What's New - Sep 15, 2004

By: Mike Yocom - 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

iPhoto 4.0.3 - software for organizing digital photos.

iPod Updater 2004-08-06 - The latest software for iPods, including the iPod Mini and the Click Wheel iPod.

Security Update 2004-08-09 - For Mac OS X 10.2.8 and 10.3.4.

Mac OS X 10.3.5 - For Mac OS X 10.3.x Client and Server.

Pro Application Support 2.1 - Recommended for all users of Final Cut Pro, Cinema Tools, Compressor, LiveType, Soundtrack, and DVD Studio Pro.

Java Update 1.4.2 Update 1 - Support for JDK 1.4.2_05, improved applet behavior in Safari, and increased stability of desktop Java applications.

iSync 1.5 - Adds support for a number of new devices.

DVD Studio Pro 3.0.1 - Improved stability and compiling.

Compressor Update 1.2.1 - Improved stability and Preview window performance.

Mac OS X Server Admin Tools - Updated versions of the Mac OS X Server 10.3 administration software.

AirPort 4.0.1 for Mac - Recommended for all AirPort Express base stations.

AirPort Card Update 2004-08-31 - Improved reliability in mixed 802.11b and 802.11g environments.

Xserve G5 Firmware Update 5.1.7f1 - Main improvement is support for the Xserve G5 PCI Hardware RAID Card kit.

Security Update 2004-09-07 v1.1 - For Mac OS X 10.2.8 Client and Server, 10.3.4 Client and Server, and 10.3.5 Client and Server. v1.1 fixes a problem with FTP.

Power Mac G5 Uniprocessor Firmware Update 5.1.5f1 - Addresses an issue with single-CPU Power Mac G5s not being able to fully sleep.

New Third Party Software

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

Snard 2.4.1 is the Swiss Army Knife of launcher programs. It provides many of the functionalities of the old Apple and Application menus, yet it can be customized to your heart's content.

Samba 3.0.7 is an open source software suite that provides seamless file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients.

StatusMonitors 1.3.1 for Mac OS X is an application for monitoring the status of anything that has status to monitor. It displays plug-in style status monitors in your desktop or in a window.

FileXaminer 2.3.1 is an award winning "Get Info" application. FileXaminer allows you to modify file and folder attributes that the Finder cannot, such as type/creator info, UNIX permissions, and much more.

PreFab UI Actions Beta 3 can attach an AppleScript script to a native Mac OS X application. From then on, the script will be triggered automatically every time the user performs the actions you specify in the target application.

iPartition 1.06 is a disk partitioning utility for Mac OS X with the ability to resize Mac OS extended (HFS+) partitions while keeping their contents intact.

REALbasic 5.5.3 is a graphical development tool. The new release adds more options for building REALbasic plug-ins. Developers can now use environments like GCC, Visual Studio and Apple's Xcode to create REALbasic plug-ins.

Data Recycler X 1.3.2 is a tool to recover files that have been deleted.

Toast Titanium 6.0.7 is a CD and DVD burning solution. The new release adds Double-Layer (DL) support for data, audio, video and copy formats as well as other new features.

ClipDoubler Pro 1.0.2 provides multiple clipboards and enhancements.

Blue Crab 3.4.5 is a program that you use to download the contents of a website to your computer, whole or in part, for offline viewing.

Virex X 7.5 is a virus protection utility.

Graphic Converter 5.2.2 is a tool to view, edit, convert most image formats.

Gimp-Print 5.0.0-beta2 is a set of open-source Mac OS X printer drivers that enable a number of devices that are incompatible in stock configuration.

BBEdit 8.0 is a popular HTML and text editing tool. The new release has over a hundred new features including multiple documents in a single window.

Software Notes

There are reports of file corruption when saving older documents over the network with QuarkXPress 6.1. The corruption can include missing images and text, blank box elements, among other things. The files affected are those created with QuarkXPress 4.x and 5.x being re-saved over the network with QXP 6.1 and AFP.

Virex 7.5 appears to consume large amounts of CPU time, as well as conflicting with Avid Xpress Pro.

Dantz has confirmed conflicts between Retrospect and certain APE haxies.

Hardware News

New iMac G5
  • 17" 1.6 GHz, 80GB hard drive, no optical drive - only available to education institutions; $1099 EDU
  • 17" 1.6 GHz, 80GB hard drive, Combo; $1299
  • 17" 1.8 GHz, 80GB hard drive, SuperDrive; $1499
  • 20" 1.8 GHz, 160GB hard drive, SuperDrive; $1,899
All feature: 3:1 frontside ratio (533 MHz in the 1.6 GHz models, 600 MHz in the 1.8 GHz), 256MB PC3200 (400MHz) DDR SDRAM, up to 2GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra with 64MB DDR SDRAM, Serial ATA drives, 2 FireWire 400 ports, 3 USB 2.0 ports, VGA output, S-video and composite video output, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, 56K V.92 modem, headphone/optical digital audio output, audio line in.

New Apple iPods
  • 20GB model for $299 (Available Now)
  • 40GB model for $399 (Available Now)
Both features: touch-sensitive wheel with five push buttons; Up to 12 hours battery life; Shuffle Songs (a new command in the main menu which provides mixed track playing)

Retail News

Apple has passed the 125 million mark on iTunes downloads.

HP has begun selling re-branded iPods. Prices and capabilities remain identical to Apple's fourth-generation (Click Wheel) iPods.

Griffin's RoadTrip FM transmitter and charger for the iPod and iPod Mini has gone on sale, but only outside the United States, suggesting a possible snag with the FCC.

Microsoft's new Windows Media Player 10 includes a service called the "Digital Media Mall", which has access to several online music stores.


MacFixIt reports a problem with copying and pasting large or complex groups of elements between applications in Office 2004. Large or heavily-formatted Excel worksheets, large graphics, and similar do not copy, or copy incorrectly, from one application to the other. (Such as pasting the Excel worksheets into Word.) A workaround is to copy one element at a time, if possible, like copying the Excel worksheets one column at a time.

There are widespread reports of problems with Apple Cinema Displays having pink or magenta tinting on the edges of the screen. The problem appears to be so widespread that Amazon has stop replacing defective units, and is offering full refunds instead.

The first Security Update 2004-09-07 broke rendering of some websites in Safari, as well as FTP connectivity. The rendering problem is caused by a changed identification string in Safari confusing OpenCube's Open Menu Pro, used by the sites in question to generate their pages. OpenCube has released a patch, but if you need to access sites that haven't applied the patch, you can download the freeware Safari Enhancer, select Debug>User Agent and set IE 6.0 as the agent. The FTP problem is fixed by version 1.1 of the security update.

Problems with G5s that go back to sleep immediately after being woken back up have been reported. Workarounds include waiting for the machine to fully wake up before introducing any additional user input, resetting the PRAM, and possibly sending the G5 in for repair, as it may be caused by a faulty CPU.

General News

CNET reports that Yahoo is going to buy Musicmatch, the makers of the 225,000-song Jukebox service, for $160 million. Read More.

Several news sources report that Steve Jobs, who recently underwent surgery to remove a rare, but fortunately very curable, form of pancreatic cancer, will be back to full-time work at Apple later this month.

Cool Stuff

AkibaLive reports that Greenhouse of Japan will start selling the i-Mii 15", LCD in the later half of October. The fun part is the case is shaped like a cat, the stereo speakers are even housed in the ears.

As shown at the CEDIA show, Solid Acoustics now has a dodecahedron (12-sided) point-source speaker.

Sharp has a pair of kitchen composters available in Japan that are supposed to reduce the volume of organic waste by 92% in just 24 hours. The company also seems to have taken an environmentally-friendly approach to the composters themselves, as they look like someone recycled old server cases.

Fujitsu now has a service robot that is designed to work as a doorman/usher, greeting guests, escorting them to elevators, operating the elevators, and responding to simple commands.

A recent eBay auction sold a "Veeker ML9 Paintball Mini Gun". We have been unable to track down a corporate website for whoever makes these, but forty-eight paintballs per second per barrel (there are six barrels) sounds... enticing.


Joy of Tech
  • Get Well Soon, Steve
  • KISS
  • Stephen Hawking
  • iPod Devil


macosxlabs.org Webcast - September
  • Subject: ADmitMac
  • Presenters: Paul W. Nelson, Michael Perbix.
  • Moderator: Matt Macinnis, Apple Computer
  • Click here for viewing instructions
Introducing the Power Mac G5
  • Location: CompUSA #264-Salt Lake City
    1830 South 389 West, Market Place Shopping Center,
    Salt Lake City, UT 84115
  • Date: October 7, 2004
  • Time: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM US Mountain
  • Registration Information: Click here
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
  • Date: October 19-22, 2004
  • Registration Information: Click here
  • Sessions Information: Click here