September 2005 News Archive

Return to Macs Only!'s Current News Page.
Copyright 2005 by Bill Fox All rights reserved.
Last Updated: Sept. 30, 2005

Note: Use "Find" under your browser's "Edit" or "Search" Menu to search each month's archive.

Older Archives: August | July | June | May | April | March |

Aspyr Media's Latest Game Report: Aspyr's latest titles, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2005 and LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, have both arrived in retail stores across North America. Game Agent has been updated to version 1.5 and a new special offer is available through the utility. Aspyr has also begun working on Sims 2 University, along with a few soon-to-be announced titles, with expected release dates in November.

With the new GameAgent 1.5 utility available at, users can now receive a five-title bundle for only $19.99. The bundle includes Leave the Lights On Compilation (featuring American McGee's Alice, Clive Barker's Undying and Bloodrayne), Spyhunter and Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.

Here is the status of coming titles: FINAL CANDIDATE--SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition; FIRST PLAYABLE--Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 and Sims 2 University; and ALPHA--Stubbs the Zombie. [Bill Fox]

Apple Selling Enhanced Mac minis sans Announcement: According to, Apple has confirmed that upgraded Mac minis are in the retail channel. The upgrades may include slightly faster G4 CPUs, faster hard drives, improved Bluetooth, more video RAM and a dual-sided DVD burner according to an AppleInsider article posted earlier this week. It is unknown why Apple has not yet announced the upgrades. More... [Bill Fox]

MaxProtect II--MaxUpgrades Released Exact-Fit, Impact-Resistant Case for PowerBooks: MaxUpgrades announced a new impact resisitant case for PowerBook G4s, the MaxProtect II. It comes in three sizes that exactly fit the 12", 15" and 17" PowerBook G4s. Made from synthetic leather, it has a low size to weight ratio, weighing it at only 1.9-3lbs. The MaxProtect II is rigid with a cushioned velvet interior that protects against scratches and is a slim 2.3" thick. The 12"/15"/17" MaxProtect II case sells for $49/$59/$69 respectively. [Bill Fox]

TransPod from DLO now Compatible with iPod nano Using FREE Fit Kit: DLO now offers a free "fit kit" to use the iPod nano with its popular TransPod. The TransPod is a $100.00 all-in-one car solution for holding, playing and charging an iPod. A downloadable PDF file contains an iPod nano template for the 40GB iPod pads included with the TransPod and instructions on how to cut and set them up as the fit kit for the iPod nano. More... [Bill Fox]

Google Toolbar for Mozilla Firefox is Out as Release Candidate: The Google toolbar is available for Mac OS X as an extension for the Firefox 1.0.x web browser. It does not work with Firefox v1.5 beta. This first non-beta release the Google toolbar is available from this Google Web page. [Dana Baggett]

Defective iPod nano Screens in Tiny Fraction of Production Run--Replace Using AppleCare: Apple has acknowledged that in less than one-tenth of one percent of the initial production run of iPod nanos a vendor quality issue has resulted in "cracked" screens. Those iPod nanos will be replaced by Apple under the nano's AppleCare warranty according to several published accounts citing Apple executives. In addition, Apple explained that the iPod nanos are made from the same materials as the 4G iPods which have not shown a particular predilection toward being scratched sufficiently to generate complaints.

Our 20GB color-screen iPod has a moderate number of 3mm or so scratches on its plastic front and polished metal back when viewed closely under a high intensity desk light. Otherwise, they are invisible on the front and in no way interfere with the display of images on the iPod's color screen. It has been carried in an Apple wallet case since we bought it over four weeks ago.

Our two-week old iPod nano has a very small number of scratches similar to those on our 20GB iPod when viewed under the same light and invisible on the front otherwise. It has been carried "naked" in a shirt or jacket pocket when away from its USB cable atttached to an iMac G5. Again, the scratches do not interfere with images shown on the iPod nano's screen. So our experience is consistent with Apple's statement.

We chose a white iPod nano, as we noted in our hands-on review, partly because we expected black to show wear more than white. [Bill Fox]

The Apple Developer Connection Published Two New Articles: The Apple Developer Connection has published two brand new feature articles as part of its Developer Transition Resource Center (DTRC), the central source for information on Apple's transition to Intel-based Macintosh computers:

Scoping Your Transition Projects--What does it take to make your application ready for Intel-based Macs? Read this article to determine your transition path and learn what you'll need to do for your application to be ready.

The Transition to Intel-based Macs: An Introduction for Testing and QA Engineers--Get your QA team ready for testing your applications for universal binaries that run on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macintosh computers. Read this article on creating a test plan for the transition.

[Bill Fox]

Apple Revised the Offerings from Three Hot Deals Retailers:

MacZone has fantastic prices on essential Mac products, including Adobe Creative Suite with $50 Gift Card, Sony Stylepro SDM-204 20.1" Digital/Analog LCD Display, Epson Stylus R320 Color Inkjet Printer, Intuit Quicken 2006 Basic with $20 mail-in rebate, LaCie 160GB Mini External FireWire Hard Drive, and much more.

Small Dog Electronics has great prices on top quality Mac products, including LaCie 8GB Carte Orange USB Key Drive, SDI iHome Clock Radio for iPod, Creative Labs I-Trigue L3200 2.1 3-piece Speaker System, IRIS IRISpen Executive Pen Scanner, Rain Design i360 iMac Turntable for iMac G5, QuickerTek Plug and Play 27db Transceiver for Apple AirPort Base Station, and much more.

Ramjet has super low prices on RAM upgrades for your Mac, including 2GB DDR Kit for Power Mac G5 for only $275, 1GB DDR Kit for Power Mac G4 for only $119, 512MB PC-2700 for Aluminum PowerBook G4 for only $65, 1GB Module for Aluminum PowerBook G4 for only $189, 1GB DDR DIMM for Mac mini for only $139, 1GB DDR DIMM for iMac G4 for only $135, and much more.

[Bill Fox]

Stevie Nicks Donated 35 iPods to Wounded but Recovering U.S. Soldiers--Challenges Apple: According to reader Elliot Roth, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac fame talked about her donation of 35 iPods to soldiers recovering at Walter Reid Medical Center in an appearance on the Today Show Wednesday morning. She expressed hope that Apple Computer would aid in her cause and make a corporate donation of more iPods to the men and women recovering from their injuries. [Bill Fox]

O'Reilly Released Web Site Measurement Hacks: Most companies measure their web activity because they want to know how well their marketing and advertising budget is being spent. Until recently, however, many regarded web measurement as a murky subject loaded with confusing and ambiguous terminology, that was often considered the domain of data-loving geeks. But great strides have been made in the field of web measurement in the last few years resulting in applications that are easier to understand and use. As Eric T. Peterson observes in his new guide for beginning to intermediate analytics users, Web Site Measurement Hacks (O'Reilly, US $24.95), "Our entire world is run using data collected from the environment around us. Why would you think your web site is any different?" [Bill Fox]

Tonight on on The Tech Night Owl LIVE--TidBITS publisher Adam Engst, author Owen Linzmayer and Nisus Software: Co-hosts Gene and Grayson Steinberg will welcome Adam Engst, publisher of TidBITS. You'll also hear from Owen Linzmayer, author of Apple Confidential 2.0 and editor of two Apple Training Series books. In addition, Jerzy Lewak of Nisus Software will be on hand to talk about the latest version of Nisus Writer Express. Tune in the internet radio broadcast tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern. An archive and podcast will be available subsequent to the broadcast. [Bill Fox]

Podcaster Symposium Sponsored by Duke University: Last year Duke handed out iPods to all incoming freshman. Yesterday, Duke sponsored a symposium devoted to podcasting according to The symposium demonstrated what the Duke students and others have done with their iPods. Projects ranged from reviewing lectures to taking foreign languages to assembling an audio guide to the New York Museum of Modern Art. More... [Dana Baggett]

O'Reilly Released Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition: Neophytes and die-hard Windows PC users are turning to the Mac in increasing numbers. Some have security concerns, others are simply beguiled by the undeniable "cool" factor of a computer that operates, looks, and feels as slick as your iPod. And with the advent of the $500 Mac mini, price is no longer an obstacle for those considering making the switch to these elegantly designed, reliable, and user-friendly computers. While warning that a Mac isn't just a Windows machine in a spiffier box, the authors of Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition (Pogue & Goldstein, O'Reilly, US $24.95) simplify the switch and accelerate the learning curve with a guide that delivers what Apple doesn't--everything you need to know to move painlessly to the Mac. [Bill Fox]

The Apple Developer Connection Launched ADC Bookshelf Service: If developers want to develop world-class products, it's imperative that they have the latest technical information and documentation at their fingertips. The Apple Developer Connection (ADC) has teamed with Safari Books Online to provide developers just that: Instant access to the information they need. Safari Books Online, a joint venture between O'Reilly Media, Inc. and The Pearson Technology Group, is the premier provider of Web-based technical documentation. Beginning today, ADC members can now subscribe to the brand new ADC Bookshelf powered by Safari Books Online service for instant online access to a customized collection of nearly 1,000 Open Source and Mac-oriented titles from O'Reilly Media, Peachpit Press, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, and other technical publishers. Also effective immediately, developers can even test drive the ADC Bookshelf with a two-week complimentary subscription.

For an inexpensive monthly subscription fee ($17.99-19.99), developers can search or browse the entire ADC Bookshelf collection—which includes top-rated programmer books on Mac OS X, Cocoa, Java, Perl, PHP, MySQL and other topics—and add up to 10 books to their personalized ADC Bookshelf. Once on their bookshelf, the books are available to the developer whenever needed—all ten for less than the typical price of a single book at a bookstore. Developers can search the books, add notes and bookmarks, and download a limited number of chapters in PDF format. Developers can even swap old books on their bookshelf for new books as information needs change—the only rule is that a given book stay on a the bookshelf for 30 days.

Developers interested in more information regarding the new ADC Bookshelf, as well as to take it for a two-week complimentary test drive, can visit this ADC Web page. [Bill Fox]

O'Reilly Released iWork '05: The Missing Manual by Jim Elferdink: Apple has produced iWork '05, an innovative software suite that allows Mac users to create slick and professional documents and cinema-quality digital presentations that are sure to impress. iWork '05 contains Pages and Keynote 2, which rival any of their competitors on the market today. Unfortunately iWork '05 doesn't come with any quality documentation of its own, so Jim Elferdink's new iWork '05: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly, US $29.95) is the essential manual that should have been in the box.

"iWork follows the path blazed by the iLife programs--and generations of kindergarten classes: it's important to work, play, and share well with others," says Elferdink. He shows readers how to do just that with the classy and colorful iWork '05. In his in-depth, useful, and user-friendly book, Elferdink presents "step-by-step instructions for using every Pages and Keynote 2 feature, including those you may not have even quite understood--let alone mastered--such as styles, hyperlinks, animations, charts, and so on." Along with all the essentials of Pages and Keynote 2, iWork '05: The Missing Manual gives readers an objective look at each program's capabilities, its advantages over similar programs, and its limitations. And it's written for readers at every technical level--sidebars bring beginners up to speed, and countless undocumented tips, tricks, and shortcuts will enhance the experience of power users. [Bill Fox]

O'Reilly Released iLife '05: The Missing Manual by David Pogue: Apple has a time-honored reputation for taking complex technologies and software functions, and producing simpler, more inexpensive packages with an elegant, intuitive interface. They have taken this capability one step further with iLife '05 and compiled the applications in an extraordinary package--including iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, iDVD and GarageBand. With iLife '05, Apple delivers an unrivaled digital media experience that can inspire creativity. The only thing missing is a manual. Here's where O'Reilly/Pogue Press steps in with author David Pogue's latest, the "book that should have been in the box"--iLife '05: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly, $29.95). Since Pogue has the freedom to write about the flaws in the programs as well as the features, his Missing Manuals are better than the books that would have been in the box. In this book, Pogue has blended coverage from his "iMovie HD and iDVD5," "iPhoto5," "GarageBand 2" and "iPod and iTunes" manuals--into one powerful, inexpensive how-to guide. [Bill Fox]

Cool Mac OS X Software--Hide Folders 1.0 from Altomac is FREE: If you want to protect your documents and folders, Hide Folders may be just what you are searching for. With a just a mouse click you can conceal files and folders with all their contents, keeping them from being modified, seen or erased by others according to the developer. The application is simple and natural to use. Hide Folders is freeware from Altomac. However, if you want to password protect the application for increased security, Hide Folders Pro is $14.95. [Bill Fox]

Hands-On Review--ChessMaster 9000: Feral Interactive brought the top computer chess game to the Mac in ChessMaster 9000. It offers a lot more than just playing against a few computer algorithms like the chess game included free with Mac OS X. ChessMaster 9000 is a teacher, consultant, opponent and pathway to online play.

Installing ChessMaster 9000 is simple but takes awhile. It uses a Vise installer rather than simply copying a folder from the CD to one's hard drive. One must leave the ChessMaster 9000 CD in one's optical drive in order to play as Feral's guard against rampant piracy.

When launched one for gets an options screen that allows the setting of several video parameters, checking for updates and obtaining support. After dismissing the options screen, and the movies, one has to login--set up a new user and select one's rating as a player if the first time. For novices there is a button that helps one to select their initial rating. Then, one gets the main menu screen that offers four rooms (Game, Class, Tournament and Kids), the Library, the Database and CM Live for online play.

ChessMaster 9000 plays in a window rather than taking over the entire computer and screen. This allows one to easily access other applications while playing. Two that are touted by ChessMaster 9000 are iTunes for listening to music while playing and iChat.

The graphics of the chessboard and player pieces are superb. There are over 60 sets and boards to choose from.

While we are not a novice when it comes to playing chess, we found the built-in algorithms to be particularly challenging, even at the beginner level. Then again, we haven't played much in many years. One feature that we made great use of was ChessMaster 9000's Mentor menu. We set the Blunder Alert and frequently used Advice, both obtained in writing and as a voice. The Blunder Alert immediately notifies one of better moves when one moves one's pieces into danger. The Advice feature works well but takes time. One can set the amount of time devoted to determining advice but if it's relied on too often one will run out of time.

Those who want to really learn the intricacies of chess will make many visits to the Classroom, Library and Database. These features are useful to novices through Grandmasters. In the Classroom there are tutorials on just about anything one can think of related to chess, from the basics of moving pieces to how to set up a kingside attack. One of the neatest features of the Classroom is practicing ones opening moves--ChessMaster 9000 has over 2,200. The Library contains over 800 classic games from chessmasters that span 400 years of play. The Database Room has some 500,000 games including grandmaster-level games from 2001 and 2002--these games may be searched for almost any feature.

The Kid's Room is where we spent much of our time, we are not ashamed to admit. It's designed to teach true novices how to play chess and contains some artificial players that can be beaten by novices.

We think ChessMaster 9000 is terrific for true chess aficionados, whether novices or experts. It does have a few limitations. We first tried out version 1.0.1 and it had a few unexpected quits that were annoying. Fortunately, v1.0.2 is on its way. We used a beta of 1.0.2 and no longer encountered the unexpected quits. Online play at this time is just against other Mac users. Regardless, we think ChessMaster 9000 is the very best chess game available for the Mac and highly recommend it. Feral Interactive's ChessMaster 9000 is $39.99 from [Bill Fox]

New Apple Retail Stores are Still Impressing Customers: From reader Joe Gudac,

Got to visit my first Apple Store on Saturday Sept. 24. It was the opening day for it at the South Hills Village Mall (South of Pittsburgh).

Very impressed with the staffing and the store in general. The store opened I think around 9:00 am and my visit wasn't until after 7:00 pm that evening. The store was still packed and nearly every display Macintosh was being tested out by the patrons.

The new iPod Nano seemed to garner all the attention in the iPod section.

But to me the most impressive part of the display was the children's section. My 4 year old granddaughter had great time playing on the children's software on them.

[Bill Fox]

Mozilla Thunderbird v1.0.7 Release Candidate is Out: Mozilla's open source email client is available for testing from this Mozilla Web page. This means that the final version will be out soon. It has a couple of bug fixes but does not need the security fixes of Firefox and Mozilla Suite. [Dana Baggett]

Get a FREE iPod shuffle from's Listen in. Love it. Promo: has digital audiobooks and programs that one can listen to anywhere and a new promo called Listen in. Love it. Join AudibleListener for six months and choose any two digital audio programs each month for one low price, then, provides a free iPod shuffle. Check it out. [Dana Baggett]

Apple Revised the Offerings from Two Hot Deals Retailers:

MacConnection has fantastic prices on essential Mac products, including the Olympus IR-300 5mp Digital Camera, Macromedia Studio 8 Upgrade, Adobe Acrobat 7 Pro Upgrade with Total Training for Acrobat Pro DVD, Markzware FlightCheck Studio for Adobe InDesign, Logitech Wireless Headphones for iPod, Microsoft Office 2004 Standard Edition, and much more.

J&R has great prices on top quality Mac products, including Newer Technology 4800 mAh 12" PowerBook G4 Replacement Battery, Belkin iPod Battery Backup Pack, Battery Technologies TuneStir FM Transmitter Receiver and Remote for iPod, Epson Stylus RX620 Multifunction Machine, Griffin AirClick Wireless Remote Control for Mac, and much more.

[Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--Apple iPod Software Update 2005-09-23: Apple released a new iPod software updater. This update is available via the Software Update preference pane or as a standalone updater from this Apple Web page. According to the Read Me file,

iPod software update 2005-09-23 delivers iPod Software 1.1.2 for iPod shuffle, iPod Software 1.0 for iPod nano, iPod Software 1.2 for iPod with color display, iPod Software 1.4 for iPod mini, and iPod Software 3.1 for iPod with Click Wheel.

The only thing new is iPod Software 1.1.2 for iPod shuffle. The changes in iPod Software 1.1.2 for iPod shuffle are described by Apple as:

Bug fixes for iPod shuffle

We downloaded iPod Software Update 2005-09-23 and installed it on our PowerBook. Then, we plugged our iPod shuffle into our PowerBook and we updated it with the new v1.1.2 software. Afterwards, we updated our iPod shuffle's songs and podcasts using iTune 5.0.1. Both songs and podcasts played fine. [Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--Apple Security Update 2005-008: Apple released a new security update yesterday for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and 10.4.2, client and server. The appropriate version is available via the Software Update preference pane or as a standalone updater from this Apple Web page. According to the Read Me files for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and 10.4.2,

About Security Update 2005-008 (Mac OS X 10.3.9)

Delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users.

This update includes the following components:


About Security Update 2005-008 (Mac OS X 10.4.2)

Security Update 2005-008 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users.

This update includes the following components:


Here are the details:

ImageIO--CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2747
Available for: Mac OS X v10.4.2, Mac OS X Server v10.4.2
Impact: Viewing a maliciously-crafted GIF image may result in
arbitrary code execution.
Description: By carefully crafting a corrupt GIF image, an attacker
can trigger a buffer overflow in ImageIO which may result in
arbitrary code execution. Several components of Mac OS X utilize
ImageIO including WebCore and Safari. This update addresses the issue
by performing additional validation of images.

Mail--CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2746
Available for: Mac OS X v10.3.9, Mac OS X Server v10.3.9, Mac OS X
v10.4.2, Mac OS X Server v10.4.2
Impact: When using auto-reply rules, may expose the contents
of encrypted messages.
Description: includes the contents of messages when
processing auto-reply rules. If a message being processed was
encrypted, the automatically generated response will include the
decrypted message contents. This could allow an attacker to intercept
the message. This update addresses the issue by ensuring that
unencrypted responses to encrypted messages are not generated. Credit
to Norbert Rittel of Rittel Consulting for reporting this issue.

Mail--CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2745
Available for: Mac OS X v10.3.9, Mac OS X Server v10.3.9
Impact: Using Kerberos Version 5 for SMTP authentication may
disclose sensitive information.
Description: When using SMTP authentication with Kerberos Version 5, may append un-initialized memory to a message. This update
addresses the issue by updating Credit to the MIT Kerberos
team for reporting this issue. This issue was resolved in Mac OS X
v10.4.2 by Security Update 2005-007.

malloc--CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2748
Available for: Mac OS X v10.3.9, Mac OS X Server v10.3.9, Mac OS X
v10.4.2, Mac OS X Server v10.4.2
Impact: Insecure file handling may result in local privilege
Description: When certain environmental variables are set to enable
debugging of application memory allocation, files with diagnostic
information are created insecurely. This could allow a malicious
local user to alter arbitrary files. This update addresses the issue
by disallowing malloc debugging in privileged programs. Credit to
Ilja van Sprundel of Suresec LTD for reporting this issue.

QuickDraw Manager--CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2744
Available for: Mac OS X v10.3.9, Mac OS X Server v10.3.9, Mac OS X
v10.4.2, Mac OS X Server v10.4.2
Impact: Viewing a maliciously-crafted PICT image may result in
arbitrary code execution.
Description: By carefully crafting a corrupt PICT image, an attacker
can trigger a buffer overflow in QuickDraw Manager which may result
in arbitrary code execution. Several components of Mac OS X utilize
QuickDraw Manager, including Safari, Mail, and Finder. This update
addresses the issue by performing additional validation of images.
Credit to Henrik Dalgaard of Echo One for reporting this issue.

QuickTime for Java--CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2743
Available for: Mac OS X v10.3.9, Mac OS X Server v10.3.9
Impact: An untrusted applet may gain elevated privileges.
Description: The Java extensions bundled with QuickTime 6.52 and
earlier allow untrusted applets to call arbitrary functions from
system libraries. This update addresses the issue by limiting these
calls to trusted applets. Systems running QuickTime 7 or later are
not affected by this issue. Systems running Mac OS X v10.4 or later
are also not affected by this issue. Credit to Dino Dai Zovi for
reporting this issue.

Ruby--CVE-ID: CAN-2005-1992
Available for: Mac OS X v10.4.2, Mac OS X Server v10.4.2
Impact: Ruby applications utilizing the xmlrpc module may be
vulnerable to arbitrary code execution.
Description: The Ruby xmlrpc/utils module utilizes the method
Module#public_instance_methods to determine which methods may be
invoked remotely using XML-RPC. A change between different versions
of Ruby caused this method list to unintentionally include methods
that may be used to execute arbitrary Ruby code. This update
addresses the issue by updating the xmlrpc/utils module. This issue
does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.4.

Safari--CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2524
Available for: Mac OS X v10.3.9, Mac OS X Server v10.3.9
Impact: Maliciously crafted web archives could potentially allow
cross-site scripting.
Description: It is possible to view web archives served from remote
sites in Safari. Maliciously crafted web archives may be rendered as
content from sites they did not server them. This update prevents
remote web archives from being loaded. Safari web archives were
introduced in Safari 2.0. This issue was resolved in Mac OS X v10.4.2
by Security Update 2005-007.

SecurityAgent--CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2742
Available for: Mac OS X v10.4.2, Mac OS X Server v10.4.2
Impact: A user with physical access to the system may be able to
bypass the "Require password to wake this computer from sleep or
screen saver" setting.
Description: Under certain situations, the "Switch User..." button
may appear even though the "Enable fast user switching" setting is
disabled. This could cause the currently logged-in user's desktop to
be displayed without authentication. This update prevents the "Switch
User..." button from appearing when inappropriate. This issue does
not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.4. Credit to Luke Fowler of
the Indiana University Global Research Network Operations Center for
reporting this issue.

securityd--CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2741
Available for: Mac OS X v10.3.9, Mac OS X Server v10.3.9, Mac OS X
v10.4.2, Mac OS X Server v10.4.2
Impact: Malicious users may grant themselves rights to manipulate
arbitrary files or perform other privileged actions.
Description: Authorization Services allows unprivileged users to
grant certain rights that should be restricted to administrators,
which may lead to privilege escalation. This update addresses the
issue by adding restrictions to which rights unprivileged users can
grant themselves.

Also included in this update are enhancements to LoginWindow for
improved interaction with Parental Controls (Mac OS X v10.3.9),
X509Anchors to include the Wells Fargo root certificate (Mac OS X
v10.3.9), and Safe Download Validation to include Web Archives (Mac
OS X v10.4.2).

We downloaded Security Update 2005-0008 via the Software Update preference pane and installed it on a number of Power Mac G5s and Cube G4s, iMac G5s and PowerBook G4s with no problem. Several hours of running it revealed no problems on our Macs. [Bill Fox & Dana Baggett]

Mac Marginalization Continues at FEMA--Online Assistance Registration Still Limited to Internet Explorer 6: FEMA still claims to be "... in the process of modifying the application so that it will be available to additional browsers." Now with Hurricane Rita closing in on Texas there is no excuse for FEMA not to have modified its web application.

We mentioned the User Agent Switcher Extension workaround for Mozilla-based web browsers (Mozilla Suite, Firefox, Camino) in our September 9 edition. [Dana Baggett]

Brief Hands-On Report--Firefox 1.0.7 and Mozilla Suite 1.7.12 are Out and available for download. Here is Firefox 1.0.7 and here is Mozilla Suite 1.7.12. The fixes included are for the international domain name (IDN) link buffer overflow vulnerability and the Linux command line URL parsing flaw. Other security and stability changes are also inside, including a Proxy Auto-Config script crash fix. The are other fixes including several regressions caused by previous security updates. Here are the Firefox release notes and the Mozilla Suite Release Notes.

We downloaded both applications and browsed the internet, downloaded files and forwarded web pages with no problems encountered in either. [Dana Baggett and Bill Fox]

TechRestore Offering 80GB and 100GB 7200 RPM Overnight Hard Drive Upgrade Service for PowerBooks and iBooks: TechRestore, Inc. announced that they have begun offering two new upgrades as part of their overnight hard drive upgrade service for PowerBooks and iBooks. The new upgrade options feature high-speed, 7200 RPM hard drives in 80GB and 100GB capacity. Both upgrade services include overnight pickup of the customers laptop from any location in the continental United States, installation of the new drive and data transfer within 24-hours and return overnight shipping back to the customers location. In addition, the customers old hard drive is returned so that they will have a backup of their data. The customer can choose to have their old hard drive installed in a portable case for only $19.99.

The 80GB 7200 RPM overnight upgrade is $319 including the drive, all shipping costs and installation. The similar 100GB 7200 RPM overnight upgrade is $449. The upgrades include a 1-year warranty from TechRestore and a 5-year warranty on the hard drive from the manufacturer. The service is available immediately. [Bill Fox]

Apple Revised the Offerings from Five Hot Deals Retailers:

The Apple Store Special Deals page has unbelievable deals on the hottest refurbished and new, unopened Apple products. Current offerings include the Mac mini 1.25GHz for only $399, PowerBook G4 15" 1.67GHz with SuperDrive for only $1,899, iMac 20" G5 with SuperDrive for only $1,349, iPod mini starting at only $159, and much more. But hurry; supplies are limited and sure to go fast.

AudioMIDI has fantastic deals on a wide range of audio products for your Mac, including Line 6 Toneport UX1 Recording and Modeling Interface, Camel Audio Cameleon Synthesizer, Antares AVOX Vocal Toolkit, IK Amplitude 2, M-Audio iControl, Bias Peak LE 4, and much more.

CDW|MacWarehouse has great deals on cool Mac products, including Hewlett Packard Photosmart 8750 Photo Printer, Adobe Acrobat 7 Professional, Extensis Portfolio 7, Hewlett Packard ScanJet 4670 Digital Flatbed Scanner, SimpleTech Bonzai Xpress 2GB Flash Drive, Adobe Photoshop Elements 3, Epson Stylus Photo R200 Photo Printer, and much more.

Small Dog Electronics has great prices on top quality Mac products, including SanDisk 512MB Ultra II CF Card with USB Card Reader, SDI iHome Clock Radio for iPod, Creative Labs I-Trigue L3200 2.1 3-piece Speaker System, Rain Design i360 iMac Turntable for iMac G5, Intelliscanner Collector USB Barcode Reader, Logitech MX700 Cordless Optical USB Rapid Charge Mouse, and much more.

Publishing Perfection has great deals on a variety of design and print products for your Mac, including Adobe/total Training Bundle (includes Acrobat 7 Pro Upgrade and Acrobat 7.0 Training DVD), Alien Skin Eye Candy 5: Nature, Allume Systems Spring Cleaning 7 with $10 mail-in rebate, Logic Arts The InDesign IdeaBook, Pantone Essentials, TakeStock Far Out Effects Bundle, and much more.

[Bill Fox]

Tonight on the Tech Night Owl LIVE--David Pogue, Marc Horne of Quark, Ryan Rempel and Eliot Van Buskirk: Co-hosts Gene and Grayson Steinberg will welcome David Pogue, tech columnist for The New York Times and author of numerous books, such as Mac OS X: The Missing Manual. Marc Horne, of Quark Inc., will preview QuarkXPress 7.0 and Ryan Rempel will demonstrate how you can run Mac OS X Tiger on older Macs with the latest version of XPostFacto. You'll also get an update on Apple's digital music business from Eliot Van Buskirk of Tune in the internet radio show tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern.

Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus Visits the Washington Apple Pi Macintosh Users Group this Saturday: Macintosh computer authority Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus will speak at Washington Apple Pi’s general meeting to be held at 9 a.m. on September 24 at the Ernst Cultural Center Auditorium at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale Campus. Dr. Mac recently authored Mac OS X Tiger for Dummies, his 49th computer book.

"It will be an entertaining get-together, learning about Mac life from the point of view of one of the Macintosh community’s leading gurus," according to Pat Fauquet, Washington Apple Pi’s Vice-president of Programs.

Topics will include his company,, which assists individuals around-the-world with Macintosh maladies; Mac Geek Cruises; Mac OS X Tiger; and his books.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

After the Pi meeting, Bob LeVitus will present GarageBand 101: So You Want to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star at Tysons Corner Apple Store from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

MacIntels Still On Track for Mid-2006 Release according to a quote from Apple CEO Steve Jobs posted by CNet. Jobs is reported from Apple Expo 2005 in Paris to have stated that the schedule to have Macs with Intel CPUs inside by June of 2006 is on track. Jobs and other senior Apple executives appeared at a press conference at Apple Expo 2005 in lieu of a keynote address. More... [Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--Apple iTunes 5.0.1 Update: Apple released an updater for iTunes 5 to v5.0.1. It is available for download via the Software Update preference pane or as a standalone file. According to the Read Me file,

iTunes 5 features a new even more powerful instant search, including the new Search Bar which helps you find exactly what you are looking for in iTunes or from among 2 million songs on the Music Store, folders for organizing playlists, and new Parental Controls for music, music sharing and podcasts. iTunes 5.0.1 features several stability improvements over iTunes 5.

We've had no problems with iTunes 5.0 with songs, podcasts or our iPods with nearly a dozen installations. However, some people have for inexplicable reasons. We downloaded and installed iTunes 5.0.1 Update via the Software Update preference pane. We have encountered no problems with our song library, our podcast library and updating it and updating our iPods. [Bill Fox]

The Apple Developer Connection Published From PC to Universal Binaries with Xcode: SolidWorks Brings eDrawings to Mac OS X: SolidWorks ported their eDrawings Viewer CAD tool from Windows, and they made sure it was a true Macintosh application. As a result, the application shines on Mac OS X. From PC to Universal Binaries with Xcode: SolidWorks Brings eDrawings to Mac OS X outlines the benefits of doing it right. [Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--Apple Backup 3.0 for .Mac Members: Apple updated their Backup application from version 2.0.2 to 3.0. Apple Backup 3.0 is free to .Mac members only. Backup 3.0 requires Mac OS X v10.3.9 or Mac OS X v10.4.2 or later. Non-standard (symlinked) Home folder configurations are not supported.

What's new with Backup 3.0:

• Preset backup plans for iLife content and other Mac essentials
• Automatic scheduling to CDs and DVDs
• Incremental backups
• Advanced file restoration
• The ability to back up more than one Mac to your iDisk

When Backup 3.0 is first launched, it gives one the option of importing the settings of the prior version of Backup (probably 2.0.2). We selected this option and recommend that others do also. Next we selected "Migrated Drive Plan" and hit the backup button and the backup began, following a scan of all files, marking of files and copying of files to our backup hard drive.

The biggest problem with Backup 2.0.2 under Mac OS X 10.4.x is its very slow performance. It takes several minutes to launch and, because each email is now a separate file, it takes more than 30 minutes to scan and copy the files when it used to take just 2 or 3 minutes under Panther or Jaguar. Well, that problem has been mostly ameliorated in Backup 3.0.

Backup 3.0 launches nearly immediately. For a 1.4GHz Power Mac G4 Cube with 51,000 files to back up (mostly 7GB of email and 1.3GB of PowerPoints), it took 34 minutes for the first backup but each subsequent one took only 4.5 minutes. For a dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5 with 158,000 files to back up, it took 23 minutes for the first backup and each subsequent backup took only 6.5 minutes. [Bill Fox]

.Mac Service Enhanced with 1GB Storage, Email Groups and French & German Localizations: .Mac now provides iDisk storage of 512MB and another 512MB for email for a total of 1GB for each member. Families get 2GB of storage.

With regard to email groups, according to Apple,

.Mac members can now easily create private, ad-free online communities that make it easy for family, friends and private groups to communicate, coordinate and share digital media. With .Mac Groups, members can send emails to the entire group using a single address; post files, pictures and movies with a common group iDisk; publish group web pages and post links to other sites; and keep up-to-date with the latest group events with a shared iCal® calendar.

We have been a .Mac member since its inception. Annual membership is $99.95 or $179.95 for families (1 master and 5 sub-accounts). [Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Service Pack 2: A new service pack for Office for Mac 2004 was released by Microsoft. It updates the applications to v11.2 and is available for download either automatically through the Microsoft AutoUpdate application, the "Check for Updates" selection under the Help menu of any Office 2004 application or as a standalone file from this Microsoft Web page.

Here are the Office 2004 Improvements:

Word 2004

  • Improved performance when using a scroll wheel.
  • Improved performance when formatting documents.
  • Improved encryption for password protected documents.

Excel 2004

  • Improved encryption for password protected documents.
  • Improved performance when using scroll wheel in Page Layout view.
  • Improved stability when opening spreadsheets from other Excel versions in Excel 2004.

PowerPoint 2004

  • Improved text compatibility with Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows.
  • Increased performance when using QuickTime movies in presentations.
  • Improved stability when opening presentations saved with Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows.

and the Entourage 2004 Exchange Server Support Improvements:

  • Gain full access to your organization’s Global Address List information.
  • Provide delegate access to your Mail folders, Calendar and Address Book.
  • Share your Mail folders, Calendar and Address Book with assistants and colleagues.
  • Take advantage of improved public folder performance.
  • Receive password expiration notification before it expires.
  • View and manage how much disk space your Mail folders use to ensure you don’t exceed your organization’s set storage limits.

We downloaded and installed Service Pack 2 by the AutoUpdate application or by the standalone updater on several Macs. Service Pack 2 installed 319 files. Briefly using Word, Excel and PowerPoint revealed no problems. [Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--Opera Web Browser Updated to 8.5 with No Ads: Opera updated it web browser to version 8.5. It is available via the "Check for new release" selection under the application's Help menu or as a standalone file from this Opera Web page. For the former, be sure to select the Mac tab in the download window.

The good news is that Opera removed the integrated banner ads from its standard web browser and no longer charges a license fee for the ad-free version. Instead, Opera is charging $29 for premium support but there is also free standard support. Opera is one of the fastest and most fully-featured Web browsers available for the Mac.

The bad news is that Opera still does not render bold text in the Geneva font that we use for Macs Only! [Bill Fox]

Apple Expo 2005 Paris Began Today: The premier Apple Event on the European mainland continent, Apple Expo 2005, began today in Paris at the Porte de Versailles. Apple Expo opened without a keynote address from an Apple executive or anybody else for that matter. Still, Apple is exhibiting along with 250 or so other vendors. There are plenty of special show offers, special events and conferences to satisfy the attendees.

But will Apple sweeten the attractions by displaying new hardware that may be announced at any time this week? The rumors are buzzing and we think the Power Mac G5 upgrade with the dual dual-core G5 CPUs is the most likely, if any. Apple Expo 2005 runs through Saturday, September 24. [Bill Fox]

Micromat TechTool Deluxe 3.0.4 Update is Out and available for download via TechTool Deluxe is a "lite" version of the TechTool Pro diagnostic utility. It basically only repairs directories and performs hardware checks. TechTool Deluxe is available only by purchasing an AppleCare Protection Plan for your Mac. The 3.0.4 update adds Mac OS X 10.4 compatibility. [Dana Baggett]

The Day the East Coast Macworld Expo Died is the day that the IDG decided to move it from New York City back to Boston. The move was announced publicly on October 17, 2002. While the decision by IDG to kill the East Coast Mac event was made public Friday, it was already a dead horse that was flogged in the summers of 2003, 2004 and 2005. As we noted when the announcement was made to move the East Coast Macworld Expo from NYC back to Boston for 2004 and Apple's Steve Jobs dropped out of giving the keynote for the 2003 East Coast Macworld and cancelled any official Apple involvement for 2004 and beyond, that no Apple meant no meaningful Mac event.

Indeed, the 2003 Macworld Creative Pro (as Macworld Expo NYC was renamed for the third time) lost major vendors, covered only half the floor size and had little Mac press coverage despite Apple still exhibiting and a feature presentation by Apple's VP of Hardware Product Marketing, Greg Jowsiak. We lamented the death of a fine event, one that we had thoroughly enjoyed, and didn't bother to go after attending, participating and reporting daily from NYC during a string of 7 straight years.

Some said that Apple wanted to keep Macworld in NYC because it is one of Apple's biggest markets despite the expense and faltering participation. Some said Apple simply used the move as an excuse to leave an expensive and unneeded operation during the technology slump. Whatever the reason, IDG's management decided to buck Apple's CEO Steve Jobs and it was their show to destroy--they did. Fortunately, Macworld SF continues although that was uncertain back in 2002. [Bill Fox]

Hands-On Review: Apple's New iPod nano: Apple released its latest iPod model, the iPod nano, during a September 7th special event at San Francisco's Moscone West Convention Center. Even though our two-year-old iPod mini, the model that the nano replaces, had died just a few weeks earlier and we had elected to replace it with a new color 20GB iPod, we ordered a new iPod nano for this review. We ordered a white 4GB nano through the online Apple Store to take advantage of the free engraving offer for the unofficial staffer who will perform the nano's long-term test. Our nano was ordered the afternoon of September 9th and it arrived the morning of September 14 by FedEx directly from Shanghai, China--i.e. less than three U.S. business days for engraving and shipping. We had selected the free FedEx Ground shipping but Apple frequently uses express early in product releases with high demand.

Unlike the iPod mini that the nano replaces, there are only two color choices, white or black, instead of five (or six originally). Some Web reports state that the black iPod nano is in the greatest demand and the lowest supply. Still, we chose the white iPod nano because we like the stark white that is the Apple iPod unofficial trademark color. We were also worried that the black iPod nano might show scratches more easily. Our original white 5GB iPod that now kicks around in our car's glove box for use during long, unplanned waits still shows few scratches. But we tend to take extra care of our stuff.

We also opted for the larger-capacity 4GB model instead of the less expensive 2GB model. Reports that we have seen claim that the 4GB is the most popular. Our digitized music and photo collection that we carry on our iPod runs close to 2GB, so we opted for the larger model for some room for growth.

What You Get

Our iPod nano arrived in a small square box about the same size as an iPod box but only 1" deep, between a third and a quarter of the iPod box's depth. It contained the iPod nano, earbud headphones, earbud sponges, USB 2.0 cable, dock adapter, CD, 12-page quick start guide, Apple logo stickers and 12-month limited warranty. Like the iPod shuffle, an AC adapter is not included. The CD contains the iPod software installer, iPod User Guide PDF, iPod nano Features Guide PDF, iTunes 4.9 and QuickTime 6.5.2 installers and Web Tutorials in English, French, German and Japanese. The latter sends you to Apple's iPod Service and Support Web site.

The dock adapter is a small plastic insert to be used with future third-party accessories that will have a standard cutout for iPods so that all iPods may fit into one accessory. This is a nice move by Apple for manufacturers and consumers but it is likely to confuse some people since it is presently useless.

The iPod nano is small and light (3.5" tall by 1.6" wide by 0.27" thick and 1.5 oz.) and is thinner even than the iPod shuffle. In a volume and weight comparison with its principal siblings, the shuffle, nano and 20GB iPod are respectively 1.07, 1.51 and 6.20 cubic inches in volume and 0.8, 1.5 and 5.9 oz. in weight (see image above). The iPod nano clearly rivals the iPod shuffle in the portability department.

The font on iPod nano's 1.5" (diagonal) color screen (at left) is as easy to read as the font on the 2" screen on the 20GB iPod (at right below). The nano's font appears slightly smaller and the screen shows one less line of menu text (6 vs 7), the same number of lines as the original 5GB iPod screen. The iPod nano's screen is clearly brighter than the 20GB iPod's and is easily readable in bright sun light. In order to read the nano's color screen, the backlight must come on as with the 20 GB iPod's color screen.

The click wheel controller on the iPod nano is smaller in diameter than an iPod's but the center button is the same size. We have no problem using the click wheel and center button, either because of the click wheel's smaller diameter or the narrower width of the nano itself.

We installed the iPod nano software and copied the guide PDF files to our PowerBook G4's hard drive.

Using the iPod nano

Out of the box, our iPod nano was nearly fully charged. The first screen that came up asked us to select a language. A note at the bottom of the "About" screen stated that our nano was formatted for Windows.

We plugged the dock connector of the included USB 2.0 cable into its port on the bottom edge of the iPod nano and noted the space available next to it to plug in headphones or other audio-out devices. Despite many published comments, there is plenty of space to plug devices into the headphones jack. The only issue we see is that when the iPod nano is sitting in currently available docks, one will not be able to plug anything into the headphones jack. However, we expect that to be remedied in new accessories. There is even a drill-out depression in the dock adapter included with the iPod nano.

When we first plugged our iPod nano into our PowerBook G4's USB 2.0 port, a dialog box popped up stating "Optimizing for Mac OS X." In a few seconds, the iPod nano shut down and re-started. We suspect that it reformatted from Windows to the Mac format.

iTunes 5.0 launched and displayed the iPod preferences screen. After registering our iPod nano with Apple, iTunes began to load our 337 audio files, i.e. 320 songs and 17 podcasts. iTunes hung after about 3 minutes while loading file number 320, The Deep by Steven C. We don't know if the hang was caused by our iPod nano or iTunes 5.0--neither was responsive so we had to force quit iTunes 5.0. After that, we couldn't get our iPod nano to work properly even with a reset so we used the iPod Updater 2005-09-06 to restore the iPod nano software. Then it worked fine.

How Fast is It?

Loading the 337 audio files, 1.67GB, by USB 2.0 took 3:31. Preparing and loading 296 photos, another 191MB, took another 3:14. iTunes prepares lower resolution photos for transfer to the iPod nano and that took most of the time. In all, it took us around eight minutes to load our 4GB iPod nano with 1.71GB of audio and image files.

Some have complained about being unable to use FireWire to load the iPod nano. A FireWire connection can charge an iPod nano but not load it. The main concern is for those who have an older Mac with only much slower USB 1.1 ports. Others have claimed that FireWire would be even faster than USB 2.0, an issue for transferring very large collections of songs and/or images. Still others lament Apple dropping its own superb FireWire technology in favor of the USB 2.0 technology that is more ubiquitous in the Windows world than FireWire. While we can relate to the latter, it is clearly a business decision to sell more iPod nanos since potential Windows customers outnumber Mac customers by a large margin. On the other points we decided to conduct some speed tests.

We tried loading the songs and podcasts on our iPod nano from a USB 1.1 port on our 450 MHz Power Mac G4 Cube. After 3:31 (the same time it took to load all of the audio files using USB 2.0), it had loaded only 12 of the 17 podcasts and none of the 320 songs in our collection. It took 16:39, just to load all 17 podcasts and 83 of the 320 songs (i.e. the first 100 audio files). Fortunately, an update will be much faster than the initial loading of a collection. But USB 1.1 is slow. It may make sense to get a USB 2.0 PCI card for an older Power Mac or a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card for an older PowerBook. Older iBooks and iMacs appear to be out of luck unless there is a USB 2.0 to FireWire adapter out there.

Since the iPod nano can't be loaded by FireWire, we alternately used USB 2.0 and FireWire to load our 20GB iPod. Before each load, we used the iPod Updater 2005-09-06 to to erase our 20GB iPod and restore the software. Using USB 2.0 it took 3:50 to load 337 songs and podcasts. It took another 0:26 to load the 296 photos. Using FireWire, it took 4:10 for the songs and 0:27 for the photos. Both songs and photos took slightly longer to load with FireWire.

Battery Life?

What about the iPod nano's battery life? Apple claims that battery life is up to 14 hours. We suspect that measurement is under optimal conditions, i.e. with the backlight off and no other activity but playing songs. But it is relatively hard to see the menus on the color screen of the iPod nano (and 20GB iPod color) with the backlight off and we would expect normal use to include some fiddling with the song order, etc., and that would require turning on the backlight. Remember also that the iPod nano's backlight is relatively bright.

We decided on a maximum battery drain test for our iPod nano and, for comparison, we also applied it to our relatively new 20GB iPod color, which Apple claims plays for up to 18 hours, and our original 5GB iPod. Apple claimed the latter would get up to 10 hours but it's old and it recently tested at about a total of seven and a half hours of undisturbed play time with the backlight off. Our test was to set the iPods to "repeat all," set the backlight to "always on" and then to time how long it took before it automatically shut off. Before starting the test, we ran each iPod battery down to shut down and then recharged them fully to ensure that they were at maximum capacity.

The original 5GB iPod ran for 3:17:00. The iPod nano ran a bit longer to 4:23:00. The 20GB iPod color ran the longest to 5:54:00, nearly 6 hours. Based on proportioning to the original 5GB iPod's 7.5-hour performance, the iPod nano would be expected to exceed 10 hours. However, we believe that the backlight causes a greater proportion of the battery drain in the iPod nano so Apple's 14-hour number seems about right.

Finally, how good is the music? To our ears, we can not tell any difference among our iPods. The music sounds great, especially with Griffin EarJams on the Apple earbuds or with our Bose Quiet Comfort 2 headphones.

In Summary

Apple's iPod nano is the best ever portable music device for carrying and listening to digital music and for viewing one's photos, contacts and calendars. The iPod nano represents the best balance of size, capacity, features and style of any music player on the market today. It will clearly take over for the iPod mini as Apple's leading iPod model and may even crowd the regular iPod and iPod shuffle further into more specialized niches. Apple also has some great accessories for the iPod nano. The iPod nano is $199 for the 2GB model and $249 for the 4GB model. [Bill Fox]

Apple's iPod Tops CNet Top 10 List over 10 Years: And the original iMac is number eight! Apple Computer placed two products among the top ten that CNet has seen over the past ten years. Apple's iPod is number one and the others in order are: TiVo, Google, Napster, Firefox, Palm Pilot (arguably an Apple Newton derivative), Motorola Startac cell phone, iMac, Sony Digital Mavica camera and The Sims computer game. No Microsoft product is among them. More... [Dana Baggett]

Possible Simple Fix for Web Browser Problems with Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2: Reader complaints have been posted on several Mac Web sites that relate installing Apple's Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2 Software Update and hanging Web browsers and even system-wide freezes of Tiger itself.

One of us experienced a similar problem after an apparently problem free installation. Mozilla 1.7.11 bogged down badly on most Web pages. A few came up nicely but many only rendered half a page before stalling permanently. The same with Safari 2.0.1.

The fix? Re-instal Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2. The standalone updater was downloaded and run successfully. After logging out and back in--Voila!--Mozilla then seemed faster than ever. The pages that were the slowest then rendered in a flash!

We find it curious that the Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2 installer would run twice but it did. In our initial article on this update, we noted that this could happen using the Software Update preference pane if one did not restart after installation.

So, we suggest restarting after installing Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2 and if Web browser or system problems still crop up, try running the standalone updater. [Dana Baggett & Bill Fox]

Apple Revised the Offerings from Three Hot Deals Retailers:

J&R has great prices on top quality Mac products, including Advanced Bridging iJet Wireless RF iPod Remote, ColorVision PrintFX Suite, Destineer Macintosh Board Game Trio, Epson Stylus CX4600 All-in-One Printer, Feral Big Metal Box, Laughing Bird The Logo Creator, M-Audio Best of Pro Sessions, Micromat TechTool Pro 4, Microsoft Virtual PC 7 with Windows XP Pro, and much more.

CompUSA has money saving deals on a bevy of Mac products, including Creative I-Trigue 3400 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System, Sony HS75P/S 17" LCD Display with $50 mail-in rebate, Microsoft Office, Intuit Quicken for Mac 2006 with $20 mail-in rebate, Konica-Minolta Magicolor 243DL Color Laser Printer with $100 mail-in rebate, and much more.

Small Dog Electronics has great prices on top quality Mac products, including the TiBook Upgrade Bundle (includes AirPort card, 80GB Hard Drive, and QuickerTek Antenna), Small Dog Windshield Mount for iPod, Crumpler iBook and PowerBook Bags, LaCie DVD±RW with LightScribe and Toast, Intelliscanner Collector USB Barcode Reader, and much more.

[Bill Fox]

TidBITS Published Take Control of Your Wi-Fi Security: Wireless network users--whether they run a Wi-Fi network or use a hot spot on the road--can now find out how to protect their computers and their data from attackers in the 115-page Take Control of Your Wi-Fi Security. Written by wireless networking experts Glenn Fleishman and Adam Engst, the $10 ebook clearly explains the steps necessary to evaluate security risks; restrict access via WPA; secure data transmissions using PGP, SSL, SSH, and VPNs; and protect systems using anti-virus software and firewalls. The ebook provides advice on securing small office wireless networks, including details on choosing VPN hardware and software, and on setting up 802.1X for secure Wi-Fi logins. Readers will also learn how to perform a wireless network security audit using the same freely available tools that crackers might use.

10% of the proceeds of all TidBITS ebooks during September will be donated to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina victims. [Bill Fox]

Mozilla Suite Lives On As SeaMonkey--v1.0 Alpha Released for Testing: The development of Mozilla's internet application suite was cut off at v1.7.x (soon to be 1.7.12). It has emerged again as SeaMonkey. Version 1.0 Alpha of SeaMonkey is available for download by you bleeding edgers. Here are the release notes.

SeaMonkey is developed from the Mozilla Suite code base but shares code with Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Beta 1. SeaMonkey does not yet have final icons but it will have the general Mozilla/Netscape look and feel.

According to,

SeaMonkey 1.0 Alpha features more than just a state-of-the-art web browser, though: the application comes with a powerful email client as well as a WYSIWYG web page composer and a feature-rich IRC chat application. For web developers,'s DOM inspector and JavaScript debugger tools are included as well. SeaMonkey 1.0 Alpha is one of the most powerful and secure internet software packages currently available, even though this release is only for testing.

We downloaded and tested SeaMonkey and didn't encouter any problems during limited use. [Dana Baggett]

Apple Revised the Offerings from Four Hot Deals Retailers:

The Apple Store Special Deals page has unbelievable deals on the hottest refurbished and new, unopened Apple products. Current offerings include iPod mini starting at only $159, iPod Shuffle 512MB for only $79, iMac G5 with SuperDrive for only $1,399, eMac 1.25GHz with SuperDrive for only $799, and much more. But hurry; supplies are limited and sure to go fast.

MacZone has fantastic prices on essential Mac products, including Adobe Acrobat 7 Pro with FREE 128MB Flash Drive, Tritton Sound Bit USB Portable Speaker System, Epson Stylus R320 InkJet Printer, Intuit Quicken 2006 Basic with $20 mail-in rebate, Markzware FlightCheck Studio v1.1 for QuarkXPress 6, Sonnet PodFreq Premium FM Transmitter for iPod, and much more.

Ramjet has super low prices on RAM upgrades for your Mac, including 2GB DDR Kit for Power Mac G5 for only $259, 1GB DDR for Power Mac G4 for only $119, 512MB PC-2700 for Aluminum PowerBook G4 for only $65, 1GB Module for Aluminum PowerBook G4 for only $189, 1GB DDR DIMM for Mac mini for only $129, and much more.

O'Reilly has exclusively Hot Deals discounts for many of it's most popular Mac titles, including Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition, GarageBand 2: The Missing Manual, Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition, iLife '05: The Missing Manual, Mac OS X Tiger Pocket Guide, and much more.

[Bill Fox]

HardCore Web Content Editor 6.0 Released--First WYSIWYG HTML Editor with Full Safari Support: HardCore Internet Ltd. released version 6.0 of the HardCore Web Content Editor. The HardCore Web Content Editor is a user friendly WYSIWYG HTML web content editor component that can be inserted into web pages, web content management systems and other web applications to enable users to edit and add web site content via a web browser. It includes more than 60 editing and formatting functions. Version 6.0 of the HardCore Web Content Editor introduces full support for Mac OS X Safari v2.0.1+ as well as Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0+, Mozilla Firefox 0.7+, Mozilla 1.3+, Netscape 7.1+, Epiphany and Galeon. As the HardCore Web Content Editor is based on standard HTML and JavaScript technology there is no need for users to download and install special software to use the editor. More... [Bill Fox]

HELIOS PDF-Native OPI Workflow Wins PRINT 05 Honors: HELIOS' new PDF-Native OPI workflow received PRINT 05's prestigious "Worth-A-Look" award for digital prepress products. Selected from over 7,500 products by a 15-member independent panel of industry analysts, the award honors those products that are most likely to have the greatest impact on the printing industry in the years to come. HELIOS' new technology, debuting at PRINT 05, is a PDF-based OPI image replacement solution that replaces, within a PDF file, the low-res bitmap images with the high-res originals. Native PDF-based OPI image replacement translates into workflow flexibility, and faster turnaround times, for a vital competitive advantage. More... [Bill Fox]

iList Data 3.0 Database Software Released for Mac OS X:NIAGARA FALLS - September 7, 2005 - Lakewood Studios released iList Data 3.0, a powerful, low cost, single-user database application for the Macintosh. [Check out the screenshot.] It is now available in an easy-to-install personal edition. iList Data is built on the same engine that powers iList Studio, their multi-user database software. iList Data supports nearly all of the single-user features of iList Studio, but creates standalone databases that do not require the installation of server software. iList Data's benefits include integrated graphing, user designed record editors, ten find modes, and batch editing. Also included is extensive support for cataloging images and other files. iList Data 3.0 has a suggested retail price of $69.95 U.S. with educational pricing and site licenses available. A demo version of iList Data 3.0 can be downloaded from the Lakewood Studios Web page. [Bill Fox]

Our New Apple iPod nano Arrived Yesterday: We ordered Apple's new iPod nano last Friday and it arrived yesterday morning. We ordered one from the online Apple Store to take advantage of the free engraving offer rather than picking one up in the crush at our local retail Apple Store. Believe it or not, our iPod nano was shipped overnight on Tuesday by FedEx from Shanghai, China, even though we selected the free FedEx Ground shipping. Apple frequently does that with new introductions that have a high demand.

News is light and we are having a blast playing with it. Look for our trademark Hands-On Review in the near future. [Bill Fox]

Camino 1.0 Alpha 1 Browser Released for Bleeding Edge Afficionados: Camino is the Mozilla Project's Mac OS X Cocoa-native Web browser. After a very long time at 0.x stages, Camino is finally nearing a 1.0 release. However, an alpha stage is a very early stage of development so beware if you download it from Mozilla's Camino Web page. Camino 1.0 will use the same Gecko rendering engine as Firefox 1.5 that is now in beta testing. You can also check out the release notes. [Dana Baggett]

Mozilla Firefox 1.0.7 and Suite 1.7.12 Release Candidates are Out and available for download from this Mozilla Web page. Remember that these web browsers and internet suite are not final and may still contain some bugs. The new builds have several security updates and they include a solution for the dreaded IDN link buffer overflow vulnerability we mentioned previously. This means that the final versions will be out soon.

We downloaded and installed Mozilla Suite 1.7.12RC and ran into no problems. [Dana Baggett]

Tonight on the Tech Night Owl LIVE--Wilcox, Guerard and McElhearn Plus Win a Copy of Macromedia Studio 8: Tonight co-hosts Gene and Grayson Steinberg will examine the state of the computer industry and the digital music arena with noted industry analyst Joe Wilcox of JupiterResearch. You'll learn about the new features in Macromedia Studio 8 from Jim Guerard, Vice-President of Product Management and Product Marketing for MX Tools. In addition, author Kirk McElhearn will be on hand to offer some hot tips and tricks from his new ebook, Take Control of Customizing Microsoft Office. Be sure to listen to this week's show where they'll award a copy of Macromedia's Studio 8, worth $999! Tune in tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern. [Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--Apple Released Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2: The Java update is available via Software Update and as a standalone updater from this Apple Web page. According to the Read Me file,

Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2 delivers improved reliability and compatibility for Java on Mac OS X v10.4. This release includes Java 2 Platform Standard Edition versions 1.3.1_16 and 1.4.2_09.

Here are the three major issues addressed by the update:

CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2527
Available for: Java 1.4.2
Impact: A file race condition can lead to file corruption or the
creation of arbitrary files
Description: This is specific to the implementation of Java on Mac OS
X. Under certain conditions, Java may insecurely handle a temporary
directory. Subsequent file operations inside that directory could be
exposed to file race conditions. This update addresses the problem by
adding validation when operating in the temporary directory.

CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2528
Available for: Java 1.3.1, Java 1.4.2
Impact: Insecure temporary file handling can lead to file corruption
or the creation of arbitrary files
Description: This is specific to the implementation of Java on Mac OS
X. The privileged helper used to update Java shared archives
insecurely creates temporary files, which can lead to a file race
condition. This update addresses the issue by avoiding file
operations in user-accessible locations. This issue does not affect
systems prior to Mac OS X v10.4. Credit to
kf_lists[at]digitalmunition[dot]com for reporting this issue.

CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2529
Available for: Java 1.4.2
Impact: Malicious system users can gain elevated privileges
Description: This is specific to the implementation of Java on Mac OS
X. The utility used to update Java shared archives is susceptible to
a privilege escalation vulnerability from local system users. This
update addresses the issue by performing additional clean-up before
launching the utility on behalf of unprivileged users. This issue
does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.4. Credit to Dino Dai
Zovi for reporting this issue.

Further information is available in the 1.4.2_09 section of Sun's release notes and in the 1.3.1_16 section of Sun's release notes.

We downloaded and installed Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2 on a variety of Macs running Mac OS X 10.4.2: Power Mac G5 and G4 Cube, Mac mini, iMac G5 and PowerBoook G4. No problems were encountered either during installation or during limited use. We tried some Web pages that used to have javascript problems with Safari and found that none returned. One does need to restart one's Mac, even though it is not required, or running the Software Update pane again will try to install the update again. [Bill Fox and Dana Baggett]

Apple Released Java Security Update: This update is available as a standalone uppdater from this Apple Web page. The Apple Web page states that this update is for Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later but it did not show up in the Software Update of our Macs running Mac OS X 10.4.2. Our guess is that it is for earlier versions of Mac OS X than 10.4.2 and the fixes needed are included in the Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2 previously noted above. According to Apple,

Java Security Update delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components:

Java 1.3.1
Java 1.4.2

Here are the three major security fixes:

CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2527
Available for: Java 1.4.2
Impact: A file race condition can lead to file corruption or the
creation of arbitrary files
Description: This is specific to the implementation of Java on Mac OS
X. Under certain conditions, Java may insecurely handle a temporary
directory. Subsequent file operations inside that directory could be
exposed to file race conditions. This update addresses the problem by
adding validation when operating in the temporary directory.

CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2530
Available for: Java 1.3.1
Impact: An untrusted applet could gain elevated privileges
Description: This is specific to the implementation of Java on Mac OS
X. A vulnerability in Apple's implementation of Java allows an
untrusted applet to elevate privileges when using Mac OS X specific
extensions. This update addresses the issue by implementing
additional security checks. This issue does not affect Java on Mac OS
X v10.4 or later.

CVE-ID: CAN-2005-2738
Available for: Java 1.4.2
Impact: Network traffic intended for a particular Java ServerSocket
could be intercepted by another one
Description: This is specific to the implementation of Java on Mac OS
X. It is possible for the same port to be opened as a Java
ServerSocket multiple times without reporting an error. This can
allow a Java program to intercept data intended for the ServerSocket
of a different Java program. This update causes an exception to be
thrown if a port is already in use. This issue does not affect Java
on Mac OS X v10.4 or later. Credit to Jeremy Pfeifer of the
University of Saskatchewan for reporting this issue.

We do not have a Mac running Mac OS X 10.3.9 so we could not test this update. [Bill Fox]

Apple Released Xsan Tuner Application: It is available for download from this Apple Web page. According to Apple,

The Xsan Tuner application is used to test the data and video transfer capabilities of your storage area network and it’s Xsan volumes. Xsan Tuner can simulate both standard UNIX reads and writes as well as Final Cut Pro video reads and writes for a variety of common video formats.

Use Xsan Tuner to see if your SAN can handle planned workloads before you put it into production use. An Xsan Tuning Guide is provided along with the application to help understand the Xsan Tuner results as well as provide configuration suggestions to optimize your SAN performance.

To use the Xsan Tuner application, you need the following:

- Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server v10.4.2 or later
- Xsan 1.1 or later

Unfortunately, we do no have Xsan, Apple's Storage Area Network file system for Tiger. [Bill Fox]

Apple Released WaveBurner 1.1.1: It is available for download from this Apple Web page as a standalone update. According to Apple,

This update addresses reliability and performance issues that may be encountered with WaveBurner 1.1. It also improves compatibility with Mac OS X version 10.4 (Tiger).

Furthermore, the update corrects the following issues:

- Selecting an output other than 1/2 in the Audio Driver preferences no longer produces silent CDs.
- The default values in the Burn preferences of WaveBurner have been changed (Write SCMS option and Write PreEmphasis options are now off by default). This addresses a problem that may be encountered with WaveBurner 1.1 when burning ISRC code with the Pioneer DVD Burner.
- Use of plug-in settings created in Logic now works as expected.
- Dragging audio files onto the WaveBurner icon in the Finder or Dock now works as expected: A new project is created and the audio files are added. If a WaveBurner project is active, the files are inserted at the end of the project.
- Dragging files directly from the Finder into the Wave View area now works.
- Editing values in the Region and Track list now works as expected.
- Editing values in the Region Info, CD Track Info and Index Point Info window is now operational.
- The time format values chosen in the Wave View area, Track and Region list are now saved in the WaveBurner project.
- The Disc Length field now displays in the time format selected in the Track list.
- In some extremely rare situations, the Undo function of WaveBurner did not work as expected. These issues are addressed in this update.

We do not have WaveBurner to check out this update. [Bill Fox]

Apple Released QuickTime 7.0.1 Reinstaller for QuickTime 7.0.2 for those having problems with the recently released QuickTime 7.0.2. It is available for download from this Apple Web page. According to Apple,

The QuickTime 7.0.1 Reinstaller will remove QuickTime 7.0.2 and restore your system to QuickTime 7.0.1.

So far, we have not encountered any problems with QuickTime 7.0.2. [Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--Allume Released the Free StuffIt Expander and StuffIt Deluxe 10.0: The version that we had of Allume's free StuffIt Expander was 9.0.2. It is not clear what the new 10.0 version of this useful decoder brings.

We downoaded and installed copies on all of our computers. Limited testing showed it worked just fine. [Bill Fox]

Cool Mac Software--WeatherPop and WeatherPop Advance v2.2.1 are Out: They are available from this Web page. Fully featured WeatherPop Advance is $8 shareware. We find it more useful than the Weather Widget included with Tiger. You may too. [Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--iPod nano

By Lee Fairbanks

I was able to snag a Black 4GB iPod nano on Thursday. This was an ordeal in itself since only two of the five Washington DC area stores had nanos at all and the first store I visited was out of black. The packaging is about a third the thickness of the cube-like box the iPod mini came in. All customers that were buying nanos got a special black nano bag instead of the normal Apple Store bag.

My first impression is that the device looks absolutely beautiful. It is even smaller than you would think, about the thickness of 5 credit cards stacked up, and much thinner across. You really have to see it in person to appreciate how small it is. The screen, although much smaller than a standard iPod's (and a bit smaller than the old mini's) is bright and crisp. This is the first color screen iPod I've owned and it definitely makes the display easier to read. The small clickwheel works just as well as you are used to. Even though I have pretty large hands, I was able to use the controls.

One thing I love about the nano is its battery life. I fully charged it Thursday night. After using it for two hours a day from Friday to Monday, I still have about 50% battery left! Using flash memory instead of a hard drive seems to make a large difference in power usage.

So far I have only two minor gripes. The headphone jack is at the bottom which I find annoying. I am sure I will get used to the new way, but it does mean that I will have to unplug my headphones to dock it, so that is somewhat annoying to me. My other minor complaint is that the front of the unit seems to get scratched easily in much the same way that the first generation of iPods did. I worry that over the long term it will start to look bad.

The move from hard drive to flash memory however should make the actual reliability of the device much better. Since there are no moving parts, there really isn't anything to wear out internally. I haven't dropped the unit yet, but I imagine if I did that nothing would happen to it. The data is stored on flash memory chips, so there won’t be any skipping, no matter how hard you exercise. The sound quality is exactly the same as other iPods.

Firewire users take note--FireWire sync is not supported on this unit, only USB. If you do connect it via FireWire, a message pops up on the screen on the iPod saying that FireWire is supported for charging the unit but not for transfering data. If you have an older Mac that does not have USB 2.0, you may be stuck transferring at USB 1.1 rates which top out at roughly the same rate as a 4X CD burner. I have a G4 933MHz tower that came with only USB 1.1 but the nano worked perfectly with it using a USB 2.0 PCI add-in card.

All in all, the iPod nano is a fantastic product. I highly recommend it just as long as you have a USB 2.0 port available.

Free Apple Seminar to be Webcast Live--Best Practices for Web-based eFiling Systems: Apple invites you to a free, interactive webcast to discuss technical best practices around web-based electronic filing solutions. This Apple seminar for general audiences will be webcast at 9-10 a.m. on Septtember 21, 2005. Register here. [Bill Fox]

Intuit Income Tax Preparation Products Being Pushed Already: A notice for automatic renewal of TurboTax for Tax Year 2005 landed in our mail box today. Intuit will again offer the Windows and Mac versions on the same CD.

For those who need to file a single state income tax return, it appears that TurboTax Deluxe for Tax Year 2005 at $39.95 list is the best deal among Intuit's products since it includes free, after a rebate, one state filing software. Federal-only TurboTax Basic for Tax Year 2005 carries a list price of $19.95 and the standalone state tax filing software is $29.95.

For those needing all the bells and whistles and returns including rental income and Schedule C businesses, Intuit recommends TurboTax Premier at $69.95 which also includes a free after rebate state download.

Our observation is that the retail box version of these tax products are often heavily discounted when released. Intuit forecasts that to happen in early December. Gee, we can hardly wait! [Dana Baggett]

O'Reilly Released Commercial Photoshop Retouching: In the Studio: This book is a guide to professional photo retouching and compositing that deliver insider techniques and seasoned advice from someone who retouches photographs for a living and has been doing so for more than 20 years. "The examples in this book are the types of things I might be asked to do
for a client on any given day," says author Glenn Honiball. The next best thing to a mentor is a good guide. Commercial Photoshop Retouching: In the Studio (Honiball, O'Reilly, US $44.95) is a collection of real-world, straight-from-the-trenches advice on the practical commercial applications of retouching with Adobe Photoshop. [Bill Fox]

The Story Behind the Development of the iPod nano: Last Wednesday Apple put a bullet in its best-selling iPod, the iPod mini, by announcing its replacement, the iPod nano. According to Time Online, a decision to replace the iPod mini with something better came nine months ago. Despite the iPod mini being Apple's best seller, the team of engineers and executives at Apple thought they could make it much better. The iPod nano is smaller, thinner, looks more like the original iPod, has a color screen and uses up to 4GB of flash memory rather than a micro hard drive. More... [Dana Baggett]

Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5 Beta 1 Released for Those Who Like to Try Out New Stuff: The first release of the standalone email client companion to the standalone Web browser Firefox from the Mozilla Project is available for download. The second beta of Thunderbird 1.5 is due after the second beta of Firefox 1.5 is released, i.e. around October 5th, and the finanal cadidate is targeted for release on October 28th. Thunderbird 1.5 final is slated for release around the end of the year.

The new features of Thunderbrid 1.5 include an improved software update system, spell check as you type, phishing detection, podcasting, deleting attachments, reply and forward actions for mail filters, Kerberos authentication, auto save as draft, and many security enchancements according to the Release Notes. More... [Dana Baggett]

Keep Your iPod nano Warm and Scratch Free with the Wool PULL-i: PULL-i is a cool protective cover for your small electronic devices: iPod, mobile phone, laptop, digital camera. Made of high-quality wool felt in seven bright colors, PULL-i fits snugly around your device and protects it against scratches and impact. Every PULL-i is made entirely of finest new wool. The material is 2 mm thick, and is kept together by three threads of an overlock seam. The PULL-i is now available for the iPod nano in the Oktoberfest design for €16.50--Paypal accepted. More... [Bill Fox]

Kensington Released Three Products for Apple's New iPod nano: Kensington unveiled three new iPod products compatible with the iPod nano: the SX 2000 Speakers for iPod, the Micro FM Transmitter for iPod and the Digital FM Radio and FM Transmitter for iPod.

The SX 2000 speakers are especially cool for $159.99. They are a grille-less NXT flat panel design that forms the whole fascia of the docking station thereby, according to Kensington, providing a wide, immersive sound to bring your digital music collection to life. More... [Dana Baggett]

KeySpan Released Easy Presenter for Wirelessly Controlling Presentations: The Easy Presenter is a wireless pc presentation remote. It is RF-based with a receiver that connects to any USB port. Moreover the presentation remote includes a laser pointer as well as volume control, an increasingly important feature as sound becomes an important facet of compelling presentations. It does not require any software installation or complicated setup. A power switch protects battery life and an included pouch helps protect the remote when traveling. With a range of 60 feet or more, the Keyspan Easy Presenter functionality includes: Slide forward/back, laser pointer, volume up/down/mute, black screen, F5 (start presentation), and ESC (exit presentation). KeySpan's Easy Presenter costs $39.99. [Bill Fox]

WARNING! Do Not Install QuickTime SDK 7.0.2: Yesterday, we noted that the QuickTime SDK 7.0.2 popped up in our Mac OS X Software Update application and that we installed it without any apparent problem. Well, reader James Reid sent this note from an Ars Technica forum post by CanSpice:

If anyone's a QuickTime developer and uses the SDK, hopefully they haven't upgraded to 7.0.2:

If you run Tiger Software Update, you may see an update for the
QuickTime SDK 7.0.2. If you are on Tiger, do NOT install this update,
as it will install the wrong set of CoreAudio headers - it installs
Panther based CoreAudio headers and this will cause build problems,
etc. The QuickTime 7.0.2 update is fine; it is the updated QT
binaries and contains no headers.

If you have already installed this SDK SU, then you can get back your
correct Tiger CoreAudio headers by running the latest Developer DVD -
there is an option there for CoreAudio SDK - which are the correct

We are in the process of turning off this SU while we fix this, so
bare [sic] with this.

Thanks, and apologies for any inconvenience caused.

That's from William Stewart at Apple as posted to the mailing list.

We haven't tried the suggested "fix" even though we have the Developer DVD. We suspect it's just a problem if one uses the SDK in developing applications. [Bill Fox]

Mozilla Team Posted Patch for Firefox and Mozilla Suite IDN Buffer Overflow Security Issue: On September 6 a security vulnerability affecting all versions of Mozilla Firefox and the Mozilla Suite was reported to Mozilla by Tom Ferris and on September 8th was publicly disclosed. On September 9, the Mozilla team released a configuration change which, as a temporary measure to work around this problem, disables IDN in the browser. IDN functionality will be restored in a future product update. The fix is either a manual configuration change or a small download which will make this configuration change for the user. The patch and instructions on administering these changes can be found on this Mozilla Web page. [Dana Baggett]

Apple/Moto iTunes Phone Uses SanDisk 512MB microSD Card: SanDisk Corporation announced that its 512-megabyte microSD card is bundled with the new Motorola ROKR phone with iTunes that was introduced this week. The new iTunes-enabled Motorola phone can store approximately 120 songs -- the equivalent of eight CDs worth of music--using the included SanDisk flash storage card. Currently, the 512MB SanDisk microSD card is the largest capacity available in this form factor. The company expects to have 1GB microSD cards in limited quantities by late Q4 2005 and 2GB cards in 2006. The 512MB SanDisk microSD card model is expensive now, running around $70 each. [Bill Fox]

Cool Mac Software--OpenOSX Grass Based on GRASS GIS 6.0.1 is Out: OpenOSX just announced the availability of an updated version of their free OpenOSX Grass product based on GRASS GIS 6.0.1. The free OpenOSX solution is a complete Geographic Information System (GIS) contained in a convenient stand-alone application, requiring zero-installation. The minor new update of OpenOSX Grass is primarily to include the latest and recently released version of the GRASS open source GIS bringing more than a dozen bug fixes. GRASS 6.0.1 includes a "GIS Display Manager" with layers, a vector engine capable of handling 2D and 3D vector data, an NVIZ 3D interface allowing volume (voxel) capabilities, 3D and 4D visualization, and the ability to integrate database management systems such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, DBF and ODBC. GRASS can import and export most popular geo-spatial file formats and includes tools for photo-orthorectification, image classification, re-projection, geostatistics, spatial data analysis and much more. OpenOSX Grass is a free and immediate download. [Bill Fox]

Apple Revised the Offerings from Five Hot Deals Retailers:

The Apple Store has has great deals of superb products for your Mac, including Sony's DSC-T33 5.1MP CyberShot Digital Camera, Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 2.0 Silver Personal Audio System, Altec Lansing inMotion iM7 Portable Audio System for Dockable iPods, LaCie d2 DVD±RW FireWire Dirve with LightScribe and Toast 6 Titanium, and much more.

The Apple Store Special Deals has unbelievable deals on the hottest refurbished and new, unopened Apple products. Current offerings include iPod mini starting at only $179, 512MB iPod Shuffle for only $79, AirPort Extreme Card for only $69, Mac mini 1.25GHz for only $429, and much more. But hurry; supplies are limited and sure to go fast.

B&H Photo and Video has fantastic prices of superb products for your Mac, including Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5D 6MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-70mm AF DT Zoom Lens, Canon PIXMA iP1600 Photo Quality Color Inkjet Printer, Epson Perfection 3590 Photo Letter Size Flatbed Scanner, Microtech Dazzle 8-in-1 USB Card Reader/Writer, Extensis Portfolio 7 for Mac, and much more.

Mac Game Store has great deals on the hottest games for the Mac, including MacSoft Tropico 2: Pirate Cove, MacPlay Zuma Deluxe, UbiSoft Myst V: End of Ages, Shrapnel Games Salvo, Aspyr Media Homeworld 2, Strategy First Vendetta Online, and more.

Publishing Perfection has great deals on a variety of design and print products for your Mac, including Virtual Mirror Vector Studio 2, Pyrus TransType Pro, Pacific Images PrimeFilm 1800 Silver Film Scanner, StockLayouts for Adobe InDesign, RedRock Software DeltaGraph, Pantone ColorCue, Microtek ScanMaker i700 Flatbed Scanner with $50 mail-in rebate, and much more.

[Bill Fox]

FREE Mac Software Archive? You Bet: Check out Brian Stucki's [Bill Fox]

O'Reilly Released Podcasting Hacks: "An hour from now you can be a podcaster," promises Jack Herrington, author of the groundbreaking new Podcasting Hacks (O'Reilly, US $24.95) the ultimate how-to of podcasting for anyone looking to get into this hot new medium for publishing, broadcasting, and syndicating audio programs on the Web. But Herrington doesn't want his readers to make just any podcast. He guides them through every step of producing and distributing the very best podcast they can--and then learning from the experience to make more and produce even better podcasts. [Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--Apple Released iTunes Phone Driver 1.0: The iTunes Phone Driver 1.0 is available automatically via the System Preferences Software Update pane. As of publication time, it was not available from Apple's downloads Web page as a standalone file. According to the Read Me file,

iTunes Phone Driver 1.0--iTunes 4.9 or later features the ability to transfer music to mobile phones. This driver is required for iTunes to communicate with these supported mobile phones.

iTunes Phone Driver 1.0 showed up in the Software Update application on all of our Power Macs (G5 and G4 Cube), Mac mini, iMac G5 and PowerBook G4s. All are running Mac OS X 10.4.2 and had iTunes 5.0 and QuickTime 7.0.2 installed. The iTunes Phone Driver 1.0 downloaded and installed with no problem. Unfortunately, we do not have a supported cell phone which at this time is only the new Motorola ROKR E1 announced on Wednesday. [Bill Fox]

[9/9] [Updated]
Brief Hands-On Report--Apple Released QuickTime SDK 7.0.2: [Update: WARNING! Do Not Install QuickTime SDK 7.0.2--See Our 9/10 Note] QuickTime SDK 7.0.2 is available automatically via the System Preferences Software Update pane. As of publication time, it was not available from Apple's download Web page as a standalone file. According to the Read Me file,

The QuickTime 7.0.2 SDK contains QuickTime headers for use in creating software that employs QuickTime APIs. The SDK also includes examples and documentation that describe the capabilities of the QuickTime APIs, including the new functionality introduced in QuickTime 7.

After installation, you will find the QuickTime headers in the following directory on your system:

Documentation will be installed in the following directory on your system:

Example code will be installed in the following directory on your system:

QuickTime SDK 7.0.2 appears to be for developers using QuickTime 7.0.2. However, it showed up in the Software Update application on most of our Power Macs (G5 and G4 Cube), Mac mini, iMac G5 and PowerBook G4s whether we had the Developer tools installed or not. All are running Mac OS X 10.4.2 and had iTunes 5.0 and QuickTime 7.0.2 installed. QuickTime SDK 7.0.2 downloaded and installed with no problem. [Update: WARNING! Do Not Install QuickTime SDK 7.0.2--See Our 9/10 Note] [Bill Fox]

[9/9] [Updated]
Hands-On Report--Mac Users Applying Online for FEMA Aid Use User Agent Switcher Extension if you are using a web browser with the Gecko engine--Mozilla and Firefox. User Agent Switcher Extension is available from Chris Pederick's Web page. Mac users trying to apply for assistance from the effects of Hurricane Katrina on FEMA's Web site are met with this message:

In order to use this site, you must have JavaScript Enabled and Internet Explorer version 6.
Download it from Microsoft or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register.

So we downloaded and installed User Agent Switcher Extension. We had to close Mozilla 1.7.11 and reopen it for it to show up under Tools in the Menu Bar. We then tried FEMA's aid application Web page and it worked! Without it we couldn't even access the registration site. With the User Agent switched to Internet Explorer 6 (Windows XP), we got through to the data entry page and were able to enter our name, etc.

As of publication time, the FEMA "Apply for Aid Online" Web page has been changed and now claims that FEMA is "modifying the application so that it will be available to addition browsers." We wonder if that still means those that run on Windows only? We now know better. [UPDATE: Reader Grant Gallagher wrote us, "I can confirm that the FEMA page can be accessed in full using CAMINO with the agent spoofing tuned to IE6(Windows) as found in the "ExtraPrefs" plug in, found at ....] [Dana Baggett]

AJA Released the KONA LH 10-bit Uncompressed Video Capture Card at IBC: AJA Video released their newest product KONA LH, a 10-bit uncompressed video capture card. This is the only PCI card available for Mac OS X and Final Cut Studio that offers both HD and SD analog and digital I/O. KONA LH is making its first worldwide appearance at IBC 2005 which starts today and runs though next Tuesday in Amsterdam. For editors wanting to utilize both analog and digital sources, KONA LH is an excellent solution because everything is in just one card, simplifying their system setup, and providing the most flexibility, at a very low price of $1,790. [Bill Fox]

Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 Released for Those on the Bleeding Edge: According to, Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 is now available for download. This is the first beta release of the next major Firefox update. The final release of Firefox 1.5 is scheduled for later this year.

New features include an improved software update system, faster Back and Forward navigation, a feature for clearing private browsing data, drag-and-drop reordering of browser tabs, a redesigned Options/Preferences window and better popup blocking. Web standards support is also improved, with support for Scalable Vector Graphics, JavaScript 1.6 and more CSS. Accessibility is also better (including new DHTML accessibility features), security has been enhanced and there's now greater support for Mac OS X.

Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 may be downloaded from the Firefox project page. The Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 Release Notes have more information. Looking forward, Mozilla Firefox 1.5 Beta 2 is scheduled for release on Wednesday, October 5th, and the first Firefox 1.5 release candidate is due on Friday 28th October. [Dana Baggett]

QuickTime Streaming Webcast of Apple's Special Event on 9/7/05 is Out: The Special Event hosted yesterday by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at San Francisco's Moscone West is now available for viewing as a QuickTime streaming webcast from this Apple Web page. There is also an Apple photo gallery of the event on this Apple Web page.

Apple announced iTunes 5, Apple and Motorola introduced the new ROKR E1 cell phone with iTunes software and Apple introduced the new iPod nano, a terrific replacement for the iPod mini.

iTunes Phone--Motorola ROKR E1 Cell Phone: The Moto iTunes-enabled phone is available only from Cingular for $249.99 with a 2-year contract. The phone has iTunes software built in. It holds up to 100 songs, has stereo speakers and a set of stereo headphones. The songs are transferred via a USB cable from your Mac via iTunes just like an iPod.

iPod nano: The latest addition to Apple's iPod line, the iPod nano, replaces the iPod mini. The nano is about one-third smaller than the mini and much lighter at 1.5 oz. It has a 1.5" color screen, 25% smaller than the iPod's, and comes in white or black. The nano looks very much like a smaller iPod with a gray click wheel and shiny stainless steel back.

The nano uses flash memory like the shuffle instead of a micro hard drive like the mini it replaces. It comes in a 2GB (500 songs) model for $199 and a 4GB (1000 songs) model for $249. It has the same 30-pin connector for USB as all recent iPods and a stereo minijack for headphones. The nano will also carry photos as well as songs and will display slide shows. The battery life is stated at 14 hours and the nano has a screen lock.

Unfortunately, our iPod mini gave up the ghost just a couple of weeks ago and we replaced it with a 20GB color iPod to get a color screen...d'oh! [Bill Fox & Dana Baggett]

Brief Hands-On Report--Apple's New iTunes 5: At yesterday's Apple Special Event, iTunes 5 was introduced. iTunes 5 is available for download via the System Preferences Software Update pane or as a standalone download. According to the Read Me file,

iTunes 5 features a new even more powerful instant search, including the new Search Bar which helps you find exactly what you are looking for in iTunes or from among 2 million songs on the Music Store, folders for organizing playlists, and new Parental Controls for music, music sharing and podcasts.

The new iTunes 5 "skin" or interface is not very different from its immediate predecessor. It is more consistent with Apple's Mail in that the Source panel's background is light blue rather than white. The main panels are no longer cut outs. The top info "Apple" window has squared off ends rather than semi-circles. The volume slider control has been moved alongside the play controls rather than under them so that the header area has commensurately less height. The button to expand iTunes' Visualizer to full screen is only visible on the Visualizer.

One of the main new features is a lockable "Parental" preference panel. It allows one to disable podcasts, the Music Store connection and music sharing and to restrict explicit content on the Music Store.

Playlists can now be sorted into and kept in folders.

Another new feature is called "Smart Shuffle" in the Playback preference panel. One can move a slider to select how likely one is to hear songs from the same artist or album in a row.

Finally, iTunes 5 allows one to sync music to the new iTunes Phone (Motorola ROKR E1).

We downloaded and installed iTunes 5 on several Power Macs (G5 and G4 Cube), iMac G5s and PowerBook G4s with no difficulty. We were able to play all of our playlists just fine and to download music from Apple's iTunes Music Store. The new search engine worked very quickly while searching the iTunes Music Store. [Bill Fox & Dana Baggett]

Brief Hands-On Report--QuickTime 7.0.2: Apple released an update to QuickTime to v7.0.2. The update is available from the System Preferences Software update pane or as a standalone download. According to the Read Me file,

QuickTime 7.0.2 delivers numerous important bug fixes and compatibility enhancements. This update is highly recommended for all QuickTime 7 users.

We downloaded and installed QuickTime 7.0.2 on several Power Macs (G5 and G4 Cube), iMac G5s and PowerBook G4s with no problems. We played back several video files, including several HD H.264 movie trailers and encountered no difficulties. Apparently, movie trailers played through the iTunes Music Store no longer provide a full screen option unless one has QuickTime Pro. [Bill Fox & Dana Baggett]

Apple Released iPod Updater 2005-09-06: This updater includes iPod Software 1.0 for the iPod nano. All other iPod software is the same as versions previously released as iPod Updater 2005-06-26. The new updater is available from this Apple Web page. [Bill Fox]

Tonight on the Tech Night Owl LIVE--New Apple Products, Spam Fighting and The Biedny Zone: Tonight the internet radio show co-hosts Gene and Grayson Steinberg will explore Apple's latest new product announcements during a special online conference with Christopher Breen and Dan Frakes of Playlist magazine. You'll also discover the latest tools in the fight against Spam with Ted Green of SpamStopsHere. And get ready to take another fascinating journey into the "David Biedny Zone." Tune in the broadcast tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern. [Bill Fox]

Apple Special Event Today: As we previously noted on Tuesday August 30, Apple will hold a special event today at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The invitation stated,

"The e-mailed invitation shows a pair of denim jeans. At the top of the image reads a caption, '1000 songs in your pocket changed everything. Here we go again."

a reference to the ad campaign slogan for the first iPod. We will post the details when they become known. [Bill Fox]

Brief Hands-On Report--Retrospect 6.0 for Mac Driver v6.6.101 Released: Dantz released a new Retrospect Driver Update (RDU) for use with Retrospect 6.0 for Macintosh. The update is available for download from this Dantz Web page.

Here is the list of changes:

New Drive Support Since Last Release

  • ADIC FastStor 2 LTO-3 Tape Library
  • HP CD Writer 52e CD/DVD Drive
  • OWC M ercury FireWire/USB2 D110 DVD+/-RW (FireWire only) CD/DVD Drive
  • OWC Pioneer 16x DL SuperDrive DVR-110D CD/DVD Drive
  • Panasonic CW-8124 (Apple version) CD/DVD Drive
  • Pioneer DVR-110 CD/DVD Drive
  • Sony CSM-20 Tape Library
  • Spectra Logic Spectra T50 Library Tape Library
  • Spectra Logic Spectra T120 Library Tape Library
  • Spectra Logic Spectra T950 Library Tape Library
  • Tandberg StorageLoader LTO2 Tape Library
  • Tandberg StorageLoader DLT VS160 Tape Library

Additional changes with this release

  • Improved support for HP Ultrium 3

We downloaded and installed the latest RDU (6.6.101) with no problem. Retrospect 6.0 seems to run fine. [Dana Baggett]

Cool Mac Software--Swift Publisher 1.0.3: BeLight Software released Swift Publisher 1.0.3, an update to this Mac OS X page layout application for designing and printing flyers, newsletters, brochures, etc. The Swift Publisher CD edition now features 40 additional ready-made designs. The update contains many enhancements and is available for current users for free from this BeLight Software Web page.

Version 1.0.3 Changes:

- 40 new designs (for CD edition).
- Option to show/hide clipart panel.
- Spontaneous image cut is solved when a mask or tint is applied.
- Smart Field performance is improved*:
* when a page is relocated numeration problem is solved,
* on adding a new text field text format of the previous field remains.
About Swift Publisher:

Swift Publisher is a Macintosh page layout application for designing and printing high impact documents, i.e. flyers, newsletters, brochures, letterheads, etc. It has about 100 ready-made professional designs, 23,000 images, 100 unique masks and all the tools you need for customizing and editing your documents. The app also integrates with iPhoto. Read more.

We have favorably reviewed other software from BeLight. [Bill Fox]

FREE Apple Online Seminars--September Schedule: Apple provides free online seminars. These online events are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any computer with internet access. They are designed to be no more than 30 minutes in length and offer a wide variety of resources and information for your review. Topics cover solutions using Apple and partner products and technologies. Here is the September list:

3D Modeling on the Mac with modo--Watch Brad Peebler, President of Luxology, as he provides a tour of modo and find out how you can turn your inspiration and creativity into amazing 3D models.

A Blueprint for Tiered Storage--Steve Duplessie, recognized independent expert on storage technology, discusses the practicalities of tiered storage & set-up of a solution that works.

Asset Management for Creative Workgroups: With Xserve G5 and Extensis Portfolio Server--Learn how you can better manage your photographs and creative assets with the winning combination of Apple Xserve and Extensis Portfolio Server.

Biotech is in our DNA--Michael Athanas, Ph.D., of The BioTeam will show how to install a fully provisioned informatics cluster on one or more Xserve servers using iNquiry.

Build High Performance Tiered Storage Strategies - With Xserve RAID--Join Alex Grossman, Senior Director of Server and Storage Hardware, and learn how you can implement a tiered storage strategy using Xserve RAID.

Change Your Infrastructure Legacy: Lower Costs and Simplify Server and Storage Management--Join Alex Grossman, Apple Sr Director, and learn how adding Xserve G5 and Xserve RAID to your IT infrastructure can help you meet today's business demands.

Color Management: From Input to Edit and Print with Mac OS X Panther & ColorSync--Join Steve Upton, industry consultant on color, as he gives you an overview of color management from displays to applications and output.

Computational Clusters for Bioinformatics--Elizabeth Kerr, Ph.D., Director of Science and Technology Markets at Apple, moderates this informative webcast discussion of the Apple Workgroup Cluster.

Cost-effective Storage Deployments for Research Computing--Learn how to achieve better data accessibility and faster storage retrieval in a more cost-effective way with industry-leading solutions.

Deliver Simplified Workgroup Services--Join Douglas Brooks, Server Product Mgr, to learn how to deliver robust workgroup & internet services without straining your budget or stretching your IT staff.

Desktop Management Made Easy with Apple Remote Desktop 2--Join Apple Product Mgr Nader Nafissi to learn why Apple's new, easy to use desktop management software is the essential tool for any Mac system administrator.

Developers win with Mac OS X - Reap the rewards--Built on a rock-solid UNIX core and standards-based technologies, Mac OS X is hailed as the world's most advanced operating system.

Font Management for Creative Professionals--Join Brent Haley, Apple marketing mgr, for an overview of font management capabilities in Mac OS X and to see solutions from Extensis and Insider Software.

Getting Started with High Performance Computing--On-demand rebroadcast of the Dec 16, 2004 webcast discussion of the high-level concepts of high performance computing, issues & obstacles, and more.

Guitarists and the Mac: A Conversation with Pat Metheny--Join Pat Metheny in this free online seminar and learn how the Mac can help you take your music to the next level.

Improve Your Presentation Skills--Watch this free online seminar and find out how to improve your presentation skills.

Information Lifecycle Management--Steve Kenniston, an Enterprise Storage Group analyst will offer insights as to how to manage vast amounts of data while keeping your overhead low.

Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server for High Performance Computing--Learn about the technical underpinnings of Apple's latest OS, and how new features and updates will benefit users of Mac OS X-based clusters and grids.

Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" for Scientific and Technical Computing--Join Apple in this densely-packed on-demand webcast rebroadcast on how each new feature in Tiger applies to Apple's scientific customers.

Managing Your Creative Assets--Join Brent Haley, Apple marketing manager, for an overview of the latest storage solutions from Apple and an intro to asset management solutions.

Maximizing Mac OS X Application Performance--Re-broadcast of the webcast discussion of the basics of optimization, how and why developers should turn a critical eye to the code they've just written.

Mobile Creative Studio, Portable Workstation, Office-on-the-Go--Join Gail Nishimura, PowerBook product manager, to learn about the latest advancements in the PowerBook G4 line and discover which model is right for you.

Mobile Field Editing with Journalist Dr. Bob Arnot--Join Dr. Bob Arnot to learn how the Mac can help you become a more successful storyteller and videographer by editing video on-the-go using tools from Apple.

Optimize Your Creative Workgroups with Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Xserve RAID--Join Brent Haley, Apple senior marketing manager for design and print, and learn how you can remove barriers to creativity while streamlining mundane IT tasks.

Perfect Color Starts Here. With Apple Cinema Displays--Join the Apple Cinema Displays product manager to learn how adding an Apple display to your creative system can boost your color-viewing experience.

Powerful tools for 2D and 3D post production--Watch Daryl Obert of Alias and Charles Meyer of Apple as they explore ways you can bring new levels of integration to your post production workflow.

Pre-Visualizing and Presenting Your Ideas with StoryBoard Artist--Watch Jeff Walsh of PowerProduction demo StoryBoard Artist and find out how to convey your ideas with more depth, flair and accuracy than you thought possible.

The Ultimate Creative Workstation. Discovering the Apple Power Mac G5--Todd Benjamin provides a tour of the Power Mac G5, describing what makes them so innovative and how they will benefit your creative endeavors.

Third-party HPC Solutions for Mac OS X--Apple will be joined by representatives from companies who develop their software or hardware for the platform to talk about their products.

We have watched many of Apple's free seminars and have found them to be quite good. [Bill Fox]

Apple iBook Program Opens in Shoreline School District in Washington State: According the Seattle Times, the Shoreline School District in Washington State will open the school year with a high technology pilot program. The pilot effort will involve more than 1000 iBooks, putting one in the hands of every Kellogg Middle School student plus every fourth, fifth and sixth grade student at Echo Lake Elementary School. Einstein Middle School will try out a sharing arrangement with one iBook for every two students. More... [Dana Baggett]

Apple Expo 2005 Paris Events are Revealed: The organizers of Apple Expo 2005 in Paris, 9/20-24, have listed this year's events. There are two new special events, a National Pavilion: Japan and one for Weblog and Podcasting. Here are the details:

National Pavilion: Japan--For the first time ever, an individual country will be the guest of honor at Apple Expo. With a mixture of robotics and traditions, mangas and technologies, Japan will be well represented with a dedicated pavilion showcasing Japanese publishers, manufacturers and programmers.

Weblog and Podcasting--This year, Apple Expo 2005 will use the blog as a new communication tool to provide a real-time report of the exhibition’s highlights using all the latest weblog functions: articles and calendar as well as moblogging and podcasting live from the exhibition. This will act as a “virtual” extension of the exhibition, making it possible to interact more effectively with visitors about Apple Expo events and important announcements.

In addition, there will be five solution centers for professionals: Creation, Small & Medium Businesses, Developers & Innovation, Health Care and Education.

For individuals there are the Easy Mac discovery workshop, Kids in the Hall for young children, Employment Area, Games Tournament, Games Arcade, iLife Workshop and feature demonstration and Play Music for learning how to use Apple's GarageBand.

Late last week it was noted that Apple CEO Steve Jobs does not plan to deliver a keynote address this year. More... [Bill Fox]

New iTrip for iPods Released from Griffin Technology: Griffin Technology Inc., today announced the new iTrip for Apple's recent iPods (3G and newer). The new iTrip retains the same phenomenal industrial design as its predecessor but builds upon this foundation with several enhancements, superior performance and innovative features never seen before on FM transmitters.

The new iTrip sports a large, easy to read backlit LCD screen to make setting its digital tuner easy and intuitive. A handy knob on the side of the iTrip makes it a breeze to select broadcast frequency: simply turn to the frequency and click the knob to set it. The iTrip remembers its settings for convenience. This compact, self-contained design makes changing stations a snap, perfect for use in autos.

One of iTrip's innovative new features is selectable LX or DX modes of broadcasting (an FM transmitter first). This allows the user to adjust for the absolute best possible audio under real-world conditions. Even in the toughest situations, such as large cities with lots of radio stations crowding the dial, iTrip's DX Mode delivers a noise level that's below that of a cassette tape adapter, allowing the music to punch through cleanly. The results are stunning.

Another new feature (and another FM transmitter first) is the ability to set the iTrip to either US or International tuning modes. International mode allows access to all available frequencies throughout the world. US mode limits tuning to those frequencies relevant to US stations. The result: no unnecessary scrolling through channels.

The new iTrip features volume enhancements as well, with an auto volume control that works with the iPod's volume level to automatically avoid distortion. If the iPod volume is set too high, iTrip recognizes and corrects it by lowering the volume to its optimum level, assuring clean, clear, dynamic sound.

The iTrip requires no batteries to operate, it draws its power directly from the iPod, so there's never a power issue to silence your tunes. The new iTrip has a special introductory price of $39.99. More... [Bill Fox]

At the Apple Retail Stores every Wednesday is Business Day--September's focus is Your Business: Apple asks you to come in and meet with one of their trained Business Consultants, available all day each Wednesday in September to talk about you and your company. You may ask them questions and get ideas about specific technology issues that apply to your situation. You can test-drive Apple products and popular business software. Or find out about the Apple Stores' range of business services. Apple invites you to drop in any time and to stay as long as you want. October will focus on Microsoft Office and November will highlight FileMaker Pro 8. More... [Bill Fox]

Tonight on the Tech Night Owl LIVE--Chris Sage, Jason Snell and Derrick Story: This week co-hosts Gene and Grayson Steinberg will discover the secrets of creating movie special effects on Macs with Chris Sage of Luma Pictures, a company that has worked on "The Cave," "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" and other films. Jason Snell, Editorial Director of Mac Publishing, publishers of Macworld and Playlist magazines, will bring you up to date on the latest news and views. In addition, photojournalist Derrick Story will be on hand to deliver tips on unlocking the hidden power of your digital camera from his new book, "Digital Photography Pocket Guide, 3rd Ed." Tune in the internet radio broadcast tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern. [Bill Fox]

The Apple Developer Connection Published Adopting Universal Binaries: This article teaches one how to build universal binaries, a new file format that allows applications to run on both current PowerPC-based Macs and the future Intel-based Macs. Adopting Universal Binaries is available on this Apple Web page. [Bill Fox]

The Apple Developer Connection Published Working with Xcode: Building Applications for the Future: One needs to use Apple's Xcode Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to build universal binaries. This ADC article, Working with Xcode, provides the latest on working with Apple’s IDE and the reasons why it's the easiest and fastest tool to use for building applications on Mac OS X. For complete details, visit this Apple Web page. [Bill Fox]

Apple Employees Respond to Hurricane Katrina's Devastation: Coastal Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina earlier this week. Many want to help but the extent of the damage makes it difficult to do so. According to a Mercury News article, Apple Computer and Cisco Systems are sending teams 20-50 employees to be trained in intensive sessions before being deployed to the Gulf Coast area. More... [Dana Baggett]

Please Help Our Nation's People in AL, LA and MS: As we are all astounded and deeply saddened by the enormous devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina to the people living in coastal Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, we may be wondering what we can do to help. Long time Macs Only! reader John Grubb wrote:

I am a daily reader of Macs Only! and live in Baton Rouge. Many lives, and lifetimes have been lost to Hurricane Katrina. The entire nation will feel the pain of this loss.

Please make available to your readers who want to help the following information:

  1. Give to the American Red Cross. The total cost of damage now from New Orleans to the Mississippi Gulf Coast is now being estimated to reach $75 billion.
  2. Donate blood at any hospital or blood center if they are eligible.
  3. Give clothes, non-perishable food items, games, toys, and toiletries to local charitable organizations and the Food Bank.

Refugees will be taken to Houston and as far away as Atlanta. Millions are now homeless. And our economy will suffer a major blow.

This is a national problem, not just local, and we can all help ourselves by helping those in need.

Thank you.

[Bill Fox]

[Back to top of page]

[Go to the August Archive]

[Return to Macs Only!'s Current News]


Click On Images

Cool Accessories from MacImports.ComMacImports.Com

Advertising Info