrading Parallels Desktop.

- Add mouse settings to Parallels Desktop Preferences.

- Resolve printing issues.

- Address issues with unexpected inability to copy and paste between Mac and Windows.

- Resolve an issue when a Boot Camp virtual machine requires to reactivate Windows.

- Address a mouse handling issue that causes incorrect transitions between SmartMouse modes in 3D applications and games.

- Add support for Red Hat 6 and Fedora 14 operating systems.

Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac retails for US$79.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 later to install and run.

VMWare releases Fusion 3.1.2 update

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Date: Friday, December 3rd, 2010, 06:39
Category: News, Software

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Late Friday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 3.1.2 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 436 megabyte download, can be found here, offers the following new features and fixes:

- The error Could not publish or run one or more applications. occurs when resuming a virtual machine that has DivX Player installed in the guest.

- Slingbox Slingplayer does not display video in the guest when 3D acceleration is enabled. In addition, very high CPU usage occurs if the guest is set to 1 core.

- Microsoft Office applications do not display as the frontmost window when they are launched in Unity view.

- Sound volume in the guest operating system is reduced after upgrading to Fusion 3.1. The volume observed through the host is not consistent with the guest volume setting.

- In a Windows XP guest, if you connect a handheld device to the host, the handshake application might time out or stop responding due to unhandled USB disable requests.

- While the virtual machine is running, if you switch from full screen mode to single window mode, the virtual machine window disappears and the light underneath the Fusion icon disappears as well. Fusion stops responding if you restart after this issue occurs.

- The guest operating system might fail with a blue screen and the error Multiple IRP Complete Requests if you access a file or folder two or more folders deep into a VMware Shared Folder and are running applications, such as Microsoft Office Powerpoint or Project, that use the byte range locks file system feature.

- Samsung Galaxy S phone with Android 2.1 does not work with Fusion. The phone does not appear in the virtual machine.

- Guest software might use CPUID information to determine characteristics of underlying (virtual or physical) CPU hardware. In some instances, CPUID information returned by virtual hardware will differ from the responses physical hardware might report. Based on these differences, certain pieces of guest software might not behave as expected. In this release, this fix causes certain CPUID responses to more closely match the responses that physical hardware might return.

- If you run Outlook 2007 in Unity mode, the Outlook dock icon might flash, or briefly quit and restart. When this happens the Outlook window also disappears and then reappears.
Mac OS X Server guests might intermittently fail to boot, displaying a stop symbol on a gray screen shortly after powering on.

Additionally, this release resolves the following security-related issues:
- The way temporary files are handled by the mounting process could result in a race condition. This issue could allow a local user on the host to elevate their privileges. Windows-based host systems are not affected.

- vmware-mount, which is a SUID binary, has a flaw in the way libraries are loaded. This issue could allow local users on the host to execute arbitrary shared object files with root privileges. Windows-based host systems are not affected.

- A vulnerability in the input validation of VMware Tools update allows for injection of commands.

- This issue could allow a user on the host to execute commands on the guest operating system with root privileges. The issue can only be exploited if VMware Tools is not fully up-to-date. Windows-based virtual machines are not affected.

Fusion 3.1.2 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

Apple 27″ Cinema Display units demonstrating audio, slow volume control response problems

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Date: Wednesday, December 1st, 2010, 13:19
Category: Hardware, News

As nifty as Apple’s 27″ Cinema Display, there may be some kinks to work out.

Per MacNN, the device is suffering from serious audio problems, some owners say. Complaints reportedly surfaced back in October on the Apple boards, but have persisted without any solution from Apple. In worst-case scenarios Cinema Displays have been losing built-in audio entirely, although the glitch can be temporarily solved by unplugging and reconnecting the monitor, or in some instances changing audio settings.

Another problem involves slow response times for keyboard-based volume controls. Affected displays can potentially take as long as 6 or 7 seconds to respond to keyboard presses, making onboard sound impractical.

The issues are notably affecting both Mac and Windows systems, suggesting that any permanent solution will require a firmware or hardware fix. The root cause may in fact involve USB connections, as Macs using Mini DisplayPort for audio have been going unaffected. Apple support staff are said to be aware of the problem, but unable to tell if or when a fix is coming. Some customers have managed to secure replacement monitors only to encounter the same trouble.

If you’ve seen these issues on your end or discovered your own fix or workaround, please let us know.

Apple releases Boot Camp 3.2 update

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Date: Friday, November 19th, 2010, 03:28
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released its Boot Camp 3.2 update (a 280 megabyte download for the 32-bit version of Windows and a 121 megabyte download for the 64-bit version of Windows), a package that added the following changes and fixes for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 under Boot Camp:

- Adds support for the ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card.

- Adds support for the Apple USB Ethernet Adapter.

- Adds support for the MacBook Air SuperDrive.

- Addresses critical bug fixes.

This update is highly recommended for all Boot Camp 3.1 users and can be located and snagged on the Windows side via the Apple Software Update application.

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

Apple releases Safari 4.1.3, 5.0.3 updates

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Date: Thursday, November 18th, 2010, 15:04
Category: News, Software

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Apple on Thursday released versions 4.1.3 and 5.0.3, respectively, for Windows, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard operating systems.

Safari 5.0.3 is available direct from Apple for Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later and Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Tiger users must be running Mac oS X 10.4.11 for Safari 4.1.2.

For both Mac and Windows users, the update fixes an issue that could prevent users from submitting web forms. It also establishes an encrypted, authenticated connection to the Safari Extensions Gallery.

The latest version of Safari 5 for Mac also fixes an issue that could cause Web content to display incorrectly when viewing a Google Image result with Flash 10.1 installed.

Other fixes and changes include the following:
- More accurate Top Hit results in the Address Field

- More accurate results in Top Sites

- More reliable pop-up blocking

- Improved stability when typing into search and text input fields on www.netflix.com and www.facebook.com

- Improved stability when using JavaScript-intensive extensions

- Improved stability when using VoiceOver with Safari

The updates, as usual, can be snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update utility. If you’ve tried the new versions and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.