This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2009-09-10 at 3:47 p.m.
The permanent URL for this article is:
Include images: Off

Tiny Mac OS X 10.6.1 Update Fixes Some Bugs

by TidBITS Staff

Hewing to the traditional two-week lag between a major release of Mac OS X and the first bug-fix update, Apple has now released Mac OS X 10.6.1. The quick release shouldn't be surprising: software engineers start working on .1 releases of software as much as four to eight weeks before a .0 release ships.

Oddly, the release is tiny - only 9.8 MB via Software Update on some Macs and about 70 MB on others. The version Apple posted [1] on the Support Downloads site weighs in at 71.47 MB, a fraction of what we've become used to with updates to Mac OS X.

Network administrators also get to join in the fun with the release of Mac OS X Server 10.6.1 Update [2], a 71.57 MB download that appears to address the same issues covered below as well as offering improved reliability of services using Grand Central Dispatch and fixing a problem with duplicate serial number alerts on servers with multiple network interfaces.

We suppose it's possible that architectural changes to Snow Leopard allow Apple to ship much smaller updates, but it seems more likely that Mac OS X 10.6.1 was pushed out quickly to address only a small number of particularly egregious bugs.

We're pleased that Apple continues to provide some useful detail about software updates, a change that kicked in several months ago. Now, we'd like to encourage them to hire short-story writers and humorists to flesh out some of the more obscure bullet points. (We've made a pass ourselves.)

The 10.6.1 release notes are brief, calling out only nine specific improvements in a KnowledgeBase article [3]:

That said, there are clearly other changes. In our use of 10.6.1, we've already found that a number of minor inconveniences have been removed:

On the downside, some bugs remain, including this one:

And at least one new bug was introduced (and reported):

All in all, we recommend that you take a screenshot of the Login Items view for your user account before you install the update. That way, if your login items are toasted, you'll at least remember what they were. (If you can't recall your screenshot keyboard shortcut, check the Keyboard Shortcuts view in the Keyboard system preference pane. In Snow Leopard, your screenshots are no longer named "Picture 1," "Picture 2," etc.; instead look for a file on your Desktop called "Screen shot 2009...".) Once your screenshot is in place, you too can share in the spills and thrills of the Mac OS X 10.6.1 update.