What's New - Mar 19, 2003

By: Mikio Moriyasu - Revised: 2006-07-28 richard

Download Slides – PDF-File, 5.0 MB


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 Apple Software

AirPort Extreme 5.0.3 is a firmware update for the 802.11g Base Station. This firmware update fixes an issue where an AirPort Extreme network appears to be unavailable as displayed by the AirPort Menu Extra or the Internet Connection application. This behavior may result from excessive 2.4 GHz radio interference which causes the wireless network to disappear. The update allows the base station to more gracefully recover when exposed to sources of interference.

AirPort Firmware 4.0.8 is only for snow (dual-ethernet) base station. The new release fixes potential issues with sending email when connected to Verizon DSL services.

File Name Encoding Repair 1.0 corrects bad Unicode conversion. The Mac OS 9 Finder uses Apple-specific Mac OS character sets (such as MacRoman or MacJapanese) to enter and display file names. The Mac OS X Finder uses a worldwide standard character encoding, named Unicode, to enter and display file names.

HideorShowPreviousLogin 1.0.0 allows you to change the behavior of the Login Window. With this app you tell the Login Window whether it should show or hide the previous user's name.

Java 1.4.1 Component in Mac OS X adds several enhancements including the following: improved Java applet support for Safari and other web browsers that support the Java Internet Plug-In; up-to-date with the latest Java release from Sun, with hundreds of new features, including built-in support for XML-based web services, enhanced client functionality, and improved performance and reliability; Java applications take better advantage of Aqua and Quartz Extreme; Java applications now fully leverage the built-in Universal Access features of Mac OS X v10.2; Java applications can now be controlled through AppleScript, via the new UI Scripting technology.

Keynote 1.0.1 is an update to its PowerPoint compatible presentation tool. The new release includes enhanced localization, now supporting Japanese, French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish.

Mac OS X 10.2.4 Server update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for the following applications, services and technologies: AFP, SMB and NFS file services, DHCP, NetBoot, Open Directory, Sendmail and Workgroup Manager. It prevents Xserve drives from being unmounted while locked, provides Digest authentication for WebDAV, management of Energy Saver settings, and supports NetBoot images greater than 2 GB in size. The update also provides the latest Security Updates.

PowerSchool 3.5 is a Web-based student info system for schools.

QuickTime Broadcaster 1.0.1 provides live encoding for streaming. The new release provides improvements to live broadcast recording and streaming, as well as enhancements to the user interface.

Security Update 2003-03-03 for Mac OS X 10.2.x. addresses a security issue in sendmail where a remote individual could gain access and control of the system. Although sendmail is off by default in Mac OS, it is recommended that all users install this Security Update. This update also includes a newer version of OpenSSL that provides improved data confidentiality by addressing a recently-discovered security issue. Update can be done through the Software Update mechanism.

X11 0.3 is a complete X window system to run X11 apps. The new release has Pseudocolor (8-bit) visual plane support and an option to quit X11 without presenting warning dialog.

New Third Party Software

(Updates are assumed to be for Mac OS X, not much is being updated for Mac OS 9 nowadays...)

America Online (AOL) 10.2.2 build 201c is only available thru AOL using keyword 'macbeta'. In the new release your mail list automatically refreshes with new mail without having to do anything. If the mailbox New Mail tab is displayed, the new incoming mail appears in the list per the current sort order.

BBEdit 7.0.3 is a popular HTML and text editing tool. This update incorporates a preference option to control character set handling in HTML and XHTML documents.

Camino 0.7.0 is a Fizzilla-based web browser (was Chimera). The latest release has a new Download Manager, with auto-download and auto-dispatch.

Carbon Copy Cloner 2.1.6b is a comprehensive bootable backup solution. The latest version fixes a bug that would prevent removing a task when the administrator password is blank

Clone'X 1.1.0 is a utility to clone, repair and reinstall Mac OS X. The new version fixes issue with CD detection.

CronniX 2.1 is a cron GUI that allows scheduled execution of Apple and shell scripts. The new version adds crontab import/export.

Dantz Retrospect 5.0 Driver Update 3.4 is for their backup software. This driver update is a plug-in extension for Retrospect 5.0 or Retrospect Express 5.0. It updates Retrospect or Retrospect Express to support new drives, fix bugs, and work around problems.

Data Recycler X 1.0.2 is a tool to recover files that have been deleted. This version of Data Recycler contains enhancements to the disk scan algorithm to reduce the impact of scanning on your other Macintosh activities.

Data Rescue X 10.2.0 recovers data from crashed disks. This version of Data Rescue supports saving and loading of scan data files produced during a Quick or Thorough Data Rescue Scan, or produced by the Data Recycler EWS feature.

Default Folder X 1.6.6 enhances open/save dialog boxes for ease of use. Default Folder X 1.6.6 adds support for Path Finder, CocoaTech's Finder replacement.

DockExtender 3.0.3 adds menus to dock and menu bar to reduce clutter. The new version fixes a crash caused by multiple threads attempting to access the preferences files.

Eskape MyTV X 2.0.1 is for MyTV/fm/TV2GO/fm/Capture II/Video. The latest release fixes a problem where the application was not launching correctly in some languages.

Eudora X 5.2.1b5 is a popular email client. The new release eliminated one source of incorrect "failing to get ads" errors, and rescuing windows who have been windowshaded into oblivion.

Extensis Suitcase Server 10.2.1 is a font management server. The new version offers server administrators additional control for their workgroup users, including individual font license management.

File Buddy 7.5 is an extensive desktop and file/folder editing and task tool. The latest release can view and edit a wide range of file and folder information.

File Synchronization 1.1.1 is a synchronization tool for files and folders. The latest version fixes a problem where the automatic synchronization wouldn't start after the specified time interval, after launching File Synchronization

FruitMenu 3.0 is a haxie to customize and enhance the Apple and contextual menus. The new release has application-specific settings: you now can define different configurations for Apple and Contextual menus for different applications.

Griffin iMate X 1.5.3 allows ADB devices to connect to USB ports. Version 1.5.3 provides improved support for hardware protection dongles in Classic mode.

InterMapper X 4.0.2b2 provides a graphical view of a network and tests the routers, servers, workstations, and other equipment attached to that network using pings, SNMP, and various server probes.

InterMapper Remote 4.0.2b1 offers a remote view on your network's health. The new release adds a Find menu item that will find a node on the current map whose label contains the specified text.

IPNetSentryX 1.0b3 is a firewall watches for suspicious behavior. The new release fixes idle timer to skip disabled entries (so Address Scan tool doesn't appear unless server monitoring is enabled).

Keyspan Presentation Remote 1.5b8 is remote control for PowerPoint and Keynote. This software may interfere with the Keyspan Digital Media Remote software for OS X.

Konfabulator 1.0.2 is a JavaScript runtime engine. Version 1.0.1 addressed many user concerns the most important being memory leaks, and incorrect date values in GMT time zones, but introduced a bug in the URL fetching code. Version 1.0.2 is being released to address the URL issue.

MacGhostView 2.7 is a general purpose PostScript and PDF previewer. The new release is based on ghostscript 8.00.

Macromedia Flash Player X 6.0 r79 is a browser plugin to view Flash media.

Magellan X 3.5.1 is a multilingual email client. The new version has support for an additional mailto scheme.

Mozilla 1.3 is Mozilla.org's next generation Web browser. Mozilla Mail now has junk-mail classification. With some initial "training" the client can identify and segregate spam messages from good messages.

Netscape X 7.02 is a Web browser. The new release has enhanced security and improved stability.

OmniOutliner 2.2 is a program designed to outline and organize thoughts, tasks, projects. The new release adds an XML export format that is suitable for use with XSLT.

OmniWeb 4.2 beta 2 is a Web Browser. OmniWeb now supports the Macromedia Shockwave Player and the PDF Browser plug-in from Schubert it.

PdfCompress 4.0 compresses images and text in Quartz PDF files. The new release has downsampling.

PHP Install 1.4.1 is an unofficial PHP 4.3.0 installer. Apache Should now restart in this version.

RBrowser 3.1.1 is a graphical FTP/SFTP/SSH client. In the new release, FTP Macbinary downloads add the .bin extension. The author has also added the move operation on the remote host under FTP and SFTP.

REALbasic 5.0 is a popular application development tool. The new release sports new Internet communications capabilities including email and http classes, SSL and UDP communication. The REALbasic language has been enhanced with new features such as operator overloading, and there is an all-new compiler and a debugger that greatly improves the stability while debugging.

Rendezvous Opener 1.1 can access any networked rendezvous enabled Mac. The latest release has a new metal look, as well as a small bug fix.

Samba 2.2.8 is an open source implementation of CIFS/SMB networking.

Synchronize! Pro X 2.1 makes bootable system backups and syncs files. The latest release adds a "Start All" feature to the File menu.

Synergy 0.9.4 is a menubar control interface for iTunes. The latest release adds a new "mini-mode" to the floater, accessible by dragging the floater size slider all the way to the left. In this mode, the floater is reduced to a single line in height.

TechTool Pro X 4.0 is a hardware/software diagnostic tool. Pre-order is now available now with product shipping in April.

TelnetLauncher 2.5 is a launcher for Mac OS X's built-in Telnet and SSH clients. The new version automatically enters passwords for fast logins.

Trash It! 3.0 is an AppleScript that force-empties stubborn Trash items. In the new release if an item or items is dropped onto Trash It!, only those items are deleted.

VPN Tracker 1.6PR1 allows encrypted network connections with IPsec. The latest release has WatchGuard How-To documentation.

Watson 1.6.2 is a desktop interface to Web services: Weather, TV, eBay. The latest release fixes striped table views to consistently show vertical grid lines.

Xupport 1.2.8 is a program for optimization, share, backup, hidden options, swap file, security. The new version can delete files and folders with administrator privileges.

Software Notes

Microsoft has bought most of the assets of Connectix Corp. for an undisclosed sum, and apparently plans to continue development of Virtual PC for the Macintosh. There are doubts, however, that legacy versions of the software that can run on pre G3/G4 will remain in circulation. Read more.

MacFixit reports on what is new with QuarkXpress 6.0:
  • Ability to use multiple layout spaces - which can be optimized for web or print - in a document.
  • Multiple undo capabilities, one of the most requested features not available the 5.0 release.
  • Better options for picking which layers will print from a print-optimized layout space.
  • Context menu enhancement: A new command, Select All Items on Layer, is now available in the Layers palette context menu.
  • Full resolution preview: QuarkXPress 6.0 can display pictures on-screen using the picture file's full resolution.
Steve Dagley (Netscape Technical Staffer), indicates that nightly builds of Camino (x-Chimera) may not be as stable as previous releases as the development team moves to the Mozilla trunk from the old Chimera branch. He recommends sticking with the Camino 0.7 milestone release posted last week

The Seattle Times notes that with Microsoft's recent acquisition of Connectix, Mac users must "factor Microsoft into future" as another one of Apple's eggs has been placed in Microsoft's basket. Read more.

Carbon Copy Cloner, 2.1.4b fixes an issue that prevented the creation of startup disks that could boot Mac OS X-only booting Macs. The problem apparently stems from some folders (including /private/etc/) not being copied in the synchronization process. Read more.

Apple is offering an up to date program that allows PowerBook 12-inch owners to obtain a free iLife CD if the software was not included in the box with their new portable. Redemption forms can be downloaded at - http://www.apple.com/ilife/uptodate/. The offer ends on March 29.

For anti-piracy purposes, some applications connect to an authorization server that checks the serial number and in some cases registration information, to verify that the software being installed is legal. The problem is that some applications can incorrectly deny installation of fully licensed software copies, and also transmit private user information. One solution is to use FireWalk to block network access until you decide to allow or deny connections to an application. Another is to use Little Snitch to monitor applications' use of network resources and stop them in their tracks.

Hardware News

Apple has begun offering a "end of life" recycling program that is currently available to all Apple customers. According to Apple, this process diverts 85 - 90% of each unit from the landfill and into beneficial uses in other markets. Read more.

Apple has begun offering a hardware solution for the Power Macintosh G4 excessive noise problem. From February 21, 2003 until June 30, 2003, owners of Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) computers can get "The Power Supply Exchange Program Kit". Available at no charge (shipping and handling is $19.95 (US). For more information, visit Apple's newly established Power Supply Exchange Page.

Mac-TV of Germany is hosting a video that demonstrates the middle-high pitched noise generated by the Power Macintosh G4 Dual 1.25 GHz as versus the intense air blowing noise produced by the Power Mac G4 Dual 450. Read more.

The Wi-Fi Alliance will begin extensive testing of the 802.11g standard employed by Apple's AirPort Extreme. The standard will have to meet specific mandatory requirements to get a Wi-Fi seal for approval including: backwards compatibility with 802.11b; simultaneous 11b and 11g client operation; and support for the full 54 (Mbps) data rate. Read more.

The 1 GHz iMac Sony DVD-RW DW-U10A drive (-R/-RW, +R/+RW and CDR/CDRW compatible) may not write to +RW and +R. This is apparently due to to Apple's decision to limit the firmware for these devices to use the DVD-R standard. This standard is the most widely compatible with consumer players and has the most affordable media.

Apple has posted a two part FAQ to its Knowledge Base regarding module swap out procedures with the new Xserve RAID. Part 1, Part 2.

New Xserve "cluster node," with dual 1.33GHz PowerPC G4 processors, 2MB L3 cache per processor, 256MB DDR333 SDRAM, 60GB ATA/133 ADM, Mac OS X Server (10 client), and Gigabit Ethernet. It's priced at US $ 2,799.00. Read more.

Last remaining CRT iMac model is pulled from Apple's online store Read more.

CNET has more information on Apple's inability to ship the 17-inch PowerBook G4. Read more.

New introductions from Intel and Hewlett Packard may spell doom in the next few years for RISC (reduced instruction set computing), which is used in the PowerPC processor. Read more.

Flat-panel monitors for desktop computers are expected to surpass traditional cathode ray tube monitors in revenue this year. Read more.

CNET reports that shipments of liquid-crystal displays increased more quickly than expected during the fourth quarter. Read more.

Retail News

Apple will run an exhibit fair at this year's Worldwide Developer conference, giving smaller vendors a chance to show off their products. Read more.

The iPod's unavailability for the past two months, may hurt Apple's market share. Read more.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology Symposium, Apple CFO Fred Anderson said a "good intermediate" goal would be for his company to reach 5% market share and $8 billion in annual revenues. Read more.

Fears of an Iraq war and weak consumer demand affected attendance at the world's largest technology conference (CeBIT). In addition to a 20 percent drop in the number of exhibitors, those in attendance promoted software and hardware geared towards saving companies money. Read more.

According to The Financial Times, Apple purportedly hopes to have all five main record groups lined up soon behind a commercial internet music service.

Voters in a Forbes CEO approval rating gave the Apple Computer chief executive a job approval rating of 84% in February. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, got a mere 31%. Read more.

Fueled by demand for its electronic publishing format, Adobe has reported net income for the quarter, which ended Feb. 28, of $54.2 million Read more.

Apple may have viable competition in the notebook market with the introduction of the inch thick IBM ThinkPad T40. It weighs a pound less than the Ti Powerbook and in battery tests,"smokes the TiBook and the 12-inch PowerBook." Read more.


The Sony Media Converter box (DVMC-DA2) has problems interacting with iMovie 3.0.1. When trying to export a movie from iMovie 3, users got an error stating that there is no camera attached. The import through the converter box worked normally. This issue has apparently been resoled in iMovie 3.0.2.

A sudden failure with the iBook's logic board can cause pixel artifacts across the LCD followed by strange patterns and image ghosting. Ultimately, the computer loses responsiveness, apps crash, and network sessions time out. Upon reboot, some systems will work or a few minutes then quickly die. Systems under warranty are receiving new logic boards from authorized repair centers.

2003 Power Macintosh G4 (FireWire 800) may not boot from a LaCie 20 GB FireWire PocketDrive. According to Apple, the Mac OS X-only booting machines require three new graphics extensions. Copying the new 2003-Mac's internal hard drive Extensions folder (at /System/Library/Extensions) to the corresponding location on the bootable partitions should solve the booting issue.

FireWire ports on various PowerBook G4 Titanium models are failing at a high rate soon after users have plugging in a variety of powered and unpowered devices. One independent analysis points to a fault with Apple's circuit design. Apple attributes the problem to users' lack of knowledge about how to properly plug and unplug a firewire devices. One solution is a an isolator firewire cable (missing the power + pin 6) inserted at the G4 port.

PowerBook/iBook battery life may be substantially diminished after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.2.4. Downgrading the OS does not seem to fix the problem leading to complete battery replacement. It is possible that the affected batteries reached the end of their operational life. AppleCare is aware of the issue and that it is being worked on. They believe it is just poor communication between the battery and the power manager.

Palm synchronization may fail following the installation of incremental updates to Mac OS X. One solution is to use the current Mac OS X 10.2.4 combo updater as well as a complete removal of existing Palm files followed by a re-installing of a fresh copy. Palm is also shipping an expansion card with the company's reset program as a measure to alleviate this problem.

Mac OS X in Brief

For those with subscriptions, MacFixit Has started to troubleshoot f issues users have encountered while using the latest software updates from Apple including: Mac OS X 10.2.4, iMovie 3.0.2 Mac OS X Java 1.4.1, Security Update 2003-03-03, AirPort Extreme 5.0.3.

For those with subscriptions, MacFixit has just released their Mac OS X 10.2.4 Special Report covering a variety of issues. A few of these include: The Date constantly resets to 1970; Networking Problems with Windows AFP & SMB transfer corruption; Resetting NVRAM for sleep problems; DVD player problems; ScanDisk- Mac OS X 10.2.4 testing not done; and many others.

AtStake.com has posted a security bulletin noting multiple vulnerabilities in the Apple Darwin and QuickTime Streaming Administration Servers, which are web based services that allow administrators to manage the Darwin and QuickTime Streaming Servers. The vulnerabilities (which can be used to reveal the physical path, retrieve arbitrary directory listings outside of the web root, initiate cross-site scripting attacks, and initiate local privilege escalation through a buffer overflow) exist in Mac OS X 10.2.3, and can be resolved by the Mac OS X 10.2.4 Server update.

Maxfixit stresses the importance of using the Mac OS X 10.2.4 combination updater for solving a number of minor troubleshooting problems. Even if the 10.2.3 to 10.2.4 update installed smoothly and restarted the machine properly, problems that arise after the process are often solved by applying the larger combo updater.

Developers whose applications' installers will only run when a system is started from Mac OS 9, are coming up with some interesting solutions for customers affected by the problem. Corel will provide users of Bryce 4.x who purchased the downloadable upgrade to version 5.x with a serial number that turns the updater into a full install. Some others are charging for updated disks that can install in Classic mode or under Mac OS X.

For those using multiple monitors, a tip for dramatically increased operational performance under Mac OS X 10.2.x is to use the faster video card for the startup display.

According to VST/SmartDisk's web site, their "USB Floppy Drive - Mac Only" product is not compatible with Mac OS X 10.2.x. They do not mention why and have not answered requests to customer support for more details. Student Computing Labs uses these drives in its labs but has not encountered any significant OS X compatibility issues other than the drives take a long time to mount floppies.

Digitalmass.com examines how Mac OS X is saving the availability of Macs at some colleges and other institutions primarily because it uses the standard TCP/IP networking protocol found on PCs and other computers. Read more.

General News

IBM will deliver its next-generation Power5 RISC microprocessor architecture sometime in mid-2004. The processors will deliver four times the performance of the current Power4 chips and will feature technologies that support application-specific performance boosts and mainframe-like partitioning capabilities. Read more.

An IBM press release documents the PowerPC Blade server prototype, which incorporates the PowerPC 970 processor running at speeds ranging from 1.8 GHz to 2.5 Ghz. Read more.

The emerging connectivity technology "USB On-the-Go" is gradually becoming the de facto wired standard gaining more momentum from a licensing deal between TransDimension and chipmaker Motorola. Read more.

Chips for building PCI Express into computers will begin to come out at the end of the year, with complete PCs arriving in 2004. PCI Express runs at 2.5GHz and transfers far more data per second than the existing standards. PCI Express could eventually hit 40GHz. Read more.

Palm is putting the finishing touches on its all-in-one Tungsten, a more feature-rich product than Palm's previous wireless devices. The new device, however, does not run Palm OS 5 and does not use the Texas Instruments 144MHz OMAP processor." Read more.

Having gobbled up Connectix, makers of Virtual PC, Microsoft may be going after console game maker Sega. It's only competitor may be a Japanese consortium led by game maker Electronic Arts. Read more.

A retiring Microsoft executive warned in a version of his resignation letter that he posted to the Internet that Microsoft is in danger of being swept away by open source. Read more.

Oregon could become the first state to require that open-source software be considered by its agencies as an alternative to any proprietary solution if "The Open Source Software for Oregon Act" introduced this week passes muster. Read more.

Cool Stuff

Kodak will ship the EasyShare LS633, the first camera with an OLED screen on a 3 megapixel camera priced at $399 (US). The screens emit light directly unlike LCD displays that require a backlight. Read more.

HP has announced the PSC 1210, which claims to be the smallest flatbed all-in-one on the market. The device provides photo-quality color printing, scanning, and copying services all for $149 (US). Read more.

The new, high-end market ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 line of graphics processors will deliver up to 50 percent more performance than the fastest competing desktop chips and support GDDR2-M memory while extending battery life. Read more.

Matsushita Electric Industrial announced that it has developed a chipset for home audio-video equipment that will enable wireless transfer of video over the 5GHz band. Samples of the chip will be available later this month for about $85 (US). Read more.

WiebeTech has announced availability of the DesktopGB+TM in a 250GB/7200RPM version. The fanless drive comes in an aluminum enclosure and is based on the popular Oxford OXFW911 FireWire bridge. Read more.

WiebeTech Stand-alone Bus-powered FireWire Bridge is a complete bus powered FireWire bridge for 3.5-inch hard drives and will support ATA-6 drives with capacities to 250GB. Its unique design allows direct connection of bridge to drive, eliminating the ribbon cable. Cost is $159.95 (US). Read more.


Joy of Tech
  • Q'apla!
  • Reality TV
  • Rumor Mill
  • School Lunch Revisited


NAB 2003: The World's Largest Electronic Media Show
  • Location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Date: Conference (April 5 - 10); Exhibits (April 7 - 10)
  • Type: Conference and Expo
  • Fee: Click here for registration information.
  • Topics: Click here for information on conferences. Click here for information on exhibits.
Integrating Mac OS X on Campus
  • Location: University of Utah - Salt Lake City, UT
  • Date & Time: May 1, 2003; 9:00AM - 3:00 PM (MST)
  • Type: Seminar people
  • Fee: Click here for registration information.
  • Topics: Click here for discussion topics.
Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2003
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Date: May 19-23, 2003
  • Type: Conference
  • Fee: Click here for registration information.
  • Topics: Click here for information on technology tracks.