Sunday, June 27, 2010

10.6.4 - Go For It

I have been running the 10.6.4 update since release, while keeping an eye on MacFixIt and Macintouch to see who is having problems. The good news is, none for me and few for others. Apparently it does downgrade your Flash installation, though, so before you download the 10.6.4 Combo Update (huge!) get Flash or newer from Adobe so you can install immediately after updating the OS.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New MacMini; Safari 4.1 has problems

New Mac Mini

The PMUG meeting was last night but no one had a hint. This morning, Apple announced a revised MacMini.

I've been using my year-old version with my HDTV and it has worked just fine but it looks like the new one is destined to be a "real" AppleTV. It now has an HDMI port in the back, and a built-in SD card slot so you can plug your own video camera info right in. It also has the usual DisplayPort, 4 USB ports, FireWire 800, Ethernet and built-in AirPort.

This one is more efficient: smaller case, all aluminum uni-body like the other Macs, low power requirements, no "brick" transformer; just a power cord to the wall. The old one was $599 and $799; this one is $699 and you can boost the hard drive size, RAM up to 8 Gb and faster processor. If I weren't satisfied with mine I would be getting this.


Glad I warned you off of this update. The worst experiences have happened to Tiger users who upgraded to 4.1. I have had only a little trouble with 5.0 for Snow Leopard, mostly involving Click2Flash not properly rendering a video window. The fix has been to control-click on the white space where the video should be, and choosing Load Flash from the popup menu. Other sites offer no problems at all.

The serious issues with 4.1 seem to be caused by obsolete versions of Pith Helmet and SIMBL, add-ons that will need updating. Problems include frequent crashes or outright failure to launch. I have fixed them by removing all traces of previous versions of Safari and all bits of the add-ons. The current Click2Flash, once reinstalled, does work with the new version.

Safari 5, like Firefox, now supports proper plug-ins, so no dirty hacks will be needed any longer. We will start to see those appearing soon.

Bottom line is this: Tiger users, do not upgrade to 4.1 until there is a 4.1.1 or later update, and it won't hurt you to not update it at all. If you don't like messing with your system and aren't prepared to revert to a clone backup, wait until 5.1 is out.

10.6.4 is out

For God's sake, don't get this!!

Give it a week at least. Supposedly it fixes some of the problems 10.6 users have had with Adobe CS3. About time, I'd say.

There may be another security update. Again, wait. Don't do anything until July. Please.

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Safari released today (6/7/10)

Here is the first clue that Apple is ending support for Tiger. An update to Safari that takes it from 4.0.5 to 4.1.0 is probably the minimum they can do to support HTML 5 and other updates, but the leap to Safari 5.0.0 is reserved for Leopard and Snow Leopard.

There is little to say on the Apple site about what features are new in this version, but it's no secret that Apple wants to make sure they fully support all alternatives to Flash without abandoning it completely.

I'm downloading it now, and I will probably install it and start using it immediately, but not before making a clone backup that will let me revert to 4.0.5 if it turns out to be a total toad. Remember, unlike Firefox, it is impossible to remove all parts of Safari and downgrade to a previous version. If you don't want to risk it, wait a few weeks and see what happens with other users.

Oh, and in other news, Apple released a new iPhone. Looks pretty nice. 3GS users can get the new OS and will not be denied any software features of the new one. If you have been waiting on the phone, remember that the unlimited data plan is history but unless you plan on subscribing to Netflix for iPhone, you probably won't need that much bandwidth. ATT claims only 2% of their users burn through that much data, but they're probably exaggerating and it's closer to 20%. They have finally decided to sell us tethering capability (using the phone as a modem for your laptop) but the price they want seems hardly worth it.

I'll let you know immediately if Safari turns out to be a turkey, and after a couple of weeks if I have no trouble with it.