News Archive for: Wednesday June 24, 2009       Goto Current News Page

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AppleTV 2.4 Update released
I powered up the Apple TV (been off for months) after seeing the update. It failed to apply on the first try, but a 2nd attempt updated OK. Here's the info on v2.4 from Apple's About Apple TV software updates page:

"...Apple TV Software Update 2.4 features:
  • Remote app directional control: Control your Apple TV with simple finger gestures via the Remote app. This feature requires Remote 1.3 running on an iPhone or iPod touch with iPhone OS 3.0. (Apple Remote App 1.3 available now)
  • Flickr Search: Search Flickr photo tags to find recently updated photos of interest. Save searches to quickly find new photos or use as a screen saver for Apple TV.
  • New view options: View movies By Genre, By Movie, or Unwatched. View TV Shows and Podcasts By Date, By Show, or Unwatched.
  • Updated transport and chapter modes: During video playback, click right or left to fast forward or rewind. Additional clicks increase the speed. Click down to show chapter markers."
  • I'll add a FYI on this update to the previous page here of Apple TV Reports/Tips/Mods.

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    Reader discounts on OWC Qx2 4 Drive RAID Enclosure
    From site sponsor OWC's mail today (6/24/2009). (I've wanted one of these enclosures since they were first announced earlier this year.)

    "(June 24, 2009) $30 off on Qx2 4-Bay SATA Desktop RAID Storage Enclosure with eSATA, FW800 and USB 2.0 ports. We now have a 0GB Kit (add your own drives) version of our Qx2. Already a very good deal for this kind of Hardware Raid performance - but an extra $30 off for XLR8yourMac Readers.

    Also the OWC USB2 to Video Adapter for adding an additional displays up to 1600x1200 (DVI + includes DVI to VGA, DVI to HDMI adapters) for your readers
    Lots of other new, updated deals on the new Xlr8yourmac specials page too. (Cookies enabled in browser reqd to see discounted prices.)
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    Positive feedback so far on AE/TC Base Firmware 7.4.2
    Just a FYI that so far nothing but positive feedback on yesterday's Time Capsule/AirPort Base Station 7.4.2 Firmware Update from the (many) readers that saw problems w/7.4.1 firmware (most reverted back to earlier firmware), including those that had WDS problems. Most replies on 7.4.2 so far were very short (one liners) although all so far were positive. Here's a reply from a multi-base/WDS user noting problems seen w/7.4.1 firmware seems fixed in 7.4.2:

    "My network is composed of one Airport Exteme gigabit and two Airport Express N for network extension. The use of the 7.4.1 firmware on the Airport Express leads to a fall down of my network. That forced me to stay with the old firmware for the Express. But the 7.4.2 update apparently has solved my problem of connectivity and maybe has improved overall network speed.
    A positive update for me so far.
    -Jean-Luc"

    Knock on wood so far my AE N base (simul dual-band) has been solid w/7.4.2.

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    Petition to restore Express/34 card slot back in 15in MacBook Pros (and more)
    Although in general petitions rarely work (quickly at least), the outcry on missing FW port on the MacBooks may have led to Apple adding it back, although there's still no matte screen option. (However I don't see them going back to a removable battery but I could be wrong.)

    "Mike, there is an online petition for Mac users who want the express card slot (and user removable battery) back. (after the last refresh, only the 17in MBP kept the Express/34 slot. They added a SD slot but removed the Express/34 card slot on new 15in MBP models)
    Best regards, Wolfgang"

    The petition page also has other wish-list items like a Matte screen option and eSATA port.
    (Apple also has product feedback forms where you can send comments on current products - can't hurt to use those also.)
    While on the subject, here's a few of my wish-lists (from relatively easy to unlikely to ever happen):

    • Revise iMacs to include a removable small rear cover for easy HD replacements (drives fail and you shouldn't have to take a system completely apart to replace it)
    • Include eSATA ports on all products (including Mac Pros, iMacs)
    • Add a DVI connector on the LED Cinema Display (would greatly increase market for it and eliminate need for adapters. Should have been on the first model IMHO)
    • Offer a $1500 or so Core i7 based Mini Tower system (which would sell like mad IMHO and take a big dent out of clone/hackintosh sales. I guess they feel it would greatly cannibalize Mac Pro sales... it would offer a much higher price/performance ratio for most users)
    • Put more focus on graphics cards and driver updates (w/o having to wait for OS X updates) and have card control utilities such as ATI/Nvidia includes in windows drivers
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    VMware Fusion 2.0.5 (many fixes, but some issues remain)
    I missed this yesterday but Eddie sent a FYI that VMware released Fusion 2.0.5 - see the release notes for complete list of changes/fixes and remaining known issues. Here's a clip of some of the changes (release notes have much more detail).

    "What's New:
    VMware Fusion 2.0.5 is a maintenance release of VMware Fusion 2 ... and provides the following enhancements:
  • Supports Mac OS X Server guest operating systems on Macs with Intel Xeon 5500 and 3500 Series processors (based on Nehalem micro-architecture)
  • Provides experimental support for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server as a guest operating system (32-bit only)
  • Provides experimental support for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard as a host operating system (32-bit only)
  • Supports Ubuntu 9.04 as a guest operating system, including features such as VMware Tools pre-built modules and Easy Install
  • Reduces CPU usage when a virtual machine is idle under VMware Fusion
  • Contains fixes for more than 80 bugs
  • Still waiting for an ATI driver update to address the previously mentioned problem with OS X 10.5.7's ATI drivers and 3D. (I'd have thought that update would be released by now - unless they're waiting to include it in 10.5.8.)

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    Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Doc Updates

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    Other News/Reviews/Articles, Misc. Software Updates
    (some I missed yesterday)

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