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Editorial: Care and feeding
By David Leishman
One week after its release, Panther is the most successful operating system launch since, well, Jaguar. Users, sys admins, magazines and Websites all sing its praises. Everyone’s happy, except perhaps for the development team of Microsoft’s “next generation” Longhorn OS (slated for a couple years hence).
Owners of Power Mac Beige G3s, are cranky, too, because finally they’ve been left behind in the Mac OS X march — at least until an updated version of
is (hopefully) released to enable them to work with “the new cat.”
And, of course, there are folks who have found Panther-related incompatibilities with a particular piece of software, a hardware driver, or even FireWire drives. (Apple has just announced that it is aware of an
issue with some external FireWire hard drives
using the Oxford 922 bridge chip-set, where data could be lost, and it is working on a solution.)
Developers are rushing to issue updated apps and drivers that deal with the first two problems, as you’ll see below. (Update pricing note: (F) = free, ($) = paid, (?) = unknown.) I’ll also list a few great places to look for information about troubleshooting Panther problems you might be having.
Topping the software update list, Apple released one intended specifically for
iPods without dock connectors
source code for Darwin 7.0
(F), the core operating system of Mac OS X;
Security Update 2003-10-28
X11 for Mac OS X 1.0
(F), which enables applications based on the X11 windowing environment to run side-by-side with native Mac OS X applications on the same desktop; and
WebObjects 5.2.2, (?) the company’s Java server application development environment. (The latter four are also aimed at Panther Server users.)
Network/system management updates include:
PGP Desktop 8.0.3 (F), for managing secure messaging and secure information storage technology;
iTools 7.2 (F) for Internet server configuration;
VPN Tracker 2.2 (F) network tool for more than 150 gateway devices;
Thursby Software Systems’
ADmitMac 1.1 (F), integration software for Macs networked in Microsoft Active Directory and Windows NT domains; Vicomsoft’s
Wallet 1.2 (?), for storing passwords, serial numbers and contact info; netOctopus’
Enterprise Systems Manager 5.0
CyberGauge 4.2 (F), which supports SNMP-based devices, including network routers, switches and servers.
Productivity app updates include:
iListen 1.6.3 speech recognition software (F);
Nisus Writer Express
Finance 5.0.2 (F) for checking, savings and credit card account management;
Grammarian Pro X 1.5 (F);
The Omni Group’s
OmniOutliner 2.2.6 (?); and
Digital Performer 4.11 (F) digital music production app, and new drivers for its FireWire and PCI-based audio interfaces (F).
Utilities updates include: St. Clair Software’s
Default Folder X 1.9
($), which also adds new hierarchical menus and a system menu to make navigating Open and Save dialogs faster;
File Synchronization 1.2.3 (?); Unsanity LLC’s
3.1 (F); Panda Systems’
Great as Panther is, though, there are still some very real problems and bugs to be worked out, both on Apple’s side and for software developers. Users are hitting the Web to report problems, and discover and share workarounds for some of them.
The first stop on any Panther Tip hunt should be Apple’s own OS
10.3 discussion board, with a variety of threads and a very useful “before you ask” FAQ. Macintouch’s
is a gold mine of discoveries and tips, ranging from significant to idiosyncratic. And Maccentral’s own
General Discussion forum, while not Panther-specific, can provide some ideas that may save you some setup time and headaches.
@Stake issues security advisories for OS X Jaguar
Security consulting firm, @Stake this week issued three security advisories for Mac OS X. The advisories affect OS X 10.2.8 and lower (Jaguar) and do not appear to affect the recently released Panther OS X 10.3. In fact, @Stake is recommending users upgrade to Panther as a fix for the problems, which involve buffer overflows, file permissions, and file overwrites.
iTunes for Windows more than doubles Apple site traffic
Apple releases source code for Darwin 7.0
X11 for Panther available
Apple offers Panther security update
Apple succeeds in 1:1 educational computing solutions
OS X Conference: Virginia Tech on the G5
Dr. Srindhi Varadarajan, the project director for Virginia Tech’s deployment of 1,100 Power Mac G5s as a world-class computational cluster, gave a presentation at O’Reilly Publishing’s Mac OS X Conference that detailed how his team settled on the G5s for their system and what they had to do to get it running.
New Nikon camera offers several Coolpix firsts
CanoScan 3200F offers variety of scanning options
InTouch telephony system, renamed Phlink, ships
Epson announces Stylus Photo R800
Medea’s VideoRaid RT3, RT3X coming next month
Pixar talks OS X migration
Pixar Animation Studios’ system administrators Bethany Jane Hanson and Gabriel Benveniste this week spelled out the method they used to develop a migration and maintenance scheme for moving “Steve Jobs’ other company” to Mac OS X. They provided training classes and Web site support for Pixar’s employees, who were all given admin level access, and combined in-house software tools and Unix maintenance and administration scripts to automate the move — many of which they have
Apple offers software update for Panther, older iPods
‘Panther Tips & Tricks’ e-book available
Rogue Amoeba’s Nicecast turns Mac into Internet radio
WebObjects tweaked for Xcode, Panther
MacSoft: UT 2003 update boosts speed, fixes Panther bug
Around the Web
Bill Gates assassination film makes QuickTime debut
Nothing So Strange,” an independently produced faux-documentary chronicling the fictional assassination of Microsoft”s Bill Gates, made its Internet debut this week at the Nothing So Strange Web site. The film depicts a world in which Gates was assassinated in 1999; it picks up the story when a group of skeptics works to uncover what they think are conspiracies and plots behind the fictional murder.
A look at Apple in China
‘Trusted Computing’ FAQ
Interview with Michael Tsai, author of SpamSieve
SCO v. IBM UNIX/Linux lawsuit Wiki
Next big wave of computing might be inspired by bees