What's New - Sep 17, 2003

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

Download Slides – PDF-File, 7.0 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

Xserve RAID Admin Tools 1.1 is remote management software.

Backup 2.0 Public Beta makes backing up copies of your important files simple and fast.

Final Cut Pro 4.0.2 - The new release is strongly recommended for all users working with DV and DVCPRO50 devices. This update resolves an issue in which certain Final Cut Pro configurations would generate repeated frames during Edit to Tape operations.

Java 1.4.1 Update 1 - Apple takes Java to the next level with the latest, certified release of the Java 2 Platform.

New Third Party Software

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

A Better Finder Creators and Types 3.2 is a file utility, which allows you to change file-to-application associations by setting the creator and type attributes of a single or multiple files.

Adobe Photoshop G5 plugin 7.0.1 is an add-on to optimize Photoshop 7.0.1 for G5 Macs

Asiva Correct+Apply Color 1.0 is a Photoshop plugin to correct/apply color

CGIScripter 1.48 generates Perl CGI scripts for MySQL and Oracle databases.

Classic Control Menu 1.0 is a tool to control the menu for the Classic environment. This functionality will be implemented in Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther).

Eudora 6.0 is an e-mail client that now features automatic spam protection, an e-mail thread condenser, automated type formatting tools, and mailbox organizational shortcuts.

Data Rescue X 10.3.0 recovers data from crashed disks

FullMeasure XT 3.1 is an Xtension for QuarkXPress 6 that displays a control palette with access to more than 150 functions, attributes and tools

GraphicConverter X 4.8.1 is a tool to view, edit, convert most graphic file formats

InterMapper X 4.1.1b5 monitors servers, networks and AirPorts

IPNetSentryX 1.1c5 is a firewall watches for suspicious behavior

Mac Toolkit X 3.0 is a desktop toolbar with many useful utilities

Macaroni 1.4.3 offers automated OS X system maintenance

Macromedia Flash Player X 7.0r14 is a browser plugin to view Flash media.

Microsoft Office v.X 10.1.5 is an update for the Office suite or components. The new release addresses stability issues.

PDFViewer 1.3 is a small, fast alternative PDF viewer

POPmonitor 2.1.2 is a spam fighting tool that adds a new filter option: Remove HTML Codes Before Analyzing Message Body.

PrefsOverload 5.3.1 is a tool for managing preference files on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. This new version mainly fixes a bug that prevented "folders exclusion" feature to work correctly, but also includes some minor changes to the interface.

Snapz Pro X 1.0.8 is a screen capture tool; save actions as QuickTime movies

SoftRAID 3.0 is a tool to stripe and mirror drive raid software

Stalker CommuniGate Pro 4.1.3 is a high-end mail server app

SubRosaSoft ScreenBoard 1.1 is a program to let others view your screen

Synchronize! Pro X 3.0.5 makes bootable system backups and syncs files

Synchronize! X Plus 1.2 is a tool for syncing and backing up personal data

System Optimizer X 4.0.6 is a general maintenance utility used to speed up and clean up your system

Toast Titanium 6.0 is a CD/DVD mastering (burning) solution

Tex-Edit Plus X 4.5.1b6 is a text editor for programming and HTML

Watson 1.7.3 is a desktop interface to Web services: Weather, Amazon, Packages.

Software Notes

A This fall Adobe will roll out a Creative Suite collection that integrates a slew of upgrades to its professional graphics applications. There will be two versions:
  • Standard Version - Photoshop 8, Illustrator 11, InDesign 3
  • Premium Edition - Photoshop 8, Illustrator 11, InDesign 3, Acrobat 6 Professional, GoLive 7
Both versions will ship with the initial release of an Adobe technology code-named Bauhaus that will provide cross-application integration and other services. Read More.

OpenOffice.org is delaying the projected release, originally expected in early 2004, until the first quarter of 2006, largely because of a lack of developers contributing to the effort. Read More.

The current iteration of Virtual PC (6.1) is incompatible with the Power Macintosh G5s. A Microsoft spokesperson has told MacFixIt that they are working on adding G5 functionality into the next version of VPC currently under development.

eWeek reports that Opera Software ASA has released a beta version of the next release of its Web browser for Windows that features faster performance and support for bidirectional languages. Read More.

Office 2003 for the first time will include tools for restricting access to documents created with the software. This could mean widespread compatibility issues with older versions of Office (including Office X 10.1.4) and competing packages such as Sun Microsystems' StarOffice and the open-source OpenOffice. In the past users could use one of these applications to open and manipulate any ".doc" or ".xls" format document. The "rights-protected documents" created in Office 2003 can be manipulated only in Office 2003.

FileMaker Inc. is expanding beyond database software this week by entering the business applications market with the announcement of two forthcoming applications-FileMaker Recruiter and FileMaker Meeting. These are a first in a series of applications that will sit atop its FileMaker Pro 6 database. Read More.

Symantec officials have confirmed to MacFixIt that it will remove a limitation in Norton Utilities 8.0 that disallows scanning or repair of disks with too many files.

Photoshop competitor "Gimp", accelerated for the Apple Power Macintosh G5 processor, offers a wide array of photo manipulation and graphic tools. Read More.

Hardware News

Refreshened iMacs

The 15-inch flat panel iMac, priced at US$1299, includes:
  • 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor
  • 256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM
  • 32x Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW optical drive
  • NVIDIA GeForce4 MX graphics processor with 32MB video memory
  • Two FireWire 400 and three USB 2.0 ports
  • Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth
  • 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm
  • Apple Pro Speakers
The 17-inch widescreen flat-panel iMac, for a suggested retail price of US$1,799, includes:
  • 1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor
  • 256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM
  • 4x SuperDrive DVD-R/CD-RW optical drive
  • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64MB video memory
  • Two FireWire 400 and three USB 2.0 ports
  • Internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth
  • 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive running at 7200 rpm
  •   Apple Pro Speakers
Apple store customization can push the iMac's hard drive to 160 GB.

Refreshened iPods
  • 10GB model for US$299
  • 20GB model for US$399
  • 40GB model for US$499
Apple's new Wireless Keyboard and Wireless Mouse are Bluetooth-based peripherals that will provide reliable performance at up to 30 feet and offer secure 128-bit, over-the-air encryption keeping sensitive information safe as it is being typed. Other features include:
  • Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) software which eliminates interference between Bluetooth devices and other wireless networks and devices.
  • New power management that automatically switches to low power modes during inactivity and can also be turned off when not in use.
  • For internal power, the mouse requires two Energizer e2 AA batteries providing up to three months of use. The keyboard requires four Energizer e2 AA batteries providing up to nine months of use.
  • Require a Bluetooth enabled Macintosh using either built-in or the qualified D-Link DBT-120 USB Bluetooth Adapter (older D-Link DWB-120M adapters are not supported).
  • Require Mac OS X, v10.2.6 or higher required.
  • Will be available in two weeks for US$69 each.
New 15" and revised 12" & 17" PowerBooks.

The 1.0 GHz with 512KB on-chip level 2 cache, 15-inch PowerBook G4 at US$1999 includes:
  • Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64MB DDR RAM;
  • 256MB DDR SDRAM (support for up to 2GB);
  • 60GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive;
  • Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, FireWire 800, and AirPortExtreme 54Mbps ready;
  • S-video to composite adapter, DVI to VGA adapter;
  • Mac OS X 10.2.7
The 1.25 GHz with 512KB on-chip level 2 cache, 15-inch PowerBook G4 at US $2599 includes:
  • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64MB DDR RAM;
  • 512MB DDR SDRAM (support for up to 2GB);
  • 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive;
  • Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, FireWire 800, and AirPort Extreme 54Mbps wireless networking;
  • S-video to composite adapter, DVI to VGA adapter;
  • Backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor;
  • Mac OS X 10.2.7
The 1.33 GHz with 512KB on-chip level 2 cache, 17-inch PowerBook G4 at US$2999 includes:
  • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64MB DDR RAM;
  • 512MB DDR SDRAM (support for up to 2GB);
  • 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive;
  • Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, FireWire 800, and AirPortExtreme 54Mbps wireless networking;
  • S-video to composite adapter, DVI to VGA adapter;
  • Backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor;
  • Mac OS X 10.2.7
The 1.0 GHz with 512KB on-chip level 2 cache, 12-inch PowerBook G4 at US$1599 includes:
  • Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • NVIDIA GeForce FX Go 5200 with 32MB of DDR SDRAM;
  • 256MB DDR SDRAM (support for up to 1.25GB);
  • Bluetooth, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, USB 2.0, FireWire 400, AirPort Extreme 54Mbps ready;
  • Mini-DVI to DVI adapter, mini-DVI to VGA adapter;
  • 40GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive;
  • Mac OS X 10.2.7
The 1.0 GHz with 512KB on-chip level 2 cache, 12-inch PowerBook G4 at US$1799 includes:
  • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive;
  • NVIDIA GeForce FX Go 5200 with 32MB of DDR SDRAM;
  • 256MB DDR SDRAM (support for up to 1.25GB);
  • Bluetooth, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, USB 2.0, FireWire 400, AirPort Extreme 54Mbps ready;
  • Mini-DVI to DVI adapter, mini-DVI to VGA adapter;
  • 40GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive;
  • Mac OS X 10.2.7
Apple has posted a series of PDF documents detailing the various customer installable parts in the Power Mac G5. The full list of customer installable parts is as follows:
  • Front Panel Board Cable
  • AirPort Extreme Card
  • AGP/PCI Card
  • Optical Drive
  • Serial ATA Hard Drive
  • Front Inlet Fan Assembly
  • Rear Exhaust Fan Assembly
  • Speaker Fan Assembly
  • Air Deflector
  • Access Door
  • Battery
  • Heatsink Cover
  • Memory
  • Modem
  • PCI Card Guide
Apple has posted two new Knowledge Base articles detailing current incompatibilities with the Power Macintosh G5. Among them, lack of support for the current iteration of Mac OS X Server (10.2.x)
  • Power Mac G5: Mac OS X Server 10.2 Not Supported - No version of Mac OS X Server is supported for use on the Power Mac G5 computer.
  • Soundtrack - Quits Unexpectedly on Power Mac G5 Soundtrack may quit unexpectedly when certain actions are performed after opening the Preferences pane.
SecuriTeam.com has published a paper that, "...outlines PowerPC architecture fundamentals, and methods of deriving working shellcodes for the exploitation of vulnerabilities discovered on the OSX and Darwin Operating Systems." It assumes a basic understanding of the C language, its associated vulnerabilities and Assembly language on the Intel IA32 and PowerPC architectures. Read More.

Rio's Nitrus, despite its relative cost, lackluster software, and small capacity, looks like a real competitor to the iPod. Read More.

Griffin Technology has redesigned the PowerPod iPod Auto Charger. The new model has a grey and white finish, and also includes a new 48-inch FireWire cable – also in white. Users had problems with the previous iteration in some Volkswagens. Read More.

Color Kinetics currently holds 19 patents related to the control of LED lighting systems and has filed for more than 100 additional patents. Apple recently filed a patent application for a computer whose exterior would change colors apparently after Color Kinetics had demonstrated their technology to them. Read More.

Buyers of G5s may be confused by which RAM modules to buy, as different types use different CAS latency rates. CAS Latency is a number that refers to the ratio between column access time and the clock cycle time. The lower the number, the better the RAM, but the more expensive it is. It is unclear whether Apple uses CAS3 or CAS2 memory stock in shipping G5s. You can check your current RAM CAS latency by running the Apple Hardware Test CD, shipped with all Mac models, which will display the memory timing specifications.

Trans International has introduced a 1 GB RAM module for the PowerBook G4 12", bringing the systems total expansion capability to 1152 MB. The unit is priced at US$499. Read More.

Retail News

Think Secret has a report with information on one potential cause of the one month G5 dual-2GHz shipping delay - Virginia Tech's planned 1100-unit cluster of dual-2Ghz Power Mac G5 supercomputer. Read More.

International users are having less luck with shipment of their G5s, one repot of out of South Africa indicates that "We have not received any G5's at all. We expect the 1.6 towards the end of this month. I guess only Steve knows when we will receive the 2.0 GHz."

IDG World Expo has confirmed plans for Macworld Conference Expo to take place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) July 12-15, 2004. Read More.

Apple was quick to confirm its own decision not to attend the show if it moved away from the Big Apple." Read More.

CNET reports that an Apple Computer executive downplayed recent questions over the download resale policy of the company's iTunes Music Store, saying technical if not legal barriers would largely prevent such transfers from taking place. Read More.

In a move that could spark a novel legal test of Internet music resale rights, George Hotelling Web developer in Ann Arbor, Michigan put a digital song he purchased online at Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store up for auction on eBay. With the auction set to end Sept. 9, the price on the song had gone up to $15,099. Read More.

Two days after it was posted, eBay canceled the auction saying the attempted sale violated its listing policies. The move for now brings to an end a quirky effort to dramatize some of the less obvious effects of the music industry's shift from physical media sales to digital downloads. Read More.

The Beatles recording company, Apple Corps, sues Apple Computer for its entry into the digital music market. Apple Corps successfully sued the computer company following their incorporation and won over the use of the corporate name. The result of the suit was a huge cash settlement and a promise that the Apple logo and name would only be used for computers -- and never for a music company. Read More.

Music piracy over the Internet has declined since the record industry started threatening to sue individual users of popular but unauthorized file-sharing networks. Read More.

Record companies are exploring as a possible option to battle file swapping the concept of "everywhere audio". The idea is to stream the entire content of their vaults. Listeners could request and listen to any song at any time over the Internet. If consumers could do this, the argument goes, they would have no interest in amassing thousands of songs on their hard drives. There would be no 'theft' of music, because no one would bother to take possession of the song.


Microsoft has begun restricting access from older versions of MSN Messenger for Mac OS X, citing security concerns. A message sent to some users of the service states "As part of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing initiative, Microsoft is updating the .NET Messenger Service and providing you with an important MSN Messenger or Windows Messenger security update."

One possible explanation why several mouse models cannot ignore the trackpad is drivers. Many OEM mouse providers have simple drivers using IOHIPointing as a base IOKit class. Under 10.2, the new HID manager support uses IOUSBHIDDevice as a base class. The Ignore Trackpad checkbox looks for mouse drivers based on IOUSBHIDDevice with specific settings in their property lists. Companies which spent the time to update their drivers for 10.2 should work fine.

Symantec indicates that the only known mass-mailing worm that can infect the Macintosh is an AppleScript worm known as Mac.Simpsons@mm. It can infect a Macintosh running Mac OS 8 - 9 but cannot infect Mac OS X. Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh versions 5 through 9, with virus definitions dated July 2001 or later, can detect and remove this worm.

Macs located in mixed-platform networks infected by the Lovsan worm can be negatively affected. A Mac user experienced slow web browsing and lost internet connections during the outbreak of the Lovsan worm. Ping tests indicated packet loss to be anywhere from 30% to 80%. Cleaning all the Windows computers on the network and replacing a Linksys router did not resolve the issue. The issse was finally solved by setting the MTU size to 1492 bytes. You can change your MTU setting in Mac OS X with a networking utility like IPNetTuner.

LaCie customer support confirmed that their FW800 card does not support Apple's Deep Sleep. Other manufacturers have also confirmed to MacFixIt that their FireWire 800 cards do not support deep sleep.

There are reports that Safari 1.0 suddenly uses virtually all processor time, slowing the system to a halt, and causing Safari to malfunction. It has been observed that the following happens:
  • Safari suddenly begins to eat processor cycles.
  • If you try to go to a different site, it will try, but fail.
  • failure, the Spinning Beach Ball rears its ugly head and you must force-quit.
No solution has been given as of yet.

According to the Full Disclosure mailing list, a new SSH exploit has been found that can theoretically allow someone to remotely access as root. This security hole affects versions of OpenSSH prior to 3.7 (OS X 10.2.6 includes OpenSSH 3.4; OS X 10.3 includes version 3.6.1). Until Apple issues a Security Update, protect your Mac by disabling Remote Login in the Sharing System Preference pane. This will of course prevent all SSH (and SFTP) connections. If you need to allow SSH-type connections in the meantime, there are a few potential solutions (These fixes aren't for the average user):
  • Set up your firewall to only allow SSH connections from specific (known) computers/hosts.
  • Set up a VPN (virtual private network) so that anyone who needs to connect to your computer via SSH must do so through the VPN.
  • Install and switch to an alternative to SSH, such as LSH, an alternative to SSH.

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 for Apple including: Final Cut Pro 4.0.2, iTunes, iSync, Java 1.4.1 Update 1, Safari 1.0, Mac 10.2.6, Quicken 2004, and QuarkXpress 6.0.

Apple has posted a promotion for its nationwide seminars stating that "prominent experts agree" on migrating to Mac OS X. Read More.

Apple developers have indicated to MacFixIt that Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) until the operating system's official release later this year, we are hearing from developers that the latest build is polished, fast, and widely compatible. Apple has promised to deliver Panther before the end of 2003, at a retail price of US$129.

If you used Open Firmware Password utility to create a password that contains the capital letter "U", your password will not be recognized during the startup process (when you try to access Startup Manager, for example). Read More.

Macintosh reseller MacForce notes that the SuperDrive in the new systems is a Sony DW-U10A. Although Sony indicates that the DW-U10A can burn DVD+RW/+R, when connected to Macs (internally or externally), they will only support -R and -RW capabilities. It seems the restriction is a function of Mac OS X not firmware.

An anonymous developer indicates that the latest seed of Mac OS X 10.3 Panther contains two new icons for mounted volumes -- DVD+R and DVD+RW.

Mac OS X Server 10.3 (Panther) will be supported by the Power Macintosh G5s when it is released later this year. The reason for the incompatibility is obvious - Apple had to develop Mac OS X 10.2.7 to enable consumer-level use of the currently shipping G5s, but decided not to invest the resources to bring a separate, incremental server update to market.

General News

While Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) is nearing shipment, Microsoft is now (after months of speculation) giving developers their first hard look at the next version of Windows in October. Microsoft also will discuss the next version of its .Net Framework, the software plumbing to run programs and Web services applications. Read More.

The Boston Globe comments on the Macs' veritable immunity to widespread worms. Read More.

ComputerWorld reports that the W32.Blaster worm may have contributed to the cascading effect of the Aug. 14 blackout. "On the day of the blackout, Blaster degraded the performance of several communications lines linking key data centers used by utility companies to manage the power grid, the sources confirmed." Read More.

Comcast claims that it will double the broadband speeds available to its customers from 1.5 Mbps to 3.0 Mbps. Comcast has been quietly testing such a service in several of its markets, including Pittsburgh, Knoxville, and Atlanta since June. Read More.

Wired News reports that Microsoft admits to new critical flaws that leave its Windows software vulnerable to Internet attacks similar to the Blaster virus. The company urges customers to immediately apply a free repairing patch from its website. Read More.

The Washington Post reports that a coalition of companies that run Internet song-sharing services offered yesterday to pick up the cost of the $2,000 settlement a Manhattan mother reached with the music industry after it sued her 12-year-old daughter for copyright infringement. Read More.

Cingular's new device called "FastForward" will allow cell phone calls to be routed to a landline. One benefit, the rerouted calls don't use up any of your monthly cellular minutes and incoming calls behave exactly as though your callers dialed your home or office number directly.

Cool Stuff

Hitachi has introduced a new drive that will take on flash memory products such as Compact Flash cards or Sony's Memory Stick, measuring only 1 inch. The company expects the 4GB Microdrive to sell for US$499. Read More.

Maxtor's new "OneTouch" external hard drives allows users to quickly and easily add hard drive capacity in chunks of 120 to 300 gigabytes for. The drives cost anywhere from US$199.95 to US$399.95, depending on capacity. Read More.

The iQue 3600 is a PDA that can determine its location anywhere on earth by communicating with satellites, display detailed color maps of that location and show a route to a destination of your choice. Manufactured by Garmin, a Kansas-based leader in the market for specialized location-finding devices that rely on GPS, the unit sells for US$589. Read More.

Sony's new PEGA-VR100K is, for lack of a better description, a VCR for Sony PDAs. It records TV shows and movies on Sony's Memory Stick flash memory devices. Read More.

Users are beginning to receive the second iteration of Griffin Technology's FM adapter for the iPod. Read More.


Joy of Tech
  • What Astronomers DON'T want you to know!
  • Rebel Without a Cause
  • The Perils of Root Level Security
  • Pre-Keynote Anxiety
  • An American in Paris


AppleScript For System Admins Webcast
  • Description: Discover how AppleScript can be used for administrative tasks, and how to use AppleScript to effectively interact with the Mac OS X file system.
  • Presenter: Apple Computer's own AppleScript wizard, Sal Soghoian
  • Moderator: Matt MacInnis, Apple Computer
  • Date: Sept 24, 2003
  • Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am PDT; 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT; 17:00 - 18:30 UTC/GMT
  • Click here for information on how to participate.
Photoshop World Conference and Expo
  • Location: Maimi Beach Convention Center
  • Date & Time: Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2003
  • Type: Conference and Exposition
  • Fee: Click here for registration information.
  • Topics: Click here for the conference schedule.