Mac News Review

Core 2 Extreme Hits 3.4 GHz, Free Old Mac Software, Restore Pre-Leopard Dock Folders, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.11.16

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

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

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

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iMac Still the Desktop Star

BusinessWeek's Cliff Edwards reports:

"Zooming around a sharp corner while playing Electronic Arts' Need for Speed video game on my computer, I spun out of control, hit a guardrail, and sailed over a cliff to my doom. It's an outcome that's all too common now, but one that wasn't even possible until Apple began using zippy Intel processors in its computers, prompting EA to create versions of its games for the iMac.

"It's been just a year since Apple made the switch, and the iMac has very quickly become the machine to beat if you want an all-in-one desktop computer. Between its design makeover, new multimedia software, and the ability to play games once confined to Windows-based computers and dedicated game consoles, the iMac remains the undisputed champ even as rivals Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, and Sony step up their offerings."

Sonnet Announces Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' Support

PR: Sonnet Technologies announces full support for Mac OS X Leopard (v10.5), the latest operating system software release from Apple Inc. Sonnet's entire expansion-card family - PCI Express (PCIe) cards for Mac Pro, Xserve and Power Mac G5; PCI/PCI-X cards for Power Mac G5 and Power Mac G4; ExpressCard/34 cards for MacBook Pro; CardBus cards for PowerBook G4 computers; and Encore/ST and Encore/MDX processor upgrade cards for Power Mac® G4 and Xserve G4 computers - are Leopard compatible. Sonnet's award-winning Fusion storage systems are also 100% Leopard compatible.

Sonnet makes the most complete suite of Leopard-compatible upgrade products on the market, enabling Mac users to add connections and improve system performance and usability. Sonnet's Macintosh-compatible expansion cards include eSATA (external Serial ATA), internal SATA, FireWire, FireWire 800, USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, wireless, and multimedia card reader/writers. Sonnet's Encore/ST G4, Encore/ST G4 Duet, and Encore/MDX G4 Duet processor upgrade cards improve the processing performance of numerous Power Mac G4 computers, and G4-equipped Xserves. In some Power Mac G4 computers, Sonnet 1 GHz-to-1.8 GHz processor upgrade cards may enable the use of Leopard, which requires at least an 867 MHz G4 processor.

For more information on the complete selection of Sonnet's Leopard-compatible products, please visit Sonnet's website.

A New Source for Old Versions of Free Mac Software

Old Apps dot comPR: is a download site for obsolete Mac software applications, now Providing 2,770 old versions of 191 programs. Mission Statement

The idea behind is ingeniously simple. Our mission is to provide our users with a wide assortment of current versions of familiar software, and their predecessors, for free. Our database is maintained up to date with older versions of software as they become readily available. Our users can be assured that this process involves our careful and meticulous screening of each individual program and version listed on Our pledge is that our users will never end up with any malware, Trojans, and/or any other variation of viruses.

While most websites provide downloads of current versions, caters to a different market of interest by providing older versions of the same useful programs. Often newer versions are more complicated to use and we understand that it is hard to find older, more user-friendly versions of popular software. Many software providers do not include older versions of their software on their sites, therefore, has found its market niche and provides a vital intermediary function for our users' software needs. We are more than happy to accommodate you with "freedom of choice" by providing multiple versions for you to choose the optimal software version that is right for you.

As software updates are being released more frequently, not every computer is able to keep up with the minimum requirements of new software; hopes that we can provide a means to circumvent this problem. Many users with slow Internet connections may want to attain a leaner program to avoid the common frustrations associated with the increasingly larger sizes of modern programs. lists file sizes next to all versions of software to ensure maximum customization. As we are expanding our library, we will diligently continue to add features to the site, so be sure to keep in touch with us.

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Intel's Advance in Transistor Design Means More Powerful CPUs with Less Power Consumption

PR: Sixteen eco-friendly, faster and 'cooler' chips incorporate 45nm Hafnium-based high-k metal gate transistors

sunflowersMichele Lambrech and Sarah Leahey enjoy sunflowers, courtesy of Intel. Intel handed out sunflowers in New York's Times Square to mark the introduction of its first lead-free processors. Sunflowers have the ability to pull lead from soil. (Photo: Business Wire)

Built using an entirely new transistor formula that alleviates the wasteful electricity leaks that threaten the pace of future computer innovation, Intel Corporation has unveiled 16 server and high-end PC processors. In addition to increasing computer performance and saving energy use, these processors also eliminate eco-unfriendly lead and, in 2008, halogen materials.

Called the biggest transistor advancements in 40 years by Intel cofounded Gordon Moore, the processors are the first to use Intel's Hafnium-based high-k metal gate (Hi-k) formula for the hundreds of millions of transistors inside these processors. These Intel Core 2 Extreme and Xeon processors are also the first to be manufactured on the company's 45-nanometer (nm) manufacturing process, further boosting performance and lowering power consumption.

Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad-coreProcessors using Intel 45nm Hafnium-based High-k Metal Gate transistor technology. Using an entirely new transistor formula, the processor incorporate 420 million transistors for each dual core chip, and 840 million for each quad core chip. An average human finger nail is 20 million nm thick - Intel transistors are only 45nm. (Photo: Business Wire

Combining these two advancements with new processor features enables Intel to continue delivering faster and more energy-efficient processors that are better for the environment. The breakthroughs clear the path for Intel to design products that are 25 percent smaller than previous versions and, thus, more cost-effective, as well as the ability next year to pursue new ultra mobile and consumer electronics "system on chip" opportunities.

Penryn processors with pinProcessors on an Intel 45nm Hafnium-based High-k Metal Gate ''Penryn'' Wafer photographed with a pin. 30 Million transistors fit on the head of a pin. Using an entirely new transistor formula, the processors incorporate 420 million transistors for each dual core chip, and 840 million for each quad core chip. (Photo: Business Wire)

"The intellects, physics and designs that went into solving one of the industry's most daunting challenges are awe-inspiring and I congratulate the Intel teams for this breakthrough achievement," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "Best yet, this feat, coupled with our industry-leading architectures, means faster and sleeker computers, longer battery life and better energy efficiency. Our objective is to bring consumers a new class of computers delivering a full Internet experience in ever-smaller, more portable form factors."

The new 45nm (a nanometer is 1 billionth of a meter) processors boast nearly twice the transistor density of previous chips built on the company's 65nm technology - that is up to 820 million transistors for quad-core processors, each using Intel's new formula.

Penryn processors with pennyProcessors on an Intel 45nm Hafnium-based High-k Metal Gate ''Penryn'' Wafer photographed with a penny. Using an entirely new transistor formula, the processors incorporate 420 million transistors for each dual core chip, and 840 million for each quad core chip. (Photo: Business Wire)

New High-End Desktop Processor

The Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 quad core processor, the world's first 45nm Hi-k desktop processor, delivers more of the adrenaline that hard-core gamers and media enthusiasts demand. Enhancements such as a larger L2 cache and support for new Intel SSE4 media instructions help bring desktop performance to "extreme" new levels.

"One of our goals was to optimize Crysis in order to deliver the ultimate quality, bringing mind-blowing game play to the latest hardware," said Dr. Douglas Binks, R&D manager, Crytek. "With the new 45nm Hi-k Intel Core 2 Extreme processors, we use multicore technology to enable physics, particle effects and audio on separate cores, helping Crysis to create an astounding gaming experience."

Family of 45nm Server Processors; World-Record Speed

New to the Intel lineup of server processors are 15 server dual-core and quad-core 45nm Hi-k Intel Xeon processors. The 12 new quad-core chips boast clock speeds ranging from 2 GHz up to 3.2 GHz, with front side bus speeds (FSB) up to 1600 MHz, and cache sizes of 12 MB. The three new dual-core chips feature clock speeds of up to 3.4 GHz, an FSB of up to 1600 MHz, and cache sizes of 6 MB.

The 45nm Hi-k Intel Xeon processors are compatible with server platforms using the Intel 5000 chipset family. In addition, Intel is launching three platform solutions to support 45nm processors, including:

  • The Intel 5400 chipset-based platform (previously code named "Stoakley") that is optimized for high-bandwidth applications such as high-performance computing (HPC).
  • The Intel 5100 Memory Controller Hub chipset and Intel ICH-9R I/O controller (previously code named "Cranberry Lake"). These are cost-optimized solutions that support either one or two processors and also provide reduced power consumption using native DDR2 memory.
  • The Intel 3200 chipset-based platform (previously code named "Garlow") that is specifically designed for single-processor entry servers.

The 45nm Hi-k Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor 5400 series sets a number of world records(b) on key industry-standard benchmarks. A HP Proliant DL380 G5 Server sets a new TPC-C(a) mark with a score of 273,666 tpmC and an SAP-SD(a) record with a score of 2449 SD-Users. A Dell PowerEdge(a) 2950 server running BEA JRockit(a) JVM delivered a record-breaking SPECjbb(a)2005 result of 303130(b) BOPS. Dell also sets a new virtualization performance record on VMmark benchmark running VMWare ESX Server with a score of 8.47 at 6 tiles. Using a PRIMERGY RX300 S4 Server, Fujitsu-Siemens set a new SPECint(a)_rate2006 record with a score of 138.

Additionally, the 5400 series chipset-based platform with 1600 MHz Front Side Bus sets new world records(b) on key high-performance computing and bandwidth-intensive benchmarks including the SPECfp(a)_rate2006 benchmark that measures floating point throughput performance. World records were also achieved in key HPC benchmarks, including Fluent(a), LS-Dyna(a), SPECOMP2001(a) and Abaqus(a). For detailed system and testing information on these and other performance benchmarks, visit:

Intel's 45nm Hi-k Xeon processors also extend performance-per-watt leadership by delivering an improvement of 38 percent1 over its previous-generation Quad-Core Xeon 5300 Series processors.

The move from 65nm to 45nm involves more than just a shrink of current chip designs. The processors include such additional features as new Intel Streaming SIMD Extensions 4 (SSE4), which are 47 new instructions that speed up workloads including video encoding for high-definition and photo manipulation, as well as key HPC and enterprise applications. Software vendors supporting the new SSE4 instruction set include Adobe(a), Microsoft(a) and Symantec(a).

Additional processor performance enhancing architectural features include:

  • Enhanced Intel Virtualization Technology - Virtual machine transition (entry/exit) times are improved by an average of 25 to 75 percent through hardware with no changes to software required.
  • Fast Division of Numbers - A fast divider roughly doubles the speed over previous generations for computations used in nearly all applications through a technique called Radix 16. The ability to divide instructions and commands faster increases a computer's performance.
  • Unique Super Shuffle Engine - By implementing a wider 128-bit shuffle unit, performance significantly improves for SSE-related instructions that have shuffle-like operations. This feature will increase performance for content creation, imaging, video and high-performance computing.

Pricing of the 45nm Hi-k Intel Xeon processors depends on the model, speeds, features and amount ordered, and ranges from $177 to $1,279 in quantities of 1,000. The 45nm Hi-k Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 quad core processor is priced at $999 in quantities of 1,000. Depending on the model, these processors are available today or within 45 days.

Intel does not control or audit the design or implementation of third-party benchmarks or Web sites referenced in this document. Intel encourages all of its customers to visit the referenced Web sites or others where similar performance benchmarks are reported and confirm whether the referenced benchmarks are accurate and reflect performance of systems available for purchase.


Sonnet's Carapace Keyboard Cover for Apple Aluminum Keyboard

PR: Sonnet Technologies has announced the immediate availability of the Carapace keyboard cover for the new Apple wired aluminum keyboard. Compatible with US and international keyboards, Carapace is custom-molded to fit each key, yet allows normal typing. With Carapace in place, the keyboard's beauty is preserved, and typing speed and accuracy are unaffected - its thin, flexible construction provides a clear view of the keys and dampens the sound of keystrokes.

Carapace Keyboard CoverLike Carapace for MacBook Pro, MacBook, and the previous generation of Apple desktop keyboards, Carapace for the Apple wired aluminum keyboard is made of high-quality silicone with a proprietary coating. Compared to traditional sticky silicone skins, the unique Sonnet coating provides the dual benefits of being antistatic so as not to attract dust, and having a more natural feel so as to feel comfortable even during long typing periods. Carapace for the Apple wired aluminum keyboard is easy to install and remove, withstands heavy typing and prolonged use, and is washable with soap and water. Carapace keeps Apple keyboards looking clean and new.

Carapace Keyboard CoverIn a world full of sticky fingers, cookie crumbs, and knocked-over water bottles, your computer's keyboard is under constant attack - protect it with one of Sonnet's high-quality Carapace™ keyboard covers! Carapace encloses each key, and covers the spaces between to safeguard your keyboard from dust, crumbs, spills, and everyday mishaps.

Carapace Keyboard Cover in useCompared to traditional sticky silicone skins, Carapace's unique coating provides the dual benefits of being antistatic so as not to attract dust, and having a more natural feel so as to feel comfortable even during long typing periods. With Carapace in place, typing speed and accuracy are unaffected - its thin and flexible construction provides a clear view of the keys and dampens the sound of keystrokes.

Each Carapace keyboard cover is made of durable silicone, and is custom-designed and perfectly fitted to your keyboard to allow easy touch-typing in any sort of environment. You'll hardly notice it's there.

Carapace Keyboard Cover in useCarapace is easy to use and stands up to heavy use - lay it across your computer's clean keys and start typing. When it needs cleaning, just lift it off - stains and dirt wash away with soap and water.

Key Benefits

  • Durable, 100% silicone material; thin and flexible construction allows normal typing
  • Unique coating makes Carapace soft to the touch with no sticky feeling, also helps to repel dust
  • Custom-molded for each keyboard with individual function keys
  • Easy to maintain; wash with soap and water

Carapace for the Apple wired aluminum keyboard (part number KP-AL) is available now for the retail price of $24.95.

For more information on Carapace for the Apple wireless aluminum keyboard, visit the Sonnet website.


OldFolder: Pre-Leopard Dock Folder Hierarchical Menu

PR: OldFolder revives the pre-Leopard dock's hierarchical menu interface for folders.

Set by browsing to the folder.

Reset by either browsing or just drag and drop the new folder on the Dock icon.

To create additional folders, just duplicate the application and launch, as OldFolder keeps track of which folder to open based on the launched applications name.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

System Support: PPC/Intel


Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces.. for a More Intuitive Spaces Experience

PR: Spaces like it should have been.

Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces..

Ever since I got Leopard, I've been saying this over and over again - once every time the new Spaces feature on Leopard fails to do what I expect (like when it frantically switches spaces whenever I switch between different applications). Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces.. is a partial attempt at a remedy. It works by injecting a small piece of code into the Dock. The code will prevent the Dock from switching to a different space immediately after switching to a different application (using Command-Tab, for instance). The result is a (hopefully) more intuitive Spaces experience.

Due to its low-level nature, Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces.. is currently only available for Intel-based Macs. The source code is available, however, so anyone willing to look into porting it to the PowerPC should feel free to do so :-)

System requirements: Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces.. requires Mac OS X 10.5.0/9A581 and an Intel-based Mac. (Sorry PowerPC users, no Leopard on any PPC-based Macs yet.)

System Support: Intel


CUPS-PDF Saves Documents Directly to PDF

PR: CUPS-PDF is a backend module for CUPS (Mac OS X's printing system) by Volker C. Behr that, rather than printing to a device, prints straight to PDF files.

Why use this rather than a simple "Save as PDF" in the print dialog?

  • Pressing return is faster.
  • Batch-print through the writer to convert documents to PDF.
  • Common save location for all generated PDFs.

Print to the printer normally. The output will be on your desktop in a folder called "cups-pdf".

Due to the nature of the program, the title of the document you print is the name of the file, so printing a document twice will overwrite the file. Be aware of this. (This only applies prior to the packaged version of 2.4.6. The configuration file for 2.4.6 is set to put a job number in front of each file to prevent this.)

New in version Updated permissions on the backend module to support Leopard

Note that 2.4.6 has been updated. The original upload did not include a PPC version. If you're on Intel, you're fine with the previous version. If you have a PPC Mac and it wasn't working, redownload and reinstall.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

System Support: PPC/Intel


VMware Releases Update to VMware Fusion for the Mac

PR: VMware, Inc. has announced VMware Fusion 1.1, a new update to its award-winning VMware Fusion desktop virtualization software for Intel-based Macs. VMware Fusion allows Mac users to simultaneously and seamlessly run Mac OS X, Windows and other PC-based applications on the same Mac. VMware Fusion 1.1 is a free update that is immediately available for all VMware Fusion 1.0 customers and includes over 25 enhancements and improvements such as:

  • Support for Mac OS X Leopard.
  • Improved 3D graphics with experimental support for DirectX 9.0.
  • Improvements to VMware Fusion's Unity feature.
  • Support for Microsoft Vista Boot Camp partitions as virtual machines.
  • Support for French, German, and Japanese-speaking customers.
  • Overall performance improvements.

'We have been extremely pleased with the success of VMware Fusion,'? said Dan Chu, vice president of emerging products and markets at VMware. 'Mac customers have really embraced VMware Fusion for the intuitive user interface and stable, high-performance experience it delivers. We expect our customers will be equally thrilled with the improvements found in today's update.'?

VMware also introduced VMware Importer for VMware Fusion. Currently in beta, VMware Importer allows VMware Fusion customers to easily and quickly import virtual machines created by third-party Mac virtualization software.

"Many of our VMware Fusion customers have asked for help using virtual machines created with third party software," continued Chu. "With VMware Importer, customers that have other, third-party Mac virtualization products can easily and seamlessly migrate existing virtual machines over to VMware Fusion to take advantage of our intuitive user interface and stable, advanced, high performance virtualization platform."

VMware Fusion 1.1 is available at no cost to existing VMware Fusion 1.0 customers. The VMware Importer beta is also available at no cost. Both can be downloaded at VMware Fusion is available online at, and authorized online and retail stores worldwide including the Apple Store,,, Fry's, Microcenter, CompUSA, MacMall, MacZone, MacConnection, and CDW.

VMware Fusion 1.1 is available in English, Japanese, German, and French for immediate download or purchase, and localized versions of the software are expected to be available soon in leading online and retail outlets in France, Germany, and Japan.

Dead Sea Scrolls Manuscripts Now Available for Accordance Bible Software

PR: OakTree Software, Inc. announces the release of the Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Manuscripts for use with Accordance Bible Software.

At the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, November 16-20, 2007, OakTree will release the Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Manuscripts, in electronic databases for Accordance.

These important new Accordance modules (DSSB-C and DSSB-M) represent the entire Hebrew and Aramaic corpus of the biblical scrolls found in the Judean Desert between 1947 and today. They include not only Qumran, but also Masada, Nahal Hever, Murabba'at, etc. The transcription and format faithfully follow the text of the official publication series, The Discoveries in the Judaean Desert (Oxford, 1955 - ) and other related publications.

Over three years in preparation, the DSSB-C presents every manuscript in canonical order, so that every witness to each verse can be compared at once and with any other version such as the Masoretic or Samaritan text, or the English translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible. The DSSB-M presents the texts in manuscript order and can be used in parallel with the Qumran Index module. Both modules include complete lexical and morphological analysis, and English glosses, facilitating searches for different forms of words, and for grammatical constructions. They are completely integrated into Accordance and hypertext to the Hebrew and Aramaic lexicons, and to any other available Accordance resources. Advanced search and analysis capabilities allow the user to create and customize graphic and textual presentations of the search results.

Martin G. Abegg, Jr., James E. Bowley, and Edward M. Cook are responsible for preparing the text and morphological analysis for electronic publication. Abegg is The Ben Zion Wacholder Professor of Dead Sea Scroll studies at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. He earned his Ph.D. from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio and wrote his dissertation on the War Scroll from Qumran Cave 1 under the supervision of Professor Ben Zion Wacholder. His areas of academic expertise are the Dead Sea Scrolls, Syriac Language and Literature, and Hebrew Bible. Abegg is the author of numerous scholarly articles related to scroll research, and has contributed to or co-edited several important works on the Dead Sea Scrolls, including: The Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance, vol. I (with J. Bowley and E. Cook); The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation (with M. Wise and E. Cook); and The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (with P. Flint and E. Ulrich). Abegg also contributed to the official publication series of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Abegg's work with electronic data bases is extensive, having prepared the QUMRAN, MISH-T, SAMAR-T, and BENSIRA-C/M Accordance modules for the study of ancient Hebrew Language and Literature.

The royalties from this publication are being donated to the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation to support future research.

Endorsement by Emanuel Tov:

"This excellent research and study tool allows the user to search for all the words and grammatical categories in the biblical manuscripts from the Judean Desert, both by biblical book and by manuscript. It allows for analysis of both individual scrolls or groups of scrolls. The details of the professional morphological analysis and English glosses of the Hebrew/Aramaic words are visible at the click of a mouse. With the advantage of having the wording of the official publications at your disposal and with the flexible possibilities of the Accordance program (such as custom-made concordances, graphic distribution charts, and a comparison of the scrolls with any text, such as the Masoretic Text) one cannot wish for a better tool for the study and research of the Dead Sea Scrolls, both of the biblical and non-biblical texts."

Prof. Emanuel Tov, Editor-in-Chief, International Dead Sea Scrolls Publication Project

The Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Manuscripts modules can be added to Accordance for $150. The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible translation is available for $40.

Accordance is the leading Bible study program, offering texts and features for everything from high-end academic analysis to personal Bible study.

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