Macintosh Highlights From Around the Web (Nov.-Dec.. 2003)

10.3.2 and speed

So you've dutifully updated Mac OS X to the latest version (10.3.2) and now maybe you're wondering whether that speed improvement you sense is real. well, Macs Only has taken a look at the latest update and whether it's faster than Mac OS X 10.3. The conclusion: They found the biggest improvement appeared to be in 3D graphics.

Mac OS X Server 10.3.2 is out

Apple has now released the 10.3.2 update for Mac OS X Server. In its release notes, the company said the 54MB update "delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X Server version 10.3 and is recommended for all systems."

Key changes include:

  • Improved Kerberos support for AFP services
  • Enhanced Server Admin and Workgroup Manager applications
  • Improved Network Image Utility and QTSS Publisher applications
  • Improved integration with Active Directory
  • Updated MySQL to version 4.0.16
  • More robust printing to PostScript printers
  • Faster importing of user records
  • FileVault, FireWire 800, WebDAV and USB Printing improvements from Update 10.3.1
  • Previous standalone security updates.

Yes, Virginia, there is a SteveNote

But IDG and Apple sure made everyone wait long enough to confirm what all Mac fans assumed: CEO Steve Jobs will give the opening keynote address at next month's MacWorld San Francisco. So mark your calendars for 9 a.m. (PST) on Jan. 6 for the big event, and maybe tuck away a little of that Christmas money -- just in case.

Security by obscurity?

Maybe it's more than that, at least on the Mac side. So says security technologist Richard Forno in an online column on Forno was responding to another online piece for PC Magazine in which author Lance Ulanoff happily noted a security problem with Mac OS X -- and said it meant Apple's OS is as insecure as Windows. Not so, said Forno: "...The small market segment held by Apple doesn't automatically make the Mac OS less vulnerable to attack or exploitation. Any competent security professional will tell you that 'security through obscurity' ... doesn't work. In other words, if ... Mac OS was the dominant operating system, its users would still enjoy an inherently more secure and trustworthy computing environment even if the number of attacks against it increased."

Seeing spots

Well, it might have been a little while in coming, but Apple has officially acknowledged screen problems with some of its newer 15-inch Powerbooks. Owners have complained for a couple of months now in discussion forums about white spots showing up on their laptops' displays. Now, in an Apple Knowledge Base document, the company recommends that anyone seeing spots contact AppleCare.

Steve does Rolling Stone

For a detailed look at Apple CEO Steve Jobs' take on the music industry -- and Apple's role in it with its iTunes Music Store and iPods -- be sure to take a gander at his recent interview in Rolling Stone magazine. Even if music isn't your main interest, Jobs' thoughts on the nexus of the recording industry, piracy and the Internet is interesting.

Switchers, this Panther review's for you

Most Mac users already know about Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther). But what about those who might be new to Apple's operating system, say, those coming to the platform from Windows or Linux? With that in mind, the Idea Basket's Jared White has a comprehensive look at Panther, noting at one point that it "contains some of the most innovative and state-of-the-art technology available in any mainstream OS." Read it here.

A look at Apple's numbers

If you're looking for a solid take on where Apple Computer is going (and how it's been doing of late), be sure to look through this story at based on the company's recent conference call for analysts. Among other interesting tidbits is Apple's apparent decision to get away from its "Switchers" ad campaign.

To iBook or not to iBook?

So let's say you have a three-year-old TiBook and suddenly get the urge to upgrade. What do you do? Go for a new 15-inch Powerbook, or opt for the recently redesigned iBook G4? That's just the dilemma facing Noah Kravitz over at Powerbook Central. Take a look at his latest column in case you're contemplating something similar.

Christmas in November?

And look what you can put under your favorite Mac Fan's holiday tree now: A 20-inch iMac or a dual 1.8-Ghz Power Mac G5. In case you missed today's announcements, Apple unveiled the new iMac at a retail price of $2,199, and the new dual G5 at $2,499, only $100 more than the single 1.8-Ghz model sold for. (The entry level1.6-Ghz G5 now starts at $1,799.) Oh, and for would-be Spielbergs, Apple also released G5-optimized versions of Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and Shake. Happy shopping.

G5 'fastest' computer, but not in the UK

Apple may, or may not, have "the fastest, most powerful computer" in the world, as its advertising for the Power Mac G5 says. But in the UK, at least, it won't be able to make that claim on TV. The Independent Television Commission has ruled that there's not enough evidence to back up the ad after complaints were filed about its accuracy. The ITC evaluation is available online.

Al Sharpton likes Macs

Okay, so maybe it's not the most important question for the would-be leader of the free world. But the Democratic candidates for president were asked the other night which they favor: Macs or PCs. Not all of them answered, but of those who did, only the Rev. Al Sharpton came down on the Mac side. And since conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh also likes them, too, it looks like both ends of the political spectrum are covered. MacMinute has the transcript.

A 'special' message from Apple about FireWire drives

And the news isn't good. Apple has released a statement acknowledging an issue with "external FireWire hard drives using the Oxford 922 bridge chip-set with firmware version 1.02." That problem: Data stored on the drives can be lost. Apple's workaround for now is to urge users not to rely on the drives until the problem is corrected. Postscript: As of Nov. 4, Apple said a firmware update has fixed the problem.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon