What's New - Oct 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

Maintenance CD

We have made our maintenance CD image and scripts available. Is anyone using it? Is anyone having problems with it?

New Software

Appearance OSAX 1.2.1 adds new features to AppleScript. It will let you use pop-up alerts, display dialogs, open floating text message windows, show progress indicators, and post all kinds of notifications. The update now works when booted from write-protected disk and "better dialogs" now correctly appear in front of all windows. NOTE: the write-protected disk fix was for our Maintenance CD!

Authoring Support 1.1.3. It adds supports for new drives and increases the reliability of CD-burning. Third-party applications that support SDAP (Shared Device Access Protocol), such as Dantz Retrospect, can now use Apple internal rewriteable drives. Use the software update control panel or this link.

BatControls 1.5 lets you schedule events (reminder messages, shell commands, and launch files) to execute when you want. Similar to iDo Script Scheduler and Cron, except it isn't a background application, but a foreground one that can be quit.

BBEdit 6.1.2+ is a special maintenance update to address a known problem whereby files are not being added to the Open Recent menu when using BBEdit 6.1.2 under Mac OS X 10.1.

BBEdit Lite 6.1.2 is the free version of this very popular and powerful text editor. This version adds support for native under Mac OS X, Navigation Services, Appearance Manager, QuickTime image translation, QuickTime movie playback, Internet Config system support, and more.

Conflict Catcher 8.1 is out (even though the listing on the page may still say "v8.0.9"). It is updated to work with Mac OS 9.2.1, with an expanded list of control panels and extension descriptions.

Enhancement Pack 1.4.1 for AppleWorks provides over 40 extra features for the productivity suite installed on every new iMac and iBook. The main improvement in version 1.4.1 is a work around to a bug in Mac OS 9.1 (and above) with AppleWorks 6, where some menu commands cannot locate needed files (such as when selecting "About AppleWorks Scripts" then clicking the "Document" button).

Extension Overload 5.9.2 is an extensions, control panels, control strip modules and contextual menus management application. It now has definitions of 5300 extensions, control panels, CSM and CMM, up from 5200 previously.

Fetch 4.0.1 is an FTP client; it allows point-and-click, drag and drop file transfers to and from any machine with an FTP server, over a TCP/IP network. This release adds Mac OS X 10.1 compatibility. Reviews are bad.

File Freak 3.5 allows you to list, open or move all files based on dynamic search criteria. Indexing is now up to 45% faster in Mac OS 9 and up to six times faster in Mac OS X.

FileMaker Developer 5.5 makes databases into stand alone applications that don't require the FileMaker Pro software.

FoldersSynchronizer 2.2b11 is a utility which synchronizes and backs-up files, folders and disks. With this update, you can now can show the "items to be copied" Preview List. There are numerous other bug fixes.

iMovie 2.1.1 lets you export to iDVD. It also adds performance and stability enhancements. Has bad reviews.

Intego NetBarrier 2.1 is a software based firewall. This update adds Code Red detection, plus bug fixes for the stop list user interface, the configuration dialog, and the Rule Editor. It also fixes a problem running under Mac OS 9.1 multiple users. Mixed reviews.

Interarchy 5.0.1 is a stability update to the 5.0 version of this ftp application. There are no changes in functionality or new features between 5.0 and 5.0.1. It is purely a free "bug fix" release. VERY BAD Reviews.

iScreensaver Designer 2.0b09 turns any QuickTime-compatible movie file into a screensaver. No word on what has changed.

MacGhostView 2.4.2 is the latest release of this general purpose PostScript & PDF previewer. (This application is updated about every WEEK.)

Apple Macintosh Manager 2.0.3 is a set of Mac OS X Server client admin tools. This release allows Mac OS 8 clients to store documents in the correct location so that they are available on both Mac OS 8 and 9 workstations, and if the Copy only Internet or administrator-defined preferences option is set Macintosh Manager no longer copies the entire preferences folder back to the server.

Maya 1.0 is the release version of this astounding professional 3D rendering software. It's not cheap. The retail price of Maya Complete for Mac OS X is $7,500.

Novell Native File Access Pack for NetWare 5.1, which enables users of NetWare servers to mount the volumes on their desktop without installing any Novell software. The pack works with Windows, Mac, UNIX and Linux operating systems. Read about it.

PageSentry 4.0.2 is a net server monitoring and failure recovery software. This release supports System 7 though Mac OS X, includes enhanced statistics, improved Web reporting, Sentry listings can be sorted, and Sentries can be scheduled to suspend at specific times.

PrefsOverload 3.1.1 is a tool for managing the Preferences folder. This update speeds the scanning engine up to 50% compared to version 3. Also, the main menu screen has been redrawn and the help file is now in PDF format.

Retrospect Driver Update 2.3 updates Retrospect or Retrospect Express to support new drives, fix bugs, and work around problems.

Sawmill 6.2.6 is a server log analysis tool with a configurable graphical interface. This update improves support for PIX, Firewall-1, WebSTAR, and Apache logs. It also adds a number of bug fixes.

Script Debugger 3.0.1 is the latest release of this outstanding AppleScript development environment. Changes include Mac OS X 10.1 compatibility, new expressions and console palette, a revised and much more informative error dialog, and much much more.

StuffIt Lite 6.5 includes the following applications: StuffIt Expander (freeware) and (shareware) DropStuff (creates StuffIt compressed archives), DropZip (creates .zip compressed archives), and DropTar, a new drop box compression utility that creates Tar files. It has bad reviews.

StuffIt Deluxe 6.5 claims to have Mac OS X support, but user reviews are bad.

StuffIt Expander 6.5 has bad reviews, saying the old version is faster.

Summary 2.0.2 is an advanced Web server log analysis tool. Chances include fixes to the report as a spreadsheet, improved error and status messages during slow restore operations, and fixes to some URLs in static HTML reports. This update fixes a crashing bug with large file sets, it brings back current averages info to the Overview, and it fixes incorrect hit percentages.

TechTool Pro 3.0.5 is an update to this disk repair utility. The new version adds: a File Lab panel that allows modification of file and folder attributes; a Protection File dialog for Data Recovery that allows more flexible data recovery; enhanced Check for Updates function; support for Mac OS 9.2.1; more conflicts to conflict database.

WatchPort 1.0 allows you to listen to a specific port on your computer. When someone tries to scan or connect to your port, their IP is logged.

Software Notes

There is now a free site-license of Archway's VersaCAD for campus for one year. Please see this email (Normal Mac Mgr user name and password).


Watch port will tell you what IP's are scanning a port.

It is NOT a firewall and will actually open the port in order to listen to it.


iScreensaver takes Quicktime movies and turns them into screen savers for either Mac or PC, with a very nice control panel:

One nice feature was the password dialog option. However, it didn't catch the force quit, but instead prevented it from displaying. Thus, I had to force restart the mac. The best screen saver that catches force quit is Setting Sun still.

Regardless, this application is very useful because of the ability to make custom movie screen savers tailored for the lab environment.
This is the process I went through to create a screen saver from an Apple commercial (click on the image for full size).

Note: the demo version displays "Unregistered bla bla bla" every few seconds in the screen saver. You must purchase this for it to be used for actual production.

Hardware News

550 MHz PowerBook G4, for a suggested retail price of $2,199
  • 128MB SDRAM, expandable to 1GB;
  • a 20GB Ultra ATA/66 hard drive;
667 MHz PowerBook G4, for a suggested retail price of $2,999
  • 256MB SDRAM, expandable to 1GB;
  • a 30GB Ultra ATA/66 hard drive;
  • Pre-installed AirPort Card.
Both models include the ATI Mobility Radeon graphics processor with AGP 4X support and 16MB of fast DDR video memory. Also for a limited time, both models will ship with double the standard RAM at no extra charge. For an additional $100, either model can be outfitted with a CD-RW drive.

iBook 500 MHz, at a suggested retail price of $1,299 includes a 15GB Ultra ATA hard drive and CD-ROM drive;

iBook 600 MHz, at a suggested retail price of $1,499 includes a 15GB Ultra ATA hard drive and DVD-ROM drive;

iBook 600 MHz, at a suggested retail price of $1,699 includes a 20GB Ultra ATA hard drive and DVD-ROM/CD-RW "Combo" drive.

IBM's 1 GHz G3 750FX PowerPC has a 0.13-Micron copper process with SOI (Silicon On Insulator) and SiiLK low-K dielectric, 512KB on-die L2 cache (2x current iBooks and iMacs), peak system bus is 200MHz (2x current iBooks and iMacs), 25% more bus bandwidth, and will ship shortly after January. This chip will be the first volume product that takes advantages of some of IBM's best technologies.

Formac has a 17.4" ADC (Apple Display Connector) flat panel display that directly competes with Apple's for $899. Read more.

Archos MiniCDRW II 16x10x24x This new portable hand-held CD-R/W device, measuring 6.3 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches, boosts speeds with a faster mechanism (16x10x24x), and it available with either USB 2.0 or FireWire. The drive is available now for $179. Read more.

Pioneer Electronics reduced its suggested retail price, $649, for its "SuperDrive". Pioneer's DVD-RW Re-recordable media is now available for $15.99 (MSRP) per disc. Read more.

Handspring Treo, phone, organizer, messaging, web, built-in keyboard or Graffiti, rechargeable battery, 16 MB, $399 or $599 for better screen. Early and mid 2002. Read more.

G.SHDSL is a standard for a DSL technology capable of upload and download speeds of 2.3 megabits per second, or up to 4.6mbps. Read more.

Apple has quietly released "new" $799 iMac configuration.

The Apple Store now stocks DVD-R media available in packs of 5 for $29.95.

Peribit network compressor/decompressor boxes cost $20,000 each, which is suppose to be cheaper than an upgrade that would achieve the same network capacity. Especially good for live conference videos. Read more.

QPS offers internal IDE, external USB 2.0 and FireWire DVD burners with MedioStream's encoding/decoding and authoring software, neoDVDstandard. Read more.

G5 transition won't occur until mid-2002? Read more.

Retail News

Local retailer Mac Docs burned down

On October 16th, Apple will announce its fiscal fourth quarter financial results via a live Webcast. Read more

Excite@Home filed for bankruptcy Read more.

"A new and controversial proposal under consideration by the World Wide Web Consortium could open the way for companies to claim patent rights--and demand royalties--on standards authorized by that body." Read more.

mediaBEAM GmbH is developing a server-side webserver plugin that checks a client's http requests and makes sure the user's browser is downloading the ads. If the user is not downloading the ads (because the user is using an ad filter), then the user is forwarded to a page that will say something like "you either take our ads or you pay for service". Read more.

Cambridge, MA is getting an Apple Store not far from MIT.

Xerox is suing Palm stating the handwriting software "Graffiti" infringes on one of its patents - Read more.

AMD's processors have the same problem as Motorola's G4: 1 AMD MHZ does not equal 1 Intel MHZ. So AMD is using a new CPU benchmark standard in its marketing, "True Performance Initiative," or TPI - Read more.

ELS, Inc. files lawsuit against Apple for Mac Manager trademark - Read more.


America Online's privacy policy now says it can use cookies and Web bugs to compile anonymous data about its members and measure the effectiveness of advertising - Read more.

Congress calls for a global ban on "uncrackable" encryption products - Read more - Read more.

The Patriot Act, if passed, allows police unprecedented eavesdropping powers - Read more - Read more Read more.

The bill changes so much, it is hard to know what it exactly will mean. But probably these things will occur:

Hackers may face life imprisonment - Read more.

Email "To" and "From" fields may be freely monitored, but not the "Subject" field (how does one look at an email header for "To" and "From" and not see the "Subject" field?)

All URL requests coming from your computer may be freely monitored.

To do this, the police may freely view any ISP's network logs.


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) wants the right to hack into any computer and delete illegal MP3's. Read more.

Napster down, MusicCity.com, Grokster and Consumer Empowerment to go - Read more.

Australian law might be interpreted to mean that forwarding email messages may be a copyright violation - Read more.

Copy Protection Robs the Future, an essay by Dan Bricklin: proprietary file formats make the files useless when developer support ends Read it.

Also see: Security Systems Standard & Certification Act in the Microsoft section.


Read the latest on the antitrust suit. wired.com - Washington Post

If Federal government isn't going to go after Microsoft, a coalition of consumer groups want to - Read more.

Details of why Microsoft is a monopoly - Read more - Read more

The Supreme Court declines Microsoft's appeal - Read more - Read more.

Microsoft trying to woo hard-core Apple Computer loyalists - Read more.

Microsoft attempts to limit free speech? The end user license agreement that comes with some copies of Frontpage 2002 contains this restriction: "You may not use the Software in connection with any site that disparages Microsoft..." - Read more.

From the BBC: "Firms are already lining up to complain that they are now paying substantially more, are forced to buy products they do not need or want." - Read more.

Over 150,000 IIS-based websites are down because of Code Red and Nimda - Read more.

Microsoft Strategic Technology Protection Program (STPP) is suppose to help patch the holes caused by Microsoft's development practices - Read more.

A user realized that creating a worm that could recover the name and password for Microsoft's Passport would be, in his words, "trivial." - Read more.

If Security Systems Standard & Certification Act (SSSCA) becomes law, Microsoft will be able to create any computer standard regardless of the quality of those products or technologies - Read more.

    "The threat to cancel Mac Office 97 is certainly the strongest bargaining point we have, as doing so will do a great deal of harm to Apple immediately," Microsoft's former General Manager of the Macintosh Business Unit, Ben Waldman wrote in a June 27, 1997, email to Bill Gates and other executives.

In spite of this, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates aren't enemies? Read more.


Avie Tevanian leaving Apple? Yes - No

Apple has moved its QuickTime Live! conference from October 8-11 to February 10-14, 2002 - Read more.


Hackers can easily take over AIM accounts and pose as the user whose account has been commandeered - Read more.

NetIntercept is an application being developed that not only captures network packets, but it archives captures and dumbs it down so that your grandma can search and browse network packets. It sells for $15,000. Read more.

OpenTpt Serial Arbitrator extension sometimes prevents network connection - Read more - Read more.

Mac OS 9.2.1 problems:
    Hot-swapping not okay on a Wallstreet PowerBook?
    Mac OS 9.2.1 and loss of FireWire?
    ATTO card problem
    PalmConnect update fixes sleep crash on PowerBook
    Retrospect glitch
Read more.

"If during an upgrade installation of Mac OS 9, an alert box appears with a message that installation cannot continue because the installer cannot read one or more .img files..." - Read more.

Some dual-USB iBooks may have a stiff display hinge. Apple will repair it. Don't oil it since many oils (WD-40 and others) will probably damage the plastic.

Fixing a Ti G4 PowerBook hinge (don't do this unless you REALLY have to) - Read more.

Apple's workaround for QuickSilver 867 MHz G4 enclosure and Apple Pro Speaker sound output port: "push hard".

Do 128-bit airPort cards cause logic board damage? Apple says no way.

Excel or PowerPoint may execute unwanted macros without your knowledge - Read more - Read more

Cool Stuff

LaBrea is a free, open-source tool that feeds worms like Nimda or Code Red an infinite number of fake computer connections, thus trapping the worm's processes in a "tarpit" stopping the worm from attacking other computers (but taking up your bandwidth). Read more.

A new feature of the Windows version of TechTracker Desktop is that it keeps information on crashes. TechTracker will build a database and look for patters. A Mac version is planned for release at Macworld Expo in January. Read more.

Want to be an Apple Store Genuis? Application hints.


Joy of Tech:
  • Genius bar 1
  • It's coming...
  • Cryptography
  • Genius bar 2
  • Megahertz Myth 1
  • Megahertz Myth 2
  • Apple spotlights the Joy of Tech creators