security update released on Monday by Apple rendered 64-bit optimized applications for Mac OS X unusable. The update, which fixed many issues with the operating system, left some companies scrambling to explain to customers why their applications stopped working.
One company, Wolfram Research, contacted its customers via email to explain why their 64-bit optimized Mathematica 5.2 stopped working after users installed the Apple update.
“Due to an error on the part of Apple, this update prevents any 64-bit-native application from running,” said Wolfram in the note to customers. “In particular, this means that Mathematica 5.2 will not run on any G5 system if it has installed this Security Update.”
The note went on to say that Apple had stopped distributing the update and informed Wolfram that there is no workaround for the problem.
Wolfram gave customers a script to disable Mathematica’s 64-bit capabilities until Apple issues a new security update to rectify the problem — the application works fine in 32-bit mode. In its note to customers, Wolfram indicated that the Apple update would be released “in the very near future.”
Apple representatives were not immediately available to comment on this story.
Update: Apple on Thursday
issued a patch to address this problem. The new update provides a combined 32- and 64-bit version of LibSystem to replace the 32-bit version that was delivered in v1.0. According to Apple, no other changes have been made in version 1.1. August 18, 2005