News Archive for: Friday Nov. 9, 2007 (later added items first)
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Firmtek card Driver/Firmware Updates
"Mike, FYI. I don't remember seeing anyone mention this. I just found it on the FirmTek site today. FirmTek has updated the firmware and drivers for the 2SM2, 2SE2, and 2SE4 to 5.3.1. After updating, the 2SE2 firmware was vs 5.3.1b3, dated 11/02/07. According to FirmTek, this version is compatible with 10.4 and 10.5.
Their updates page also mentions that "More Mac OS X updates are coming soon."
Have a great weekend.
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FYI for Adaptec SCSI card/Leopard users - 2906 user said driver reinstall worked
A recent mail from a reader on his CPU Upgraded Mac with Leopard listed an Adaptec PCI SCSI 2906 card - so I asked him if it was working (as 2906, 2930, 29160, 39160 owners had reported last week the cards were not usable after the Leopard update). He later wrote a reinstall of the last (5+ years old) OS X driver from Adaptec has the card working again. (I put together a listing of download pages at Adaptec for various card models below for those that want to try a driver reinstall also.)

" G4 Sawtooth (400MHz originally) tower w/Powerlogix G4 PowerForce Series 100 (1GHz), using 2906 PCI SCSI card (for scanner).
After I got your reply I checked the SCSI and found that it was indeed disabled.
After checking around and finding no new updates for the card, I decided to reinstall the (last) Mac OS X Version 1.1 driver dated 21 Feb 2002 (
After reinstalling the driver, the 2906 card is now working just fine. I have my workhorse scanner attached to it - a UMAX Astra 2400S. I use Vuescan software.
I put it through the paces and have not found any problems. Also it now appears in the (system) profiler.
-Matthew T. "

I don't know if other Adaptec card owners will be as lucky, but for those that want to try a driver reinstall, here's the OS X driver download pages for various Adaptec SCSI cards that readers had reporting using in Tiger and not working after the 10.5 upgrade. (Note: for cards with a bios (were bootable), Adaptec calls the Mac cards "PowerDomain" but to save space I'm not repeating that in model names below.) Version/date listed is for the last/latest driver there:

If you do try a driver reinstall, let me know if it helps or not. Include card model/driver, mac model, connected devices, etc. in reports. Thanks! (BTW - on Saturday a 2930 and 39160 card owner said a driver reinstall got the cards recognized again but hadn't tried using them with SCSI devices yet.)
(I made the list above from going to each of the above card's product pages linked of the main Adaptec Mac products support page. I verified all driver downloads were there using Safari (but there's pages of terms you have to agree to to download). Driver and bios updates are linked off the each card's main support pages there - some cards like the 2930 required a chip change for bios update and no bios for 2906.)

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Feedback on Apple's Hard Drive Update 1.0
Late posting these (very few readers had qualifying drives in their Mac Pros or iMacs)

"I've got a 24" white iMac and Software Update offered the HD update 1.0 to me. (Wednesday's news post on Hard Drive Update 1.0 had info on the specific drive models/firmware versions it checks for - i.e. Seagate 500GB ST3500641AS w/firmware ver. 3.BTD and Seagate 750GB ST3750640AS w/firmware ver. 3.BTF.-Mike)
I've had a problem with a noisy, buzzing hard drive (OEM 750GB he later said) and this seems to have fixed it. It's been quiet ever since the update.
John H."

Another iMac owner that had the update appear in SU mentioned he'd had some (rarely seen) problems that he hopes it addresses:

"I have an early 2007 (pre-AL) 24in iMac 2.16 Ghz (Nvidia 7600GT graphics), 500GB Seagate ST3500641AS. I ran the firmware update without issue. (Firmware 3.BTE after the update.)
Before the update occasionally my hard drive would just click off and power down (rarely - maybe 6 times in 10 months) for about 10 seconds. A spinning beachball would appear, and 10-15 seconds later the hard drive would spin up again. It never crashed my machine, but was annoying. My drive is set to never sleep (in Energy Saver). I always assumed this was a firmware issue, but since the problem was rare, it was probably not reported much.
We will see if this solves the problem.
regards, Carl B."
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iPhone 1.1.2 Update released
(from a reader mail friday morning - updated again with more info, links, iToner notes, etc.)

" Mike, Hot of the wire:
(Note by Noon Friday there were already tests on a Jailbreak for 1.1.2)
Have not seen the actual update yet..
(he later wrote)
I took it for granted a post (in Apple forums) was correct that the iPhone update was now available via iTunes. IT'S NOT. (BTW - even as of SUNDAY Nov. 11th the update does not appear in iTunes 7.5 for an iPhone w/1.1.1 firmware installed.) I did find a link to get it that says Download, but I checked my iTunes and its not there, yet. Just wanted to clarify the information I have given you is as correct as possible. Ambrosia notes (iToner) compatibility with v1.1.2 is not broken.
In case you want the link to the download here it is
-William R. "

BTW - one reader said doing a 'restore' in iTunes would download the 1.1.2 firmware (even though update check didn't) - but one reader that did that reported major problems (see Monday's news - he replaced sim card also - bizarre...). And as the iPod Touch is a phone-less clone - 1.1.2 for the touch also exists, although a reader warned to -Sync- any WiFi purchases before updating (I asked if he did a restore to get 1.1.2 instead) as they were gone after the update. (FYI - in cases like this apple may allow you to redownload recent purchases IIRC.) iTunes 7.5 first sync removed iToner ringtones but they could be put back w/iToner a reader said. IIRC 1.1.2 is supposed to fix the tiff security hole (which means it'll break anything that relied on that for installs, etc.) but not sure if there's anything else in the update. (Apple put up a video at their iPhone site's Software update page on features of the previous "September 2007" (v1.1.1) update.) If any brave souls apply 1.1.2 let me know of any pros/cons you see. Thanks.
FYI - I checked the Apple iPhone forums around noon today and there's a thread there on the 1.1.2 update that lists some changes a user (RichsolNuv) noted:

    1. Settings-General-International
    2. Settings-General-Keyboard: Ability to Turn On/Off "." Shorcut
    3. Settings-Sounds-Ringtone: There is a Custom section at the top (this may have been in 1.1.1).
    4. I never noticed the shading around the icons on the bottom before. (I think that's been there before - I see shadows on icons w/1.1.1)
    5. Response seems faster overall.
    6. It looks like the issue with the "Play" icon appearing when it should not, has been fixed.
    ...a few other minor changes, but I will have to note them as I come across them. Keep in mind this is a minor revision.

A reader confirmed Ambrosia's claims - he said his iToner ringtones (installed w/latest version previously) were still intact (and said they were not removed on 1st iTunes 7.5 sync either):

" Installed 1.1.2 (downloaded) and it did *not* break my iToner ringtones. The iToner ringtones show up as "Custom" ringtones in a separate table above the included ringtones (iisted as "Standard"). I also did not lose any ringtones when upgrading to iTunes 7.5.
(he later wrote)
My ringtones were not affected by iTunes 7.5 at all - I did several syncs and they had no affect. The only custom ringtones I have are via iToner. They were added with 1.04 (the current version).
-Jack "
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More comments/articles on Leopard's Application Firewall (and GUI for 10.5 ipfw)
(Updated with links to WaterRoof GUI - v1.9 is 10.5 compatible and a mac prop owner's reply on the TPM comments.)
" wrote a new article about the OSX 10.5 "Application Firewall". The article is an analysis of newly released Apple information about the new Leopard firewall. (Apple's About Leopard's Application Firewall released earlier this week.-Mike) Unfortunately they had only a german article. New article: (here's a google translation to english)
The concerns about the new firewall seem to be well-grounded: It is not possible to seal a OSX system as securely as it was possible with OSX 10.4. All programs which have root-privileges have unlimited network access. And there's a bunch of other problems (ntpd for example and the signing of applications like Skype, WoW etc.). (As reported previously, WoW users that added it to the apps section had Blizzard's validation fail due to being modded - a reinstall was required) The new "sandbox" mode is not used for ntpd (heise suggests this would a possible way to solve some problems).

The good thing is that ipfw (the "former" firewall) is also present in the new system but it has no GUI interface now. Maybe someone manages to disable the new firewall completely and maybe someone writes a GUI for the "old" firewall. (Shawn wrote "Ipfw is fully supported in leopard and there are gui tools to configure it. WaterRoof is one of them." - I found the WaterRoof home page and v1.9 was released for 10.5.-Mike) Probably it is not very easy to get rid of the new "application firewall", but I don't have deeper knowledge about it.

In my opinion the whole new firewall concept is a security issue. Perhaps it is also about digital rights management: If you can't lock your system securely, you can't prevent "big-brother-style" surveillance. It would also be more difficult to circumvent copy protection measures (which is forbidden is several countries). Personally I only use correct licensed software (and more and more open-source software), but I really don't like to be extra-vulnerable because Apple did not a good job with the new firewall. I will stick with OS X Tiger as long as there is no real solution for the problems.

I suspect Apple had no need to change the old firewall concept, instead they made a backstep in security (why???). On the other hand, maybe some third-parties address the problem: But then you have to buy additional software to cover an issue which was no problem in the past. The new EFI firmware for the intel-Macs also has feature for DRM (not sure if Apple has implemented this). (I remember this came up when the first Intel-based Mac development system was shipped) And why they put something like a TPM (Trusted Plattform Module) on all intel-Mac mainboards? In OSX Tiger they did not use the TPM at all (in the past I read a very good article from the Chaos Computer Club in Germany about this), but it would be interesting if they use the TPM for something in Leopard. It's only a guess and a bit of speculation, but it's unlikely to put an IC on a motherboard just for nothing...
(he later wrote)
I also found a video of the original dissertation "Software Protection and the TPM - The Mac OSX story": It's original thing (dissertation in English). In the past I only access to a written summary of this disseration.
Best regards, Christian V."

Update - a reader reply to Christian's comments on TPM:

" Well, I doubt Leopard uses it - because not all Intel Macs have a TPM. My MacPro doesn't for example, but my MacBook Pro does. Both are the first generation models. I used the commands in the "Getting Started" section of this page to determine which systems have the TPM:
  ioreg | grep TPM
-Jack "
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ATI X800 XT (last batch) Display/VRAM problems
Over the last month since the Mac X800 XT cards were (finally) available (one last production run apparently) I've had more than what I'd consider a normal percentage of problems reported (typically display artifacts - suspected to be a vram issue.) I wrote a contact at ATI to ask about this. One reader that had 2 samples with the same problem also sent a link to an apple forum thread on the problem with other replies (one post there noted 3 out of 7 samples affected).
BTW - while on the subject, the Oct. 31st news page had a Tip for anyone with Display/Sleep problems in 10.5 with ATI Radeon cards (due to System/Library/Extensions/AppleNDRV folder missing the ATI ROM Xtender file)
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Other News/Misc. Software updates/Updated Apple Support Docs
Later added items first. (Too many updated Apple kbase iPhone docs today to list here, some relating to UK or german release).

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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