Mac OS X 10.6.3 Update: addresses OpenGL, QuickTime and other issues

Mac OS X 10.6.3 has just been released. It is downloadable via MacOS Software Update or from Apple’s Support page in combo format. It weighs in at a rather heavy 438,7 MB for my MacBook Pro via Software update, but takes a whopping 719.23 MB of space as the combo update. It IS recommended for all Snow Leopard users, but as always, comes with the proviso: early adopters are often bug-rooters as is found in this 10.6.3 Apple Discussion thread. Remember to backup your Mac before installing any system-dependent files or updates; you don’t want this to happen (From Apple Discussion thread):

I just updated to 10.6.3 using the System Update on my first-generation MacBook Pro. I’m now getting a kernel panic at startup, and cannot boot the system.

Specifically, I’m seeing:

panic(cpu 0 caller 0x2a96f6): “Version mis-match between Kernel and CPU PM”@/SourceCache/xnu/xnu-1504.3.12/osfmk/i386/pmCPU.c:720

OSX 10.6.3 update specifics after the gap:

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Snow Leopard maims MacBook batteries

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Snow Leopard has outted at least one problem in Apple’s notebook line: failing optical drives. While not explicitly the fault of the OS, Snow Leopard, generally installed by optical disk, forced users to use their dusty drives only to find out that the hardware is bum. Sadly, upon attempting to upgrade to Apple’s latest, the world’s most advanced operating system (sic) proves that Apple need to spend more time developing reliable hardware, not this fritzy fluff. Now, the selfsame OS has another ticket with Apple Support: failing batteries. This time, however, it seems the OS may be at least partially to blame.

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MacBook Optical Drive problems outted by Snow Leopard

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Only 18 of the newest messages

In general, MacBooks are engineering marvels. They can be praised for solid construction, excellent industrial design, ease of use, and (now), the retention of a decent array of connections. However, they fall prey to several engineering failures. One is air circulation; MacBooks are prone to run hot. But, whereas a LITTLE extra heat won’t kill a laptop nor a company’s image, the mass breakdown of optical drives certainly will. Sadly, Apple have so far ignored the widespread breakdown of its laptop optical drives – a problem which afflicts both new and old MacBooks.

Apple’s Discussion’s forums has a 14-page long thread which is dedicated to the problem. While my laptop was fixed under warranty, I was without a computer for a week, an option which many cannot afford.

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Welcome Snow Leopard!

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Today, 28 August, Apple’s latest OSX iteration, Snow Leopard (10.6) will hit shelves at Apple stores and resellers around the world. The operating system has been overhauled in many key areas to afford users a faster, more streamlined computing experience. Under the bonnet, 10.6 brings many enhancements to Apple’s already excellent Leopard OS, some of which are OpenCL computing, a fully 64-bit architecture, enhanced QuickTime and key Finder enhancements. Other notables include Chinese writing input (for multitouch trackpad macs), Microsoft Exchange support, and key elements of the OS translated to Cocoa.

Perhaps more newsworthy, however, is that the new operating system is a 29$ upgrade for Leopard users, and for Tiger users who expect to pay 169$ to play with Apple’s newest cat, Snow Leopard will work for 140$ less.

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Updated: Apple’s Store is down – Snow Leopard? iPod touch? tablet? Answer: Snow Leopard

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Always happy news

It is Monday, not the strangest day for a release from Apple, but certainlky no Tuesday. In any case, the Store is down which can mean only one thing: a release. Whether it is Snow Leopard, an iPod touch, or something even less expected but more widelly rumoured — something perhaps like the Spanish Inquisition — no one is certain of which, but look for great things today.

Apple have updated the store to read that Snow Leopard will ship on 28 August (This Friday). I’ll be ordering my copy very soon. Again, Snow Leopard will be 29$ (USD) and invariably hiked at your non-US locale. About Snow Leopard.

Apple’s PR statement about Snow Leopard.

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Apple’s 2009 WWDC – Rundown of the Big Event (iPhone OS 3.0 – New iPhone 3GS)

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Keep a look out here for major updates from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference as well as a final recap as the conference closes. Apple fans, iPhone devotees and the rest of you, it is WWDC time! If you are interested, take a look at the entire event over at Apple’s WWDC QuickTime page.

Highlights:

  • Major MacBook upgrades and Incremental MacBook Pro upgrades (all aluminium versions are now MacBook Pros)
  • Snow Leopard to be sold for only 29$ USD! Microsoft’s balls are in Apple’s court now – They cannot afford to price Windows 7 less than Windows Vista, so upgrading to the newest from Redmond will be very, very expensive in light of Apple’s supple and tidy OS.
  • iPhone 3G at 99$ (8GB), iPhone 3GS 199$ (16GB), iPhone 3GS 299$ (32GB)
  • Autofocus Camera @ 3 MegaPixels and new Camera software/10cm Macro
  • MMS
  • Digital Compass to work with Core Location
  • Turn by Turn Navigation and In-App Google Maps Support
  • Better Language Support
  • Find My iPhone for Mobile Me users
  • Tethering/HTML 5.0/OpenGL 2.0
  • Voice commands for phone and iPod functions
  • Landscape editing
  • Spotlight search for entire iPhone and all apps!
  • Better Battery (iPhone 3GS)
  • More Accessibility support
  • iPhone users can download movies straight from iTunes (unless your mum says now)
  • Cut/Copy/Paste for every app in the App Store and all Apple apps (2 years too late?)

Of course, we knew many of these functions as part of the OS 3.0 Sneak Peak back in March.

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(Updated) Thoughts on WWDC – Why Apple Have to Make 2009 Count

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Today’s WWDC (World Wide Developer’s Conference 10 AM PST) will usher in a new wave of enthusiasm for Apple’s devices. Positive or not, charges will be set under both Apple’s faithful and its heretics alike. Last year saw the App Store’s maiden voyage and the launch of the iPhone 3G; 2008′s conference was one of the most historic and revolutionary events in Apple’s life. Now, with a mature Leopard in the innards of every Mac and the iDevice, they will need to do the impossible yet again: wow the ever-expectant crowd.

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Apple 2009 WWDC – 2nd Time is a Charm?

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In 2008, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, otherwise known as ‘Steve Notes’ sold out for the first time since 1996. You won’t be able to get in this year either if you have not already bought your ticket and signed the non-disclosure agreement stating that you will not let any secrets fly that are not loosed already from somewhere in China. Yep, 2009′s WWDC is as good as gone but how will it fare compared to its earlier incarnations?

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