I was too busy yesterday with both schoolwork and heeding the very updates that I felt I should mention here. Given how many there are I’ve added the real descriptions into the extended body, so if you’re interest you can read them there. What got updated were the Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro, Airport Extreme, Time Capsule, iPhoto, Airport Utility, Airport Client, iLife Support, and the MacBook/ MacBook Pro Battery Firmware and the newer battery driver is used. Enjoy, Alex.
The Mac Mini got bumped yesterday to a newer generation/ model. It now has up to 5 times faster NVIDIA graphics performance. You can choose from either a 120 GB or 320 GB hard drive. You now get 4 GB of memory, so up to double what it used to come with. 5 USB ports, a Mini DisplayPort, a Mini DVI port, FireWire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, audio in, and audio out. To read more about the new Mac Mini follow the above link. Apple also released a newer keyboard that doesn’t have the number pad to use as the keyboard. Starts at $600.00.
The iMac got bumped yesterday too. You can now get up to 8 GB of memory and up to a 1 TB hard disk. They use the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor, which means dramatically improved graphics performance. Apple also released a newer keyboard that doesn’t have the number pad to use as the keyboard. Starts at $1,200.00.
The Mac Pro got bumped yesterday alongside the other desktop Macs. It now uses the Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor, and both the AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards to provide the fastest ever OS X graphics. You can install up to 32 GB of memory and 4 TB of hard drive space. The Mini DisplayPort has been added as an output to allow for use of the newest Apple Displays. Apple also released a newer keyboard that doesn’t have the number pad to use as the keyboard. Starts at $2,500.00.
The Airport Extreme was bumped yesterday. It now operates dual-band on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands to allow for compatibility with more devices. The device now has MobileMe integration for any hard drive attached to be accessed online from anywhere. Costs $180.00.
Apple, yesterday, bumped the Time Capsule with many of the same improvements as the Airport Extreme.
Apple sent out the first maintenance update to iPhoto ‘09 yesterday. The ever-sparse release notes state “improves overall stability and addresses minor issues in a number of areas, including internet connectivity, keyword import, and slideshow export” as the updated areas of the code. The update is 11.9 MB and does not require a reboot in and of itself.
Airport Client v1.0
Apple released a newer version of the Airport Client kernel extension (IO80211Family.kext) to coincide with the bumped Airport hardware. As this update modifies the kernel_task, the update obviously will require you to reboot your Mac to initiate the new driver. The update is just 2 MB in size.
Airport Utility v5.4.1
To be able to administrate and manage the newer Airport hardware, Apple sent out an update to the Airport Utility installation (Airport Utility in /Applications/Utilities and Airport Base Station Agent in /System/Library/CoreServices). The software naturally requires the newer client software, so in that regard will need a reboot. The software is only 17.4 MB in size.
iLife Support v9.0.2
To coincide with the updated version of iPhoto of yesterday and the newer RAW Compatibility bundles of two days ago, Apple released a new set of iLife Support system files. The release notes only state overall stability and various minor issues. The update is a large 50.56 MB and as it modifies the system support frameworks it will require you to reboot after installation.
Battery Update v1.2-1.4
Depending on what model of Apple portable Mac you own you’ll either get version 1.2, 1.3 or 1.4 of the Battery Update. The release notes say that the new firmware will improve the ability of your Mac to hold a charge while shut down for an extended period of time. The update places a system bundle into /System/Library/SystemConfiguration that runs from installation on out checking to see if the installed battery needs updating each boot and wake up. It also updates the AppleSmartBatteryManager.kext in /System/Library/Extensions to teach OS X how to talk to the new battery firmware. The update is just 210 KB, but enforces a reboot if not by virtue of being installed alongside the Airport Client, but so that the currently-installed battery definitely gets the newer firmware and the newer battery driver gets used to run the battery.