What's New - Jun 16, 2004

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

Download Slides – PDF-File, 2.9 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 Update 3.4.2 - Enhanced networking reliability during certain memory intensive operations.

Tunes 4.6 - includes support for playing your music wirelessly using AirPort Express with AirTunes. It also includes a number of other minor enhancements.

Mac OS X Combined Server (10.3.4) Update 10.3.4 - The 10.3.4 Server Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X Server v10.3.

Mac OS X Server Update 10.3.4 - The 10.3.4 Server Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X Server v10.3.

Mac OS X Update 10.3.4 - The 10.3.4 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 “Panther”.

Mac OS X Combined (10.3.4) Update 10.3.4 - The 10.3.4 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 “Panther”.

Security Update 2004-05-24 (10.3.3) - This update delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users.

Security Update 2004-05-24 (10.2.8) - This update is recommended for all Macintosh users.

Security Update 2004-06-07 (10.3.4) - Security Update 2004-06-07 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users.

Security Update 2004-06-07 (10.2.8) - Security Update 2004-06-07 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users.

New Third Party Software

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

Adobe Acrobat 6.0.2 is a tool to create and edit PDF files.

Adobe Reader 6.0.2 is a tool to view and print PDF files (was acrobat reader).

Cocktail 3.4.7 is a general purpose system modify/repair utility. The new release adds the possibility to store the user password in Keychain, and the position of the windows is now saved.

DragThing 5.2.1 is a launcher palette for files, folders, disks, servers. The new release fixes a potential crash when modifying dock items.

File Buddy 8.0b1 is an extensive desktop and file/folder editing and task tool. The new release has full Mac OS X 10.3.x compatibility and a new administrator mode.

FileMaker Server 7 has the ability to perform searches and calculations on the server instead of the client database providing data speed gains.

FileXaminer 2.2 is a Get Info tool with batch mode and contextual menu access. The new release fixes a Super Delete crash when deleting single files back to back.

InterMapper 4.2 is a real-time network monitoring tool. The new release extends the ability to view detailed information about devices by letting the network manager launch third-party administrative or configuration tools directly from the network map's icons.

Mozilla 1.7rc3 is the most recent version of the alternative Web browser. This version offers numerous changes and

Net Monitor v3.7.7 is a utility for graphing network activity. This version fixes a minor bug that affected the app's output.

Opera 7.51 is a popular Web browser.

SuperDuper! 1.2.3(v65) is a tool to backup, clone, restore and more. The new release has an expanded manual, interface Improvements and enhanced error handling.

XPostFacto v3.0b1 is a utility for installing Mac OS X on "unsupported" Macs. This version provides many fixes and improvements.

Xupport 2.1 is a tool that can perform maintenance, optimize, and backup procedures as well as modify or unveil some components of Mac OS X. In the new release maintenance jobs can be run in queue.

Software Notes

David Pogue, says that Microsoft's Mac BU may have taken a page from the Windows Office team's playbook by releasing an upgrade for Office 2003 that focuses on nips and tucks rather than major new features. Read More.

OneStat.com reports that while Microsoft's IE 6 is currently the leading browser on the web with 69.3 percent of the measured user base, Apple's Safari (the seventh most popular browser on the ranking) is increasing its user base sharply. Read More.

BusinessWeek has some praise for Microsoft's newly release Office 2004 suite: "And with Office 2004, Mac users for the first time in years have an office suite that is at least the equal of its Windows equivalent. Read More.

iTunes 4.5 did not effectively share Libraries containing more than 28,899 tracks. An Apple Knowledge Base article about this issue has been updated to confirm that version 4.6 offers a fix. Read More.

Although the AirPort Express page on Apple's website doesn't mention AirPort software versions, the product's Online Apple Store page indicates that a new version of the AirPort software, 4.0, is required to use the AirPort Express.

AirPort Extreme 3.4.2 fixes an issue where having more than 1GB of RAM in a Mac or PowerBook with an AirPort Extreme card could result in wireless network slowdowns and disconnects especially during periods of heavy network transfers. Previously, the only solution was to remove RAM so that the installed total was less than 1 GB.

On a related note, some users also report overall better wireless signal strength after the AirPort 3.4.2 update, even with third party wireless routers.

The updated Power Mac G5 models are the first to include Apple's new "System Migration" feature. The new Mac OS X setup assistant helps users effortlessly move user accounts, system preferences, documents and applications from an old Mac to a new Power Mac G5 through FireWire. Read More.

On a related note, the new System Migration feature is not a "use-it-or-lose-it option". Since Setup Assistant is an application on the new Mac's hard drive, you can also choose to run it at a later time and add in your old accounts, settings, and documents when you're ready to make the move. Read More.

Earlier this year, Apple announced new Spoken Interface functionality, intended for those users who have difficulties using standard computer input and display technologies. This new functionality is to be included in an upcoming major revision to Mac OS X. Some users who filled out Apple's Spoken Interface questionnaire were invited to download and install the Preview version of the Spoken Interface software. Read More.

In order to test whether or not the Security Update 06-07-2004 patch has been applied properly, and is working against the vulnerabilities, there is a test page at http://test.doit.wisc.edu/. You can also check in the /Library/Receipts folder for the file "SecUpd2004-06-07Pan.pkg." If this file exists, it is likely that the update installed properly.

Security Update 2004-06-07 only protects against new "exploits" of the Launch Services system. Any application previously launched is implicitly trusted by Launch Services. This includes the example exploit applications http://test.doit.wisc.edu/. If you previously tried these example exploits without disabling the URI protocols they take advantage of, then these examples will still work after installing Security Update 2004-06-07.

Hardware News

Apple introduces the AirPort Express. Resembling the AC adapter for Apple Powerbooks and iBooks, the $120 device plugs directly into the wall and provides one Ethernet and one USB port. There is also a built-in combination digital and analog audio connector, which allows users to stream music wirelessly from a Mac to a stereo or other audio device connected to the AirPort Express.

New Power Mac G5 - All models feature: 512K L2 cache/processor; 8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW); 1 FireWire 800 port-2 FireWire 400 ports-3 USB 2.0 ports-2 USB 1.1 ports (on keyboard); AGP 8X Pro slot (used by graphics card); 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet; 56K internal modem; Two internal hard drive bays and one optical drive bay (two bays are already filled); AirPort Extreme ready; Bluetooth module ready; Optical digital audio input and output-analog audio input and output, front headphone jack, built-in speaker

Dual 1.8GHz PowerPC G5: 900MHz frontside bus/processor; 256MB PC3200 DDR400 SDRAM (Expandable to 4GB SDRAM); 80GB Serial ATA, 7200 rpm; 3 PCI slots (33MHz, 64-bit); NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra; 64MB DDR video memory. Available right now for $1,999
Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5: 1GHz frontside bus/processor; 512MB PC3200 DDR400 SDRAM (Expandable to 8GB SDRAM); 160GB Serial ATA, 7200 rpm; 3 PCI-X slots (one 133MHz, 64-bit; two 100MHz, 64-bit); NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra; 64MB DDR video memory. Available right now for $2,499
Dual 2.5GHz PowerPC G5: 1.25GHz frontside bus/processor, 512MB PC3200 DDR400 SDRAM (Expandable to 8GB SDRAM); 160GB Serial ATA, 7200 rpm; 3 PCI-X slots (one 133MHz, 64-bit; two 100MHz, 64-bit); ATI Radeon 9600 XT; 128MB DDR video memory. Available in July for $2,999

I/O Magic has produced a USB external floppy drive that doubles a 7-in-1 media card reader. Given that few people still use 3.5" floppies, however, is the device worth the $70 price tag. Read More.

Apple Insider recently covered Steve Jobs' comments at this week's "D: All Things Digital" conference, including a remark that Apple recently developed a PDA but decided not to ship it. Read More.

Apple has quietly indicated that it will end production of the 1.25GHz Power Mac G4 models, currently the only "new" Macs sold by Apple that can boot into Mac OS 9. These models will be available from the online Apple Store until the current stock is exhausted. Read More.

MacCentral reports that due to "challenges moving to 90 nanometer" processors, Apple will not be able to fulfill Steve Jobs' promise that 3GHz Power Mac G5 models would be available "within a year" of the 2003 WWDC keynote. The story also notes that G5-based iMacs and PowerBooks are not expected any time soon. Read More.

Seagate has announced plans to ship a 1-inch hard drive in 2.5 and 5GB varieties in the 3rd quarter, one for embedded use (like for use in portable media players like the iPod mini or Creative MuVo) and in a CF form-factor (for cameras and what not). Read More.

Virginia Tech was awarded the 2004 Computerworld "21st Century Achievement Award" in the Science category for their supercomputer comprised of 1100 Power Mac G5s. Read More.

Ars Technica has a round-up of USB 2.0 Hi-speed Flash drives -- devices many consider replacements for floppy disks and CD-RW media. "Whether you refer to it as a pen drive, jump drive, thumb drive, key drive, or memory stick, you have to admit, the USB Flash drive is pretty darn cool." Read More.

Retail News

A Forbes article notes, "One important trend that bears watching is the phenomenon of the small hard drive. Apple with its iPod and iPod Mini...have proved that with a small hard drive designed into a clever product you can make big changes in the consumer electronics industry." Read More.

BusinessWeek speculates on what Apple needs to do to maintain the iPod's dominance of the MP3 player market and avoid the loss of market share it experienced in the 1980s. Read More.

eWeek reports that executives at Oracle and Apple are taking to the highway in a series of international road shows to introduce Oracle Database 10g on Mac OS X Server, which is Apple's Unix-based server operating system. Read More.

According to a Yankee Group senior analyst, Apple's creation of a new iPod division indicates the company could be forging an entertainment division. Read More.

While Apple's iTunes music store may not be quite hitting the lofty purchase-download numbers executives set earlier this year, its consistent success is making other services shy away from the business. Read More.

Quark, which has not had a presence at a Macworld Expo in nearly 10 years, will be exhibiting at this Summer's Macworld Expo in Boston. Read More.

Apple has launched its iTunes Music Store in the UK, France and Germany. The iTunes Music Store in the UK. Read More.


The LA Times criticizes Apple's handling of the recent flurry of potential security flaws (yet to do any tangible, significant damage): "It may be, though, that Apple doesn't fall too far from the PC. Three times this month, Apple Computer Inc. has been accused of failing to warn Mac owners of serious flaws in their software." Read More.

Some Mac users whose machines are equipped with the ATI Radeon 9800 report experiencing choppy and/or artifact-ridden DVD playback after upgrading to 10.3.4. Workarounds include: reverting to DVD Player 3.2, using a third-party DVD players like VLC.

In response, ATI has claims that based on their experience, "DVD issues are usually due to system configuration errors" ATI has provided a list of frequently reported issues which can be found at the URL listed below:

MacFixIt users report experiencing distorted, noise ridden, loss of stereo, and even complete loss of audio after updating to Mac OS X 10.3.4. Early reports involved Power Mac G5s. Subsequent reports indicate that the problem is affecting Power Mac G4s as well as G3 and G4 PowerBooks.

Symantec is aware that Norton AntiVirus mistakenly identifies components of a popular shareware maintenance utility - Cache Out - as infected under Intego's questionable "MW2004 Trojan" umbrella. They have released a new definition that will resolve the mistaken report. Read More.

Apple's Java download page notes that, "Some customers who did an upgrade install of Mac OS X v10.3 Panther from Mac OS X v10.2 may have an incomplete installation of Java." Those affected will need to run the Java 1.4.1 Updater before running the one for Java 1.4.2.

Users are experiencing a new issue affecting the displays of a variety of PowerBook models. Horizontal line artifacts appear across the display when there is high CPU usage and subsequently higher internal operating temperatures. While the problem is believed to be related to some kind of logic board issue, there is no official solution from Apple.

Several users have noted a marked increase in the amount of spam coming into their .Mac mail accounts over the past 48 hours. Apple asks all users to forward spam received at a .mac account to spam@mac.com for review and possible updating of the spam filters.

EPOC.Cabir is a proof-of-concept worm that replicates on Nokia Series 60 phones. This worm repeatedly sends itself to the first Bluetooth-enabled device that it can find, regardless of the type of device. Read More.

Mac OS X in Brief

Ted Landau has released his latest troubleshooting book, Mac OS X Help Line. The book covers, "The basics of how Mac OS X works to the latest troubleshooting tips for Mac OS X 10.3.x." Read More.

The 10.3.4 update addresses a Mail issue in which a long address (URL) in a Mac OS X Panther Mail message may not open in your Web browser when selected by users.

In 10.3.4, the "Connect to Server" function delivers the error message 'Can't make a secure connection to <YourServer>. The server <YourServer> does not support secure connections via SSH. To connect with reduced security, click Continue,' This is an accurate warning that previous versions of Mac OS X lacked.

Some users report experiencing Bluetooth connectivity issues since updating to Mac OS X 10.3.4. A few have been able to restore Bluetooth functionality by resetting the PMU (power management unit).

Several MacFixIt readers report problems using some secure banking Web sites after moving to Mac OS X 10.3.4, likely due to the security refinements included with the update. The best bet, in many cases, is to temporarily use a different browser such as Netscape 1.2 or Mozilla.

Owners of 500Mhz iBooks report losing built-in mic function after updating to 10.3.4. A temporary workaround involves the following: restart the machine, hold down the Option key while restarting, then select the OS X icon (in Startup Manager), and press the arrow to continue. The mic will be back until the next restart.

After applying the 10.3.4 update, users wanting to modify printers using CUPS are greeted with a password prompt. No passwords are accepted, however. One workaround is to use Terminal to find and then reinstate the old copy of cupsd.conf and restart CUPS. The procedure is as follows:

    cd /etc/cups
    sudo mv cupsd.conf cupsd.conf.securitybak
    sudo mv cupsd.conf.applesaved cupsd.conf
    sudo killall -HUP cupsd

General News

About 120 million personal computers will be replaced this year, according to The Gartner Group, with 140 million more computers likely to be replaced next year. The swap represents a 13.6 percent rise in PC shipments worldwide this year and 9.8 percent in 2005. Read More.

"Spam" purveyors who hide behind false e-mail addresses could face up to 10 years in jail and fines of $25,000 per day under a new state law signed by Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich. Read More.

Someone with a laptop perched and a special antenna on the roof of his Toyota 4Runner ventured off to sniff out wireless networks between Los Angeles and San Francisco. His trek revealed that only a third of the wireless networks out there use basic encryption. Read More.

The New York Time reports on a new service that promises to pull back the curtain on anyone hiding behind the common white lie 'I never got your e-mail.' "Users of the service, DidTheyReadIt (didtheyreadit.com), can clandestinely track when and where their e-mail is read. Read More.

You know, the reason people shouldn't use Windows 9x as an embedded operating system is because when it crashes -- and god bless its heart, it's going to crash -- your appliance, is going to need to be rebooted. Read More.

A newly discovered vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser for Windows sounds strangely familiar to Mac users who have been following recent OS X security issues. Read More.

Japan's Nikon Corp said that it was boosting its production capacity for a hot-selling digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, while eyeing an eventual exit from film compact cameras due to sliding demand. Read More.

PCWorld takes a look at why 'Good Discs Go Bad,' and finds some interesting nuggets, including information about which discs work best with which drive. Read More.

According to Apple, this year's Worldwide Developer conference in San Francisco, will have more Technical content than ever before . "With seven tracks and more than 190 sessions planned, WWDC 2004 will be the most information-packed week of the year for developers." Read More.

Richard Glaser of University of Utah and Philip Rinehart of Yale University, two macosxlabs project steering members, have published a White Paper on "Mac OS X App Management - Best Practices". It covers the challenges & solutions of Mac OS X application management. Topics include:
  • Serialization of Apps - Licensing Options & Challenges
  • Security - World Writes, SUID, SGID, Tripwire
  • Tracking Installation - Options & Tools
  • Missing Support & Features - PeopleSoft, AutoCAD, SAS, etc.
  • Distribution - Tools & Different Implementations & Challenges
  • Solutions to challenges - Redirection, Shadow Files, Scripts
Richard Glaser of University of Utah and Philip Rinehart of Yale University, two macosxlabs project steering members, will be presenting an Enterprise IT session on "System Admin - Best Practices for Education" at Apple's WWDC 2004 in San Francisco, CA. For update-to-date information see the Enterprise IT schedule.

James Reynolds of the University of Utah will be setting up an Xgrid demo that will be rendering a Lego animation for attendees to view. View Clip.

Cool Stuff

Remember that episode of Star Trek where an Enterprise officer plays music on a roll-up piano? A Japanese company, Yamano, has developed a real roll-up music keyboard. Read More.

First developed in Germany in the 1920's, the Rollei 6x6cm Twin Lens Reflex Camera has always been a preferred tool for serious photography, especially portraits. Now, many of the features and nostalgic design can be yours in a fashionable up-to-date digital. The Rolleiflex MiniDigi. Read More.

Microvision's Nomad is an industrial-strength heads-up display that that overlays a red monochrome display over the user's vision. The $4,000 device is designed to give users quick access to a variety of schematics and diagnostics information. It looks remarkably like the headset worn by Geordi LaForge, except it sits above the eyes instead of over them. Read More.

Fujitsu has announced the availability of thin and lightweight plastic touch panels technologies that will make it easier and cheaper for gadget companies to offer touchscreen capabilities to even the lowest-end devices. Read More.

At a recent packaging conference a Japanese company unveiled the first of a series of Tetra-Pack containers that look and feel like the juice they contain. Read More.

The Bluetooth SIG has announced a proposal for Bluetooth EDR ( Enhanced Data Rate); a new version of Bluetooth that offers data rates almost 3 times as fast as the previous version. Read More.

CNET reports on a new co-branded $99 Linksys device designed to allow an external hard drive to connect to a wireless router, letting PCs tap into the storage and share files without any physical link to the drive. Read More.

MacMinute has picked up a scan of a upcoming magazine ad detailing the "seamless integration of iPod and automobile," specifically, it seems, the BMW 3 Series, X3, and Z4. Read More.


Joy of Tech
  • Miss Universe
  • Automated Tech Support
  • Liquid Drooling System


macosxlabs.org Webcast - June
  • Subject: Apple Xsan
  • Presenters: Eric Zelenka, Apple Computer
  • Moderator: Fred Reynolds, Apple Computer
  • Date: Thursday, June 17, 2004
  • Times: 10:00 am - 11:30 am PDT
    1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT
    18:00 - 19:30 GMT
  • Click here for viewing instructions
iLife '04, Everything You Need to Manage Your Digital Lifestyle
  • Location: CompUSA #264-Salt Lake City
    1830 South 389 West, Market Place Shopping Center,
    Salt Lake City, UT 84115
  • Date: June 17, 2004
  • Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM US Mountain
  • Registration Information: Click here
NECC 2004 - Jammin' Jazz with Technology
  • Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Date: June 20-23, 2004
  • Registration Information: Click here
  • General Conference Program: Click here
.Mac and Easy Backup Solutions
  • Location: CompUSA #264-Salt Lake City
    1830 South 389 West, Market Place Shopping Center,
    Salt Lake City, UT 84115
  • Date: June 24, 2004
  • Time: 6:00 PM - 6:45 PM US Mountain
  • Registration Information: Click here
Apple World Wide Developers Conference 2004
  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Date: June 28-July 2, 2004
  • Registration Information: Click here
  • Technical Tracks Information: Click here