News Archive for: Monday July 30, 2007 (later added items first)
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Apple releases Pro Application Support 4.0.1
"About Pro Application Support 4.0.1
This update improves general user interface reliability for Apple's professional applications and is recommended for all users of Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Aperture, Final Cut Express HD, Soundtrack, Logic Pro and Logic Express.

Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or later"

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Feedback on Speck MacBook/MacBook Pro See-Thru Hard Cases (updated)
(updated several times with comments from 2 other users of their MB/MBP cases and a link to Speck's page on mfg variances in some MBP cases causing binding and how to fix that.)

" I recently got the Speck MacBook See-Thru Hard Case (as in today). I put it on and admired how well it fit an am suprised at how little weight and size it adds. Also something not noted is that there are little rubber feet inside it to help prevent excessive contact with your MacBook.

Then I put my display on my lap and opened my display and arrggghhhh. The display would only open to about 90 degrees. Meaning as it's on my lap the display is not pointing at me. The problem being that the Speck case on the bottom collides with the one on the lid and the lid itself. (Note: See below for replies another MacBook spec case user that did not have this problem. Mike K. wrote his MBP case is OK also and later sent a link to a Spec page with notes on some MBP case mfg variances caused binding and how to fix that.-Mike)
The solution is to get a dremel and follow already existing molding lines in the bottom case and cut the back off the bottom cover on both back corners. I'm not sure why the back is necessary as it doesn't add necessary strength to the bottom cover and the slots in the back that you cut off in the process don't line up with the speaker grills in any case.

Can I recommend this product? Only if you're handy with a dremel or you don't mind your display being limited to only partially opening.
I love the cover and having gotten the blue one like the new color but until they make some necessary changes this product only deserves a 6 out of 10.
Louis S.
aka MacBandit "

Louis later said he bought it from Amazon for $39.xx. (appx $10 off list) and insists the display angle limit isn't due to a production flaw, despite this MacBook owner showing his case didn't have the 90 degree display angle/tilt limit.

" I'd have to say that Louis S. got a bad Speck case. Attached is an image of my Macbook with the case on nearly fully open (it does shave off a few degrees, but nothing that changes it's usability).
-Peet
299 "

A MacBook Pro owner also wrote his case was also OK in that regard:

" To protect my new MacBook Pro (Santa Rosa), I bought the Spec case for it. The MBP has no issues with screen not opening fully, and overall the case has been as promised. It also makes the computer a true laptop as the plastic creates a buffer to prevent burning your legs.

Only negative is they should take the time to smooth off some of the rough edges considering how overpriced the product is for two pieces of molded plastic. There are sharp corners in the places they cut out for access to side ports.

(he later wrote)
Some 15" Pros had this (fit) issue. They have a link on the website saying that the early defects have been fixed, but anyone who bought an early model can contact them and get a free fix to the cover, or can do it themselves.

My black cover looks good. I always wanted a black MacBook Pro, and now I do. Sort of.
-Mike K. "

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Seritek 2SM2-E Expresscard 5.2.6 firmware update (fixed problems)
Follow-up from one of the MacBook Pro user Expresscard reports in Friday's news:

" it looks like the Firmtek driver/firmware update from 5.2.0 to 5.2.6 (OSX 10.4.10) seems to fix all the outstanding issues I had with the Seritek 2SM2-E card.

a) Drives can be left mounted when the notebook is put to sleep.
b) Drives can now be hot-plugged.
c) Card plus drives can be hot-plugged.

As a nice bonus, the Seritek 2SM2-E finally supports port multiplier enclosures. New firmware/driver updates can be accessed directly from the Firmtek website.
-Chris "

You can download their latest (public) firmware at http://www.firmtek.com/download/.

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Reader request: Utility to map keys on Razer Tarantula Keyboard
(Updated with a links to a re-mapping utility, macro software and controllermate )

" I was hoping you'd put a question out to the community for me. I've got a really great keyboard (Razer Tarantula) that doesn't have Mac OS X drivers.
Do you know of anything along the lines of USB Overdrive for keyboards?
Thanks for any help you might be able to provide!
Best regards, Joseph "

There was some other OS X utility for mapping keys or buttons but I can't recall the name now (not sure it would have worked though) - "MacKnight" sent a reminder on it - ControllerMate. Razer has a Mac driver for Mice, but didn't find any Mac downloads for their keyboards. Might be worth writing Razer support to ask if they've considered (or are working on) Mac drivers for the keyboard.
If any reader has a suggestion for Joe let me know.
Update - James sent a link to a remapping utility (freeware) called Double Command that can remap PC keyboard/Windows keys, but may not recognize the extra keys on that keyboard. Keyboard Maestro is a keyboard/macro utility but again it may not recognize the extra/non-standard keys on that keyboard. And thanks to Fred for sending a link to another keyboard macro utility I once used many years ago - Quickeys.
BTW - Joe later wrote that none of the utilities helped and Razer support said they're not planning any Mac OS X drivers for that keyboard:

" Mike, As I feared, none of the suggestions worked for me. Razer support replied back saying they've got no intention of supporting the Tarantula on the Mac.
-Joeseph "

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Other News/Software Updates
(later added items first)

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