All posts tagged ‘Mac’

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Parallels, VMWare Battle For Mac Virtualization Supremacy

VmwarevsparallelsParallels and VMWare, the two major virtualization options for Mac OS X, have both pushed out some interesting new features in their respect beta releases. Parallels has released a new build with support for Parallels Tools in Linux virtual machines and VMWare has added Mac OS X Server to its list of supported guest operating systems.

It’s worth noting that Parallels Server for Mac already supports Mac OS X Server, but due to the OS X Server licensing restrictions, you could only run a virtual server on a real OS X server. Now that Apple has lifted the licensing restrictions for OS X Server slightly (you still can’t run it on non-Apple hardware), VMWare has jumped in on the fun.

Parallels’ latest salvo in the feature war between these two is support for the Parallels Tools in various Linux distributions (including Ubuntu 8.04). That means the same tools that you use in Windows VMs are now available for your Linux VMs. The Parallels update also includes support for running 3D graphics in your Windows VM on Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.3.

Reader often ask which of the two is a better option for virtualization on the Mac. The truth is they’re both great and either one will handle your virtualization needs without difficulty — just make sure you have plenty of RAM installed.

You can grab the latest build of Parallels of the download site and VMWare Fusion 2 beta 1 is available from the VMWare site.

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File Under: Software & Tools

QuickTime Update Patches Serious Security Flaws

QuicktimeNot all of Apple’s recent announcements are for software of the future, at least one update is here today. QuickTime users can grab the latest edition of QuickTime, which, according to Apple’s notes, “improves application compatibility and addresses security issues.”

The Apple support note for the latest version of QuickTime, 7.5, says that the update fixes bugs that open security holes to maliciously crafted PICT image files, QuickTime files and Indeo video files.

The free QuickTime 7.5 update is available via Software Update or direct from Apple’s download page. The update and security patches affect both the Windows and Mac versions of QuickTime.

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File Under: operating systems

Apple Plans Office Invasion With OS X ‘Snow Leopard’


Despite the iPhone-heavy keynote at Apple’s WWDC event yesterday, the company did reveal a handful of details about the next revision of its Mac OS X desktop operating system. As the rumors predicted, the next generation of OS X will be called Snow Leopard and will focus on stability and speed improvements rather than flashy new features.

That doesn’t, however, mean there won’t be new features. Indeed, while details on Snow Leopard are still shrouded in NDA agreements, here’s what we know: Snow Leopard will be optimized for multi-core processors, it will offload some graphics rendering to graphic processing units (GPUs), it enables “breakthrough amounts of RAM” and it will see an updated version of QuickTime, dubbed QuickTime X.

But here’s real doozie, according to Apple’s press release, “Snow Leopard includes out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange 2007.”

Yes you read that right, Apple is bringing the same Exchange support it touted for the new iPhone to the desktop OS, making it much easier to integrate Macs into corporate environments.

It’s as though we’re entering stage two of Steve Jobs’ world domination plan.

First hook the kids with iPods and iPhones, then hook the parents with iChat video, fast web browsing, simple photo management and more. Now it’s time for those maturing kids and their parents to start clamoring for a Mac at work in addition to the one they’re using at home.

Prior to Snow Leopard such cries would likely have fallen on deaf IT ears, but adding in support for Exchange means that corporate IT directors are fast running out of reasons to keep Macs off their list of supported hardware.

While Exchange support and multi-core processor optimizations are indeed new features, it’s easy to see why Apple is touting the next OS X (which incidentally is not necessarily 10.6, nowhere in any of the release materials does the company refer to the release by version number) as a maintenance release. Exchange support isn’t sexy.

Loyal Mac fans will no doubt disagree, but Leopard was a less than stellar release plagued by wifi problems, application incompatibilities and other small, but annoying issues.

So, despite the lack of sexy new features, I for one welcome what Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, describes as hitting the pause button on new features in order to perfect the existing features.

There’s no release date for Snow Leopard yet, though Apple does say that the release is “scheduled to ship in about a year.” Also unknown are the details about upgrade pricing.

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File Under: Software & Tools

Dazzling Effects and Welcome New Features in Delicious Library 2

Delicious Library 2Delicious Library 2, the ultra-slick Mac software that makes it easy to catalog your books, movies and music, is now available. Version 2.0 is a worth successor to the app that spawned a whole category of animation-heavy, eye-candy-saturated Mac applications — often referred to as the Delicious Generation.

But for those unimpressed by visual pizzazz, fear not, Delicious Library 2 packs in the new features as well. Wil Shipley, creator of Delicious Library gave a sneak peak of the app when it was still in beta form, be sure to check out our screenshot tour.

Delicious Library’s killer feature remains the ability to hold a book, CD, DVD, video game and nearly anything else with a barcode up to your webcam and get all the relevant data — cover, summary, reviews etc — which displays on a photorealistic shelf. Creating a catalog of you physical media doesn’t get much easier than that.

New features in version 2 include a more robust and faster database back end (an sqlite database replaces the old XML flat file), automatic syncing with iTunes, one-click web publishing, smart shelves, the ability to browse friend’s shelves and more.

Delicious Library 2 also fixes a number of annoyances and offers improved performance for large libraries.

For a full list of what’s new, check out the extensive release notes.

One strange quirk in the new version is the presence of a message which tells you that Delicious Library 2 will run slowly on OS X 10.5.2 and suggests that you upgrade to 10.5.3. In a way it’s a nice touch, but there’s one serious problem — Apple hasn’t actually released 10.5.3.

OS X update quirks aside, Delicious Library 2 packs a punch and will no doubt be a hit with Mac fans. You can grab your copy today from the Delicious Monster site. Delicious Library 2.0 is $40.

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File Under: Software & Tools

Running Microsoft WorldWide Telescope on Your Mac

Microsoft recently made its WorldWide Telescope stargazing app available as a public beta, but, unfortunately for Mac users like our friends on the Wired Science blog, it’s a Windows-only app.

But of course you can run Windows on your Mac. WorldWide Telescope likely runs just fine on a dual boot setup using Apple’s BootCamp software, however, it’ll also work using the latest version of VMWare’s Fusion for Mac.

The VMWare team sent us a note yesterday to let us know that Fusion can indeed handle the DirectX requirements of WorldWide Telescope. I tested it out on a copy of Windows XP running in VMWare on my Macbook and, while there is a performance hit, WorldWide Telescope is still plenty snappy even running in a virtual machine.

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