Apple Updates Mac OS X
Apple released an update of its Mac OS X software, labeled as version 10.4.5, for its PowerPC and Intel-processor-equipped Macs, as well as its servers.
The company said that the update to its desktop operating system software includes a range of improvements, including fixes for a number of compatibility flaws.
Among the issues the update claims to fix are a problem in its Safari browser that had caused the application to shut down when users deleted e-mail messages using AOLs Webmail site. This flaw prevented users from synching their Macs with an iDisk larger than 4GB. Another update is a patch that allows the systems IPSec VPN client to work with Cisco servers.
The OS X release also covers an issue in the software which prevented some Epson printers from working with Apples AirPort Extreme wireless networking application, and the company said that files copied across a network using the systems Portable Home Directories are now copied as temporary files until the transfer is complete.
Apple promised OS improvements specifically for Intel-based Macs including the ability to drag-and-drop desktop widgets without interrupting animations, the ability to install the Telestream Flip4Mac software, and a fix for notifications in Rosetta-translated applications.
Apple said the update would also address problems involved with viewing streaming video from behind firewall, and a video redraw problem launched by using its Front Row software with Intel Macs.
The Front Row issue, which led to distorted video playback, had been reported online by numerous Apple customers. The software, which comes preinstalled on the iMac, provides a special user interface with large, onscreen buttons for accessing music, video and other multimedia files, via a remote control.
According to accounts on numerous sites, including MacFixIt.com, some files showed tearing or the appearance of horizontal lines or other distortions when played by Front Row.
However, files shown by other applications, including Apples QuickTime multimedia software and the iMacs DVD player generally appeared free of any glitches, the site said.
Apple, which had been developing a special x86 version of its Mac OS X in parallel with its more well-known Mac OS X for PowerPC chips, surprised many by announcing a plan to switch to Intel chips from PowerPC last June.
Apples first machines to use Intel chips include the iMac and the MacBook Pro, both announced in January. Apple said this week it would ship the MacBook Pro with faster processors than it originally announced.
Among the other improvements promised in the Mac OS X Server 10.4.5 update are time zone and daylight savings settings changes for 2006 and 2007, fixes for a software issue that may have caused it to crash when processing large amounts of data in MySQL, and an issue related to using the OS with Windows-formatted storage devices.
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