Mac News Review

Mac OS X Not on Backburner, Use iPad as a Second Display, Firmware Updates for 27" iMac, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2010.04.16

MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Apple Updates

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Steve Jobs: Mac OS X Not on Backburner

CultofMac's Leander Kahney says:

"Steve Jobs' busy fingers might be needing a rest right now. He has just responded to concerns that Mac OS X in [sic] on the backburner to the iPhone OS, which will get a major 4.0 upgrade later this year.

"Mac fans were worried about the fate of OS X after Daring Fireball's John Gruber said there will likely be no OS X 10.7 update at WWDC this summer...."

Use Your iPad - or Another Computer - as a Second Display

TUAW's Erica Sadun wonders if you're looking for a novel way to put your iPad to work. How about using it as a second monitor for your desktop or notebook? Last week, Erica got a first look at iDisplay. It offers a system hack that extends your desktop space onto your iPad or iPhone. She found it still very buggy, However, she also stumbled across a $30 program called Screen Recycler (more below) that you can use with with any platform that supports VNC, including spare Windows and Linux systems as well as iPhones and iPads.

Editor's note: We do just the opposite at Low End Mac headquarters, where we have two side-by-side G4 Power Macs sharing a mouse and keyboard. One runs OS X 10.4 Tiger for Classic Mode, the other runs OS X 10.5 Leopard, which is a requirement of NetNewsWire, my favorite RSS client. Using Teleport (free), the Leopard machine is the master and the Tiger Mac the slave. Holding down Ctrl lets me move from one computer and display to the other. A very practical way to manage two or more Macs with the same keyboard and mouse. (Note that some firewall settings can slow the switch between displays and prevent you from moving clipboard contents between computers. I learned that the hard way.) dk

Apple Exploring Combo Connector for USB 3.0 and DisplayPort

AppleInsider's Neil Hughes reports:

"A new proprietary cable from Apple could simultaneously transmit both USB 3.0 and DisplayPort data, cutting down on cable clutter with future Macs and allowing easier video output with portable devices.

"Revealed this week, Apple's patent applications for a 'Reduced Size Multi-Pin Male Plug Connector' and 'Reduced Size Multi-Pin Female Receptacle Connector' aim to offer more functionality with greater data transfer rates with a smaller cable connector form factor."

Editor's note: We are really looking forward to USB 3.0 making an appearance on Macs. It's 10x as fast as USB 2.0, bidirectional, and provides more bus power. No sign of it in this week's MacBook Pro updates. We also hope that Apple will support audio on Mini DisplayPort, an inexplicable omission. (See Apple's Half-Baked Support for DisplayPort.) dk

Apple Updates

Snow Leopard Security Update 2010-003

Security Update 2010-003 (Snow Leopard) is recommended for all users and improves the security of Mac OS X.

File Size: 6.50 MB

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6.3

SMC Firmware Update for 27" iMac

The 27-inch iMac SMC Firmware Update 1.0 fixes Target Display Mode compatibility issues on 27-inch iMac computers.

For more information about SMC firmware updates, please see this article: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT4117

File Size: 397 KB

System Requirements: 10.6.3 or later

EFI FW Update for Quad-core iMacs

The 27-inch iMac EFI FW Update 1.0 is recommended for all quad-core Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors 27-inch iMacs.

This update addresses the following:

  • Resolves an issue that sometimes caused high processor utilization while playing audio through the headphone output mini-jack.
  • Resolves an issue that prevented the display backlight from turning on after powering on the iMac.
  • When your computer restarts a gray screen will appear with a status bar to indicate the progress of the update.
  • Do not disturb or shut off the power on your iMac during this update.

For more information about EFI firmware updates, please see this article: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT4125

File Size: 2.1 MB

System Requirements: Mac OS 10.6.3 or later

MobileMe Backup v3.2

PR: MobileMe Backup 3.2 is recommended for all users of Backup 3. This update improves the reliability of backup restore and uses space more efficiently on your iDisk or local storage (e.g., external hard drive or DVD).

For more information of Backup 3.2 improvements, visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT3991

MobileMe ($99/year) is the online service from Apple that automatically keeps your email, contacts, calendar, bookmarks, and more in sync across multiple computers, your iPhone, iPod touch, and a suite of web apps on: http://www.me.com

For the latest news and information about Backup, visit: http://www.apple.com/support/mobileme/

File Size: 6.73 MB

System Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.4.11
  • Mac OS X 10.5.8
  • Mac OS X 10.6 or later.
  • MobileMe Account

Software

Diglloyd Releases Powerful Mac Performance Enhancement and Testing Tools

PR: Diglloyd MacPerformanceGuide.com (MPG), a leading resource on Mac configuration and performance optimization, is pleased to announce the immediate release of diglloydTools 2.0, consisting of DiskTester, MemoryTester, and IntegrityChecker.

Key features include:

  1. Solid state drive (SSD) performance enhancement - the recondition command helps restore performance to solid state drives whose performance has dropped, a problem that plagues most brands of SSDs on the market today;
  2. New drive validation - the fill-volume command forces a hard drive to map out bad blocks proactively, and it now includes verification of data as part of the read phase.
  3. Stream testing for HD video - An all new run-streams command, which tests how many simultaneous data streams can run, something HD video users must have to validate their video editing speed;
  4. Performance graphs - five graphing templates to visualize the fill-volume, run-sequential- suite, run-area-test, recondition and compute commands.
  5. Write/verify - the fill-volume and read-files commands have been enhanced to verify files previously created by DiskTester. This allows as many verification passes as desired.
  6. Enhanced stress test with memory verify - the stress command now verifies that copied memory matches the original, to rule out memory errors.

The diglloydTools suite are used as a critical aspect of the burn-in process for the recently announced MPG Photo Workstation and MPG Pro Laptop.

All three tools are 64-bit applications that require Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Upgrades are free for existing customers, and $39.99 for new customers.

TypeIt4Me 5.0

PR: Let your Mac do half your typing. Riccardo Ettore has released the latest update to his text macro utility TypeIt4Me, version 5.

Available since 1989, TypeIt4Me is the original text expander for Mac OS. Any time you enter text in your Mac by typing it at the keyboard, TypeIt4Me can help you do it faster and more accurately.

  • Define a number of abbreviations and the full text (or picture) clippings that they represent, then watch the Mac expand them on the fly even as you continue typing.
  • Type a short abbreviation and have it expand to a word, a phrase, even several pages worth of text in the blink of an eye.
  • Expand your custom-defined shorthand: some words and phrases are both common and awkwardly long. Find yourself using the word "qualifications" a lot? With Typeit4me you could just type "quls". Similarly, "ue" could become "user experience", "infsy" could expand to "information systems", and so on.

Breeze through your email correspondence

You'll find TypeIt4Me is a real boon if you write lots of emails. Once you get it up and running, you need never type your full name, address or email signature again. Common greetings, pleasantries and signoffs, too: "ds" could be "Dear Susan", while you could define "tyvmfye" to become "thank you very much for your email" and so on. "rrgbmch" could become "I've read your report and it's great, but I'd like you to make a couple of changes". You get the idea.

TypeIt4Me is not just great for short snippets, though - it will help you type those long messages with multiple paragraphs faster, too. It's particularly useful if you find yourself wearily writing very similar messages time and again to multiple individual recipients. With TypeIt4Me, you can write it just once then add it to your list of abbreviations so that it's available on tap as an expansion. No more repetitive brain strain injury for you!

Once you get used to this way of doing things, you'll honestly wonder how you ever coped without TypeIt4Me. It's the business.

TypeIt4Me puts all your boilerplate texts right at your fingertips. No fooling

Perhaps you work at a law firm and you constantly find yourself hunting around for that generic Terms of Service clause you're always copying and pasting into contracts. With TypeIt4Me it could always be just a couple of keystrokes away. Or maybe you work in desktop publishing and are always fumbling around for the latin text you use to populate sample layouts: simply typing 'loremtxt' could instamagically paste whole paragraphs of filler content into your InDesign or Quark document.

You don't have to remember all your abbreviations, though. You don't even have to type them at all if you don't want to. TypeIt4Me stays in your menu bar and allows you to see all your abbreviations in a handy dropdown list. Click on one and the full text or picture will instantly be inserted in your current active document or window.

TypeIt4Me can manage your passwords

If you're anything like we used to be, then you're probably up to your eyeballs in email accounts, blogging accounts, social networking accounts and myriad other web services that require passwords to log in and get to the good stuff. Most of these services insist that you should use hard to guess combinations of letters and numbers... but the trouble is you also find it hard to remember them. That's where TypeIt4Me steps in to save the day: you could store your google services password as "gpw", your twitter password as "tpw" and so on. Peace of cake... You don't need to remember them any more.

Correct misspellings - with zero effort

You know those annoying typos that are always catching you out? Tell TypeIt4Me about them and they'll be a thing of the past. Because "tihs" can become "this", "taht" can become "that" and "optalmoscope" can become "ophthalmoscope". You'll be able to type a lot faster, without stumbling over the common misspellings that used to slow you down. Add all of your most common misspellings to your TypeIt4Me abbreviations list, then type as wrecklessly fast as you like, leaving Typeit4me to instantly fix those mangled mistakes as you go along

System Requirements

This product is designed to run on Intel Macs with the following operating systems:

  • Mac OS X 10.6
  • Mac OS X 10.5

Price

  • Single user licence: $27
  • Student price: $14
  • Upgrade: $9

ScreenRecycler: Use Another Computer as an Additional Display for Your Mac

ScreenRecyclerPR: You like working with multiple documents and multiple applications? You hate when windows are being hidden behind your current application. There no such thing as enough screen real estate. ScreenRecycler is the solution for you.

What do you need ? Two computers.

Use your old iMac as a second screen for your new iMac like on the picture above. Use your notebook as an additional screen when you place it beside your desktop Mac.

If you own two computers with separate screens you can use ScreenRecycler. Even your laptop can be used as a second screen for your main machine.

Mac OS X on Windows PC's ? - For sure!

You have a Windows laptop/PC and a Mac? Use ScreenRecycler to create a second display for your Mac with it.

Why ?

Many Mac users have a second computer sitting right next to their main computer on their desk including a nice display. ScreenRecycler now enables you to use this spare computer as a second display for your Mac. You can even use an old Windows PC for that purpose.

Targeted to all users with two computers to extend screen real estate. It's like a dual monitor setup without the need to buy an additional monitor.

$29.90

MouseZoom X Now Available in 64-bit Version

PR: MouseZoom is a prefpane which speeds up your mouse cursor movement in Mac OS X. As of version 2.0, the speed is set "live" without having to log out before it takes effect. To do this, MouseZoom uses the same method as Apple's mouse panel.

New in version 2.4:

  • 64-bit version released

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.1 or later.

Platform Support: PPC/Intel

Free

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