What's New - Nov 17, 2004

By: Mike Yocom - Revised: 2006-07-03 devin

Download Slides – PDF-File, 3.2 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

iPod Updater 2004-10-20 — Adds support for the iPod Photo and delivers enhancements to a number of other iPod models.

iTunes 4.7 — Includes support for copying photos to an iPod photo, the ability to show duplicate songs in your library, and other performance improvements.

QuickTime 6.5.2 — An important release which includes a security update and bug fixes. In addition this release includes enhancements in the Apple Lossless Encoder and AAC codecs, as well as improved support for iTunes and other QuickTime-based applications.

Security Update 2004-10-27 — Addresses a potential vulnerability with Apple Remote Desktop Client 1.2.4 and Mac OS X 10.3.x. Is only applicable to that combination of software.

Mac OS X 10.3.6 (Client and Server) — Delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X Server v10.3 and is recommended for all systems.

DVD Studio Pro 3.0.2 — The DVD Studio Pro 3.0.2 update is strongly recommended for all users of DVD Studio Pro 3. In addition to improving general stability and compatibility for double-layer media on supported systems.

Fibre Channel Utility Update 1.0.3 — Addresses issue of WWPN and WWNN not being displayed in user interface. Addresses cosmetic issue with regards to multi-byte text getting improperly truncated. Lastly, resolves an issue with incorrect port status being reported on Brocade SilkWorm 3800 switch.

AirPort 4.1 for Mac OS X — Supports Keyspan Express Remote for use with AirTunes (AirPort Express only). Support for WPA security on WDS networks. Ability to rename a USB printer connected to a base station.

AirPort Express Firmware 6.1 for Mac OS X — AirPort firmware updates are now packaged in a new utility application which simplifies the process of installing firmware updates. This application is available for use on Mac OS X computers (10.3 and later) and on Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP computers.

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 Attributes 3.6 — a major user interface update of our file dates, attributes and Exif setting tool. The new release introduces a file details drawer designed to make it easier to judge file changes interactively.

Adobe Acrobat 7.0 — family of desktop applications creating and working with PDF files. Version 7 allows workgroups to assemble documents from multiple sources, create intelligent forms, and more securely collaborate on projects inside and outside the firewall.

CronniX 3.0b3 — provides a gui frontend for your crontab. Cron is a powerful unix tool that allows scheduled execution of shell scripts and applications.

Data Recycler 1.5 — a powerful utility that protects you from accidental file deletion. By protecting the drive space being occupied by your deleted files, Data Recycler allows you to recycle your deleted trash and return your files back to you in perfect condition.

Emailchemy 1.5.8 — reads email files from the proprietary formats of most popular email applications and converts them to standard formats that any application can use.

FileMaker Pro 7.0v3 — a powerful and versatile database program.

GraphicConverter X 5.3 — converts pictures to different formats. Imports about 175 graphic file formats. Exports about 75 graphic file formats.

Groupcal 2.0 — allows you to access and manage your Microsoft Exchange calendar seamlessly from Apple iCal. Synchronize your events and tasks, book people or resources for meetings, respond to meeting requests, view Free/Busy time and much, much more.

IPNetMonitorX 1.6c1 — a powerful Internet tool kit featuring 15 integrated tools designed to help you quickly identify problems, locate where the problem is, and gather data which can be used to solve the problem either directly or through your Internet Service Provider.

Konfabulator 1.8 — a JavaScript runtime engine for Mac OS X that lets you run little files called Widgets that can do pretty much whatever you want them to.

Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router 3.01.3 — driver for the WRT54G v1 and v2. The new release resolves issues with VoIP adapters and long domain names.

Mozilla Firefox 1.0 — a speedy, full-featured browser that makes browsing more efficient than ever before.

PC-Mac PasswordVault Lite 3.3 — a simple, secure, enterprise-level password manager which stores your website usernames and passwords, Internet banking information and software registration details for quick and easy access.

Photoshop Elements 3.0 — consumer photo-editing software.

QuarkXPress 6.5 — an integrated publishing package that combines expert type, layout, color, and graphics-handling features with professional illustration tools, word processing, and sophisticated prepress functions — all in one application.

Server Monitor 1.0 — a software module for the eyeSignal personal notification device. The function of the SM is to monitor any device with a IP address or URL.

sterMachine 2.2.3 — system maintenance solution.

SuperCard 4.5b — multimedia authoring environment.

SuperDuper! 1.5(71) — the most advanced, yet easy to use disk copying program available for OS X.

SystemLoad 1.0 — a diagnostic application assisting you in the detection of cooling or power supply problems with Apple Macintosh computers.

Virex X 7.5.1rc1 — antivirus solution.

Virtual PC 7.0.1 — lets you run Microsoft Windows applications, access Windows networks, use Windows-only Internet applications, and share files with Windows-based colleagues.

VueScan 8.1.7 — a powerful scanning program that works with most scanners to produce high-quality scans that have excellent color fidelity.

Yellow Dog Linux 4.0 — distribution of Linux aimed mainly at Mac hardware. offers 32-bit support for USB-G3s, G4s, G5 Power Macs, and through the Freescale Board Support Package, Genesi Pegasos II ATX boards.

ZMacSync 1.5b1 — a complete solution for synchronizing the Qtopia PIM Database of the Sharp Zaurus Linux PDA series with MacOS X including the address book, calendar, to do list and notes.

Software Notes

MacFixIt is reporting that a few applications — including Mail.app and the Adobe CS products — experience strange behavior at the transition back to standard time. In the case of Mail.app, processor utilization jumped to 100% for an hour, ending precisely at midnight. In the case of the Adobe CS applications they refuse to launch until the user changes the time zone setting.

A handful of notable details concerning the recently released QuarkXPress and QuarkXPress Passport 6.5 have emerged. The new QuarkVista XTension that allows image manipulation within XPress documents is reported to be unable to handle large image files and hangs QuarkXPress. The PSD Import XTension — a widely advertised feature for QXP 6.5 — is not in the final release, but is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2005. Problems getting QXP to recognize some fonts have also been reported. Clearing font caches and rebooting — which can be done either with the freeware Font Finagler utility or through Terminal by using the commands rm *.fcache* and rm *.FODB* in ~/Library/Caches, /Library/Caches, and /System/Library/Caches. (In /System/Library/Caches, also use the command rm fontTablesAnnex*.)

Hardware News

iPod Photo
  • 40GB HDD; 10 000 songs; $499.00 USD
  • 60GB HDD; 15 000 songs; $599.00 USD
Both feature fifteen hours battery life with music playback, five hours of slideshows with music, five hour battery recharge time, up to seventeen minutes of skip protection, 2″, 65 536-color, backlit LCD, dock connector, remote connector, stereo headphone jack, composite video and audio through headphone jack, line out, S-video, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 through dock connector, sync iPod-viewable photos in JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, and PNG, 4.1×2.4×0.75″, 6.4 ounces, and come with iPod Photo dock, earbud headphones, carrying case, AC adapter, FireWire cable, USB 2.0 cable, and AV cable.

iPod U2 Special Edition
  • 20GB HDD; 5 000 songs; $50 off The Complete U2 (over 400 U2 tracks from iTunes Music Store); Exclusive U2 poster; $349.00 USD
Up to twelve hours of battery life, four hours recharge time, up to twenty-five minutes of skip protection, 2″, grayscale, backlit LCD, dock connector, remote connector, stereo minijack, line out, FireWire 200 and USB 2.0 through dock, 4.1×2.4×0.57″, 5.6 ounces, earbud headphones, AC adapter, FireWire cable, USB 2.0 cable.

IT-Enquirer has an article comparing PCI-X to PCI-Express. PCI-Express products are just starting to appear on the market, and it represents a large leap forward in terms of the amount of data that can be transfered between cards and the efficiency of the bus.

Retail News

At the same time the iPod Photo and iTunes 4.7 were released, Apple announced the EU iTunes Music Store. Although this doesn't cover all of the European Union countries, it does add Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, bringing the number of localized stores to thirteen. A Canadian store was also announced for release in November. EU songs are priced at €0.99.

Apple and Amazon have both recently set up independent iPod sections to their online stores.

The Wall Street Journal has an article about three recent mp3 players that are the closest competition to the iPod Mini in terms of features. The final verdict? "These challengers are getting closer in style to matching Apple. But, until they are as easy to use, I can't recommend them over the iPod."

CNet News.com reports that Google is working on bringing Google Desktop to the Mac. No timetable is announced, and the search engine will have to be re-written from the ground up because of the differences between Windows and Mac OS X.

Another CNet article details how a number of hotel chains are now using iPods as amenities.


Following the ATI Displays 4.4 update, many people with ATI RADEON 8500 cards have reported flickering artifacts associated with small screen items like small text or some tool palettes. There is currently no official word if this is fixed in the ATI Displays 4.4.2 update.

Many users of version 2.x of the Apple Remote Desktop remote-administration software report that saved network-range Scanners frequently forget their saved range and revert to scanning the local subnet. A discussion of the problem and a workaround can be found on Apple's Discussion forums.
  1. Set up all the scanners correctly.
  2. Quit ARD successfully. (If it crash-quits, go back to step 1)
  3. Duplicate ARD .plist file at ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist.
Then, when ARD 2 loses the scanner settings:
  1. Quit ARD.
  2. Throw out the newly-broken plist file.
  3. Duplicate and rename your backup to replace the broken one.

Mac OS X in Brief

The November 2004 TOP500 list, a list of the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world, has been released. Of note: VirginiaTech's System X, despite a performance boost from upgrading to 2.3 GHz XServes, fell to seventh from third place; not one but two systems beat out The Earth Simulation Center's Earth-Simulator, which has been ranked as number one on the TOP500 since 2002; and nine of the top twenty, and five of the top ten systems are now PowerPC or POWER-based, including the new fastest supercomputer.

Lycos is reporting that Sun announced Java Studio Creator for Mac OS X. JSC is a development environment focused on easy assembly of business applications using drag-and-drop components.

Computerworld has an article by Ken Mingis that reviews the Dual-2.5 GHz Power Mac G5. The title of the article says it all: "The dual 2.5-GHz Power Mac G5: Unadulterated power".

According to Silicon.com, Apple has issued a statement that Opener, the latest malware for Mac OS X, is not a Trojan horse, worm, or virus. Many antivirus experts disagree with Apple's statement, but it should be noted that Opener currently has not vector, no way to spread, especially since it requires an administrator user to authenticate its installation.

Macworld UK has a story that digital security company Mi2g has rated Mac OS X and the various BSD flavors as the world's safest operating systems. The conclusion is based on a study of the number of successful security breaches over a twelve-month period.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Macworld Boston is moving to the Hynes Convention Center. IDG World Expo of Farmingham, the organizer for the show, says that this is due to Macworld Boston being too small for the facilities used last year.

A number of Mac news sources report that Wil Wheaton, most famous for his role as Wesley Crusher on the series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Gordie Lachance in the movie Stand By Me, will give a feature presentation at Macworld in January.

General News

The PC Market Remains Strong, according to the NewsFactor Network. According to IDC and Gartner, the computer industry as a whole is continuing to grow, with about 12% more units shipped in the third quarter 2004, as compared to third quarter 2003.

LinuxInsider's Paul Murphy asks But Macs Are Slower, Right? The article is an analysis of some of the ways to determine how fast a particular computer really is.

Another Boston Globe article reports that officials in Newton, Massachusetts are looking into establishing a city-wide wi-fi network. The system would involve access points mounted to telephone poles and residents would pay about $10 to use the service.

ESPN reports that Vince Carter of the Toronto Raptors has been told not to use his iPod during pre-game warmups, as the iPod is a violation of the league's proper attire.

Cool Stuff

Slappa has a hardbody case for the iPod for $30. The case is similar to Slappa's current line of hardbody DVD cases.

Buffalo will soon begin selling Disney-themed USB flash drives. The drives are bean-shaped, with bright prints and Disney-character charms/keychains.

Apparently, someone dressed up as an iPod for Halloween.


Joy of Tech
  • Uncredibles
  • Feline Lunchbag Letdown
  • iPod Photo
  • Mac O'Lanterns


MacEnterprise (formerly MacOSXLabs) Webcast
  • Topic: Apple Remote Desktop 2 In-Depth
  • Presenters: Nader Nafissi, Apple Compute
    Mike Bombich, Apple Computer
    Tony Graham, Apple Computer
    Steve Hayman, Apple Computer
  • Date: November 16, 2004
International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition (InterBEE) 2004 — Japan
  • Location: Makuhari Messe (Nippon Convention Center), Chiba City, Japan
  • Dates: November 17—19, 2004
  • Sessions
MacExpo 2004 (London)
  • Location: Business Design Centre, Islington, London, UK
  • Dates: November 18—20, 2004
  • Registration Information
  • Sessions
Digital Video Expo West
  • Location: Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Dates: December 7—9, 2004
  • Registration Information
  • Sessions
Macworld San Francisco
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Dates: January 10—14, 2005
  • Registration Information
  • Sessions