E3: The Sims 3 Goes Out the Door for Mac OS X, Windows, iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009, 19:51
Category: News

3608.jpg
Electronic Arts on Tuesday announced the simultaneous release of The Sims 3 for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch handsets.
The new version allows users to control simulated people inside a virtual world, the application allowing for dozens of unique personality traits as well as extensive customization for your Sims home. According to Macworld, the game bypasses the micromanagement of basic tasks such as bathing and using the restroom (unlike the first two versions) and allows for additional items to be purchased via an in-game store.
The Mac and Windows game also lets you record movies of your Sims, edit the soundtrack, story and transitions, then share the movies you’ve made with friends on The Sims 3 Web sites, social networks, and on your own blog.
The game ships on a hybrid DVD-ROM that contains both Mac and Windows versions of the games, retails for US$50 and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.7 or later, 2 GB of RAM, 6.1 GB of hard disk space and an ATI GMA X3100 or Nvidia 7300 GT graphics card or better to install and run.
Per the iPhone version, the application is available for US$9.99 through the App Store and requires iPhone OS 2.2 or later to install and run.

Hulu Desktop released for Mac and PC

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009, 13:51
Category: Software

Last week, Hulu released it’s Hulu Desktop application for Mac and Windows, which allows you to stream it’s library of videos without using a web browser.

hulu_desktop.png

The current release is considered a “beta” while Hulu “[...] plan[s] to gather and incorporate user feedback to improve the service”. The software and it’s interface fill the entire desktop screen, much like Apple’s DVD player application, to provide a menu of available videos and full-screen viewing. The software is designed to be controlled by an Apple Remote or Windows Media remote as well as keyboard controls. At the moment it doesn’t seem like Hulu Desktop offers much of an advantage over the web based version.

If you want to try it, however, you will need a fairly new Mac or PC. The minimim requirements to run Hulu Desktop are as follows:

Minimum requirements for Mac:
Intel Pentium Core Duo 2.0GHz
At least 2.0 GB of RAM
Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger) or later
2 Mbps Internet connection
Flash 9.0.124

Minimum requirements for Windows:
Intel Pentium Core Duo 1.8GHz
At least 2.0 GB of RAM
Windows XP or later
2 Mbps Internet connection
Flash 9.0.124

And if you have a PowerPC-based Mac, don’t even bother. There has been some speculation that this was the reason Hulu was so intent on shutting down Boxee’s access to Hulu feeds, but that seems odd since Hulu gets revenue from showing the ads, not from the software, so I would think the more programs that can play those ads would be better for them. Plus Boxee can run on PPC Macs, Apple TV, and Ubuntu Linux. No Windows version yet. You can read more about their response on their blog.

Discuss your thoughts in the forums!

Apple Releases QuickTime 7.6.2 Update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009, 07:09
Category: Software

quicktimelogo.jpg
On Monday, Apple released the latest version of QuickTime, its multimedia support system for Mac OS X and Windows. The new version, known as QuickTime 7.6.2, is available as a variably-sized download (depending on version chosen through the download page), improves reliability, application compatibility and addresses security issues.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and can be located and snagged via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

VMWare Cautions Users with ATI Graphics Cards from Installing Mac OS X 10.5.7

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 18th, 2009, 07:16
Category: News

vmwarelogo.jpg
VMWare, makers of the popular Fusion virtualization software, has officially warned users away from installing Mac OS X 10.5.7 if their Mac uses an ATI graphics card or chip.
According to VMWare’s blog, the update will break the 3D graphics acceleration feature supported by Fusion.
“You will likely see issues ranging from slow performance, to incorrect rendering, and even crashes, when you run your 3D applications in a Windows virtual machine on Mac OS X 10.5.7,” reads the blog.
“Both Apple and ATI are aware of this problem and are working to correct it in a future software update. In the meantime, if you have an ATI graphics card in your Mac and need VMware Fusion’s 3D features to work, we recommend that you do not upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5.7,” the entry concludes.

Rumor: Boot Camp Under Mac OS X to Include Windows HFS+ Drivers

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 11th, 2009, 08:04
Category: Rumor

applelogo1.jpg
Mac OS X 10.6 is en route and according to MacRumors, evidence has been discovered showing a new version of Apple’s Boot Camp Utility under a Mac OS X 10.6 build offering support for Windows HFS+ drivers.
Such a change would allow Windows installations to read Mac OS X HFS+ formatted partitions and make it easier for Snow Leopard users to exchange files between Mac and Windows partitions without the assistance of third-party utilities.

Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0 Build 3844 Released

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2009, 07:49
Category: Software

parallelslogo1.jpg
Virtualization software maker Parallels released Parallels Desktop for Mac build 3810 on Wednesday. The new version, a 174.6 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), contains the following fixes and changes:

  • Improved 3D graphics in Windows virtual machines.
  • Problems with Palm synchronization in Windows virtual machines — fixed.
  • Random disconnection of USB 1.1 devices in Linux virtual machines — fixed.
  • Invisibility of the text mouse pointer on black background in Windows virtual machines — fixed.
  • Problems with SMB shares in native Windows Boot Camp installations that have Parallels Tools installed — fixed.
  • Problems with Shared Networking on Snow Leopard host computers — fixed.
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0 retails for US$79.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

    VLC Updated to 0.9.9

    Posted by:
    Date: Friday, April 3rd, 2009, 08:36
    Category: Software

    vlclogo.jpg
    Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), has recently been updated to version 0.9.9. The new version, a 19.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Fullscreen behaviour on Windows with multiple screens.
  • Workaround bug with libxml2 >=2.7.3.
  • Video performance on Intel-based Macs.
  • Various decoders updates on Windows.
  • VLC 0.9.9 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is available as a free download.

    (more…)

    OnLive Gaming Service Announced, Will Be Mac and Windows-Compatible

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2009, 08:28
    Category: News

    onlive.png
    Over at the Game Developers Conference, the OnLive broadband gaming service was announced. The effort, developed over seven years, focuses on offering a variety of game choices to subscribers by handling the each game’s video and audio on remote servers and streaming the results to players. According to Gamasutra, the service is stated to be compatible with Mac and Windows-based machines (via a web browser), or without a machine at all via the use of a “micro console” attachment which connects directly to a television.
    “What OnLive does is seamless and completely transparent, and it does not have any requirements for the local system,” said OnLive founder and CEO Steve Perlman.
    OnLive’s service, which is planned to combine a relatively low monthly subscription fee with other per-game business models not yet fully determined, requires only a one-megabyte download to a computer, or a small plastic dongle (called a “micro-console”) to connect to a TV; no GPU is required.
    Once subscribed, users will be able to run any of the service’s games, regardless of system requirements.
    A variety of major publishers including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., Take-Two, Eidos, and Atari have already signed on and OnLive has announced a partnership with Epic Games that will see the Unreal Engine 3 easily adapt to OnLive’s APIs.
    “Not only have we solved the problem of compressing the video games, we’ve solved the latency problem,” Perlman said to Gamasutra. “We knew, in order to make this thing work, we’d have to figure out a way to get video to run compressed over consumer connections with effectively no latency. Our video compression technology has one millisecond in latency — basically no latency at all. All the latency is just for the transport, and we’ve also addressed that.”
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you ever wanted to stream your console games to your Apple notebook, you might not have long to wait.
    Let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

    (more…)

    VMWare Releases Fusion 2.0.2

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2009, 09:45
    Category: Software

    vmwarelogo.jpg
    Late Wednesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 2.0.2 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 246 megabyte download, offers the following new features and fixes:

  • Allows importing Windows virtual machines from both Parallels Desktop 4.0 and Parallels Server for Mac.
  • Supports mounting unencrypted .dmg file format as a CD/DVD disk image, in addition to .iso file format.
  • Supports Mac OS X 10.5.6 as a host operating system.
  • Provides experimental support for Mac OS X Server 10.5.6 as a guest operating system.
  • Supports Ubuntu 8.10 as a guest operating system, including features such as VMware Tools with prebuilt kernel modules, Easy Install, and Unity.
  • Ships with a 12-month complimentary subscription to McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009 antivirus software, with localization support for French, German, Italian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese.
  • Provides performance improvements when browsing mirrored folders and shared folders in Windows virtual machines.
  • Supports display of Windows applications in Unity view as 48 pixel x 48 pixel icons.
  • Resolves issues with “Optimize for Mac OS application performance” preference option for Mac OS X 10.5.5 and later.
  • The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.
    If you’ve tried VMware Fusion 2.0 or have a favorite virtualization program of choice, let us know in the comments or forums.

    (more…)