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OS X Mountain Lion Update v10.8.1 released

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

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The first Mac OS X 10.8 update is now available through the app store, weighing in at a surprisingly trim 24.2 Mb. It’s just installed on my Macbook Air while my main Hackintosh starts the ritual backup before a system update. No mention of the widely reported battery life issue 10.8 brought to some Mac laptop users.

No problems with the update on Apple hardware so far, the only warning I received was of incompatible software. This turned out to be the Avira antivirus I have been trying, but it’s still present and working correctly. Here are the official Apple release notes for issues addressed by the 10.8.1 update.

About OS X Mountain Lion Update v10.8.1

This update includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability and compatibility of your Mac, including fixes that:

  • Resolve an issue that may cause Migration Assistant to unexpectedly quit
  • Improve compatibility when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server in Mail
  • Address an issue playing audio through a Thunderbolt display
  • Resolve an issue that could prevent iMessages from being sent
  • Address an issue that could cause the system to become unresponsive when using Pinyin input
  • Resolve an issue when connecting to SMB servers with long names
  • Address a issue that may prevent Safari from launching when using a Proxy Automatic Configuration (PAC) file
  • Improve 802.1X authentication with Active Directory credentials.

For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5418.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.

Lion SMB problems and using a WDTV media streamer

January 2, 2012 1 comment

Shortly after setting up a new Lion server I found my WDTV Live media streamer was no longer able to connect to its SMB shares. A search showed major incompatibilities for Windows and Linux Samba clients trying to connect to Lion. There are hundreds of posts and articles online detailing the trouble Lion users are having after Apple dropped Samba and implemented its own SMB server. The problem exists in all versions from 10.7 to 10.7.2, so I’m hoping the next 10.7.3 will do something to resolve the issues.

Until that happens there are a couple of options to get access to a Lion server from a WDTV box. The first is to use MacPorts to install Samba V3 and configure manually, the other is to use NFS. If you want to take the Samba route there are a few good guides at protagonist.co.uk, forums.sonos.com and forum.xbmc.org. I chose to use NFS, and followed the guide at wiki.wdlxtv.com.It took some trial and error to get it all working, so I have provided my configuration here if it’s any help. NFS is not as simple to setup as AFP or SMB networking as I haven’t seen a way to browse shares, instead they are configured on the client and server. I’m using the WDLXTV custom firmware for the Live from wiki.wdlxtv.com which I highly recommend, I’m not sure if a WDTV running standard firmware will work the same way. Read more…

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December 2010 Macintosh Software Bundles

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Software bundles have always been a great way of building up a collection of useful applications, and the massively discounted price means you only need a couple of top class apps to make the price a bargain. There are several software bundles available for Macintosh users right now, offering a range of applications for prices between $9.99 and $63. Unfortunately there’s nothing currently available from Macheist or MacUpdate. The bundles are listed here in increasing price, with the second price in brackets a pound/dollar conversion at the current exchange rate (on 6th December 2010).

Macbasket.com7 apps for $9.99 (£6.36), ending 9th December 2010:

  1. NuKit – Finder productivity enhancer
  2. Money³ – Financial Management
  3. rooSwitch – profiles for your applications
  4. Radium – Internet radio player
  5. Healthnut – Diet/health tracker
  6. Chronicle 3 – Manage your bills
  7. Tracks -Play/browse music from the menubar

MacbundlePro7 apps for $19.95 (£12.69), ending 31st December 2010:

  1. AirRadar 2 – Wireless network scanner
  2. Inpaint – Remove objects from your images
  3. MacHider – Hide private data
  4. TranslateIt – Language translation
  5. ManPower – Man page GUI
  6. PacketStream - network monitoring tool
  7. DVDsnap 2 - capture screen shots from Apple DVD player

Mac Bundle Box12 apps for $29 (£18.45), ending 23rd December 2010:

  1. Compartments – Home inventory
  2. QuickScale – Batch image resizing
  3. Semonto – Web server monitoring for 6 months
  4. Radium – Internet radio player
  5. iCollage – Image scrapbook
  6. AllMyTube – Download/convert FLV video
  7. DVD Ripper – Convert DVD’s to other formats
  8. PDF Converter – PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, EPUB, Text and HTML
  9. Photo Recovery – recover lost, deleted or formatted photos, videos and music files
  10. iMedia Converter – DVD ripping and video conversion
  11. TinyGrab – Screenshot utility
  12. Caboodle – Snippet machine

BundlesForMac – 12 apps for $49.99 (£31.80), ending 15th December 2010:

  1. skEdit – Text/html editor
  2. Yummy FTP – FTP client
  3. MyStuff – home inventory
  4. BlogAssist – blog/website editor
  5. AlienDestroyer – Secure erase sensitive data
  6. Involer – Invoicing app
  7. Deliver – File delivery to local and remote destinations
  8. ProfCast – Lecture recording app
  9. PDF to Word – Document converter
  10. iCash – Personal finance
  11. PDF to Epub – Document converter
  12. GadgetTrak – Laptop theft recovery

MacPromo.com10 apps for £39.99 ($63), ending 31st December 2010:

  1. TypeIt4Me – Text expander
  2. PathFinder 5 – Finder replacement
  3. DragThing - document, folder, and application and URL dock
  4. Name Mangler 2 – Batch file renamer
  5. Personal Antispam 10.6 - Antispam component of Intego Internet Security Barrier
  6. MacFreelance 2 - Invoice management
  7. Keyboard Maestro 4 – Keyboard macro app
  8. Personal Backup – backup component of Intego Internet Security Barrier
  9. Folx Pro – Download manager
  10. CuteClips 3 – Clipboard history
  11. The First 5000 buyers get Star Wars: Empire at War

10.6.4 tested on hackintosh

June 17, 2010 3 comments

My original hackintosh has now been updated to 10.6.4, and as was the case with the past few updates a new version of sleepenabler.kext was required to prevent a kernel panic during boot. The 10.6.4 sleep enabler is available from Insanelymac.

The Snow Leopard Mail application has received an update to version 4.3, showing the above dialogue when first launched. The upgrading of mail messages took only a few seconds, unfortunately it was followed by this warning.

Letterbox is a Mail plugin that adds a widescreen view with the message preview pane on the right of the window. Fortunately developer Aaron Harnly already has an update to Letterbox 0.24b7 which is compatible with 10.6.4.

10.6.4 released

June 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Apple has today released the latest update to its Snow Leopard operating system, 10.6.4. Full details of the fixes included are available at support.apple.com/kb/HT4150, and details of the security content at support.apple.com/kb/HT1222. A quick look at several hackintosh forums showed mixed upgrade results. A new 10.6.4 version of Sleepenabler.kext is available to try, and further compatibility  details will be posted once I have installed the update on my three applicable hackintosh systems.

Software Updates that show off the Mac UI

January 6, 2010 Leave a comment

A couple of software updates recently have reminded me just how good the Macintosh user interface can be. Functionality is good, but a swish interface really makes an app stand out.

First up is AppZapper, now at version 2. Version one was great for un-installing applications with it’s simple ‘drag an app onto the window and hit the button’ approach. The neat part was that AppZapper would also hunt out preference files and other associated junk (see above). The big improvement in version 2 is the Hit List (below). This shows all the Applications, Widgets, Preference Panes or Plugins on the machine for simple removal, even sorted by date, size or usage. No more hunting around the Library folder to bin that unwanted add-on. There’s also the new ‘My Apps’ to store license and serial information on purchased apps. Quite a lot of new features means AppZapper is well on the way to becoming an outstanding Application management package.

The second app is Version 2 of Panic’s Unison. Again, version one was a highly competent usenet client but version 2 sees all the windows integrated into one. There’s now built-in UnPAR/UnRAR/Join and recovery sets are only downloaded if needed. No need to fire up a web browser as search site’s can now be set up within Unison (and three are included to start you off). For anyone frequenting Usenet this looks like a great time saver. The screenshot below shows some of the default groups offered.

Apple releases new iMacs, Mac Mini, Macbook and Magic Mouse

October 20, 2009 Leave a comment

As was widely predicted this morning, Apple has updated its iMac, Mac Mini and Macbook ranges. Also new is the Magic Mouse, described as ‘the world’s first Multi-Touch mouse’. The new products feature:

iMac

  • 21.5 or 27 inch LED backlit glossy display
  • 3.06/3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor or 2.66GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor or 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
  • 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM with four SO-DIMM slots supporting up to 16GB
  • 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 9400M or 256MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 (21.5 inch model)
  • 256MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 or 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4850 (27 inch model)
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and 10/100/Gigabit Ethernet
  • Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive
  • 1 or 2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA hard drive
  • From £949

Mac Mini

  • 2.26GHz, 2.53GHz, or 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 1066MHz frontside bus
  • 2GB or 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of shared DDR3 SDRAM
  • 160GB, 320GB, or 500GB Serial ATA hard disk drive
  • From £499
  • Also available with two 500GB SATA hard drives and Snow Leopard Server for £799

Macbook

  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colours
  • 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 1066MHz frontside bus
  • 2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM with support up to 4GB
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
  • 250, 320 or 500GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard disk drive
  • 8x slot-loading SuperDrive
  • New Unibody enclosure
  • Up to 7 hour battery life
  • £799

Magic Mouse

Magic_MouseA new design with no buttons. Instead, the whole top of the mouse is a multi-touch surface that responds like the trackpad in the Macbook/Pro’s. Not cheap at £55 but certainly cutting edge.

Overall it’s a very strong line-up for the Christmas Market. I’m a bit surprised the Macbook is still just a single model at £799 but Apple have never been interested in the budget market. The iMacs now go from fast to ridiculously powerful, and while the 1920×1080 HD resolution screen appears to be becoming a standard, the 27 inch version offers an enormous 2560 by 1440 pixels. The Mac Mini is still expensive now has the server model leaked earlier this year. Could this become the perfect small office server?

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