Mac News Review

iMac Refresh Imminent?, Security Update 2011-002, $10 iHub Stopped by Apple, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.04.22

Mac notebook and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

News & Opinion

Apple Updates

Products & Services

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

iMac Supplies Tighten Ahead of Refresh

9 to 5 Mac's Mark Gurman observes that a good indication of an Apple product refresh on the way soon is when product supplies begin tightening up - and he's been told by three people in different countries who are familiar with the matter that iMac supplies are tightening, although there are still plenty of Mac minis and white MacBooks around.

Publisher's note: The original iMac was announced in May 1998, and updated versions have often been introduced in the April/May timeframe: 333 MHz in 1999, all four versions of the eMac, the Mid 2005 iMac G5, and the Mid 2008 iMac. Apple averages 8-9 months between iMac revisions, and the current model was introduced last July, so a May 2011 iMac is a strong possibility.

Apple Support Communities Launched

Apple has launched a new site where users can share tips and solutions with others from all around the world.

There are community subsets for various Apple products - both hardware and software.

Apple has also produced a tutorial on how Apple Support Communities work.

Publisher's note: Low End Mac has had support groups for Mac users since late 1997. Currently hosted by Google Groups, these virtual communities began as email lists and can now be accessed online or via email.

Apple Updates

Mac OS X Security Update 2011-002 for Snow Leopard

Security Update 2011-002 (Snow Leopard) is recommended for all users and improves the security of Mac OS X. Previous security updates have been incorporated into this security update.

For information on the security content of this update, visit https://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

File Size: 4.43 MB

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6.7

Mac OS X Security Update 2011-002 for Leopard

Security Update 2011-002 (Leopard - Client) is recommended for all users and improves the security of Mac OS X. Previous security updates have been incorporated into this security update.

For information on the security content of this update, visit https://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

File Size: 241.35 MB

System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.8 Client

Safari 5.0.5 Update

This update is recommended for all Safari users and includes the latest security updates.

New in version 5.0.5: Security fixes.

For information on the security content of this update, visit https://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.5.8
  • Mac OS X 10.6.5
  • Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7

Safari 4.1.3 is still available for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

Products & Services

$9.99 iHub Has Glowing Apple Logo

PR: M.I.C. Gadget presents the new iHub with all-new design and improved performance. Featuring four USB 2.0 ports, iHub supports Mac and PC, available for a reasonable $9.99.

iHub

Comes in two colors, black or white, and a cool wrinkle is that when you connect a USB device, the Apple logo glows.

Publisher's note: It's so cute and so inexpensive, who wouldn't want one? Of course, it's also completely unauthorized in its use of the Apple logo, so it's already been taken off the market (see below).

Apple Puts Stop to iHub Sales

Apple Bitch reports:

"The iHub 2, a USB hub produced by the M.I.C Gadget Store, a company based in Hong Kong, has been pulled from the online store after Apple apparently ordered the company to stop selling them."

Hitachi GST Extends Your Personal Cloud

PR: Delivering solutions that support increasingly mobile and connected lifestyles, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) is expanding its family of external storage and backup solutions with its new line of Hitachi Touro Pro desktop and mobile external hard drives. Delivering two levels of protection - local backup and cloud storage - the Touro Pro line is an all-in-one solution to help protect, transport, and store your photos, music, videos, and documents for easy access from anywhere.

Hitachi Touro Pro hard drivesCoupling online storage and local personal storage is vital in today's mobile world. Your personal content and the public cloud are converging. Right in the middle of this is you. Your content. Your personal cloud - the stuff you want access to, from anywhere online and from your tablet, smartphone, laptop, or external drive.

Back It Up, Then Beam It Up

In addition to providing simple local backup, the Touro Pro family's online storage option ensures your data is always protected and accessible in the cloud. With Hitachi's intelligent storage solutions, you can access and share files from any web browser, tablet or smartphone even from an iPhone and iPad using our apps. When using the cloud service, all content is stored in its natural format (no proprietary formatting), so files are easy to view, download and share from any web browser, anywhere. You can even share your online content with others by sending a web link.

Every customer receives 3 GB of online storage for free and for more storage there is an option to upgrade to a quarter of a terabyte (250 GB) for only $49 per year, which includes multiple computer protection. Upgrade to a paid account and receive the Apple iPhone or iPad mobile digital device apps for free.

The Hitachi Touro Pro local backup software was developed in-house by our team of engineers. With a few clicks, the drives default setting will backup your photos, favorite music, videos, and documents from your computer directly to the drive. Once installed, backups run quietly and automatically every 30 minutes. And, its flexible enough to schedule custom backups on a time or day that's convenient for you.

"Unbound by convention, Hitachi GST was the first to blend personal storage with cloud backup. Were liberating our customers from the limitations of today's technology and giving them free reign about where they store and how they access their digital content," says Mike Williams, general manager of Hitachi GST Branded Business Group. "Our new intelligent storage products and services continue to redefine how we connect to our content - while providing data protection, simplicity and ease of use for just about anyone."

Featured in a sleek piano black design, Hitachi Touro Pro drives are easy-to-use with desktop and mobile solutions that cover virtually every Mac or PC user's storage and backup needs. For simple add-on storage expansion only, Hitachi is offering a family of Hitachi Touro mobile and desktop solutions. The Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro and Touro Mobile drives are now available. The Hitachi Touro Desk Pro and Touro Desk versions will ship in June.

Manufacturers suggested retail pricing includes:

  • Touro Mobile Pro Portable Drive
  • 500 GB, 750 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 3 TB
  • Fast 7200 RPM drives
  • Local and cloud backup, providing two levels of protection
  • Cloud access anytime, anywhere
  • Upgrade for more cloud storage and apps
  • USB 3.0 interface
  • USB powered
  • Stackable desktop design

Publisher's note: No Mac produced to date has built-in USB 3.0 support, nor is USB 3.0 support included with the current version of OS X, although some third-party cards and drivers are available. It is very likely that we will see USB 3.0 adapters for Thunderbolt-equipped Macs in the near future. Until then, USB 3.0 drives are fully backward compatible with the USB 2.0 ports on current Macs.

Software

Quicksilver 59 Application Launcher (and Much More)

PR: Quicksilver is a unified, extensible interface for working with applications, contacts, music, and other data.

Anyone using a computer (and the Macintosh is no exception) spends a lot of time locating files and applications, and then carrying out actions on those items. The Finder is a reasonably good tool for getting a visual overview of the contents of your disk, but it isn't ideal for quickly locating and manipulating files, especially if you have a deep and complicated folder structure, or if you prefer keyboard navigation to using the mouse.

Quicksilver is a light, fast and free Mac OS X application that gives you the power to control your Mac with keystrokes alone.

Want to start the Mail application? Just type "mail" and hit return. Too much typing? Just type 'm and select Mail from the list of results. Quicksilver learns what you mean by certain abbreviations as you use them. Do this a couple of times and Mail will become the top result.

This isn't limited to applications. It applies to anything in Quicksilver's catalog.

Launching Is a Gateway Drug

Saying that Quicksilver is an application launcher is like saying a car is a drink holder. You can do a wide variety of other things with Quicksilver. Quicksilver blurs the line between thinking about something and simply having it done.

Find It Fast

Quicksilver gives you quick access to the stuff that's important to you. With only a few keystrokes, you can get to your applications, files, contacts, bookmarks, music, etc. But don't get distracted. Quicksilver is about doing, not finding. Finding things is simply a necessary prerequisite (that it happens to handle extremely well).

Type It Like You Think It

Using something like Spotlight to find an Address Book entry for John Smith would require you to search for part of the name, like John. What if you want to find it just by typing js? Quicksilver lets you abbreviate using letters from anywhere in the name. And that means anywhere, not just the beginning of words. Use ps to find Photoshop or tun to find iTunes. Use abbreviations that make sense to you.

Stay Where You Are

There's no need to stop what you're doing and switch applications for simple tasks. Move the file you just downloaded to your Documents folder without ever leaving your web browser. Paste a URL into an e-mail message without switching to your web browser and without copying and pasting. Add something to your To Do List as soon as you think of it and get right back to what you're doing.

Grab and Go

Select files or text and do something with them immediately. Quicksilver can grab the current selection from almost any application. Use text to search the web or append it to a file. Grab files and delete them, move them or send them.

Do It Backwards

Many actions are reversible. You can select a search engine then enter some text to find. But if you already have the text selected (or copied to the clipboard), you can do the reverse: grab the text then select a search engine to send it to.

You can select a contact and e-mail them a file, or you can select a file and e-mail it to a contact.

No thinking. No planning. No adjusting. Just doing.

Keep Finder at Arms Length

Quicksilver allows you to do all sorts of things with files, including moving, copying, renaming and deleting. It also allows you to navigate your entire file system (including hidden files) whether the files are in its catalog or not. Just add a few important top-level folders to the catalog and you can drill down from there as needed.

Still Not Fast Enough?

If you find yourself doing something frequently, you can speed up the task even more by assigning a trigger to it. Triggers can be activated by keyboard shortcuts or mouse movements.

Do More

There are many plugins that extend the functionality even further. Change the interface appearance. Access information from web-based services. Access your browsers bookmarks and history.

What About Spotlight?

Spotlight is fantastic, and it certainly has its place, but it's no substitute for Quicksilver. Spotlight knows about everything. Quicksilver concentrates on just the things you care about. Spotlight is about finding things. Quicksilver is about finding things (faster) and then doing something with what you've found. Spotlight only deals with files. Quicksilver gives you access to things that don't necessarily exist as a file. Spotlight can show your dads entry in the Address Book. Quicksilver can show your dads work phone number. Spotlight forces you to think when you search. Quicksilver allows you to just start typing and get what you want. Maybe not the first time you type it, but the third or fourth time for sure.

New in version 59

New Features

  • New 'Latest Download' proxy, corresponding to the latest file in the ~/Downloads folder (Bug #70)
  • Auto Update of Application using QSApp.com (this is the last time you'll ever have to go looking for a new release!)
  • New menu bar icon
  • French localisation for the Finder Module
  • German localisation for actions
  • an 'Open Url in Background action'. Also set as alternate action to 'Open URL' (hit CMD+RTN)
  • Speed improvements through the use of 'fast enumeration' in Leopard and Snow Leopard
  • Added 'descend into bundle' option for catalog entries (containing Mac OS X bundles)
  • Changes to build Quicksilver as a 64 bit application in the future
  • Proxy objects for applications and windows use the correct application's icon
  • PPC build support removed

Plugins

  • Items labelled with this tag are for plugins available from http://qsapp.com/plugins
  • New Cyberduck Plugin
  • Mail Module fixed to allow right arrowing
  • UI Elements plugin updated to enable menu services (Bug #19)
  • Fix small clipboard leak
  • New Yojimbo plugin
  • New 1Password Module for interaction with 1Password
  • New Remote Hosts Module
  • Fixed Dictionary Plugin to work with 10.5+
  • Pinboard.in added to del.icio.us Plugin
  • Added 'Current Focused Window' proxy to UI Elements Plugin
  • Newly written documentation on plugin development (see Quicksilver Plugins source on GitHub)

Changes

  • Framework and source code tidy up
  • Updated deprecated NSFileManager actions (10.5+)
  • Changed links to reflect change to QSApp.com website
  • Quietened noisy logs, giving less (unwanted) console logs

Several versions of Quicksilver exist for maximum compatibility with all Mac OS X operating systems. Download the recommended version for your operating system:

  • ß59 for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (Intel only)
  • ß54 for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and 10.4 Tiger (Universal)
  • ß36 for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther (PPC only)

MailForge 2.0.7 Eudora-Like Email Client

PR: Infinity Data Systems have announced the release of MailForge 2.0.7, the latest version of their classic Eudora-style POP3 and IMAP email client that offers both a traditional Eudora multiwindow interface or a unified multi-pane interface with tabs.

MailForge features powerful, fast searching (now even faster with version 2.0.7); junk mail filtering; full UTF-8 support; plain or HTML email views; text or formatted email sending; advanced attachment saving; the ability to edit all parts of an incoming email; easy message redirect; signatures; stationery; manual filtering; scheduled email sending; color labels; and the ability to sort by email address.

MailForge Features summary:

  • POP3
  • IMAP
  • Multiwindow or tabbed interface
  • Powerful, fast searching
  • Junk mail filtering
  • Full UTF-8 support
  • View plain or HTML emails
  • Send text or formatted emails
  • Advanced attachment saving
  • Edit all parts of an incoming email
  • Easily redirect emails
  • Signatures
  • Stationery
  • Manual filtering
  • Scheduled email sending
  • Ability to sort by email address
  • Import from Eudora classic

New in version 2.0.7

Search

  • Completely rewritten search
  • Faster search
  • Search by date

Import

  • Improved Mailbox importing

IMAP

  • Filters now work with IMAP emails (full download must be enabled)
  • Emails are marked on server as \Seen when read, instead of downloaded
  • Fixed bug where \Deleted flag was not recognized on some servers

Sending

  • Fixed issue that would cause Redirect information to not be properly filled in
  • Fixed issue where message attribution was not filled in when replying
  • Fixed crash when sending queued emails
  • Improved SMTP AUTH compatibility

Composing

  • Fixed several minor issues with Signatures
  • Fixed several minor issues with Stationery

Mailbox Interaction

  • Improved mailbox indexing, providing a significant speed increase when opening
  • New Folder and New Mailbox options are now under the Mailbox menu
  • Fixed issue that could cause source mailbox to not display when transferring

Interface

  • Minor interface refinements and fixes

MailForge now automatically imports all attachments, similar to the method used pre-version 2.0.6. There is no longer any need to manually migrate the Eudora Attachment folder.

Platform Support: PPC/Intel

MailForge sells for $19.95

Bargain 'Books

Desktop Mac Deals

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For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

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