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Editorial: Good news and bad
By David Leishman
As a rule, I don’t buy the first generation of new computers, nor install new operating system updates, before I’ve read comprehensive reviews and end-user reports. So I’m happy to point you to Henry Norr’s
review of the new Power Mac G5s
at Macworld.com. If you’re interested in how, and how fast, these machines work, and looking for the information you need before you make a new computer purchase, you’ll want to read this excellent article.
Henry has been writing about Macs as long as Apple’s been making them, and was the doyen of the MacWEEK editorial staff for many years. As the late Robert Hess, a fine Mac journalist himself, once said, “Henry could explain God to an ant.” He knows what to look for, whether it’s the minutiae of technology or the mundane needs of the workaday world, and his review reflects this.
On a less happy note, Apple on Monday
and then, on Tuesday,
a Mac OS X 10.2.8 update.
The great majority of users who applied the update experienced no problems, and in fact gained a host of new features and bug fixes. Some of the new benefits, according to reader posts in the MacCentral forums, included better power management, more stable interaction with external FireWire drives, increased speed when using Apple Remote Desktop, better Bluetooth support with iSync, and a fix for “that annoying wake from sleep bug that caused the first keypress to not register.”
Unfortunately, other folks who applied the update experienced Ethernet problems leading to loss of their DHCP services and thus the ability to connect to the Internet. The problem seemed mainly isolated to certain Power Mac G4 models. (MacCentral observed the problem on a Power Mac G4/500MHz configuration, for example.)
Apple, to its credit, quickly acknowledged the problem and took action: “We have temporarily removed the Mac OS X v10.2.8 software update while we resolve an issue affecting Ethernet networking on (a) small number of Power Mac G4 desktop systems. We anticipate that the issue will be resolved soon.”
An unsupported fix for the Ethernet problem was posted by a reader at Apple’s discussion forums, and other users have suggested that an “Archive and Install” installation from the original Jaguar CD, followed by incremental updates to Mac OS 10.2.6, will eliminate the problem. But, as always, the best solutions are to have a complete working backup before beginning an update process and to avoid working on a drive with mission-critical data.
So, while you wait for the new update to arrive, check out Henry’s review. And smile.
Virginia Tech prepares to deploy Apple supercomputer
Virginia Polytechnic and State University is racing to deploy its new supercomputer cluster based on Apple’s G5 desktops by the end of this week. The university thinks the new cluster will rank among the top 10 fastest supercomputers at academic institutions, and among the fastest overall in the world.
Jobs: Vertical integration part of Apple’s success
Apple may benefit from expected increase in IT spending
Apple launches new Hot Deals Web site
BusinessWeek: Jobs one of 25 who revived e-biz
Apple financial results coming Oct. 15
Chip vendors prepare for 90 nanometer era
Intel Corp., IBM Corp., Texas Instruments Inc. and others are preparing to release their first chips built on a 90 nanometer process technology. The companies have spent years of research and millions of dollars on equipment and techniques to enable them to pack even more transistors onto a silicon chip. They’ve taken slightly different approaches to building these chips, but the results should provide more performance and lower power consumption.
NEC-Mitsubishi offers new low-priced LCD displays
Phone cameras outsell digital cameras, study finds
Delkin ships FireWire CF card reader/writer
New Logitech optical mouse targeted to laptop users
Public Beta Version of Macromedia Central released
Macromedia has released a public beta of Macromedia Central, a Mac OS X-compatible product that’s designed to extend Macromedia Flash so that Internet applications can run on your desktop, not just within a browser. Compatible applications will be able to “grab” online info and make it available for examination and manipulation on the desktop when you’re offline.
StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 gets new plug-ins, performance boost
Apple looks at Age of Mythology
MacCaption offers closed caption solution for Macs
Freeverse’s ‘ToySight’ game uses iSight as controller
Developer news: Darwin source codes, Voodoo Server
Around the Web
California bans all spam e-mail
California Governor Gray Davis signed a law prohibiting anyone from sending unsolicited commercial e-mail advertisements to a California e-mail address. The law sets up an “opt-in” requirement, the aim being to prevent e-mail users from getting e-mail advertisements unless they asked to be on the sender’s list. Senders of unsolicited messages could be held liable for damages up to US$1,000 for each message to an individual.
Keynote plays ball with PowerPoint
PowerBook G5 to use Liquid Cooling?
PCI Express to usher in PC changes
Apple To Create Screen Reader For The Blind