From my quick assessment perusing popular online forums, Apple’s announcement last Thursday of the next version of OS X, Mountain Lion, has struck a nerve with some people among the Mac faithful. If you’ve listened to the OWC Radio Podcast, you may know that I’m more the Lion fan in the group while my counterpart in the podcast, OWC Chris, is not so much a fan as you can read in his recent OWC blog post.
For me, I’ve really liked the Lion upgrade overall. Adobe said they wouldn’t support CS3, but lo and behold, CS3 works better for me in Lion than it ever did in Snow Leopard, all while being unsupported by Adobe. Go figure, but that’s more of an Adobe issue.
I use Lion at home on my family Macs and use Snow Leopard at work. I didn’t change the scrolling characteristic as I always try to walk a mile in the OS makers’ shoes before deciding if I don’t like something just because it’s different. So I kept Lion’s new scrolling feature, and I can easily switch from home use and work use even though they scroll different. Admittedly, I’m a heavy iPad user so that might have aided my learning curve a bit. Article Continues…
The Mayans may have been wrong… We’ve got massive flooding in Thailand causing a world-wide hard drive shortage, asteroids are on the way, Internet Explorer is no longer on top of the web browser food-chain, dinosaurs will soon be roaming the earth while the Mac Pro goes extinct, people are talking to their phones now, the Mac platform is becoming more susceptible to viruses, there are dogs and cats, living together – it’s mass hysteria! Is November 2011 the end of what we know?
OWC Radio is a monthly, forum-based podcast focused on the events and happenings in the Mac community. This week’s hosts are: OWC Grant, OWC Chris S., and OWC Mike H.
In case you missed it, the next version of Firefox was released yesterday morning. While version 4.0 has been in “beta” for quite some time now, this is now the full release version. It includes some interesting new features, such as:
- moving tabs to the top of the window (not an aesthetic that I particularly like, but somebody may)
- a unified stop/reload button
- “App tabs” - for pages/sites you always keep open
- “Switch to Tab” – great for those who keep about 50 tabs open at any given time, when you enter something in the URL bar that’s already loaded, this goes to the already-opened tab, rather than spawning a new one.
- “Panorama” – Another one for “tab junkies.” Allows you to drag and drop tabs into groups, helping you keep things a little more organized.
- There’s also improved HTML 5 support and other “under the hood” changes.
Even though I, personally, tend to stick with Safari for the vast majority of my Web browsing, I still keep an updated copy of Firefox handy; every so often, I’ll find a site that pitches a fit over Safari, yet handles Firefox just fine. However, on the two virtual machines (Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux) I have on my MacBook Pro, Firefox is the main browser I use.
Many other people I know—both Mac and Windows users—use Firefox almost exclusively. Its popularity and cross-platform compatibility are just two good reasons to at least keep a copy around.
You can get the latest version at the Firefox Web site. While the latest version doesn’t appear to be supported on PowerPC-based machines, you should be able to get the previous version on the same page. Firefox seemed to render complex pages faster than Safari under 10.5 on a PPC Mac, so grabbing Version 3.6.15 may be a good option for you if you have a PowerBook or PowerMac still in regular use.
OWC has no affiliation with this software and receives no benefit related to this support (other than a benefit we all share in the continued support of these applications). If you appreciate the function or functionality this software offers, we encourage you to support the authors.
Hot on the heels of the new hardware released yesterday, we’ve got some new software to go along with it.
Magic Trackpad and Multi-Touch Trackpad Update 1.0
I was surprised to see this update show up on my MacBook Pro, but it does add more functionality to your trackpad’s configuration options, including “intertial scrolling” which lets you set your trackpad to scroll through lists like an iPod Touch or iPhone.
10.6.4 update for 2010 iMac
If you’re one of the fortunate souls who managed to get one of the new iMacs released yesterday, this one’s just for you. It includes the normal 10.6.4 updates, as well as these 2010 iMac-specific fixes:
- Resolves compatibility and performance-related graphics issues.
- Improves compatibility with large-format SDXC memory cards.
- Adds support for Magic Trackpad.
This update contains a bunch of small fixes you’d normally expect from a .0.1 release, but it also adds another, slightly more significant, option: the addition of “extensions.”
These extensions are in addition to the more broad-range “plug-ins” like Glims or ClickToFlash, and (from the few I tried) they don’t seem to conflict with each other.
Even if you don’t use extensions or plug-ins, though, it’s probably worth the download, just to fix the short laundry list of security, stability and usability bugs.
We delayed our weekly Free App review by a day this week, in order to give ourselves some time to get to know Monday’s new release: Opera Mini Web browser.
Get a fast, cost-efficient Web browsing experience. Use our powerful servers to compress data by up to 90% before sending it to your iPhone, so page-loads are lightning fast. Opera Mini is a breeze to use, and can synchronize data between your phone and computer.
Some great features of Opera Mini:
-Speed Dial gets you to your favorite Web sites with a single tap.
-An address field with auto-completion means you type less.
-Tabs allow for multitasking with several Web pages.
-Bookmarks can be easily managed and accessed.