Mac News Review

All About Safari 5, Can My Mac Run Lion?, Hard Drive Firmware Update for 2010 iMacs, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2011.04.29

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


Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Apple Delays iMac Shipments Ahead of Next Week's Refresh

9 to 5 Mac's Mark Gurman reports that all signs point to an iMac refresh sometime next week.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Safari 5 (and Probably More)

Apple Just updated its Mac 101 tutorial on Safari 5 for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6.

This lengthy, thorough, detailed, illustrated guide will help you learn the finer points of using Safari 5, as well as ways to personalize your browsing experience.

Can My Mac Run OS X Lion?

Fairer Platform's Ron Carlson says:

"Is time to upgrade? When Apple's next-generation desktop operating system arrives this Summer, OS X Lion will leave some Intel-based Macs behind. Further . . . because the Rosetta PowerPC emulation layer, which translates G3, G4 and AltiVec instructions, is also going away, you won't be able to use legacy versions of many apps, such as Photoshop CS 4 and Microsoft Office 2004, a double whammy."

Carlson has helpfully posted a list of OS X Lion compatible Macs ordered by date of introduction and model identifier number:

  • Mac mini (Mid 2007, Macmini2,1) and newer
  • iMac (Late 2006, iMac5,2) and newer
  • Mac Pro (all models)
  • MacBook (Late 2006, MacBook2,1) and newer
  • MacBook Air (all models)
  • 13" MacBook Pro (all models)
  • 15" MacBook Pro (October 2006, MacBookPro2,2) and newer
  • 17" MacBook Pro (October 2006, MacBookPro2,1) and newer
  • No Intel Core Solo, Core Duo, or PowerPC Macs are compatible

Carlson cites a Wikipedia entry saying that any Core 2 Duo Mac is Lion compatible. However, if you try to install Lion on a Core Solo or Core Duo Mac, it won't let you perform the installation. He notes that's just an arbitrary roadblock that's probably easy to get around. About that; even though they will be officially supported, the earliest Core 2 Duo models listed above - especially Apple's consumer-grade, low-performance Mac mini, MacBook, and MacBook Air - likely won't perform well with Lion. And, as always, whatever you've got, more RAM and a better graphic card are going to make Lion run more smoothly.

New in OS X Lion: Preview Enhanced with Digital Signatures and Word Viewing

Fairer Platform's Ron Carlson says:

"If you open a PDF in Preview 5.5, the version that ships with OS X Lion (Build 11A430e), one of the first things you'll notice is that the Annotation tools are a permanent fixture of the toolbar. Therein, there's now a Signature tool that allows the user to capture (via the integrated iSight webcam) their John Hancock, as well as store/manage signatures.

"And . . . it's easy to add a signature to a PDF document - pretty sweet . . . [plus] a surprising new feature in Preview 5.5 is the ability to view Microsoft Word and Excel documents. You will still need iWork, Office or an open-source suite, such as NeoOffice, to actually edit Word and Excel docs."

Gone in Lion: Rosetta and Pre-Core 2 Duo Support

Fairer Platform notes that they've expended a fair number of bits talking about what's new in Apple's upcoming Mac operating system rewrite. However, a number of features not only won't be updated but are being dropped entirely, including support for Core Solo and Core Duo Intel Macs, Apple's PowerPC software compatibility layer Rosetta (rendering older production software like Office 2004 and older Photoshop installations inoperable), and Adobe Flash and the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) as default installs, although the latter two will still be user-installable. Not so with Front Row, Apple's not-so-long-ago marquee media center software for the Mac feature.

Apple Updates

Hard Drive Firmware Update for Mid 2010 iMacs

Apple iMac Hard Drive Firmware Update 1.0 fixes a hard drive issue that may prevent some iMac (21.5" and 27-inch, Mid 2010) systems from booting properly.

System requirements:

  • Intel, Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later
  • iMac (21.5" and 27-inch, Mid 2010)

Products & Services

Kingston Launches HyperX High Performance Memory with Sandy Bridge Ready Frequencies

PR: Kingston Technology Company, Inc. has announced the new HyperX Plug and Play (PnP) series of high-performance enthusiast memory. HyperX PnP are the first modules to scale the higher memory heights that are a part of the second generation Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs. The memory is programmed with faster frequencies and when plugged into a system using the Sandy Bridge chipset, will automatically play at either 1600 MHz or 1866 MHz in both desktop and notebook PCs.

Kingston Technology HyperX Plug and Play High Performance Memory ModulesThe modules are programmed using JEDEC-compliant settings, allowing 1600 MHz and 1866 MHz frequency support. It is as simple as plugging in the memory and turning on the machine, as the system automatically recognizes faster memory speed with no further BIOS settings required. Users will notice performance gains as overclocking is automatic with the HyperX Plug and Play modules. In addition, the modules are backwards compatible with previously released DDR3 systems on the market.

"The HyperX engineering team has been thoroughly innovative in designing a memory module that automatically raises performance with no overclocking steps required," says Mark Tekunoff, senior technology manager, Kingston. "By using JEDEC-compliant settings to create performance timings, enthusiasts can max out native frequencies on current Sandy Bridge systems and older DDR3 machines."

HyperX Plug and Play is available through Kingston's channel of authorized distributors, resellers, e-tailers, and retailers. Kingston HyperX memory is backed by a lifetime warranty and free 24/7 technical support.

GainSaver Announces Business Class Sale on Used Power Macs

PR: GainSaver, a California-based online reseller of used Macintosh computers, has announced a special promotion on significant numbers of preowned Power Mac desktop computers they have in stock ready for immediate delivery.

Right now, for small and medium businesses needing to upgrade their equipment while remaining within tight budgets. GainSaver offers a solution in its Business Class pricing on all Power Mac computers in stock. GainSaver has a wide selection of Power Mac models available in a range of processor speeds, with both single and dual processors.

"Small businesses have not been able to afford equipment purchases for a long time. GainSaver Business Class pricing makes high performance Macintosh affordable for video production studios, design houses, independent artists, web designers and others," says Steve Harper, director of sales at GainSaver. "Students are taking advantage of the lowest prices GainSaver has ever had on these systems."

While they last, GainSaver currently has these Power Mac models at Business Class Pricing:

  • Power Mac G4 800 MHz (M8705LL/A) Sale Price: $143.10
  • Power Mac G5 Dual 1.8 GHz (M9454LL/A) Sale Price: $205.10
  • Power Mac G5 Dual 2.0 GHz (M9455LL/A) Sale Price: $277.10
  • Power Mac G5 1.6 GHz (M9020LL/A) Sale Price: $287.10
  • Power Mac G5 1.8 GHz (M9031LL/A) Sale Price: $296.10
  • Power Mac G5 Dual 2.3 GHz (M9748LL/A) Sale Price: $322.10
  • Power Mac G5 Dual 2.5 GHz (M9457LL/A) Sale Price: $349.10
  • Power Mac G5 Dual 2.7 GHz (M9749LL/A) Sale Price: $380.10
  • Power Mac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz (M9592LL/A) Sale Price: $719.10

At the time of purchase, shoppers at the GainSaver website can customize their Power Mac systems to their own requirements. Integrated into the company's online shopping cart, the Configurator lets shoppers select just the components they need from a range of hard drives, optical drives, software programs and memory options. All components are installed and tested before shipping at no extra charge.

The Certified Pre-Owned Macintosh computers sold by GainSaver have been fully tested and certified by the company's trained Apple technicians. Every major component is verified to be in 100% working order before shipment. Certified Pre-Owned Macs from GainSaver come ready to boot up and use with Apple OS X and Apple iLife installed.

For best selection, GainSaver is recommending that customers order early while selection is greatest. Business Class pricing will continue on all Power Mac models while supplies last.


TenFourFox 4.0.1 PowerPC Browser

PR: Version 4.0.1 of TenFourFox - FloodGap's PowerPC port of Firefox 4 for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard - has been released. ( dropped official support for OS X 10.5 after Firefox 3.6 and for PowerPC with the fourth beta of Firefox 4.)

TenFourFox uses almost all the same code as Firefox 4 and has nearly all the same features, including faster JavaScript, WebM video, and HTML 5 and CSS 3 support, as well as new and emerging Web features, but with the code needed to keep your PowerPC Mac functional and fast. Version 4.0.1 is a performance, security, and stability update incorporating Mozilla's Firefox 4.0.1 plus AltiVec acceleration for WebM and browser graphics, and G5 JavaScript acceleration.

TenFourFox comes in separate versions optimized for G3, G4, and G5 Macs and has been highly rated by Low End Mac's staff, especially those on older, slower G4 machines - see TenFourFox: The Best Browser for PowerPC Macs Running Tiger? and Leopard at 500 MHz: Good Enough Most of the Time.

Desktop Mac Deals

Low End Mac updates the following price trackers monthly:

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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