What's New - Jun 18, 2003

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

Download Slides – PDF-File, 7.7 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

Bluetooth 1.2.1 is now available via the automatic Software Update function in Mac OS X. The new version provides enhanced stability and support for the following Symbian OS based mobile phones: Nokia 3650, Nokia 7650, and Sony Ericsson P800. Bluetooth 1.2.1 is recommended for use with iSync 1.1.

iMovie 3.0.3 provides improved performance and stability, especially on G3 processor Macs, for rendering, audio, and the Ken Burns Effect. Refinements to the Ken Burns Effect allow greater control over pan and zoom of digital images, and make it easier to crop digital stills. QuickTime 6.3 is required for improvements to audio sync and audio integrity

iSync 1.1, the latest version of Apple's calendar and contact information synchronization tool, works on phones from many more manufacturers and wireless carriers. iSync will add the Address Book picture to the contact info in certain phones, so you can see who's calling when the phone rings. Also, iSync now lets you sync your Safari bookmarks to multiple Macs using your .Mac account.

iTunes 4.0.1 includes a number of performance and network access enhancements, and only allows music sharing between computers using iTunes 4.0.1 or later on a local network (in the same subnet). If you have an Apple SuperDrive, you can archive your song files to a DVD disc as well as burn playlists to standard audio CDs to play in your car or home stereo.

Keynote 1.1 sports improved PowerPoint compatibility, speed boost
Apple has released the latest version of its from-scratch presentation tool Keynote 1.1, which features improved PowerPoint import and export compatibility and enhanced performance of imported QuickTime video.

QuickTime 6.3 supports the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standard. The 3GPP standard support includes Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) and Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) audio, MPEG-4 and H.263 video, 3G Text (TX3G) and native .3gp file format support. QuickTime 6.3 also features automatic streaming transport detection for a more reliable streaming experience.

Security Update 2003-06-09 addresses a potential security issue when the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) is used to reshare a Network File System (NFS) mount. In addition, the update addresses a situation where LDAP bind authentication requests may be improperly sent when using Kerberos authentication. The update also updates Apache 2.0.45 to 2.0.46 and addresses a security hole in the mod_dav module that could be exploited remotely causing an Apache Web server process to crash. In addition, this update prevents the exposure of a user's password when using the dsimportexport tool.

Slot Combo Drive Update is firmware for PowerBooks and Xserves with Combo Drives. The update prevents combo drives from intermittently failing to eject discs.

New Third Party Software

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

Adobe Reader 6.0 is a tool to view and print PDF files (was acrobat reader).

Adobe Acrobat 6.0 is a tool to create and edit PDF files.

AudioX 3.1 is a utility to record, play, comment and convert audio files.

Copernicus 1.3 is a screenshot and fast movie capture utility.

Emailchemy 1.5 is a universal email import/export utility that has been a life-saver for users who want to switch between e-mail clients, or experiment with a few options before settling on one app. The new release supports Claris Emailer 2.0, QuickMail Pro for Windows, and Mac OS X Mail with both converters and wizards for each client.

FTP Suite for REALbasic 2.0 can add FTP capability to REALbasic apps.

InterView X 2.2.3b1 is a USB video-in capture product.

IPNetShareX Pro 1.0c3 allows net connections to be shared (was gnat).

IPNetSentryX 1.0c1 is a firewall that watches for suspicious behavior.

Opera 6.02 is a popular standards-compliant Web browser.

PDF Browser Plugin 1.1.2 displays PDF documents in web browsers.

PDFshrink 3.0 drastically reduces the size of PDF files.

PHP 4.3.2RC4 is a popular Web scripting language.

PrefsOverload 5.3 is a tool for managing the Preferences folder in Mac OS X.

Print Center Repair 3.0 For users having problems with garbled text, slow printing, or dropped jobs, this utility is a first line of defense. In the new release, the program's developers have redesigned the entire interface and changed the way the authentication system works so that a single password is required to unlock the application.

PStill 2.7.3 converts EPS/PS and other PostScript to PDF

QuarkXpress 6.0 is now Mac OS X native and includes a wealth of new design and productivity-enhancing features that let you produce professional layouts — for print and the Web — more efficiently than ever.

ResurrXtion 0.85 is an application to schedule your Mac to automatically turn on.

Rosetta 1.6.1 decodes most archive formats and rejoins binary

Speed Download 2.0.1 is a popular download manager and accelerator.

Synchronize! Pro X 3.0.1 makes bootable system backups and synchronizes files.

System Optimizer X 4.0.3 is an application used to speed and clean up your system.

VPN Tracker 2.0.4 allows encrypted network connections with IPsec.

WebPics X 2.6.1 is a tool to build web page galleries from digital images.

Software Notes

Apple is currently running a promotion where you buy any Mac and Macromedia Studio MX between April 28 and July 31 and save $500 instantly. The software is shipped to users with a "promotional code" in place of the serial number. After you register online, Macromedia will ship you the serial number.

iPhoto 2.0 will result in an image that at first appears normal, but then becomes distorted after restarting iPhoto. Converting the files to RGB with an application like Adobe Photoshop before importing them into iPhoto seems to be the only viable fix.

With the recent debate regarding Apple's decision to strip sharing capabilities from the iTunes 4.0.1 release, some users have been experimenting with a full iTunes 4.0.1 installation, in addition to retaining the older 4.0 release. Those with both versions use iTunes 4.0.1 for home listening and encoding and iTunes 4.0 to listen to the stream at work.

While it is true that iMovie does not recognize the anamorphic video clips (with a 16:9 aspect ratio) imported from the video camera, the 16:9 clips imported into iMovie are not "deanamorphosed" at all, which means that iMovie just shows them the same way any 4:3 television set would do. This is contrary to Knowledge Base document #93147, which states plainly: "video clips with 16:9 aspect ratio will not work with iMovie.

Connectix has released an update for Virtual PC 6.0.2 for PC-DOS, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional and Upgrade Versions. Read More.

Symantec has announced SystemWorks 3.0 for Mac OS X & Mac OS 9. It includes includes Norton Utilities 8.0 and Norton AntiVirus 9.0 with select partner back-up and uninstall utilities to deliver a set of disk repair, recovery and optimization tools. It is available now for pre-order for an estimated retail price of $129.95. Read More.

As expected, Microsoft has released what may be the last update to its Tasman-powered Internet Explorer browser on the Macintosh. Version 5.2.3 adds a host of performance, stability, and rendering enhancements but no new features. Read More.

The MediaPost opines on Microsoft's "cowardly" move to exit the Mac browser market. Read More.

SoftRAID 3.0, the first Mac OS X version of the software, supports RAID levels 0 and 1 volumes on any combination of FireWire, ATA, SCSI and Fibre Channel drives and has just entered third-party (partially private) beta testing. The new release is expected to ship on July 25, 2003. Read More.

Quark President and CEO Fred Ebrahimi offered conciliatory remarks to a publishing community that has been stalled in its Mac OS X upgrade plans for years while waiting for Quark to release the updated version. The President of Quark also re-committed his firm to QPS (Quark Publishing System). Read More.

Apple's director of marketing consumer applications Peter Lowe confirmed that iTunes for Windows will be ready by the end of the year. Read More.

Hardware News

For users frustrated with the new proprietary port that Apple has included on its newly revised iPod models, CableClub.com offers the IEEE-1394 FireWire Adapter 4 Pin Female to 6 Pin Male at a sale price of US$ 3.50. This cable will allow you to connect the standard FireWire end of the iPod-included proprietary cable to the male end of another cable - enabling the use of third party devices.

Some users have reported recurring dial-up disconnects in various PowerBook models - particularly the PowerBook G4 12". Others have also reported feeling a "shock" when making physical skin contact with their PowerBook. It now seems that the two issues may be related. One user's belief is that the chassis of the PowerBook is "live", despite Apple technicians' assurances that it is not possible. This may be causing an electrical disturbance that is affecting the modem.

802.11g chip WLAN chip maker Atheros became the first to market with 802.11g product based on the final draft - version 8.2 - of the standard when it announced it has begun shipping its third-generation, AR5002 family of client and base-station Wi-Fi silicon. Read More.

UK chip designer Cambridge Silicon Radio on Monday said it is sampling its third-generation Bluetooth wireless connectivity products, which will support the upcoming version 1.2 of the Bluetooth specification, and will give hardware makers the flexibility to offer more advanced Bluetooth services. Read More.

Equinux has announced compatibility between its VPN client VPN Tracker and Netgear VPN firewalls. With the new solution, Mac OS X users can now connect to their Netgear gateways from anywhere through the Internet. Pricing for VPN tracker starts at $90. Read More.

Pioneer has shipped its sixth-generation DVD Recorder, the DVR-A06, which supports not only the DVD-R and DVD-RW formats developed by Pioneer, but the rival DVD+R and DVD+RW as well. The A06 is shipping this month with an MSRP of $329. Read more.

A number of users are noticing that when their flat-screen iMacs are put to sleep for more than 5-10 minutes, the display is dim and virtually unreadable. Restarting the system generally resumes normal operation. Others report having to reset the display's brightness level after waking the machine or by continually generating mouse and keyboard activity. Another possible workaround is to enter the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences, set computer to "Never Sleep," and use "separate time to put the display to sleep." Optionally, check the box "put hard drive to sleep whenever possible." In extreme cases, the logic board has had to be replaced.

Retail News

BusinessWeek says that a promising new set of chips, a possible Quark version for OS X, a surge in online advertising, and a new music store could goose Apple's sales and boost its stock. Read more.

Amazon is shaping up to be Apple's biggest potential rival in the digital music sales business. Another report, however, indicates that Apple and Amazon may be negotiating a deal that would bring the Apple Music Store in front of Amazon shoppers' eyes. Read Article #1. Read Article #2.

HP was the top shipper of laptops in the first quarter. Apple was behind eighth-ranked Acer's 428,000 units, but Apple shipped more than twice as many units as tenth-placed Gateway, which mustered only 111,000 units during the quarter. Read more.

Palm has indicated that it will buy rival Handspring for approximately $169 million in an effort to strengthen its grip on the market for handheld devices. Read more.

America Online has lost more than 1 million dial-up customers since the dramatic decline in its subscriber base began late last year. Read more.

Ross Rubin notes that Wi-Fi manufacturers and marketers are using the same tactics used early on by display and hard drive vendors that can overstate products' statistics. Read More.


Quark Xpress 4.1.x and 5.0.x running in Classic mode under Mac OS X cannot directly use the Export to PDF commands that are available with the newly released Acrobat Distiller 6.0 for Mac OS X. If you are still using Xpress, you should keep a copy of the Acrobat 5.x or 4.x distiller handy.

Final Cut Express cannot open iMovie 3.0.3 projects, only iMovie 3.0.2 projects. Final Cut Express complains that iMovie 3.0.3 files are "not iMovie 3 projects." iMovie media files can be opened, but titles are lost. Apple is aware of the issue and suggests opening the reference move that is created as a workaround.

Final Cut Express is equipped with real-time effects but they are limited by the type of CPU that you have. Real-time is dependent not only on CPU speed, but cache size as well. Because iMacs have a slower cache, they have VERY limited Real-time effects.

LinkSys tech support department, in answer to a customer inquiry, reports that their BEFSX41 Cable/DSL VPN Router is known to have problems. Linksys is going to either pull it off the market or update it to 'version 2,'. For now, customers experiencing problems should exchange it for the BEFSR41 OR the BEFVP41 (VPN support). Both routers are believed to have no 'known issues.' This hardware flaw cannot be fixed by updating the firmware.

There are reports that people's mobile phones will not properly interact with the newly released iSync 1.1, even though their models are listed as supported. Models most affected are the Nokia model 7650 and model 3650 phones with Bluetooth capabilities. If you are having problems, first make sure you have applied the Bluetooth 1.2.1 updater. Then delete the phone's pairing profile in iSync and re-apply it. This has resulted in successful synchronization for some users. Also, make sure that your phone's firmware is up to date.

On Friday, June 6th, Apple indicated that .Mac was experiencing a slow-down resulting from complications caused by the Bugbear.B virus. While the bug apparently only affects Windows executable files, the massive amount of waste e-mail generated took its toll on Apple's already high-load .Mac mail servers.

Mac users visiting the Comcast Support Site are told that the ComcastSUPPORT website does not support Mac at this time. They are working provide limited access for non-Windows operating systems. Comcast offers Mac support for its high-speed Cable Internet service, but still uses Mac OS 9-based installation discs in some areas, causing difficulty for those with 2003 (non-OS 9 booting) Macs.

QuickTime 6.3, under some configurations (Yamaha MU50 via MOTU Fastlane USB interface, the USB 1x1I/O MIDIMAN and a handful of lesser known models), has problems using external MIDI synthesizers. Even though both QuickTime Help and the QuickTime User Manual give clear instructions on how to re-route audio through an external synthesizer, the Music tab of QuickTime setup, where one selects the synthesizer of choice, shows only the built-in QuickTime synthesizer.

The main connector on some of the round-style PowerBook/iBook power supply has no strain relief built into the device and the cable. If the wire becomes pulled or frayed at the connection ends, a short can occur and the adapter can be permanently damaged. In some cases, the thin cable is actually severed where it emerges from the casing resulting in sparking and scorching. If you notice this happening, you should have your adapter inspected at an authorized Apple repair center immediately.
RS Cable & Connectors out of England sells Part #311-9359 that could be a viable replacement for Apple's included cable, and can help prevent strain, or repair your current adapter if the wire has become frayed or pulled loose.

Mac OS X in Brief

For those with subscriptions, MacFixit Has started to troubleshoot issues users have encountered while using the latest software and hardware updates from Apple including: Mac OS X 10.2.5, Mac OS X 10.2.6 iTunes 4.0, AppleWorks 6.2.7, Safari 1.0, QuickTime 6.1.1, QuickTime 6.2, iPods, iBooks, and PowerBook 17"s.

Panther, the next version of Mac OS X, will gain a sizeable lead over Windows on several levels according to most industry watchers. "If both companies accomplish most of the competitive feats they're contemplating for their next major OS upgrades, Mac OS X will be running a couple of years ahead of Windows by next fall." Read More.

Mac OS X 10.2.5 appears to have completely disabled the ability to make the Hewlett Packard RIP software work without booting into Mac OS 9. The best solution is to use the gimp-print. Unfortunately, while stable and generally reliable, these drivers still do not offer the full spectrum of functionality (purportedly) offered by HP's drivers.

MacFixIt subscribers can now view the Mac OS X 10.2.6 Special Report which includes previously unpublished troubleshooting information. Among the topics covered: Combo Updater Differences, Username bug in Windows environments; workaround, Booting Issues; what is in PRAM, The much debated "memory leak"; Using Cocktail, Wake from Deep Sleep issues: Kernel Panics, fix; Sonnet; Cinema Displays, Strange screen saver problems, Shared Libraries issues, Problems with FrameMaker in Classic, Problem with multiple displays, GPRS flaw fixed, iPod recognition fix.

Apache, the open-source Web server component used in Apple's Mac OS X, is earning growing amounts of recognition as a stable, reliable serving platform. Read More.

General News

The Boston Globe notes the buzz being generated about a scene in "The Matrix Reloaded" that utilizes an actual SSH hacking procedure. Read more.

ZDNN reports that a team at Stanford University has come up with ways to make Google up to five times faster. Searches could be tailored for each user--eliminating extraneous information. Read more.

The comprehensive antitrust settlement and technology agreements between Microsoft and AOL Time Warner could mark the end of Netscape Communication. In the agreement, AOL has agreed to license Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser. Read More.

In an internal e-mail to from Microsoft Corp's 50,000-plus employees, Chief Executive Officer, Steve Balmer, states that the software giant faces significant challenges from Linux free software and slower corporate spending on information technology, Steve Balmer, Chief Executive of the world's largest software maker, said on Wednesday. Read more.

According to CNET, Kazaa parent Sharman Networks and Altnet will jointly release a new bundle of file-swapping software that will include components of a new high-security peer-to-peer network and a program that will pay users to be a part of it. Read more.

CNET reports that a patent underlying one of the Web's most popular graphics formats is set to expire later this month, raising the question of whether a rival, open format, created as a royalty-free alternative, will become obsolete. Read more.

In the latest effort to fight spam, EarthLink put in place an aggressive set of anti-spam measures May 28. These include an implementation of controversial challenge-response technology, the largest implementation of that kind of spam-blocking system. Read more.

Linus Torvalds, receiver of stolen goods? That's the assertion of a Utah software company whose lawsuit against IBM Corp. threatens to cripple the surging popularity of the Linux operating system. Read more.

Qualcomm and Broadcom are planning to jointly develop and promote Bluetooth capabilities for CDMA mobile phones. The initial aim of the partnership is to combine Qualcomm's baseband modem with RF technology from Broadcom. Financial details of the "strategic partnership" were not disclosed. Read More.

Cool Stuff

ExtremeTech reviews the OrbiTouch keyboard, which has no keys or buttons of any sort. Read more.

Kensington, manufacturer of mice, trackballs, and security devices has come up with the FlyFan, a USB powered miniature fan that pugs into your computer. Read More.

DoCoMo (Japan's dominant mobile phone operator) is planning to ship the 505i series handsets. Manufactured by Sony Ericsson in Japan, they are equipped with a 1.3 megapixel camera and are expected to retail for between $251-$335 apiece. Read more.

Formac has introduced its latest digital video recorder (DVR) device, dubbed the Studio TVR. The new unit uses a TV-Tuner from Philips, features improved reception, performance, and TV quality for 125 channels. The new device is expected to ship this month at a price of US$ 399. Read more.

The 20GB Kanguru Media X-change 2.0 is a "mobile problem solver" that provides portable hard drive storage and offers reading and writing compatibility with the six most common forms of portable storage media used with devices such as digital cameras and PDAs. Read More.


Joy of Tech
  • Steve Jobs - Music Man
  • Mad Cow
  • First Contact
  • Father's Day
  • IE No More


MacHack 18: Unstoppble
  • Location: Detroit, MI
  • Date & Time: June 19-23, 2003
  • Type: Conference
  • Fee: Click here for registration information.
  • Topics: Click here for information on topics & sessions.
Apple Worldwide Developers Conference
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Date & Time: June 23-27, 2003
  • Type: Conference
  • Fee: Click here for registration information.
  • Topics: Click here for information on technology tracks.
National Education Computing Conference
  • Location: Washington State Convention & Trade Center, Seattle Washington
  • Date & Time: June 29 - July 2, 2003
  • Type: Conference
  • Fee: Click here for registration information.
  • Topics: Click here for program information. Click here for information on exhibits.
Macworld Creative Pro Conference & Expo
  • Location: The Javits Center, New York City, New York
  • Date & Time: Conferences July 14-18, 2003; Expo July 16-18, 2003
  • Type: Conference& Expo
  • Fee: Attendance is free of charge
  • Fee: Click here for registration information.
  • Topics: Click here for program information.