I posted a while back on the various Antivirus apps available for the Mac. Anyone interested in an update should have a look at the article on Macworld that looks at the threat and makes some interesting points. And don’t forget that Windows running in a virtual machine (using VMware, Parallels or the free Virtualbox) is still Windows so needs protection.
One of the comments left after the article raised a good point, why hasn’t there been a major security breach of Mac OS X? Now that the Mac’s market share is growing there would be a lot of publicity for whoever writes the first widespread security threat, so where is it? is this luck, or is Apple doing something right?
The big push doesn’t start until Monday, but the third release of the OpenOffice.org office suite is now available from mirror servers. I grabbed the Mac version (with native Aqua interface) from the UK mirror server a short time ago but there is a long list of worldwide mirror servers at the distribution.openoffice.org site.
I had a quick play with the suite this morning and so far I’m impressed. The Writer component managed to import my CV (resume) with no problems. It’s a Word document with lots of fancy tables so the software coped well to keep all the elements where they should be. The interface looks a little dated with white toolbars, but for a free office suite the Mac version of OOo 3.0 looks like a highly usable bargain. Also available for Linux, Solaris and Windows, read on for a screenshot gallery. Read more…
Firefox 3 was due to hit the download sites at 6pm UK time but it’s just appeared at mozilla.com. Download the version for your OS here or choose an OS and language here. Spreadfirefox.com appears to be down at the moment, so hopefully this won’t interfere with the world record attempt.
A while back I compared the three biggest Virtualisation products for the Mac. Parallels, VMware Fusion and VirtualBox are all impressive products that performed equally, and I used the free Virtualbox for my occasional Windows needs. Parallels was part of the recent MacUpdate bundle which I bought, so I’ve been using that most recently. It’s been running well and seems more responsive than the previous versions I tried.
The reason for this recap is that VMware Fusion 2 beta 1 has been released, and adds some interesting new features. Multi display support will please some users, even if support for eight monitors is very niche. Importing Parallels and Virtual PC machines is a useful if late addition. DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2 is perhaps the most interesting, and I’m wondering how well this will work on my hackintosh. Perhaps the biggest improvement is that version 2 allows any printer attached to your Mac to be used direct from Windows without installing drivers.
Also new is an updated version 1.6 of Virtualbox. It’s now out of beta, although there are a few things still not supported:
Currently, we are aware of the following restrictions:
• No support for Host Interface Networking
• No support for Internal Networking
• No support for audio input
• No support for VT-x/AMD-V (rarely required)
• No support for raw disk access
• The numlock emulation isn’t implemented yet
• The VirtualBox kernel extension is currently accessible from all user accounts
Note that we are planning to address all known issues.
Things are certainly moving on in the Mac virtualisation market, so I’ll be trying all three products again this week with some updated results to follow.
When details of the next version of Microsoft Windows first started appearing, there was much talk of it being a lot more modular in nature. There were even Microsoft demo’s’ of a bare bones ‘MinWin’ that removed the many layers of Vista and gave a fast and compact core that used 40Mb or Ram and 25Mb of disk space. For once it sounded like Microsoft’s engineers were leading the development of Windows 7 instead of the marketing teams.
Unfortunately thing don’t seem to be going the way I had hoped. Arstechnica has an article titled ‘Why modular Windows will suck for Microsoft and suck for you’ that makes a good argument for why it’s not a good idea. It’s all about the way in which Windows will become modular, using software or services that are bought individually or subscribed to. If you want the full Windows package you end up paying more for it, or users who want to strip out the bits they don’t use could get a cheaper deal. Read more…