What's New - Jan 18, 2006

By: Mike Yocom - Revised: 2006-07-13 devin

Download Slides – PDF-File, 656.4 KB


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

Front Row 1.0.1 — The Front Row Update delivers overall improved reliability and compatibility for browsing music, photos, and videos on your iMac.

Broadband Tuner 1.0 — This update allows you to take full advantage of very high speed FiOS based Internet connections that have a high latency.

SU 2005-009 (Panther client & Server, Tiger client & Server) — Delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users.

Final Cut Pro 5 Updates — The latest updates to all Final Cut Pro 5 applications: Final Cut Pro 5, Cinema Tools 3, LiveType 2, Compressor 2.

Soundtrack Pro Update — The latest updates to all Soundtrack Pro applications: Soundtrack Pro and Compressor 2.

Aperture 1.0.1 — Addresses a number of issues related to reliability and performance.

AirPort Express Firmware 6.3 — This update addresses reliability and resolves issues with AirTunes, AirPort compatibility, and issues with some third party Routers.

AirPort Extreme Firmware 5.7 — This update addresses reliability and resolves issues with AirTunes, AirPort compatibility, and issues with some third party Routers.

iPod Update 2006-01-10 — Includes new iPod Software for new iPods. iPod Updater 2006-01-10 contains the same software versions as iPod Updater 2005-11-17 for all other iPod models.

QuickTime 7.0.4 — Delivers numerous bug fixes, support for iLife Õ06, and H.264 performance improvements.

Mac OS X 10.4.4 (client Combo & Delta, Server Combo & Delta) — The 10.4.4 Update delivers overall improved reliability and compatibility for Mac OS X v10.4 and is recommended for all users.

iLife '06 — Latest versions of iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand, and the new iWeb.

iWork '06 — Latest versions of Keynote and Pages

New Third Party Software

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

Anti-Malware Updates Firefox 1.5 — Popular web browser

Intel Developer Tools for Mac OS X — Mac OS X versions of Intel's Fortran and C++ compilers, Math Kernel Library, and Integrated Performance Primitives

Adobe Lightroom (Beta) — Photographer tool: import, select, develop images

SuperDuper! 2.0 — Backup, clone, restore, and more

Software Notes

According to a report from xtn data, only seven percent of iPod owners download music using P2P, compared to a twenty-five percent average for all digital audio players. This comes as a stark contrast to insinuations made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer over a year ago that "the most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'". (Although Microsoft did release a correction/apology a few days later.)

Hardware News

Intel iMac
  • 1.83 and 2.0 GHz Core Duo w/ 2MB L2 Cache
  • 667 MHz FSB (vs 633 and 700 MHz)
  • 667 MHz DDR2 Memory (vs 533 MHz)
  • Radeon X1600 w/ 128MB VRAM (256MB BTO)
  • Same sizes and prices as the iMac G5
MacBook Pro
  • 1.67 and 1.83 GHz Core Duo w/ 2MB L2 Cache
  • 667 MHz FSB (vs 633 and 700 MHz)
  • 667 MHz DDR2 Memory (vs 533 MHz)
  • Radeon X1600 w/ 128MB (1.67 GHz) or 256MB (1.83 GHz) VRAM
  • New (or just new to Mac portables) Technologies
    • PCI Express (PCIe)
    • ExpressCard/34
    • Serial ATA (SATA)
    • Built-in iSight
    • Front Row
    • MagSafe
  • "Usual" Mac portable technologies (SMS, Backlit KB, etc.)
  • $1999/1799 EDU 1.67 GHz, 512MB RAM, 80GB HD, 128MB VRAM, SuperDrive
  • $2499/2299 EDU 1.83 GHz, 1GB RAM, 100GB HD, 256MB VRAM, SuperDrive
Core Duo (Yonah)
  • 32b (something to keep in mind if you're torn between a G5 iMac and a CD iMac)
  • Dual Core
  • 2MB L2 Cache shared by the cores
  • 1.66—2.16 GHz (Core Duo T, which is what is probably being used in the MacBook and iMac)
  • 667 MHz FSB
  • Virtualization
  • Varieties
    • Core Duo E (≥50 W: high-powered, multimedia portables)
    • Core Duo T (24—50 W: mainstream portables)
    • Core Duo L (15—23 W: low-power portables)
Future Intel CPUs that might be used in future Macs
  • Release date in the second half of 2006
  • Low power usage
  • Multiple cores
  • Virtualization
  • Hyperthreading (high end)
  • 64b
  • 14-stage pipeline (vs Pentium M's 31 stages)
  • Varieties
    • Merom (Portables)
      • 1.07 GHz FSB
      • 65nm process
      • 35 W Thermal Design Point (TDP)
      • Dual-Core
      • 2—4MB L2 Cache
    • Conroe (Desktops)
      • 1.07 or 1.33 GHz FSB
      • 65nm process
      • 65 W TDP
      • Dual-Core
      • 4MB L2 Cache
    • Woodcrest (Servers)
      • 1.33 GHz FSB
      • 65nm process
      • 80 W TDP
      • Dual-Core
      • 4MB L2 Cache

Retail News

Apple's Holiday Quarter (note: the detailed financial reports conference call is scheduled for Jan 18 @ 3:00 PM MST)
  • $1G revenue in Apple retail stores alone
  • $5.7G revenue total
  • 14M iPods in holiday '05 (compare to "only" 4.5M in holiday '04)
  • 32M iPods total in 2005 (compare to 10M total before 2005
  • 850M songs purchased through ITMS, over 3M per day (set to pass 1G mark in next few weeks)
  • 8M videos purchased since videos were added to ITMS in October


Some are reporting that iWeb and GarageBand crash, especially when using the media browser. Some have reported that removing the Flip4Mac-supplied Windows Media Components for QuickTime fixes the crashes.

Many Aperture users report the application's error messages are generic or misleading.

Although the official word from Apple has always been to only use the restore discs that came with your computer (as opposed to the restore discs from a different model), the PowerPC→Intel transition is the first time the underlying reason why has been forced into public consciousness. Restore discs for Intel-based Macs do not work at all on PowerPC Macs and vise versa.

Mac OS X in Brief

At every New Year, the sovereign of the British Empire releases a list of people to be honored by the Order of the British Empire. This last New Year, Queen Elizabeth II named Jonathan Ive, Apple Computer's Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). This is the highest grade within this Order that doesn't confer knighthood, but does confer the post-nominal of "CBE", such as "Jonathan Ive CBE".

The category "The Apple of my Eye", focused on Apple products, was featured on the December 13 episode of Jeopardy!

Apple has settled the final Tiger leak of the three lawsuits it brought against people who allegedly violated their non-disclosure agreements by uploading Tiger betas to peer-to-peer networks.

InfoWorld has released its 2006 Technology of the Year Awards, which includes Tiger as "Operating System of the Year", Tiger Server as "Server OS of the Year", and the Power Mac G5 Quad as "Workstation of the Year".

British security company Sophos says Apple a good security choice. Although they do use "security through obscurity" as the main argument (that Macs have no viruses yet just because they're less targeted because of the smaller market share), instead of pointing out that Mac OS X is more secure by design, it is nice to see security firms advising people to use secure alternatives.

General News

There's been a lot of speculation in the technology media about whether or not the new Intel Macs can dual-boot Windows or not. The arguments hinge on the fact that the Intel Macs use Intel's EFI, rather than the traditional BIOS, that 32b Windows XP can only boot on EFI machines that include a Compatibility Support Module (CSM), firmware that works as a translator between the non-EFI OS and the EFI hardware, and whether or not Apple included a CSM. On the one hand, since Apple is moving from OpenFirmware to EFI, instead of coming from BIOS, a CSM isn't needed, so some argue that it wouldn't be included. On the other hand, including a CSM would make Apple's Intel Macs the only computers that could use the three most popular operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, so some argue that Apple probably included a CSM. Either way, Windows Vista will support EFI, so if the Intel Macs can't boot XP today, they will be able to boot Vista in the future.

A recent study suggests that iPod earbuds may be causing hearing loss. The findings suggest that the increased hearing loss is caused by a combination of the earbuds sitting deeper in the ears than traditional headphones, the high volume that people listen to music (needed to drown out outside noise when on the go), and the long periods of time that people listen to music on digital audio players (as opposed to portable CD players, where there's a pause while CDs are being changed). The study suggests setting the volume only as loud as needed, and limiting music listening to thirty minutes non-stop before taking a break from listening to music.


MacEnterprise Webcast: LANDesk
  • Presenters: Kent Prows and Bill Smith, LANDesk
  • Moderator: Fred Reynolds, Apple Computer
  • Date: November 15, 2005
  • Slides now online
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