Apple Leaks Mac OS X Update

Mac OS X 10.2.1 nails a variety of bugs and issues in "Jaguar" OS.

Mac users got an early peek at the first tweak to Apple Computer Inc.s latest Mac OS X release on Monday, when the company briefly posted tech-support data on the free interim upgrade.

Visitors to the AppleCare Knowledge Base encountered a description of Mac OS X 10.2.1, which sources said is due to post online within the next week as a free upgrade to Mac OS X 10.2 (a k a Jaguar). Apple officially shipped the $129 Jaguar on Aug. 24.

According to the document, Mac OS X 10.2.1 enhances compatibility with CDs created in Microsoft Windows and fixes glitches burning and reading discs as well as adding support for a variety of third-party CD burners.

It works better with cameras, scanners and digital video devices, as well as keyboards and mice connected via Universal Serial Bus. It also nails some printing glitches and improves compatibility with a couple of Hewlett-Packard LaserJet models, the document said.

Mac OS X 10.2.1 fixes problems with Internet service providers accepting outgoing mail via SMTP and with the loss of mail if a connection fails during a transfer. It improves Mac OS X Server performance handling AppleTalk Filing Protocol (AFP), and it resolves a potential problem with the Mac OS X Mail client importing messages from Eudora as expected.

Among its other enhancements, Mac OS X 10.2.1 improves the display of Web graphics in a browser window, boosts compatibility with Microsoft Entourage and addresses some potential "kernel-panic" situations that can cause a major crash.

Apple routinely releases interim updates to its major OS revs. Sources have told eWEEK that the next major upgrade to Mac OS X, code-named Panther, is slated to ship in 2003.