What's New - Jan 17, 2001

By: James Reynolds - Revised: 2006-07-03 devin


What's new for the Mac in the previous month:
  • General issues, workarounds and fixes
  • New Software and hardware
  • Software and hardware updates/patches

New Software

New Apple software

Mac OS 9.1,
DVD Studio Pro,
Disc Burner 1.0,
AppleShare IP 6.3.3,
AppleShare Client 3.8.8,
OpenGL 1.2.1,
CarbonLib 1.2,
DVD-ROM Firmware Update 1.0,
MacOS X will go on sale on March 24, 2001 for $129.

New 3rd party software

Click here (420K file) for a list of new third party software from 12-17-2000 to 1-17-2001 (noon).

Hardware News

The Power Mac G4's come with CD burners and faster processors (466, 533, 667 and 733 Mhz). Dual processors are by special order and only come in 533 Mhz. See this for more info.

The 733 comes with a "super drive" which can burn DVDs and CDs. See this for more info.

The new PowerBook G4 has a 15.2 inch screen, weighs 5.3 pounds, is 1 inch thick, is made of 99.5% pure grade CP1 (meaning commercially pure) titanium, and is "sexy". See this for more info.

From MaxFixIt

PowerBook heat: a follow-up

Regarding Monday's mention of how hot the PowerBook G4 seemed to feel to Expo attendees picking one up, reader reaction was split. Some noted that the new PowerBooks were displayed on a case that was shining a light on the bottom of the case; this is what accounted for the excessive heat. The other view pointed to the conductivity of Titanium, which may even serve as a heatsink for the processor, as the cause.

No more cross-over cables needed!

Chris Stone writes: "I heard from Apple engineers at Macworld Expo that the PowerBook G4's Ethernet port will sense if there's another machine at the end of a regular network cable (and not a hub, etc.) and use circuitry to crossover the necessary pins to allow computer to computer connection, eliminating the need for a special crossover cable to do this." The PowerBook G4 Developer Note confirms this, stating:

"The Ethernet port on the PowerBook G4 computer supports Auto-MDIX: It switches between MDI (Medium Dependent Interface) and MDI-X operation automatically, so it can be connected to another device by either a straight-through cable or a cross-over cable."

Another Multiple Users security leak (source)

Todd Kirby reports a security hole in Mac OS 9's Multiple Users (as also reported on BugTraq):

Mac OS 9.0.4 comes with a 'Multiple Users' Control Panel that allows an administrator (called 'Owner') to create user accounts (called 'Normal' users) with limited access to the computer. The problem is that the Owner password can be removed by a Normal user by moving the 'Users & Groups Data File and logging back in using the Owner account, giving full access to the machine. Exploit: Log in as a Normal user. Find the file called 'Users & Groups Data File' in the Preferences Folder and move it to another location. Log out and back in using the Owner account. Result: No password is required to log in as the Owner user. User now has full access to the computer, including the ability to make changes in the 'Multiple Users' control panel. The previously moved 'Users & Groups Data File' can be moved back into the Preferences folder to restore the original Owner password making detection difficult.

Another Multiple Users security leak? (source)

Dave Jackman found yet another security weakness in Multiple Users. He writes that: "Under Limited or Panels, immediately after a user has exited and returned to the Welcome screen, if they then click on Owner, click on Change Password, they can then enter the user's password as the owner's, change the password to the user's one and then re-enter to gain full access to the computer as though they were the owner!"


A caution regarding checking for viruses in compressed files [01/04/01]

Most anti-virus utilities today have an option to check for viruses in compressed files (such as StuffIt archives) before you expand them. If you rely on this option, be careful. If the compressed file contains an Installer that itself installs another Installer, and the secondary Installer has an infection, anti-virus utilities will not detect it. Your best bet in such cases is to directly check for viruses in these files immediately after decompressing the archive. [click here for more info]

Getting your iBook to stay asleep when you close the lid [12/21/00]

Does your iBook mistakenly wake-from-sleep when you close your iBook? In most cases, the cause is that the keyboard is slightly raised, so that a key gets depressed by the lid, causing the iBook to wake up. The cure is simple: remove the keyboard, flex it a few times to straighten it, and then replace it. [click here for more info]

Fix the Epson software and Remote Access crash conflict [12/14/00]

One of the most persistent and frustrating problems experienced by users of Epson printer software is that using Apple's Remote Access control panel led to system crashes if the Epson software was installed. An update to the Epson driver software finally fixes this. [click here for more info]

TechTool Pro 3 users: reclaim drive space occupied by defunct invisible files [12/07/00]

TechTool Pro 2 users who upgrade to TechTool Pro 3 may be able to reclaim as much as 100MB or more of disk space. TechTool Pro 3 installs a new set of invisible "•TP3" files and folders, including a new TrashCache folder. In at least some cases, the older TechTool Pro 2 files/folders are not deleted. This means that, for those that previously used TechTool Pro 2, any existing invisible files in the "•TP2" TrashCache will become inaccessible. It also means that these files will never be automatically deleted. The solution is to use a utility (e.g., Sherlock; File Buddy) that can display and delete these files - and then delete them. [click here to see the original item]

Other stuff:

MacPerl tutorial. MacInstruct has a new tutorial on MacPerl. They note: "With Mac OS X, Apple will become the single largest distributor of Perl. This is a good opportunity to learn this computer language which plays a vital role on the Internet."

One Last Item

Dear University Executive Forum,

I want to take this opportunity to follow up on the offer Clent Richardson, VP of Apple Worldwide Developer Relations, made to you during the UEF meeting you attended here at Apple in November.

We welcome you to nominate up to three students for a complimentary membership in the Apple Developer Connection Student program ($99/year). This program, which today supports up to 2000 students worldwide, provides benefits designed to encourage new software and hardware developers, including:
Students will continue to be sent upcoming releases of Mac OS X. New program benefits planned for 2001 include training on Apple technologies and access to employment and internship opportunities both at Apple and Macintosh developer organizations. The program is aimed at undergraduate students, although we do have a small percentage of high school and graduate students as well.

The students you nominate will also automatically receive one of our scholarships to attend Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2001, May 21-25 in San Jose, California. This generous grant covers their admission (a $1600 value) and gives them the opportunity to meet hundreds of other student developers and network with more than 3000 developer attendees from around the world. Students have access to all WWDC sessions and events and additional student-only activities.

We would appreciate having the names and email addresses of the nominated students on or before February 15 so we can get them set up for the membership and scholarship as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me. The list of names and emails may be sent directly.

Best regards,

Nadja Jackson