What's New - Aug 20, 2003

By: Mikio Moriyasu - Revised: 2006-07-03 devin

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

Apple AirPort 3.1.1 provides improved AirPort wireless networking software, and is recommended for all users with an AirPort Extreme enabled computer or an AirPort Extreme base station.

Apple AirPort Extreme Firmware Update 5.1.1 is an upgrade for the AirPort Extreme Base Station. This firmware revision is not for use with the original (Graphite) or the dual-Ethernet (Snow) base stations.

Apple posts Backup 1.2.3 is a new version of the Backup component of .Mac, apparently addressing some issues with version 1.2.2.

Apple Bluetooth 1.2.1 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.

Apple Final Cut Pro 4.0.1 provides performance improvements and enhancements in several key areas. It also resolves some rare instances in which the application would stop responding.

Apple Hard Drive Update 1 for Mac OS 9 purportedly improves the longevity of some hard drives shipped in the G4 Cube, G4 (AGP Graphics), G4 (Digital Audio), G4 (Gigabit Ethernet), and the G4 (Quicksilver) .

Apple Hard Drive Update for Mac OS X offers identical features the Apple Hard Drive Update 1 for Mac OS 9 except for Mac OS X.

Apple iChat AV Public Beta makes science fiction a reality. Who will you chat with? The possibilities are limitless. Perhaps you will read bedtime stories to your grandchildren without concern for long distance charges. Or check in with home base from a hotel room when you’re away on business.

Apple iDVD 3.0.1 Increases the stability, reliability, and performance of iDVD 3. Specific areas of improvement include burning DVDs, menu highlighting, encoding, and editing enhancements

Apple iPod Updater 2.0.1 will restore your iPod to original "factory fresh" condition erasing any current music or other data. This update only support iPods with a dock connector - owners of older iPods should use Apple iPod Updater 1.3.

Apple Safari 1.0 features AutoTab for quick loading of bookmark folders, bookmark syncing, increased standards support and is available in all Mac OS X languages.

Apple Security Update 2003-07-14 addresses a potential vulnerability when a password is required upon waking from the Screen Effects feature, which could allow an unauthorized user access to the desktop of the logged in user.

Apple Security Update 2003-07-23 improves the security of your system by assigning a "disabled" password to a new account created by Workgroup Manager until that account has been saved for the first time. This ensures the new account cannot be accessed by an unauthorized individual.

Apple Security Update 2003-08-14 Addresses a potential vulnerability in the fb_realpath() function.

Apple Soundtrack 1.0 is a music composition tool that is now standalone from Final Cut Pro.

New Third Party Software

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

Amadeus II 3.6.1 direct-to-disk sound editor and analyzer with MP3 support.

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) 4.6 is a chat client

Aladdin DragStrip 4.0.1 is a desktop organizer with the ability to launch and access files.

BatChmod 1.32 can change file ownership & permissions and empty the Trash

BBAutoComplete 1.2 adds word auto-completion to BBEdit, Mailsmith, Script Debugger, Tex-Edit Plus, and TextWrangler.

BBEdit 7.0.4 is an HTML and text editor. This update is a maintenance release to fix reported issues and add minor enhancements and refinements.

Data Recycler X 1.2 is a utility to recover files that have been deleted.

DataViz MacLinkPlus Deluxe 14 provides Mac/PC file translation.

DivX 5.0.7 is a DiVX codec video encoder/decoder.

DMG Maker 2.0.1 is a disk image creation utility with many features.

DockFun! 4.0.4 enables infinite different OS X docks.

Folder Icon X 1.6.3 makes customized folder icons.

FruitMenu 3.1.1 is a haxie to customize and enhance the Apple and contextual menus.

FWB Raid Toolkit 3.0 is a storage management solution with RAID support.

gimp-print 4.3.18 is a set of printer drivers for HP, Epson, Canon, Lexmark.

GraphicConverter X 4.7 is an application to view, edit, convert most graphic file formats.

Hydra 1.1.2 is a Rendezvous based, collaborative text editor with developer support.

InterMapper X 4.1 monitors servers, networks and AirPorts.

IPNetMonitorX 1.3c1 is a utility to monitor and troubleshoot network connections.

iPodEject 0.1 is a utility to eject your iPod by clicking an icon on the menu bar

Kiosk Browser 2.1 is a secure web browser for internet/intranet kiosks.

MacAdministrator 3.0 is a network administration and security system.

Macromedia Contribute 2.0 is a Web content publishing tool.

Macromedia Flash Player X 7.0 d249 is a browser plugin to view Flash media.

Mac Minder 1.3 is a tool for parents and teachers to track and limit program usage.

Microsoft Office v.x 10.1.4 is the latest revision to the popular suite of productivity apps.

Mozilla 1.5a is Mozilla.org's next generation Web browser.

MSN Messenger 3.5.1 is Microsoft's instant chat messaging tool

NetRestore 1.2.2 is an Apple Software Restore mass deployment utility with NetBoot option.

Netscape X 7.1 is a Web browser.

OmniWeb 4.5 beta 3 is a full-featured web browser based on the same rendering engine as Safari.

OpenOffice.org 1.0.3 is a full-featured office productivity suite.

Pacifist 1.1 is an extractor/custom installer for .pkg packages.

Panotools Photoshop plugins 1.1 is a set of plugins for Photoshop 7 and Adobe Elements

PDF Browser Plugin 1.2 is an inline browser add-on (which works best with Safari) that displays PDF documents.

PHP 5.0.0b1 is a popular Web scripting language.

RealBasic 5.2.1 is an object oriented programming environment. In the new release clicking an Apple menu item in a Carbon app running on Mac OS 9 works again.

Silk 2.0.2 is a haxie that substitutes fonts, changes font, makes text better.

Spamfire is a spam protection and "revenge" utility.

SpamSieve 1.3.1 is a Bayesian spam filter for most email clients.

SquidCam 1.5b8 is a video conferencing, net phone and chat application.

Stalker CommuniGate Pro 4.1 is a high-end mail server application.

SubRosaSoft CopyCatX 1.0.2 offers simple device copying.

SubRosaSoft Shredder 2.0.2 securely erases the contents of the trash.

Synchronize! Pro X 3.0.4 makes bootable system backups and synchronizes files.

System Optimizer X 4.0.5 is a set of processes intended to speed up and clean up your system.

Thursby DAVE X 4.1 is a Mac to PC file and print sharing utility.

Type/Creator Database X 2003.8 is a database of type/creator codes

VLC media player 0.6.0 is for DivX, VCD, DVD, MPEG-1/2/4, Ogg/Vorbis.

VPN Tracker 2.1.0 delivers encrypted network connections with IPsec.

Watson 1.7.2 is a desktop interface to Web services: eBay, Amazon, TV, etc.

Software Notes

A recent Apple Knowledge Base article includes information about playing AVI (Audio Video Interleave) files in QuickTime 6.3. It notes that the installation of third party codecs as the primary solution.

Shapiro Consulting's new sharpening and softening plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, called Asiva Sharpen+Soften, is based on an SCGI technology, which allows better control over how an effect is applied to an image. The plug-in supports 8 or 16-bit, RGB or CMYK files. Read More.

Apple has pulled an update to the Backup component of .Mac, after several readers reported that the new release disengaged support for third-party external drives. Version 1.2.2 was replaced with version 1.2.1

The motivation behind Apple's release of two firmware upgrades - one for Mac OS 9 and one for Mac OS X - may part of an effort to increase the longevity of DeskStar hard drives. The updates "enhance the stability of these drives by helping to avoid the excessive dwelling of any head in any particular area of the disk."

For most users of OmniPage Pro X, experienced an issue where the installation ceases when it is almost complete. An update to OmniPage Pro X, available on CD from ScanSoft (OmniPage's developer) apparently fixes the issue. Unfortunately, you will have to contact ScanSoft directly in order to obtain the working CD. The software still does not recognize Photoshop 7 plug-ins, however.

Business 2.0 argues that Apple's iChat AV as the most exciting product introduced at WWDC, not "Panther" and not the G5. Read More.

Microsoft, in an effort to broaden Mac Office's customer base, has begun shipping a "Student and Teacher" version as well as a Professional release that includes Virtual PC. Read More.

Media conglomerate AOL Time Warner is working on Safari compatibility for the sites of its on-line media properties. Entertainment Weekly, for instance, displays an erroneous message stating that Safari does not accept cookies. Since Safari readily accepts cookies from hundreds of other sites, it is obvious there is a flaw in Entertainment Weekly's delivery system (for which subscribers must pay an annual fee).

The new free update to Microsoft Office v.X, version 10.1.4, will add Exchange client functions to Office's e-mail and PIM component, Entourage. It will also incorporate bug fixes to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Read More.

Micromat's TechTool Pro 4 release pushed back again. Those who preordered the popular system maintenance utility, may get it by the end of September 2003. Micromat indicates that it is taking longer to implement all the proposed features than originally estimated. Read More

With the introduction of Mac OS X native QuarkXpress 6.0, Adobe Systems plans to answer with the Fall introduction of InDesign 3.0. Sources indicate users will experience changes when working with text, tables, color, InDesign's work area, import/export, and other areas. Read More.

Hardware News

Power Mac G5
  • 1.6GHz PowerPC G5, 800MHz Bus, 80GB Serial ATA; 7200 rpm, SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW), 4GB maximum DDR SDRAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra with 64MB DDR SDRAM, Three open full-length 33MHz, 64-bit PCI slots
  • 1.8GHz PowerPC G5, 800MHz Bus, 160GB Serial ATA; 7200 rpm, SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW), 8GB maximum DDR SDRAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra with 64MB DDR SDRAM, Three open full-length PCI-X slots: one 133MHz, 64-bit slot and two 100MHz, 64-bit slots
  • Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5, 1GHz Bus per processor, 160GB Serial ATA; 7200 rpm, SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW), 8GB maximum DDR SDRAM, ATI RADEON 9600 Pro with 64MB DDR SDRAM, Three open full-length PCI-X slots: one 133MHz, 64-bit slot and two 100MHz, 64-bit slots
iSight - The eyes and ears of iChat AV. iSight delivers picture perfect video, crystal clear audio and an innovative design that makes video conferencing over the Internet as natural as face-to-face conversation. One simple FireWire connection provides audio, video and power for this portable and durable yet lightweight device.
  • Requires Macintosh computer with a 600MHz or faster PowerPC G3 or any PowerPC G4 or G5 processor
  • iChat AV software (free time-limited public beta available via Internet download. See www.apple.com/ichat for more information)
  • Mac OS X v10.2.5 or later
  • Broadband Internet connection (128Kbps or faster transfer speeds)
With the introduction of its Power Macintosh G5 line, Apple has scaled back prices on its Mac OS 9 bootable PowerMac G4s, which top out at dual 1.25 GHz processors. The new pricing structure is as follows:
  • $1,299.00: 1.25GHz PowerPC G4; 1MB L3 cache; 256MB DDR333 SDRAM; 80GB Ultra ATA drive; Combo Drive; ATI Radeon 9000 Pro
  • $1,599.00: Dual 1.25GHz PowerPC G4; 2MB L3 cache/processor; 256MB DDR333 SDRAM; 80GB Ultra ATA drive; Combo Drive; ATI Radeon 9000 Pro
  • $3,274.00: Dual 1.25GHz PowerPC G4; 2MB L3 cache/processor; 2GB DDR333 SDRAM; 2x160GB Ultra ATA drive; SuperDrive; NVIDIA GeForce4 Titanium
What does "optical audio out" on the Power Macintosh G5 mean? By definition, optical audio provides a fiber optic digital audio connection used to connect a digital source component (such as a Mac, DVD player, console, etc.) to a receiver or pre-amplifier. What makes this standard better than analog audio out is that the data passed is the "raw" digital audio signal using laser (light) pulses.  Purportedly this interconnect minimizes the interference and degradation.

Iomega has announced a 'universal' rewritable DVD drive that supports the DVD+RW, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM formats, providing an "equitable truce to the format wars." To date, even Sony's multiple-format DVD drive only supports the DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/DVD-RW formats. Iomega has gone the extra step and included support for the little-used but still available DVD-RAM format for recording video. Read More.

CNET reports that Western Digital is eyeing an entry into the market for hard drives used in notebook PCs. Read More.

"Smeagol", the name of modified Mac OS X 10.2.7, is designed to optimize applications for the G5 processor but it may actually result in code that also runs with increased speed on G4-based machine

Wired News draws this Kubrickian comparison regarding the new G5 "Like the protohumans confronting the alien monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey , thousands of Mac programmers appeared awed by the brutal austerity of Apple Computer's new G5 Power Mac when it was unveiled Monday." Read More.

Advanced Micro Devices unveiled a new line of Opteron processors for servers. The chipmaker introduced the Opteron 800 and Opteron 100, the two latest versions of its 64-bit Opteron processor for servers. Because of Opteron's pricing, manufacturers will be able to build a four-processor server that will sell for less than $10,000. Read More.

PC Magazine reports on Toshiba's new 17-inch laptop that mimics many of the PowerBook G4 17"'s features. Read More.

MacFixIt has done a preliminary assessment of some potential troubleshooting issues that may arise with the Power Macintosh G5, based on developer documentation released by Apple and a few first-hand reports.
  • Thermal management considerations: One major consideration for those planning to run Linux or another operating system flavor on the new Power Mac G5s is that thermal management must be provided by the alternate operating system. In other words, if you are not booting into Mac OS X, the G5 may not perform to normal spec and may actually shut itself off or engage processor cycling (lowering the chip(s)' clock speed) in order to reduce generated heat. Also, unlike some previous Power Macintosh models that can be run with the case open and suffer no ill effects, the G5 can not be run with the side panel open. The reason is that there is an air deflector inside the enclosure that is not intact when the case is open, potentially causing overheating.
  • Power limitation for PCI cards: Apple says that in order to satisfy cooling power supply requirements, a total of 90 watts is allocated to the three PCI or PCI-X slots and the AGP Pro slot. No change from previous models here, except that in the last generation of Power Macintosh G4s, the maximum total power available for all four PCI slots and the AGP-4x slot is 90 watts. Like previous models, the connectors include a PME signal which allows a PCI card to wake the computer from sleep.
  • More juice for the AGP slot: One major difference from previous G4 models is that the AGP 3.0 8x Pro slot can account for up to 75 watts of that total, depending on which card is installed. The AGP-4x slot found on G4s can account for up to 30 watts of that total, depending on which card is installed. This is to compensate for the latest round of graphics cards that consume ever-increasing amounts of power and sometimes can take the room (and power) of more than one expansion card.
  • Older AGP Cards will not work: Of important note is that the AGP bus is 1.5 V only and is not backward compatible. Older AGP cards will not work in the Power Mac G5 computer.
PowerLogix and Sonnet Technologies, when asked by MacFixIt have indicated that Processor Upgrades for first-generation flat-panel iMacs are a possibility. PowerLogix added that such upgrades would be based on the Motorola PowerPC 7457 processor when it becomes available. On a related note, a company called Synergy is already shipping 7457-powered SBC Boards.

Sonnnet has begun offering a new 1.4 GHz processor upgrades for Graphite and QuickSliver machines ($599.95). The upgrades are based on the 7457 series of Motorola G4 chips, which use 2MB DDR (Double Data Rate) L3 backside cache. Already available are 800 MHz ($279.95), 1 GHz ($429.95), and 1.2 GHz($529.95) flavors. Read More.

Wall Street Journal article looks at the the ever-increasing power of PDA devices and examines the a Sony Clie UX50 that looks like a tiny laptop and has almost as many functions. Read More.

Retail News

Analyst Charles Wolf of Needham and Co. in New York estimates that Apple could capture 20 percent of the pay-per-download music market translating to $600 million in annual revenue and $50 million to $60 million in operating income. Read More.

Creative Labs is a tight No. 2 in sales behind the iPod with its well-designed Nomad Jukebox product line. Because "Jukebox" prices are significantly lower than the iPods , Creative could eventually pull ahead of Apple. Read More.

Roxio plans on introducing the revamped Napster 2.0 in time for the Christmas holidays with the largest legal music catalog in the world. Users will be able to access music through a subscription or an a la carte option. Read More.

PC Magazine notes that "If the future of computer monitors is large screens and high resolution, then LCD technology is sure to be a major player..." because they are thin, light, relatively inexpensive. Read More.

Bill Gates said his company is exploring ways to develop a music download service similar to Apple Computer's iTunes that would tie into the software giant's multimedia applications. Read More.

RealNetworks is also reportedly planning its own forays into downloadable music. Read More.

Apple already has 100,000 orders for its G5 machines, which are priced at $2,000 to $3,000, depending on the configuration.

For a limited time, buyers of new Volkswagen Beetles will receive a free 15 GB Apple iPod. Volkswagen of America, Inc. and Apple Computers have dubbed the new initiative: "Pods Unite." The offer is good through the end of September. Read More.


Alsoft DiskWarrior 3.0 has trouble restarting dual-processor Power Macintosh G4 MDD systems and possibly other non Mac OS 9 booting Macs. Attempting to restart the system after completing a repair results in an endless stall. Alsoft tech support staff indicates the problem is an issue between some dual processor machines and the Apple authorized System folder on the CD. As Alsoft is not authorized \to change the files in the System folder, there is not much that can be done to resolve this issue at this time.

In some instances, users may not be able to apply the iPod Updater 2.0.1 unless they are booted into "safe" mode - accomplished by holding the Shift key during startup. Some users who did not boot into safe mode before applying the update were presented with a stalled dialog box stating that their iPod had been updated to version 2.0.1 and was in the process of restarting. In these cases, the iPod displayed the standard "Do not disconnect" message, but never moved past that point.

Some users of QuarkXpress 6 for Mac OS X are having problems opening files created in version 4.x and 5.x of the program. Those experiencing this problem have also been unable to copy text and/or graphics from previous releases and paste them into version 6.0. The Quark's technical support team is telling customers that they cannot guarantee QuarkXpress 6.0's capability to open version 4.0 created files.

Rapid7 Inc. claims that version 4.1.3 of the QuickTime/Darwin Streaming Server exhibits several security flaws that could result in denial of service attacks, and other intrusions. Among the flaws reportedly found:
  • Requesting a DOS device name (e.g. AUX) over HTTP (port 1220) will cause a denial of service on the server. An initial HTTP 404 response will be returned for the device request, but future requests will not be serviced.
  • Requesting the /view_broadcast.cgi script over HTTP (port 1220) will cause a denial of service on the server if the required request parameters are not sent. The connection will be closed midway through servicing the request and no new connections will be allowed to the server.
Installing Darwin Streaming Server 4.1.3g eliminates some of these flaws but other flaws, including one where the source code of any file within the web root can be obtained by issuing a request for /parse_xml.cgi?filename=[file], where [file] is the file whose source code you wish to view, have not been fixed in version 4.1.3g.

One of the most common culprits of general system instability, problems installing or re-installing Mac OS X, and various other issues is defective RAM. Mac OS X 10.2.x in particular has been noted as being "picky" about installed memory. You can easily determine if you have a "bad" RAM module by using the Apple Hardware Diagnostic CD, included with all currently shipping Macintosh models. Unfortunately, it appears that Apple semi-frequently ships Macs with at least somewhat defective RAM modules. Apple does not disclose its component suppliers.

On a related note, a document on the Crucial Memory website discusses how they define "top tier" and "generic" memory:
  • Top Tier Memory - After going through this extensive series of tests, you can be confident that the passing parts will work for a long time.
  • Generic Memory - So what happens to the parts that failed testing? Some get thrown out, but many are re-tested and graded to lesser speeds and/or conditions (i.e. without guard bands). DRAM manufacturers often sell this memory to third party vendors who then re-label them with their own brand name.
When Macs will not power up properly or display other issues after an electric irregularity, most users can regain full functionality by pressing the CUDA switch. On most machines, the CUDA reset button is located to the right of the system battery. The CUDA is a microcontroller chip that:
  • Turns system power on and off
  • Manages system resets from various commands
  • Maintains parameter RAM (PRAM)
  • Manages the real-time clock
  • Resets all datastored in the microcontroller
CNET published an article discussing the current conflict over the .zip compression format. The gist is that PKZip and WinZip have diverged on the standard, each offering their own enhancements, and in the process causing compatibility problems.

The Office v.X 10.1.4 upgrade seems to break the Excel Solver add-in. It works once on a worksheet, then if you try to reuse it again on that worksheet, Excel quits. Further, if you re-open the workbook and try to reuse Solver on that worksheet, it quits immediately. Other sheets in the workbook will work once. The lead program manager at the MacBU, indicating that Microsoft is aware of the problem and working on a fix.

Some MacFixIt readers are unable to make their PowerBook or iBook ignore the trackpad when a USB mouse is connected. Reports indicate that the laptop will ignore the trackpad if Belkin Two button and scroll wheel mouse. It has problems when using a MacAlly iMouse Jr, Targus Wheel Mouse, and Logitech Cordless Optical.

Chalk up another mainstream site that is incompatible with the two most widely used Mac OS X Web browser: Safari 1.0 and Internet Explorer 5.2.x. The relatively large library of music videos at launch.yahoo.com is virtually inaccessible in a native Mac OS X environment, with the company requiring Mac users to access the site with Netscape 4.5-4.79 (Classic-only versions).

Installing the AirPort software 3.1 updater can corrupt the Network Preferences Pane and all network settings. Users affected by this problem could no longer acquire an IP via DHCP, could not manually input IP entries and had other settings changed incorrectly. The problem can be eliminated by deleting three preference files using the Terminal. First you will have to preface your commands with "sudo" in order to gain root user access, and then delete the following three files:
  • /var/db/NetworkInterfaces.xml
  • /var/db/SystemConfiguration/preferences.xml
  • /var/db/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.airport.preferences.xml
Restart and reset your Network Preference Pane and the problem should be fixed.

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 errors, iSight, iChat AV, Safari 1.0, both Security Updates for July & August, Office X v. 10.1.4, iTunes 4, iDVD 3, iMovie 3, and QuarkXpress 6.0.

PMac OS X 10.3 (Panther) from a Troubleshooting Perspective #1: Those of us with exclusive physical access to our Macs will probably not make too much use of Mac OS X 10.3's new fast user switching function from a practical perspective. However, this feature is a boon from a troubleshooting perspective.

Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) from a Troubleshooting Perspective #2: VNC has allowed remote system control under Mac OS X since its inception. iChat AV's new built-in videoconferencing will allow consultants to visually troubleshoot remote hardware and provide aesthetic instructions without actually taking full control (or even viewing the screen) of a remote Mac.

Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) from a Troubleshooting Perspective #3: NApple's new xCode set of programming tools will hopefully make for faster revisions to buggy applications - at least from a pure compilation standpoint. The addition of distributed build capabilities will speed this process even further.

The modified version of Mac OS X 10.2.7 (Smeagol) that will run on the new G5 machines will mark the the debut of a new API. Named OSSystemInfo, it reportedly provides a superset of the existing Gestalt, sysctl, and _cpu_capabilities functionality.

Mac OS X 10.2.7, the version of Jaguar designed for the G5, is designed from the ground up for symmetric multiprocessing and multithreading, takes full advantage of the 8 GB memory capacity, and can now allocate up to 4 GB of memory per process to easily for memory-intensive applications into RAM. In addition, the math and vector libraries have been tuned to take full advantage of the G5's 64-bit integer and floating-point math capabilities.

BusinessWeek is the latest publication to voice its support for Apple's iChat AV, which many are now calling a landline phone killer. Read more.

The SunSpot is the latest publication to chime in with a raving review of Apple's iChat AV claiming "...Apple's incarnation of video over the Internet makes most of the competition look crude." Read More.

Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Developers' Preview includes gimp-print drivers listed under the "additional printer driver" heading. Gimp-print contains a bevy of other drivers for Canon, Epson, Lexmark and other manufacturers.

Problems with Sherlock temporarily displaying a "Mac OS X 10.3 required" message are causing some users to take a second look at Watson , from which Sherlock drew much of its functional concept.

The .Mac bookmarks panel became inaccessible when using Internet Explorer 5.5 under Windows 2000. The free upgrade to IE 6 reportedly resolves the issue. Some users of Windows systems who decided not to upgrade to Internet Explorer 6, however, were disappointed by the change in compatibility.

General News

3Com Corporation unveiled its new family of fully complaint 802.11g wireless offerings - the 3Com OfficeConnect Wireless 11g solution - at CeBIT America. Read More.

You may find yourself high and dry in many of today's best Wi-Fi hotspots according to a ZDNET report. Read More.

Hewlett-Packard, Seagate and Adaptec demonstrated prototype versions of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS ) at the CeBit America trade show. SATA also has fast, 1.5 gigabit-per-second transfer rates. SAS will leapfrog to 3gbps. Though SATA 2.0 is expected to match that speed not long after, a revamp of SAS to 6gpbs is also planned. Read More.

Intel has upped the ante in the desktop processor speed race with a 3.2GHz Pentium 4. The new Pentium 4 will probably be one of the last, if not the last, of the classic Pentium 4s. Read More.

AMD's Athlon 64 will hit a performance point of 3700+ during the first quarter of next year before rising to 4300+ by the end of 2004. Read More.

MacHack 18 is the last MacHack Conference as it currently exists. The planning committee for next year has changed the name of the conference to reflect its new focus. The new name is the Advanced Developers Hands On Conference, and will also be referred to as ADHOC: MacHack 19. One motivation behind the name change is the negative connotation of the work "Hack" in today's world of network security issues. The fact that Mac or Macintosh is no longer represented in the name has some significance as well. For years the conference has covered technologies loosely coupled but not directly related to the Macintosh. The conference is expanding its focus to highlight these aspects of the Macintosh platform which should attract developers traditionally uninterested in Macintosh technologies. The date of the conference has also been changed. The committee decided that end of July would be a more attractive date to those interested in attending the new conference and Apple's WWDC.

Terra Soft has begun accepting pre-orders for Apple G5 Power Macs -- soon to be supported by Yellow Dog Linux. Read More.

A former Microsoft employee was arrested for allegedly ordering more than $17 million of software via an internal purchasing system and then selling it to keep the proceeds for himself. Read More.

Research company DisplaySearch notes that the LCD share of the display market was up 7 percent from the previous quarter. The move to LCDs meant a decline for CRT monitor sales. CRT shipments fell 21 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002 to the first quarter of 2003, and 16 percent from a year ago. Read More.

While several shareware offerings perform the same task, Kensington has debuted the first hardware device (that we know of) capable of automatically sensing Wi-Fi hot-spots, and indicating the signal level. Read More.

According to security experts, hand-held computers used to store phone numbers, medical and credit-card information leave millions of gadget lovers fully exposed to identity-theft and other crimes. Read More.

eWeek reports that Walt Disney Feature Animation along with two other unnamed motion picture studios, have decided to jointly fund the development of a Windows-to-Linux porting solution. The idea: develop technology using the Wine emulator to run Adobe Photoshop on Linux. Read More.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers said Wednesday it has finished the 802.15.3 standard, ensuring that digital content streamed over a wireless network will have a "guaranteed level of service," Read More.

Recently, there has been debate over the creation of a "do-not-spam" list similar to the "do-not-call" list initiated by the federal government earlier this year. Direct marketers and their allies like Microsoft and AOL object claiming that spam is different from telephone marketing because of the high cost to administrate such a list & its vulnerability to hackers. They also argue that the list would restrict the sale of credit cards and DVD clubs by mainstream companies as much as miracle pills and get-rich-quick schemes from online hucksters.

Microsoft says support for its stripped-down e-mail client will continue, but as part of future Windows clients. Outlook Express, Microsoft Corp.'s free, stripped-down version of Outlook, is not on its last legs. Exactly how Microsoft will continue to support OE remains unclear. Read More.

Cool Stuff

Wired News reports on the PyraMac, a unique case modification -- a hand-made, translucent, pyramid-shaped Mac that glows vividly under ultraviolet light. The Pyramac is based on a 466 MHz Graphite Power Mac bought on eBay for $600. Read More.

NEC has debuted a prototype of a laptop computer that runs on a methanol fuel cell instead of a rechargeable battery, and said it will start selling it next year. The first model will be able to run for five consecutive hours on a single cartridge of fuel. NEC eventually plans to make a PC within two years that can run continuously for as long as 40 hours. Read More.

PC Magazine reviews the new Gyration Ultra Cordless mouse, writing "Feeling tied down by your mouse? The $80 (street) Gyration Ultra Cordless Optical Mouse frees you. This unique device uses a dual-axis gyroscope to detect a wide range of motion. Within 25 feet of the USB radio-frequency (RF) receiver, moving the mouse pointer on-screen is as simple as waving your hand in the air. Should you want to sit at a desk, though, the Gyration Ultra also acts as an optical mouse." Read More.

Verizon Communications, the largest U.S. telephone company, is expected to announce a new cordless-cellular phone that operates on regular telephone lines in the home and on the mobile networks when outside. Read More.

WiebeTech has introduced a Serial ATA Dock (SATADock) that allows transfer of IDE drive contents to Apple's Power Macintosh G5. The Serial ATA Dock converts common IDE drives into Serial ATA Devices. SATADock will be available at a price of US$ 140 in late July. Read More.

The Archer Video AV320 has been called an "Apple iPod on steroids" with its color LCD, 20GB USB 2.0, and Linux operating system. The device can record, store, and play back MPEG-4 video, MP3 music, spoken audio, and JPEG photos. To be fair, the magazine also points out "Don't fixate on that iPod-with-video mental image, because Archos is simply not in Apple's league when it comes to design." Read More.

Though it got the axe from Apple, the Power Macintosh G4 Cube continues to be the sweetheart of customization makeovers and has spawned a number of fan Sites. Read More.

"Memory Mouse" holds 32 MB IOGEAR has debuted the Memory Mouse, a mini mouse capable of storing files of up to 32MB. Memory Mouse features a retractable cable to avoid tangled wires and is priced at US$49.95. Read More.


Joy of Tech
  • Steve Jobs - Music Man
  • Mad Cow
  • First Contact
  • Father's Day
  • IE No More
  • The consequences of "Pre-Release Specification"
  • Dangers of iChat AV


Apple Expo Paris 2003
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Date & Time: Sept 16 - 20, 2003
  • Type: Conference and Exposition
  • Fee: Click here for registration information.
  • Topics: Click here for program information. Click here for information on exhibits.