News Archive for Wednesday Jan. 21, 2009
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Tips for Finder quits and other problems after QT 7.6 Update
For those with Finder quit problems after the QT 7.6 that have Stuffit installed, see this apple forum thread titled Read This if your finder is crashing/looping/closing folders. Stopping Stuffit AVR (via prefs) helped he said, as it did for a few other users with the problem.
Also see below - Alan wrote he found the cause of his finder quit problem - removing Default Folder 2.0.2 (very old version) solved it. See his updated comments below. (As always I suggest using the download updater and rebooting first before applying - and for those that don't do maintenance often, running a verify (of drive and permissions) is another old tip and corrupted prefs, incompatible/old 3rd party addons can also be a source of problems as some have seen again. (It's easy to forget about all the things you've installed over time - login/startup items, codecs, browser addons, finder mods, etc..) A little extra time spent before an update is well worth it if you ever have a major problem that costs you far more time and frustration.)
(earlier comments on problems follow)
A reader sent a note on problems he (and some others) have seen after the QT 7.6 update released today (updated with notes that removing an old version of Default Folder solved it):

"I had a major problem with the QT 7.6 update today. After installing the update (via Software Update), and rebooting to the Finder, my Mac would get stuck in an endless loop where the Finder would continously quit and relaunch about every three seconds, essentially rendering my Mac inoperable.

I'm running 10.4.11 on a Quicksilver 2002 G4. After searching around the Internet, including Apple's own QT discussion forum, this does seem to be fairly common, although the relaunch intervals are different -- for example, some report their Finder is restarting every few minutes, instead of every few seconds as mine is doing.
(I asked if he had a link to the Apple forum thread mentioned)
Here is a link to the discussion on the Apple forums
"Quicktime 7.6 Problem in OS 10.4.11". It's still relatively small as far as these things go, but it does demonstrate it's an issue for multiple users.

In any case, my only solution was to revert to QT 7.5.5, which was a tedious process. I booted from an external drive, and then used Pacifist to determine every file that QT 7.6 had installed, and removed them. Then, working from a backup image I had made a few weeks ago, I restored every file Pacifist showed was installed by the QT 7.5.5 installer package. This all took about an hour. Rebooted, repaired permissions, and everything is working fine now with QT 7.5.5.

(I asked if he had any 3rd party addons, QT codecs, etc installed.)
Yes, I suspect it might have something to do with a 3rd party codec. I have Perian 1.1.3 and Flip4Mac WMV 2.2.0.49 installed. (Anyone else with these installed see a QT 7.6 problem? I've not checked their sites for any notes on QT 7.6 compat. or updates.-Mike) Other than that it's just stock Apple codecs.
I've NEVER had a problem with SU though I know many others have. At some point I will probably try again using the direct download updater, although for now I'm trying to rule out the two third party codecs listed above.
I checked the System.log and it seems that the Finder was repeatedly crashing, and then restarting.
(Update: At appx 2AM Alan wrote he found the cause)
Mike, I did see that (stuffit) thread, and as it turns out, I did have an older version of Stuffit Deluxe (v10.0.1) installed, including the contextual menu item and the Stuffit AVR preference pane. I decided to totally uninstall Stuffit Deluxe, and all related components. Then I installed the QT 7.6 update from the standalone installer, but after restarting, I still had the exact same problem, i.e. the Finder was caught in a continuous crash loop.

I then looked at some of my other preference panes in System Preferences, and noticed I had an older version of Default Folder (v2.0.2) installed. So I disabled that, and instantly the Finder crashing stopped. So in my case, it might have been a combination of Stuffit and Default Folder that was causing the problem. In any case, it has been a while now and the Finder crashing seems to be gone (KNOCK WOOD!).
Please be sure to post this for others. Thanks for all your help and suggestions.
-Alan"

If you've installed QT 7.6 and had problems with any 3rd party addons, let me know. (Include versions of any addons installed.) Thanks
(A reader with Intel-based Macs and a PPC Mini all running Leopard with Perian and Flip4Mac installed (current versions) replied he's had no problems. I had a Mac Pro/8800GT/10.5.6 user w/perian and F4M installed say he'd noticed periodic 'stalling' w/QT player open but later said removing those addon's didn't matter - another reader w/Mac Pro/8800GT said he's not seen any issues like that.)

Earlier today I installed QT 7.6 (using download installer, not SU) on a 10.4.11 eMac (no 3rd party QT codecs on it) without any problems seen so far. (Installed w/o anything else running, rebooted OK, Safari QT playback OK, iTunes 8 movie files play OK, no Finder quits seen in an hour of use so far.) I also updated a Vista (home 64bit) notebook with the QT 7.6 D/L installer - rebooted and a quick test of movie playback in iTunes (windows) seems OK, but not used it much yet. (I rarely use that machine.)
FYI - I've also now installed QT 7.6 on an AL iMac running 10.5.6 w/all previous updates. (I quit all apps, restarted, installed d/l updater, rebooted). I've played a recording in EyeTV 3.1 ("24" episode from Monday), played several movies (TV shows and Movies and a music file) in iTunes and went to Apple's QT trailers page and played a HD movie (QT player) - all seems OK so far. But again no Perian, Flip4Mac, etc. on this machine (nor the 10.4.11 emac).

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Apple Reports First Qtr 2009 Results (best ever)
Apple has reported their First Quarter Results - "Best Quarterly Revenue and Earnings in Apple History - iPod Sales Set New Record" (I normally just link to these in the "other news" listing, but considering all the bad news you hear lately, it's refreshing.)
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Apple releases Quicktime 7.6 Update (and MPEG-2 component update for windows)
Matthew called with a heads-up on this update released today. Info from Software Update:

"QuickTime 7.6 includes changes that increase reliability, improve compatibility and enhance security. This release is recommended for all QuickTime 7 users.
For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3292. (About QuickTime 7.6)
For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222. (Apple security updates page) "

The "About QT 7.6" Doc lists more specific changes:

" Video:
- Improves single-pass H.264 encoding quality
- Increases the playback reliability of Motion JPEG media

Audio:
- Improves AAC encoding fidelity
- Audio tracks from MPEG video files now export consistently

Application Support:
- Improves compatibility with iChat and Photo Booth

Security:
For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222 "

I'm going to use the download installer instead of software update. (FYI - see later posts above on that - including tips for some that had problems.) Quicktime 7.6 for OS X Leopard, Tiger and Windows is available for download at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/.
If anyone finds QT 7.6 breaks anything (including 3rd party addons/apps) let me know the details.
BTW - it wasn't online when I first posted the above, but Apple now has a doc About the security content of QuickTime 7.6 that lists several fixes (OS X and windows) and a new doc dated today About the security content of QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component (for windows) and an updated related doc Determining QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component Version. (I never bought the MPEG-2 component so I can't say if they've updated the Mac version also - but the docs indicate they have for the Windows version.)

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Seagate Page Updated w/revised Firmware Updates (again)
I was out Tuesday so not sure when they re-released the 7200.11 SD15 firmware update that was pulled Monday night at 8PM CST (due to problems mentioned here Monday), but the Seagate Firmware Recommendations for Barracuda 7200.11, ES.2 SATA, and DiamondMax 22 Drives page has -some- firmware updates available again. The 7200.11 SD1 update is available again now for ST3500320AS, ST3500620AS, ST3500820AS, ST3750330AS, ST3750630AS and ST31000340AS drives with firmware SD15 to SD19. (ST3640330AS and ST3640530AS models have a note "Please contact support at disksupport@seagate.com for update".)
And 7200.11 models ST31500341AS, ST31000333AS, ST3640323AS, ST3640623AS, ST3320613AS, ST3320813AS, ST3160813AS are still shown as "in validation" with a note that if your drive has CC or LC firmware, no update is needed.) The linked page on Seagate Barracuda ES.2 series has a link to request a firmware update if your drive has firmware earlier than SN06. The DiamondMax 22 series update still shows "in validation" (w/option to be notified when available) as of late Jan 21st.
(Note the above status was as of Wednesday (1/22/2009) - things could change (again) in the future but hopefully a) the released firmware works well this time and b) they'll soon release updates for the other models affected,)
(BTW - Apologies to readers w/seagate drives that have written the last couple days - I was offline all day Tuesday and already behind on mails. Some have updated successfully with the (revised) SD15 firmware release.)
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Revised White $999 MacBook model now at Apple Store
"new (white/plastic) Macbook
If you take a look at the apple store, you will find a new macbook.
The white one got a silent upgrade and has now the same techspecs as the ('unibody') alubook
-Bernd"

I've not seen any Apple PR on this yet (as of appx 1PM ET at least) but confirmed there is a new model at the Macbook apple store page:

    - 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    - 2GB DDR2 Memory (exp. to 4GB)
    - 120GB hard drive
    - NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
    - Standard keyboard
    - White polycarbonate shell
    - $999
    Ships: 4-6 business days

Forgot to mention the White MacBook still has a FIREWIRE port (something sorely missed by many on the Unibody MacBook. Thanks to Corey for the reminder on that.) The Unibody models have DDR3 (1066MHz) memory vs DDR2 (667MHz) on the white Macbook, and since the 9400M uses shared system memory, it's "video ram" is therefore DDR2 on the white Macbook of course. The white Macbook still has a Mini-DVI port vs the Unibody models' Mini DisplayPort. (But like the other Unibody models to date except the new 17in - there's no option for a Matte display, only glossy. The new 17in MBP Unibody has a $50 Option for Matte display.)

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Dell 23in SP2309W Display built-in Webcam support in OS X Leopard (10.5.6 user report)
(From a reader mail yesterday - FYI as sale page didn't note native OS X webcam support.)

"Mike, just want to let everyone know that I ordered a Dell 23" SP2309W from OWC after I saw it advertised on your website. (They shipped it out the same day I ordered it.) It is an absolutely stunning monitor and works fine on my Mac Pro with Mac OS X 10.5.6. Contrary to the description, the built-in webcam works perfectly fine with iChat with no additional software. (description noted OS X iChat/Skype support with iUSBcam)
Here is the system profiler info (on builtin USB webcam):
Product ID: 0x2649
Vendor ID: 0x05a9 (OmniVision Technologies, Inc.)
Version: 89.09
Speed:Up to 480 Mb/sec
Manufacturer: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.538-2640-08.09.09.1
Location ID: 0xfd510000
Current Available (mA): 500
Current Required (mA): 200

Webcam is not recognized by iMovie HD but that is no big deal to me. I give a big thumbs up on this monitor...
(he later wrote in reply to a question on the display/webcam used w/built-in iSight Macs)
I just sold my Macbook so can't test that. I also found that if I plugged the camera in after I boot video does not work. Has to be plugged in via usb before startup. Also if I power down monitor and power back on video will not work again until reboot.
-Dan"

This rang a bell about a previous OS X update adding USB webcam support in iChat.
BTW - I wrote OWC about this and they mentioned they'd tested with a Mac w/built-in webcam (iSight) - not a Mac Pro - saying the webcam was recognized in iChat but didn't show video w/o iUSBcam software installed. (They're going to test again with another Mac w/o builtin webcam.)

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Mac Drive Upgrades/Compatibility Reports Database Updated
The Mac Drive/Storage Upgrades Database had 2 more reports added. Current total - 16,557. (Searching by drive type, brand, mac model etc. listed below will show full reports, most recent first)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-116D in G5 Tower (OS X 10.5.x)
    (includes notes/links to apple docs on install, etc.)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Western Digital WD5000AAKB 500GB in iMac G4 (OS X 10.4.x)
    (includes install notes and links to iMac G4 take-apart for drives and internal ram slot upgrades and you-tube video.)

You can read full reports (latest shown first) by searching the database by drive type/brand/interface/mac models. Includes reports on Optical Drives (Blu-Ray, DVD, CD/CDR, etc.), Hard Drives, SSD, Tape drives, Removable media (ORB, ZIP, MO drives), NAS (Network Attached Storage), in all interface types (IDE, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). To widen search results you can leave drive brand, OS version (or other fields) blank.
If you've added/upgraded a drive in your Mac send me the details (drive info/speed rating/mac model/OS version used, etc.). Note: Please use the drive for at least a week before reporting on it and test for booting from Disc with Optical Drives (as well as burning discs). Thanks.

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Updated Apple How-To/Troubleshooting Docs
From yesterday while I was out (many windows related)

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Other News/Articles, Software Updates
(some I missed yesterday while I was offline for the Inauguration. See later posts above on Quicktime 7.6 update.)

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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