Our Weekly Utilities Update report is a list of all the updates for many Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though utilities can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. There are relatively few utility updates this week; however, the few that are out do cover a range of troubleshooting areas.… Read more
A while ago we reported on an issue where MacBook users were experiencing an intermittent 30-second freeze on their systems (1, 2). For many people it was usually accompanied by a small clicking sound, indicating a problem with the hard drive. Apple addressed this issue by releasing a hard drive firmware update, but it appears similar problems are persisting.… Read more
Sometimes when troubleshooting aspects of programs or OS features, we may assume some things are not related to the problem we are experiencing, either by dismissing them or more commonly by just overlooking them as a potential contributor to the problem at hand.… Read more
Apple has released an update to Aperture, bringing the program to version 3.0.3. The 69.4MB update should be available through Software Update for those who have Aperture installed, but also can be downloaded at the update's webpage. The update addresses issues with repairing and rebuilding libraries, working with GPS track files, managing referenced files, Apple's face detection, managing adjustments and RAW fine tuning presets, and duplicating smart albums.
Flash fight! As we reported earlier Thursday, Steve Jobs released an open letter discussing Apple's stance on the controversy surrounding the lack of Flash in Apple's mobile products. Following this letter, The Wall Street Journal interviewed Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe, who discussed the letter and offered his rebuttal.
Narayen describes Jobs' letter as an extraordinary attack, following with descriptions of Apple as a company that's using the idea of open standards as a smokescreen to legitimize its restrictiveness and closed nature. He describes every one of Jobs' statements as false.
7Stacks ports the Mac OS X stacking feature to Windows 7, Vista, and XP in a reasonable but not quite perfect manner. If you're not familiar, the "stack" jargon here refers to creating a container of folders or files and making it accessible with one click on your taskbar.
The program does an effective job once you've created your stack, but it lacks some of the smoothness that hallmarks its Mac progenitor. A clean design makes creating a stack easy, but what's not clear about the process is that the "Create shortcut on Desktop&… Read more
StandaloneStack creates groups of files and folders in a Mac-style "stack." Other docking apps have brought this feature to Windows, but StandaloneStack is one of the few that doesn't require hogging resources the way many docks can. It also integrates smoothly with the Windows 7 taskbar, making it an excellent way to conserve space while adding some visual pizazz.
The app offers a comprehensive range of options, from basics like customizing your icons and changing fonts to showing hidden files and adjusting the dock placement when it opens according to specific X and Y coordinates. Creating a … Read more
Mail's memory footprint will depend on how you use it, but on average it should take up between around 50MB and 200MB of memory. For instance, I currently have 3746 messages in my in-box from 5 e-mail accounts (two Gmail accounts and three from other providers), as well as a few RSS feeds. With this setup on two machines Mail uses 104MB of RAM on my Snow Leopard machine, and 62MB on my Leopard machine. Some people, however, seem to run into problems where Mail will spike in RAM usage, resulting in system slowdowns.… Read more
The Time Machine feature in OS X has been a life-saver for numerous users, from those who want to find individual lost files or folders to those who wish to restore their systems to a previous version or state following a problematic system update or application installation. While convenient, there are some precautions to take when using Time Machine to do full system restores.… Read more
Since last October, Adobe has been releasing small updates to its beta version of Flash 10.1, which brought new features to the plug-in, including hardware acceleration; however, the new hardware acceleration was limited to the Windows version. At the release of the last version, some claimed that Apple had not been forthcoming with the code for Adobe to properly implement hardware acceleration. Following this announcement, Apple released the code, and now the 10.1 beta for Flash has been rereleased with hardware acceleration.… Read more