Mac News Review

DST Fixes & Info for OS X, Classic Mac OS; Mac Sales Double in January; 3 Spotlight Enhancers; and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.03.09

The most important news this week is this weekend's change in Daylight Saving Time, particularly in Canada and the US, where the time change comes 3 weeks earlier than usual. Digital watches, televisions, VCRs, and many other electronics that have reliably switched to and from DST in the past won't make the change this weekend.

However, your Mac can. Any Mac running OS X 10.3 or 10.4 with the latest software updates installed will ride out the time change with no problems. This also applies to Classic mode when used with these versions of OS X.

The University of New Hampshire has released a software fix for Mac OS X 10.0 through 10.3, and Apple has released a Knowledge Base article that explains how to handle the change in OS X 10.0 through 10.4 as well as Mac OS 9.2.2 and earlier.

In other news, Apple doubled unit sales year-over-year in January, and Macs now account for over 6% of all computers on the Internet. PC Magazine declares the 24" iMac "nearly perfect", and Carbon Copy Cloner is growing into a full-fledged backup program. The software category also reports on three different Spotlight enhancers; maybe one of them will make Spotlight work the way you want it to.

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

The Time Change

News & Opinion

Reviews

Products

iPod Accessories

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

The Time Change

Daylight Saving Time Fix for Mac OS X 10.0 through 10.3

Mac OS X Daylight Saving Time Software Fix updates Macs running Mac OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3 to properly recognize the daylight saving time switch, moved up in March 2007.

Here are the steps to follow to download and install the CIS DST Fix package for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and below

  • Download "DST_Update.mpkg.zip" and the Installer will automatically start the update process.
  • Select your Startup Disk - usually "Macintosh HD".
  • Click on the Install button on the lower right side of the window.
  • You will need to type in your password to authenticate the installation. If the authentication fails, please try again and/or contact the person(s) responsible for your Macintosh.
  • The Installer will notify you that you will need to RESTART after it is finished.
  • When the Installer is finished, you should click the RESTART button.
  • Your DST Software Fix is complete!

New in version 1.0:

  • This is the first and likely final version of this software as it fixes the Daylight Savings Time issues in all versions of Mac OS X 10.3.9 and lower versions which were previously unfixable.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, or 10.3 only.

System Support: PPC/Intel

Free

2007 Daylight Saving Time Changes and the Mac OS

A new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"In 2007, several countries and regions will change the dates on which they observe Daylight Saving Time (DST). In the United States, all states except Arizona and Hawaii will begin observing Daylight Saving Time on March 11. Many provinces in Canada will also adjust their DST observance, as will some states and provinces in other countries. Daylight Saving Time observances vary between countries and regions and are subject to change by national and provincial governments.

"DST rule changes for the United States and most of Canada are already available in Mac OS X 10.4.5 or later

"That's right, the 2007 time zone and Daylight Saving Time rule changes for the United States and most of Canada are already available in Mac OS X 10.4.5 (released February, 2006) or later. However, some additional regions that recently adopted time zone and DST changes are available in the February, 2007 Daylight Saving Time Update, detailed below.

"February, 2007 Daylight Saving Time Update

"Apple is providing software updates for Mac OS X 10.3, 10.4 and later based on worldwide time zone information available as of January 8, 2007. To make sure that your clock maintains the proper time, simply install the updates that are shown for your computer in Software Update. You should install these updates even if your computer is used in a time zone that is not affected. For more details about the available updates, or if you have an earlier Mac OS version, see below.

"Mac OS X 10.4 and Mac OS X Server 10.4 Tiger

"The 2007 time zone and Daylight Saving Time rule changes for the United States and most of Canada are already available in Mac OS X 10.4.5 or later.

"Some additional regions that recently adopted time zone and DST changes are available in the February, 2007 Daylight Saving Time Update. This includes rule changes (as of January, 2007) for Australia, Brazil, the province of Alberta, Canada and several other regions.

"If you've not already done so, install Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.8 and the Daylight Saving Time Update.

"Mac OS X 10.3 and Mac OS X Server 10.3 Panther

"All time zone and Daylight Saving Time changes described above, as of January 2007, are included in the Daylight Saving Time Update, released in February, 2007. If you've not already done so, install Mac OS X Panther 10.3.9 and the Daylight Saving Time Update. For more information about this update, see this article.

"Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server versions 10.0.x through 10.2.8

"If you're still using Mac OS X 10.2.8 or earlier, you can adjust your clock manually using Date & Time preferences. Deselect the option to set date and time automatically, then set the time for your local time zone as needed.

"Mac OS 9.2 or earlier

"Still using Mac OS 9.2? Use the Date and Time control panel to deselect the option to observe Daylight Saving Time changes automatically, then enable Daylight Saving Time manually. Applications that run in the Classic environment of Mac OS X will honor the Daylight Saving Time setting in Mac OS X.

"Classic environment in Mac OS X

"Applications that run in Classic will honor the Daylight Saving Time setting in Mac OS X."

News & Opinion

Mac Sales More than Double in January

Barrons' Eric Savitz reports:

"The bugaboo in Apple's (AAPL) December quarter earnings report was that Mac sales were a little lighter than people had expected. So Apple bulls will be heartened to know that they seem to be selling like hotcakes in the current quarter.

"Andy Hargreaves, an analyst at Pacific Crest , points out in a brief research note today that the latest NPD data on PC sales show Mac sales up 108% year-over-year in January in dollars, and up 101% in units. December unit sales were up 55% year over year. He also notes that average selling prices for Macs increased 4% in the month on a year-over-year basis and 1% on a sequential basis.

"Mac notebook sales were especially strong,with units up 194% year-over-year in January, and a 221% increase in year-over-year notebook revenues, thanks to a higher ASP. January was the third highest revenue month ever for Mac notebooks, Hargreaves notes."

Macs Accounted for 6.4% of Internet Traffic in February

Ars Technica's Jacqui Cheng reports:

"Ahh, Apple's market share, my favorite Friday afternoon tea talk. New data from Market Share/NetApplications says that Macs held about 6.38 percent of the total operating system market in February of 2007. That number comes from the combination of Market Share's numbers for non-Intel-based Macs with Intel Macs, which stand on their own at 4.29 percent and 2.09 percent respectively. This marks a 0.26 percent rise over the month from January of 2007.

"MacDailyNews observes that Mac market share has risen an entire 2.05 percentage points from just August of last year, based on this data...."

Does OS X Need a Disk Defragmenter?

MacFixIt says:

"Defragmentation and disk optimization in Mac OS X collectively represent an issue nearly as contentious as the debate over repairing disk permissions - one camp argues that utilities purportedly performing these functions amount to little more than nostrums, while others claim real-world performance gains as a result of the tools' usage.

"Apple's input on the subject is, as usual, less than definite. The company states explicitly in Knowledge Base article #25668 (published in 2003) that that 'you probably won't need to optimize at all if you use Mac OS X,' then provides instructions for what you should do "if you think you might need to defragment."

"According Apple's advice, there are two scenarios under which you might need to defragment your drive:

  • You have many large files (such as digital videos)
  • Your disk is low on space (i.e. more than 90% full)

"If these are in fact your only concerns, there are some basic remedies."

How Bloated Are Universal Apps?

rixstep.com says:

"OS X users are increasingly protective of their disk free space.

"As more and more Apple Intel boxes roll out more and more OS X users are thinking about what it means to be 'universal'. Some say it's good to leave things as they are; others want to save disk space; but there's no general agreement on either side as to what the benefits would be.

"Universal binaries didn't start with OS X: NeXTstep used 'fat binaries' as did old Mac OS. NeXTstep fat binaries ran on several platforms all at once; Mac OS fat binaries (CFM/PEF packed in both forks) were used in the transition from 68000 to PowerPC.

"Current OS X fat or 'universal' binaries let applications run on either Apple PowerPC or Apple Intel computers, either 32-bit or 64-bit. The debate's been about whether performing a 'liposuction' on these binaries - removing the unused portion for absent hardware - is worth the trouble."

Intel's Next-Generation Core 2 Microprocessor

PC Magazine's Loyd Case reports:

"Intel announced in late January its next-generation Core 2 microprocessor, code-named 'Penryn,' and demonstrated the unit's prowess on two desktop PCs, two server/workstation configurations, and a laptop. Intel cofounder Gordon Moore (of Moore's Law fame) called it the biggest change in transistor technology in almost 40 years. We already have blazing-fast dual-core and even quad-core systems. So what's the big deal with Penryn?"

Reviews

24" iMac 'Nearly Perfect'

The Washington Times' Mark Kellner says:

"It's taken 25 years or thereabouts from the arrival of my first computer, a Sanyo MBC-1000, but I believe my search for the 'perfect' desktop one is over.

"The device sports a massive 24-inch liquid crystal display, big enough to make watching a video of the NBC-TV series 'Law & Order' enjoyable....

"There have been large-screen iMacs before, so what elements make this model my very-nearly-perfect choice?"

Products

Digital Foci Introduces Photo Safe

Digital Foci Photo SafePR: Digital Foci, Inc. has announced that that it will introduce Photo Safe portable digital photo storage with 40 GB, 80 GB, 120 GB hard drives and built-in memory card readers at this week's Photo Marketing Association Conference (PMA) in Las Vegas. Photo Safe is a portable hard drive that lets you quickly and securely save digital photos wherever you go, so you can keep snapping away and never worry about losing important photos or running out of memory card space while on the road.

Essential Traveler's Digital Camera Companion

Photo Safe is the essential traveler's digital camera companion featuring 40 GB, 80 GB, and 120 GB hard drive configurations for copying photos from memory card to the hard drive for safekeeping. Photo Safe provides the fastest copy speed on the market as compared to similarly priced products. Its text/icon backlit LED screen shows key system information, including operational status, battery life, remaining hard drive capacity, and active partition (Photo Safe supports multiple hard drive partitions). Copy status indicator displays percentage completed during copy, copy confirmation, and number of files copied upon completion.

A unique folder name that indicates media card type and copy sequence is automatically created for each copy task to help you keep organized. When you get home, simply connect Photo Safe to your computer to retrieve your saved pictures. With its user-replaceable Li-Ion battery that's rechargeable via computer USB port or external AC power, Photo Safe provides the ultimate convenience both at home and on the go.

Priced attractively for leisure photographers starting at $139, Photo Safe is a lower-cost alternative to the popular Digital Foci Picture Porter Elite. Both Photo Safe and Picture Porter Elite save photos on their portable hard drives so you don't have to bring heavy laptops on the road. The key difference is that Photo Safe uses a simplified operating system and lower priced backlit LCD for text-only display, whereas Picture Porter Elite features a 3.6" color LCD screen and advanced operating system for viewing photos and playing music and movies. See http://www.thomas-pr.com/pressreleases/digitalfocicomparisonchart.html for Photo Safe vs. Picture Porter Elite full comparison chart.

Photo Safe's 40 GB, 80 GB, and 120 GB hard drives let you free up expensive memory card space so you can keep snapping photos. Just insert the digital camera memory card into Photo Safe and directly download images - no cumbersome cabling or computer needed. Photo Safe easily copies the entire content of your memory card with the convenient one-touch Auto Copy button with copy speeds of up to 3.4 MB/sec, so a full 1 GB card can be copied in approximately 5 minutes.

Works with All Media Formats

Photo Safe works with all popular media card formats, including CF, MicroDrive, xD-Picture Card, MMC, SD/HC Card, miniSD, Memory Stick, MS PRO, MS Duo, and MS PRO Duo. You can also make copies of photos taken from friend's and family's digital cameras by inserting their cards into Photo Safe for instant archival of special moments.

Hard Drive Backup, Memory Card Reader, and Data Bridge between Computers

When connected to a computer, Photo Safe also functions as an external hard drive and memory card reader. Use Photo Safe to back up and archive digital images, music and important files from your computer through its high-speed USB 2 connection. Since Photo Safe is compatible with both Windows and Mac, you can also easily transfer files between computers with the different operating systems.

Photo Safe Features:

  • One-touch photo backup directly from memory cards without a computer
  • Memory card format support of CF, MD, MMC, SD/HC Card, Memory Stick, MS PRO, and xD-Picture Card (RS-MMC, miniSD, MS Duo, and MS PRO Duo with adapter)
  • Fast copy speeds - can copy a full 1 GB card in approximately 5 minutes
  • Backlit LCD screen for viewing operational status, active partition, remaining hard drive capacity, and battery life
  • Copy status indicator displays percentage completed, copy confirmation, and number of files copied
  • LED indicators show data access status for memory card and hard drive
  • External hard drive for backing up your computer
  • High-speed USB 2.0 for fast uploads and downloads to and from your computer
  • Compatible with both Windows and Mac
  • Supports multiple partitions on hard drive
  • Transfers files between multiple computers running different operating systems
  • Replaceable Li-Ion battery rechargeable via computer USB port or external power adapter
  • Auto shutoff function saves battery power

Lightweight at only 0.6 lb. (battery included) and compact with dimensions of 4.6" x 3" x 0.8", Photo Safe comes in 3 storage capacities: 40 GB, 80 GB, and 120 GB. It includes a rechargeable Li-Ion battery, USB cable, AC power adapter, carrying case, User's Guide, and Quick Start Guide. Photo Safe is available at Digital Foci's online store priced starting at $139 in April 2007.

Pro Sled - Mac Pro Hard Disk Drive Sled Released

The Pro SledPR: Trans International today announced the availability of The Pro Sled - Mac Pro hard disk drive sled - a must have accessory in any high volume production setup.

Power users need drives ready for easy exchange and replacement. The Pro Sled gives you the capability of unlimited swappable drives for your Mac Pro. Drives can be assigned and labeled for different clients, projects or backup. In a high volume, professional setting it is easier to avoid misplaced data and over written files when each client or project is assigned their own hard drive.

Once mounted on the Pro Sled, you can swap them, store them, or take them with you - they will plug directly into the Mac Pro main logic board. No power or data cables required. A true convenience and improvement for the power user.

Prices start at $29.95

Software

Carbon Copy Cloner Adds Backup Features with Beta of Version 3

PR: Carbon Copy Cloner version 3 is now available for beta testing.

In its simplest form, CCC will clone one hard drive to another, copying every single block or file to create an exact replica of your source hard drive. This is very useful if, for example, your laptop is damaged and you must send it in for repair.

CCC can also be used to perform regular backups of your data. When you select a source disk in CCC, you are presented with the contents of that disk (hidden items too). Simply uncheck the items that you do not want to backup, and CCC will provide ample indication what will and will not be copied. Select a target disk to which you would like to backup, then press the clone button.

The key to a successful backup plan is to actually do the backups regularly. When left to a human, the task often gets tacked on to the end of a very long list of other things to do. When you eventually have a catastrophe, the data is simply gone. You know that feeling - you just lost six years of family photos. Your kids being born, their first birthdays, their first everything. The answer to this is consistent and regular backups, placed on a schedule and handled automatically by your computer. CCC includes that functionality, and takes it even further.

Among the new features are:

  • Support for block-level disk-to-disk clones.
  • Support for backing up across the network.
  • The ability to drill down into folders to select exactly what gets copied and what doesn't (you can drill down indefinitely).
  • A more responsive interface and the ability to stop the clone.
  • More accurate feedback during the clone.
  • The ability to pick up where a previously aborted backup task left off.
  • More information about your disks are available within the CCC interface.
  • Advanced scheduling capabilities - choose what days to run your backups and how frequently they should run. You can also defer a backup if it starts at an inopportune time.
  • Now you can create a scheduled task that backs up your data whenever you attach a specific hard drive or iPod.

Intel-PowerPC Considerations

While CCC 2.3 is PowerPC binary, it does run via Rosetta on the new Intel Macs. A word of caution: Apple currently does not support booting an Intel Mac from an OS installation that came from a PowerPC Mac, and vice versa. Until Apple provides a Universal OS that is capable of booting both architectures, do not clone a PowerPC Mac to an Intel Mac or vice versa. User files, of course, can be copied between the two machines. If you get a new Intel Macintosh, consider using the Migration Assistant to transfer data from your PowerPC Macintosh to the new machine.

In its simplest form, CCC will clone one hard drive to another, copying every single block or file to create an exact replica of your source hard drive. This is very useful if, for example, your laptop is damaged and you must send it in for repair.

CCC can also be used to perform regular backups of your data. When you select a source disk in CCC, you are presented with the contents of that disk (hidden items too). Simply uncheck the items that you do not want to backup, and CCC will provide ample indication what will and will not be copied. Select a target disk to which you would like to backup, then press the clone button.

New in version 3.0b5:

  • Resolved an issue with the "Check for updates now" button returning an error suggesting that you are not connected to the Internet.
  • Resolved an issue where a message indicating that CCC had trouble enabling permissions on the target volume appeared even if permissions were already enabled on the target volume.
  • Resolved an issue in which a backup done with the "Copy selected files" option would incorrectly modify the creation date or modification date of certain files.
  • Resolved an issue where resource forks and other extended attributes would be copied indiscriminately every time a "Copy selected files" task was run, even if those items already existed on the target and had not changed.
  • Fixed a cosmetic issue related to resizing the Scheduled Tasks window.
  • The background tools included with CCC are now built Universal.
  • Resolved an issue where repeating a disk-to-disk clone would fail indicating that you must choose a source and despite that a source and target are already selected.
  • Imposed a debug log file size limit.
  • The clone description is no longer updated during the clone (caused unnecessary panic among some people).
  • CCC now properly prevents the unmounting of a source or target disk during a clone.
  • Resolved a minor cosmetic issue related to deselecting items in the items to be copied table.
  • Support for "incremental" backups - modified and deleted files are saved to a time-stamped directory on the target.
  • Included preliminary localizations for French, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish.
  • Support for checksumming a "Copy selected files" operation for users running 10.4.9 (when that is available).
  • CCC prevents a source or target volume from being unmounted during a clone.
  • A custom build of rsync is now included with CCC that resolves several bugs listed above.

System requirements: Mac OS 10.4.8 or later.

System support: PPC/Intel

Donationware

DasBoot Creates Bootable Emergency Flash Drive or Hard Drive

PR: SubRosaSoft has announced DasBoot version 1.0.2.

Do you have a shiny new flash drive or multi-use storage device in your pocket? Now you can turn it into a Mac OS X diagnostic, repair, and maintenance tool. DasBoot allows you to take any third party boot CD (such as those shipped by SubRosaSoft.com Inc, Prosoft Engineering Inc, Alsoft Inc, or Micromat Inc) and quickly create a bootable diagnostic device that contains any of your own utilities you may wish to install.

You can use your device to boot and repair Mac OS X computers* as needed without erasing it and taking away your ability to use it for other purposes such as playing music, or watching videos. With the help of DasBoot™ you get to carry all the tools you'll need with you. But unlike expensive third party alternatives, you'll have plenty of space left over in case you need to recover data.

Turn your pocket drive into a bootable toolkit.

DasBoot devices run software much faster than a CD/DVD repair disk. In addition you can reconfigure the device at any time to add new utilities, updated versions of software or newer versions of Mac OS X.

SubRosaSoft DasBoot helps you build a pocket-sized toolkit for your Mac - just the way you want it - and it's totally free! Just plug it in and all your tools will be at your fingertips.

DasBoot has been tested with the following disk utilities and data recovery tools, but will also run many others: CopyCatX, FileSalvage, MacForensicsLab, VolumeWorks, Drive Genius, Data Rescue II, DiskWarrior, TechTool Pro.

(*) Note - Users of DasBoot must have purchased licenses to install the various disk utilities and own an appropriate disk utility bootable CD/DVD to use as the source disk. DasBoot works with FireWire and USB external storage devices on your new Intel based Mac or FireWire only devices on PowerPC based Mac computers. Users who wish to have a forensically sound bootable device should use MacForensicsLab as their source disk.

DasBoot is free to download, and may be freely distributed.

MacShield Universal Protects Hard Drives from Unwanted Changes

PR: Centurion Technologies, a pioneer in hard drive security protection hardware and software, announces the official release of MacShield Universal. MacShield Universal is the next generation of hard drive protection software for Apple's new Intel-based processor and legacy PowerPC processors.

"Now all Mac users can be confident in the ultimate protection of their desktops," said Keith Rickman, vice president of Centurion Technologies. "MacShield Universal™ gives users peace of mind, total protection, and remarkable ease of use when using the product in a multiunit environment. A simple reboot, and the computer will be restored to its originally established configuration. "

This software is specifically designed to protect Apple computers from harmful and erroneous changes to the system image and hard drive. MacShield Universal™ provides enterprise-strength protection to computers, returning the hard drive to the predefined configuration upon restart and removing all temporary changes. With the introduction of Intel processors to Macintosh computers, MacShield Universal continues to protect computers from unwanted downloads and changes.

MacShield Universal is designed to clear unwanted changes such as downloads or deletions, system setting changes, and even many installed programs. When the user restarts the computer, all of the changes disappear, and the computer is restored to its original configuration. A "Persistent Storage" space can be set upon installation, where users can save documents, emails, and other information, which remains unharmed every time the computer is restarted. The software also allows the user to work with parallels, letting the user run both Mac and Windows at the same time while still protecting the computer.

MacShield Universal operates as a buffer zone, allowing the computer user to experiment without penalty or permanency. Changes are written to the temporary zone instead of the hard drive, therefore the system files will never be modified. Additionally, although viruses are not a major concern in the Macintosh platform, users have an extra layer of security that no future malware will penetrate the system hard drive. The software also protects the user from making accidental permanent changes to the hard drive. If a program is accidentally deleted, it will reappear on the computer when it is rebooted.

MacShield Enhanced Edition, which is compatible with Mac OS X.3 and above, can be purchased directly from Centurion Technologies, or from any of the company's distributors and resellers for $69.

coconutIdentityCard Reports Birthdate and Birthplace of Your Mac or iPod

coconutIdentityCardPR: coconutIdentityCard is a small app that reads out where and when your Mac and your iPod were built by Apple.

Just plug in your iPod while the app is running and it will show you the information about your iPod instantly.

Because it's Universal Binary, it will run also on the new Intel-Based-Macs.

Format of the date: dd.mm.yyyy

You also can enter any 11-character Apple serial number and the app will identify the build-location and the date when the product was built.

New in version 2.2:

  • Some bugfixes, fixed a bug which appeared on new MacBook and MacBook Pros, updated database

System requirements:

  • - Apple Macintosh built in or after 1997
  • - MacOS 10.3.9 or later
  • - optional: iPod (some issues known with

coconutIdentityCard is freeware

VMware Fusion for Mac Version 1.0b2, Build 41385 Released

PR: VMware Fusion for Mac is a desktop application that lets you create and run virtual machines on your Intel-based Mac. VMware's first product for the new Intel Macs makes it easier than ever to take advantage of the security, flexibility, and portability of virtual machines. Fusion provides an intuitive user interface for creating virtual machines, and for running preconfigured virtual machines created with VMware Workstation, VMware Server, and ESX Server. With Fusion, you can run your favorite Windows applications on your Intel-based Mac. You can also download virtual machines from the VMware Technology Network (VMTN) Website, which has a growing library of virtual appliances with a wide range of preinstalled and preconfigured applications and operating systems.

Features of VMware Fusion:

  • You can use 32-bit and 64-bit guest operating systems in Fusion virtual machines. Fusion supports Windows, Linux, and Solaris operating systems in virtual machines.
  • Fusion supports all Intel Mac hardware, including the new 64-bit Mac Pro and iMac.
  • Your virtual machines can have multiple virtual processors, taking advantage of the Intel Core Duo chips in today's newest Intel Macs.
  • Fusion supports high-speed USB 2.0 for a huge range of devices. Even devices that do not have drivers for Mac OS X will work in a virtual machine.
  • Virtual machines seamlessly integrate with your Mac: you can cut and paste text between your Mac and your virtual machines, drag and drop of files between your Mac and your virtual machines, and create shared folders on your computer so you can easily share files and folders between your Mac and your virtual machines.
  • You can burn CDs or DVDs to your Mac's rewritable optical drive from within your virtual machine.
  • You can resize your virtual machine's display dynamically.

New and Improved Features in Beta 2

This Beta 2 release of VMware Fusion for Mac includes the following new features and feature improvements:

  • Experimental 3-D graphics support - Play a selection of DirectX 8.1 games in Windows XP Service Pack 2 virtual machines.
  • Snapshot feature - Roll back your virtual machine to a known good state when something goes wrong in your virtual machine - for example, when your virtual machine picks up a virus, or when a software upgrade causes problems.
  • Improved networking - Automatically bridge to the computer's primary network interface.

Full support for Airport wireless networking, including virtual machines behind a NAT firewall and bridged to the local Airport network.

Support for up to ten virtual network interfaces

  • Improved Microsoft Vista support - Support for Microsoft Vista Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions.

Complete VMware Tools support for Microsoft Vista including copy/paste, dragging and dropping files, shared folders, and screen resizing.

  • Improved hardware editor - Add additional virtual hard drives to a virtual machine for needed capacity.

View the physical computer's battery status in the virtual machine.

  • Improved full screen mode - Support for plugging and unplugging displays while virtual machines are in full screen mode.

Improved usability: an onscreen tip shows how to enter and exit full screen mode easily.

  • Experimental support for Mac OS X Leopard - You can now install and run VMware Fusion on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Support is experimental because Mac OS X 10.5 is not yet released. Fusion will support the release version of OS X 10.5 in the final VMware Fusion release.

This Beta 2 release of VMware Fusion for Mac includes the following improvements and bug fixes:

  • Improved keyboard and mouse support - Third-party graphics tablets, keyboards, and mice no longer interfere with keyboard and mouse input.

Support for plugging and unplugging input devices while virtual machines are running

  • Improved CD/DVD support
  • Better support for mounting and unmounting discs in virtual machines
  • Quicken Scheduler corrupts keyboard and mouse input in virtual machines - Offer workaround to disable Quicken Scheduler when it is detected.

Games Compatible with Fusion Experimental 3-D Acceleration

VMware testing has determined that the following games, running in Windows XP Service Pack 2 virtual machines, are playable with Fusion experimental 3-D acceleration:

  • Aliens vs. Predator Demo
  • Breath of Fire IV
  • Grand Theft Auto III (Tip: Set the Display Setup option Trails to OFF.)
  • Hitman 2
  • Lord of the Realms III
  • Max Payne 1
  • Max Payne 2
  • Need for Speed Porsche Demo
  • RalliSport Challenge
  • Tony Hawk 3
  • X-2 Rolling Demo

The fixed-function tests in 3dMark2001 operate successfully in Windows XP Service Pack 2 virtual machines with Fusion experimental 3-D acceleration.

If your Mac uses the Intel GMA 950 graphic chipset (found in Mac Minis and MacBooks), you may experience performance issues with 3-D enabled. Try increasing the memory for the virtual machine or lowering the resolution of the game.

You can download VMware Fusion for Mac and obtain a beta-use serial number.

Spotlaser Spotlight Enhancer

PR: Every file on your computer has name, location, date and contact information, but it's not up to you to remember all this, that's what computers are for! With hard drives getting bigger every year, more and more files are saved every day. But where did you save them? Can you get to them easily? If you're not careful in saving your files where you know you'll find them, you could have a hard time retrieving them. You may know part or all of a file's name, information that a file contains, or other related information about a file. But how do you use this information to your advantage? The inbuilt search functions of Finder in Mac OS X give you the capability to find files, but without the flexibility and ease you may want or need.

That's where Spotlaser comes in. Spotlaser enables you to get results that are more focused and relevant to your requirements.

Spotlaser is perfect for live searching or to create Smart Folders for your most common searches.

The 3 easy steps to finding that file with Spotlaser:

1. Answer any one or more of the following 4 questions:

  • In the What... section: What are your search terms?
  • In the Where... section: Where on your computer you want to search?
  • In the When... section: When was the file created/modified/last opened?
  • In the Who... section: Whose name is attributed to the file?

2. Click on the Search button at the bottom of the window.

3. View the results of the search in a Finder Smart Folder.

The Spotlaser search bar at the top of the Spotlaser window provides the ability to perform a quick filename-only search, much like the way searches worked in previous versions (pre 10.4) of Mac OS X. This enables you to find that file without sorting through all the extra files that a normal Spotlight search would throw at you. Use the wildcard character * if you don't know the exact name of the file you're after.

What... Where... When... Who... by answering any one or more of these these four simple questions, you can find that file lurking on your overcrowded hard drive. After entering your required information, press the Spotlaser button on the bottom of the Spotlaser window and a new smart folder (named "Spotlaser Search Results") will be opened in the Finder.

If you have selected the "Save Search Results" checkbox, a save sheet will ask for a name and location to save the Smart Folder.

With What... file name, contents or metadata searches, you can search for a file by name, content, metadata, or any combination of the three. By searching for all the words (logical AND), any of the words (logical OR), without the words (logical NOT) or even the exact phrase, you can find that file you want or need. Use as many search terms as you please, separated by spaces. Wildcard searches are possible by using the * character anywhere in your search terms. Select the "Word based" check box to perform "smart word searches". Word based searches are an alternative to using the wildcard character * in your searches. Word based searches detect spaces and changes from lowercase letters to uppercase letters. Select the type of file you're looking for from the File Type menu. Don't know the exact size of the file you're looking for? Optionally enter a size value and you can find files that are smaller, bigger or approximately the size you want, by way of Spotlaser's "fuzzy" search method.

Where... Location searches - use the quick-select buttons to search all connected drives, your boot drive or your home folder, or use the Open... button to pick somewhere more specific. Focus your search however you please.

When... Date searches - When was this file created, last modified or last opened? Today, yesterday, this week, in the last 47 days, whenever. You can search by date by selecting an exact date, or a range of dates by selecting starting and ending dates from the calendar date picker, selecting from a list of time frames, or in the past X number of days, weeks, months or years.

Who... Contact searches - Whose name is attached to this file? Search by Author, Composer, Contact, Contributer, Lyricist, Publisher or Recipient if your file contains this information in it's metadata.

The Spotlaser disk image includes a User Guide which outlines all the details of Spotlaser usage.

Spotlaser is donationware.

New in version Version 1.3.1 (20060628)

  • Fixed: What... filesize search popup button now works correctly.
  • Fixed: What... filesize searches using the "Approximately" selection now works correctly.
  • Fixed: Minor interface irregularities.

New in version 1.3 (20060616)

  • New: Spotlaser is now a Universal application.
  • New: Japanese localisation by Hiroto Sakai.
  • New: Spotlaser results window now named "Spotlaser Search Results".
  • New: "Save Search Results" checkbox. When selected, a save sheet will display asking for a name and location to save the Smart Folder.
  • New: "Add to Saved Searches" checkbox in the save sheet. When selected, the Smart Folder will also be saved to the folder ~/Library/Saved Searches/
  • New: Appearance of the Spotlaser window matches the selection made in the "System Preferences/Appearance/Appearance" popup button. (i.e. Blue or Graphite).
  • New: What Size multiplier popup button not visible when Combo Box set to "Any Size". When entering a number, press tab for mutiplier popup to display.
  • New: "Not in the past" option for When.. popup button.
  • Modified: Where... text field truncates the middle of the text when the length exceeds the available space.
  • Modified: Filesize popup now includes "Any size" instead of it being in the Combo Box.
  • Modified: Typographical elements.
  • Modified: Visual elements.
  • Fixed: You no longer need to press enter (return) twice to initiate a search.

System requirements: Spotlaser requires you to be running Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or later to perform its functions.

System Support: Universal binary

MoRU: Smarter Searching for Smarter Searchers

PR: MoRU is an application that provides an enhanced interface to Apple's Spotlight searching tool found in Mac OS X 10.4. MoRU allows you to create more powerful searches than is possible using the basic Spotlight interface, while improving usability.

MoRU was designed not just as a searching tool, but as a utility that keeps recently used documents and applications right at your fingertips. All searches in MoRU are automatically sorted according to when each items was most recently modified, opened, or created, which means that items that you have worked on recently will be right at the top of the search results. As files are modified, opened, or created, they bubble to the top of the list, keeping them easily accessible.

MoRU has many advantages over the basic Spotlight interface:

The Power of "OR"

The basic Spotlight interface only allows you to compose searches using the "AND" operator (intersection). MoRU takes searching to the next level by allowing you to mix in the "OR" operator (union) in your searches. For example, you can search for files which are either "MP3" or "Mpeg4".

Be Precise

MoRU gives you more control over the way in which text is searched. You can choose to match just file names, just content, or both. You can choose to match all words, any word, or using an operator expression. In the basic Spotlight interface, the way in which text is searched is neither obvious nor very controllable, and is frequently not what you mean.

Time for a Change

Files which have been used recently are more likely to be needed again soon than are files which have not been used recently. Acknowledging this fact, MoRU always keeps search results sorted by time (last modification date, last opened date, or creation date), thus bringing recently used files to the top of the results list.

The Path Less Traveled

With the basic Spotlight interface, you need to click on a file in the search results to see its path. Never to be outdone, MoRU shows you the path to each file in the search results directly in the search results.

Details, Details, Details

The basic Spotlight interface makes you jump through hoops to view details about a file. In MoRU, the gory details are only a click away.

Be Exclusive

Don't want to see certain files? MoRU allows you to exclude files from a Smart Group by location, type, or name.

Not 'till I Say Go!

The basic Spotlight interface has an annoying habit of performing your search while you are still in the middle of defining it. As a result, you may spend more time staring at the "spinning beach ball of death" than actually defining your search. MoRU, on the other hand, does not get in your way like this. When defining a search, searching only starts when you say so. You can hit the "Apply" button at any time while defining your search to see the results of the current search criteria, or just wait until you are done and hit "OK".

Search within a Search

MoRU adds another dimension to searching by allowing you to filter the results of a search by name, path, or content using an operator expression ("and", "or", and "not"). For example, if you want to see all the PDF files within the results of a search that contain other types of files as well, just type "PDF" into the "Filter by Name" field, and all non-PDF files will be temporarily hidden. Alternatively, switch to "Filter by Path" and see all matching files under a specified path.

Copy To/Move To

Copying or moving a file from within MoRU couldn't be simpler. In addition to Drag and Drop support, MoRU provides popup menus that allow you to quickly drill down to a target folder for a copy or move.

Changes between version 1.3 and 1.2:

  • Now supports file exclusions by location, type, and name in Smart Groups.
  • Now supports operator expressions in filtering and in text attribute constraints.
  • A new "Filter by Content" feature.
  • Improved file details view.
  • "Reveal in Path Finder".
  • Integration with SpotMeta.
  • Several performance improvements.
  • Column and drawer settings are now saved.
  • A new Preferences window in which you can specify default searching options.

Changes between version 1.2 and 1.1:

  • Added support for "OR" in search constraints.
  • Added support for all Spotlight attributes.
  • Improved text constraint interface.
  • Improved date searching interface.
  • Added an "Apply" button to Smart Group editor.
  • Added "Quick Searches" that don't require you to define a Smart Group.
  • Copious visual/aesthetic improvements.
  • Added a "Path" column to the search results table.
  • Added a "count" indicator to the Smart Group list.
  • Clicking on the MoRU dock icon will now unhide the main window.
  • Right clicking in search results table now performs a select.

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

System Support: PowerPC or Intel Mac

MoRU is $10 shareware. You can try out MoRU for free for up to 30 days. MoRU will be fully functional during that time.

HoudahSpot File Search Tool Based on Apple's Spotlight Technology

PR: HoudahSpot leverages Apple's Spotlight engine to bring you a powerful, fast and easy to use desktop search tool.

HoudahSpot will put you in control of your files. It's your files after all.

Go find them. Express your desires. Be they simple or complex. HoudahSpot can manage.

Handle them files (with care). Start browsing right from the search results. Open them, move them, trash them. Well, do as you please.

Features

HoudahSpot is a file search tool based on Apple's Spotlight technology. It enables users to quickly create and store powerful search queries.

Easy to Use

HoudahSpot has been designed from the ground up with ease of use and convenience in mind. You will feel right at home. We feel it is not the user who needs to be educated, but the software that should be made to the user's need.

Powerful

With HoudahSpot you may search by name, contents, date, type or any other file attribute. It all starts with a basic query form. Take it from there to pinpoint the files you are looking for. Create complex queries by combining criteria using Boolean operators.

Fast

HoudahSpot leverages Apple's powerful and fast Spotlight engine. It does not waste this engine's horsepower to run searches before you are done entering criteria. The search starts only at your command.

Live Results

Search results remain up-to-date as long as they are on screen. Create a new file and it instantly shows up in the searches that match it.

Two-paned Query Window

The top half of the query window allows you to express search criteria. The bottom half defines the search scope.

Three-paned Results Window

The top half of the results window lists the file matching your query. This list may be sorted at wish. The action menu enables you to open files, reveal them in the Finder, move them or trash them.

In the bottom half you will find a column based file browser. The leftmost column shows the siblings of the currently selected search result. To the far right is a larger view of the currently selected file.

Hot Keys

HoudahSpot may be configured to start up as soon as you log in to your Mac. It is then ready to jump to your service at the press of a simple key stroke.

Query Stationeries

You may save your queries for later reference. A query set up with a few basic criteria and a search scope might serve as a starting point for future searches.

Saved Searches

Saved searches are much like smart folders. When saving a search its run state and result sort order are saved along with the query. A search saved while running jumps back to life as soon as it is opened. HoudahSpot comes with 2 such predefined searches: 'Applications' and 'Recent Documents'.

Templates

Queries saved to the template directory always are readily accessible from the 'Template' menu. You may assign keyboard shortcuts to up to ten templates. Templates may be used as stationeries or as smart folders.

Good Looking

Looks aren't everything. But still ... . See for yourself.

HoudahSpot leverages Apple's powerful and fast Spotlight engine. It improves in many ways over the default interface in Mac OS X 10.4:

  • Ability to express complex queries
  • Flexible browsing of results
  • It does not waste this engine's horsepower to run searches before the user is done entering criteria
  • User definable templates
  • Hot key access to saved searches: Recent Documents, Applications

New in version 1.4.8:

  • New Feature: Get Finder Info
  • New Feature: folder (cmd-opt) drop on application icon
  • New Feature: Get Finder Info
  • Bug fix: Empty NOT group

New in version 1.4.7:

  • Bug fix: "is" criteria, "Is" operator no longer is case sensitive

New in version 1.4.6:

  • Bug fix: The bug which causes HoudahSpot to crash at boot time on certain machines has been squashed. For good this time. Promise.
  • Bug fix: HoudahSpot did not correctly search for strings containing a single quote.
  • Bug fix: On column resize, labels in the result list wrapped to a new line rather than being truncated.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.7 or later with Spotlight enabled.

System support: PPC/Intel

$14.95 Shareware

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