Our utilities update report is a list of updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though a utility can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week there are updates for a couple of maintenance and data management and recovery utilities, as well as a partition manager and a reusable benchmarking suite.
Ahead of the public release of Mac OS X 10.6.5, Apple has seeded Mac OS X 10.6.6 to developers. The update for 10.6.6 notes that developers will have support for fetching and renewing receipts in the forthcoming Mac App Store.
Apple has also announced that Xserve will no longer be available after January 31, 2011. Apple will continue to support existing Xserve units but will no longer produce new ones, leaving the MacPro with Mac OS X Server as the lone high-powered server solution.… Read more
MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed from our readers. This week we have questions on how to embed multimedia in PDF documents, clarification on the version numbers for iPhoto/iLife, items on the desktop rearranging themselves, and using a HDTV as a monitor for a Mac Mini. We continually answer e-mail questions, and while we present a few here, we certainly welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.
Question: Embedding movies and audio in PDF documents
MacFixIt reader "ngroves" asks:
I need to … Read more
Time Machine is a convenient backup system and we recommend all Mac users enable it or otherwise regularly back up their data. Besides its uses, Time Machine does have a couple of quirks, and one is that after using Time Machine for a while some people may find the system has created backups for multiple systems in the "backups.backupdb" folder on the Time Machine drive.
When Time Machine runs, it will store all backup instances in a folder that is given the name of the current system, so if you connect it to a computer called "… Read more
Since iOS 4 was released in mid-June, iPhone 3G and 3GS owners have complained that the software has their phones seemingly grinding to a halt: slow keyboard response time, frozen unlock screens, and a battery that drains faster than with previous versions of the software.
Now a deeply unsatisfied customer is taking her iOS 4 complaints to court.
On Friday, San Diego resident Bianca Wofford sued Apple for violating the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, unfair business practices, and false and deceptive advertising. In the suit she claims that iOS 4 rendered her iPhone 3GS completely unusable and that Apple support … Read more
The Spotlight menu can be very useful for finding files on the hard drive; however, besides just presenting files and allowing you to open them, there are other options for Spotlight that can make using it more useful. After you have performed a search in the Spotlight menu, using the following options will allow you to change how the menu handles the results.… Read more
Every now and then you may need to enter special characters and symbols when writing, which can be for relatively common tasks such as character accents or "degree" signs, but also for more obscure or specialized symbols. In the past, many of these came from using special fonts (Wingdings or Dingbats) that contained these symbols as alternates to the standard alphanumeric characters, but these days fonts make use of the Unicode system and can include hundreds or thousands of available symbols.
As with other PC systems, the Mac keyboard layout is a standard one for the most commonly … Read more
We've all been there: standing, befuddled, in front of 30 blaring TV sets in a big-box store, struggling to decide which flat-screen TV would work in the living room. Or maybe you urgently need a new digital camera, but once you see dozens on display you forget the features you came for in the first place. These are the moments when you most need CNET's reviews and shopping advice.
The notes feature in Apple's Mail program can be useful for jotting down quick reminders and other items without having to send yourself e-mails. Though convenient, the feature may not work properly at times, if at all.
We were recently contacted by MacFixIt reader Richard who found that the notes feature stopped working when he migrated to his new MacBook Pro system. Usually when program features like this stop working, the first recommendation is to try refreshing some settings and delete the program's preferences files, but Richard had already done this when he contacted us. Additionally, sometimes there … Read more
eBay Motors gave us a sneak peek at its upcoming app for iPhone at the 2010 SEMA Show. While we expected the app to be capable of searching eBay auctions for parts and vehicles, the developers managed to think up a few features--such as VIN scanning and a virtual garage--that truly piqued our interest.
The app allows you to set up a custom home-screen search, which displays a sort of slideshow of the top results when the app opens. You can also simply perform individual searches for vehicles by make, model, year, etc. Once a vehicle is selected, the app … Read more