What's New - Feb 16, 2005

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

Download Slides – PDF-File, 2.7 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

Logic Express 7.0.1 — Improvements: Compatibility with Audio Units and other formats, Track Automation, Control Surfaces, Various further improvements

Logic Pro 7.0.1 — Improvements: Compatibility with Audio Units and other formats, Track Automation, Control Surfaces, Ultrabeat, Various further improvements

Security Update 2005-01 (Mac OS X 10.2.8 Server and client, Mac OS X 10.3.7 Server and client) — Addresses CAN-2005-0125 ("at" commands privilege escalation), CAN-2005-0126 (malformed ICC color profiles being able to overwrite the system heap), CAN-2004-0989 (libxml2), CAN-2005-0127 (RFC-822 Message-ID header), ten PHP vulnerabilities, CAN-2004-1314 (malicious pop-up windows), CAN-2004-1036 (SquirrelMail cross-site scripting). Of note is the change to the naming scheme for security updates: year-sequence instead of full date, probably because some of the security updates last year were released a few days before the date in their name, and that Apple has improved their documentation of the security updates a little more.

iMovie HD 5.0.1 — Improves: audio in PAL widescreen, sharing/exporting HDV to videocamera tape, compatibility with some analog-to-digital converter boxes, importing video from a DV videocamera, such as when using analog passthrough or recording live video

iPhoto 5.0.1 — Improves: book creation, dragging albums into folders, importing MPEG-4 movies, searching, red eye on older Macs

Mac OS X 10.3.8 (Server Combo and Delta, client Combo and Delta) — Improves/Fixes: long launch times for network-based applications, failed auto-restarts after power failures, World of Warcraft's "Full Screen Glow" video feature, DVD Player compatibility to an external, 16:9 TV, flickering DVD menus in DVD Player on certain PowerBook G4s, unresponsive PowerBooks after waking from sleep, jumping cursor when using thumb, side of thumb, or flat finger on portables, erratic fan cycles on Power Mac G5s, speed on some Address Book and Mail LDAP lookups, Active Directory, Password Server (Mac OS X Server), and Workgroup Manager (Mac OS X Server).

New Third Party Software

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

3D-Space VFS 1.1 — 3D drawers to quickly access hundreds of items.

Adium X 0.76 — multi-protocol chat client. Supports AIM, ICQ, Yahoo!, Yahoo! Japan, MSN, Jabber, Novell GroupWise, Napster, and Gadu-Gadu.

BatChmod 1.34 — GUI front end for chmod, chgrp, chown, also empties the Trash — even when the Trash contains locked files.

Battorox 1.7 — displays in-depth information on a portable's battery.

CopyPaste + yType 2.5.4 — multi-clipboard utility.

Duplicate Catcher 1.3.2 — removes duplicate files.

File Buddy 8.1.1 — high-level file utility.

GraphicConverter X 5.5 — graphic file format conversion utility — imports about 175 formats, exports about 75 formats.

Guest PC 1.0.1 — new x86 emulation program.

iClip 3.5.1 — multi-clipboard utility.

IPNetTunerX 1.3c1 — utility for optimizing network connection settings.

LogOutScreenSaver 2.0.8 — screen saver module that automatically logs out a user after an idle period.

Radmind 1.5.0 — remote file system management utility.

Temperature Monitor 2.4 — monitors the temperature of many of the internal components of a computer.

Text Bucket 1.5.1 — multi-clipping utility.

TinkerTool 3.3c — utility to access many hidden preference settings and features.

Virex 7 DAT 050209 — latest virus definitions for Virex.

Software Notes

Carbon and "." File Names
  • Starting a file name with "." makes the file invisible in Unix
  • Some applications can't save emails whose subject begins with "." (".Mac Sceduled Service", for example)
  • Carbon applications (such as Entourage) don't allowing saving: the "Save" menu item is grayed out, and Drag & Drop is disabled
  • Cocoa applications will warn that beginning the name with "." will make the file invisible.
According to MacFixIt, some users have reported that having Virex 7.5.x and Intego ContentBarrier X installed will trigger kernel panics. The culprit seems to be Virex, as downgrading to 7.2.x is reported to make the problem go away. On a similar note, Adobe has a tech support note that outlines an incompatibility between Norton AntiVirus and Photoshop CS that can cause Photoshop documents to become corrupted.

A number of people have reported problems downloading updates through Software Update. The error message that appears is: "Make sure you have permissions to write to /tmp/501/temporaryitems/____", where "____" is the name of the update. These include Security Update 2005-001 and iMovie 5.0.1. Three workarounds exist:
  • Modify permissions of the temporary folder as needed.
  • Boot off of a Mac OS X install/restore CD and run the Repair Permissions command.
  • /tmp is really a link to /private/tmp, and can sometimes become corrupted and need to be re-created.

Hardware News

At the end of January, Apple refreshed the PowerBook line. At first glance this seems like a minor upgrade (1.33 GHz models are now 1.5 GHz, and formerly 1.5 GHz models are now 1.67 GHz), but there are a number of new enhancements:
  • 512MB of RAM standard across the line (including 12″ models)
  • 5400rpm hard drives standard across the line
  • Bluetooth 2.0, which is about three times as fast as Bluetooth 1.x. According to Wikipedia, these are the first Bluetooth 2.0 products ever — fortunately, Bluetooth 2.0 is backwards compatible with Bluetooth 1.x.
  • SuperDrives have been upgraded to 8×
  • The trackpad has been enhanced to allow scrollwheel-like functionality by using two fingers instead of one
  • A Sudden Motion Sensor (SMS) has been added. This is basically a tri-axis accelerometer that senses the sudden acceleration associated with being dropped, and parks the hard drive heads so they don't damage the disk when the PowerBook lands.
  • 15″ and 17″ models now have Gigabit Ethernet
The new PowerBook lineup also offers slightly lower prices on most of the models:
  • 12″, 60GB HDD, Combo Drive, 1.5 GHz, $1399 EDU
  • 12″, 80GB HDD, SuperDrive, 1.5 GHz, $1499 EDU
  • 15″, 80GB HDD, Combo Drive, 1.5 GHz, $1799 EDU
  • 15″, 80GB HDD, SuperDrive, 1.67 GHz, $2099 EDU
  • 17″, 100GB HDD, SuperDrive, 1.67 GHz, $2399 EDU
Giga Designs is offering the G-celerator, a new CPU upgrade product for Power Mac G4s (AGP Graphics through Quicksilver 2002) and Power Mac G4 Cubes. The product features one or two Freescale 7447A processors — the same processor used in the current Mac mini, iBook, and PowerBook — at 1.8 GHz with a fan, or 1.6 GHz without a fan.
  • Single Processor: $449
  • Dual Processor: $699
  • Cube Dual Processor: $749

Retail News

Apple has announced a two-for-one stock split. Shareholders will receive an extra share for every outstanding share when the market closes on Feb 18, and trading on a split-adjusted basis will begin on Feb 28.

Competitors Target iPod/ITMS — Napster, Creative, and Dell have all targeted the iPod lately. Napster hopes that its To Go music subscription service will draw customers away from the iTunes Music Store, while Creative has stated its goal is to draw customers away from the iPod. Dell CEO Kevin Rollins recently dubbed the iPod "a fad".

On a related note, Rob Pegoraro writing for the Washington Post feels that Napster To Go Doesn't Add Up.


Mac Laptops Have Fewest Repairs, according to Consumer Reports magazine, with only 16% of iBooks and PowerBooks needing to be taken in for repairs. Apple's tech support also got the highest rating in the survey.

Security watchdog Secunia is reporting a vulnerability in multiple browsers, related to the way they handle non-English characters in URLs.

A vulnerability have been found in many of Symantecs security products. The vulnerability is caused by specially crafted UPX files that overflow the heap and allow access to the system. This has been patched in many of their products, but it appears that the Mac versions still need to be patched. Affected products include:
  • Norton AntiVirus 9.0 and 2004
  • Norton Internet Security 3.0 and 2004
  • Norton System Works 3.0 and 2004

Mac OS X in Brief

The Superintendent of Cobb County School District in Georgia is proposing Power to Learn, a program to purchase 63 000 iBooks over four years for each and every student and teacher in the district. This includes a four-year warranty from Apple, round-the-clock support — including seven staff member provided by Apple — and local repair. The proposal has apparently been approved by Apple, now the school board needs to vote on funding for the project, which works out to $350 per student.

Technology review site AnandTech has a pair of new articles. One is the second part of the Month with a Mac series, focusing on the PowerBook from a Windows-user perspective. The second is a review of the Mac mini.

Apple has begun posting information on the upcoming WWDC 2005.

General News

Judge Dale Kimball, overseeing the SCO vs IBM lawsuit stated he is Astonished by Lack of SCO Evidence, but overruled IBM's motion to dismiss the case because a separate, discovery process is still underway.

IBM, Sony, and Toshiba have formally announced the Cell processor. This new processor, developed to be the CPU for the Playstation 3, uses a 64-bit PowerPC core for "bookkeeping" and general computing, and eight, special-purpose SIMD units. (AltiVec/Velocity Engine is also SIMD, but the special units on the Cell will not run AltiVec code.) This processor boasts 234 million transistors (compare to 52 million in the G5 and 33 million in the G4e) and is rumored to run higher than 4 GHz.

Allison Johnson, HP's sevior VP of Marketing is Leaving HP for Apple, where she will be VP of worldwide marketing communications. HP was quick to note that this is a personal decision she made before Carly Fiorina was forced to resign, and is not related in any way.

Cool Stuff

X-Space R/C UFO

WWII Ammunition Boxes as Computer Cases

Wacom Cintriq 21UX


Joy of Tech
  • SPCA Boyfriend
  • iPod shuffle Roulette
  • iPod shuffle Scuffle


The January MacEnterprise.org webcast on Traditional Backup Solutions was held yesterday.

ACS National Meeting
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Dates: March 13—17, 2005
  • Registration Information
FOSE 2005
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Dates: April 5—7, 2005
  • Registration Information
  • Sessions
Annual Meeting AACR
  • Location: Anaheim, CA
  • Dates: April 16—20, 2005
  • Registration Information
NAB '05
  • Location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Dates: April 18—21, 2005
  • Registration Information
  • Sessions