Apple has released a much-needed firmware update for the 27-inch iMac that aims to address that model's widespread display problems. The update is for the ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4850 graphics cards, and corrects issues causing "image corruption or display flickering." Those issues have been widely discussed in Apple's Support Discussion forums (see "New iMac Screens Cracking and Flickering," 10 December 2009) in conjunction with instances of shipped iMacs arriving with cracked screens - still no word on that latter problem. Finally, take heed of this important warning in Apple's release notes, "Do not disturb or shut off the power on your iMac during this update. Loss of power could result in your iMac failing to start up." The update is available via Software Update and the Apple Support Downloads page. (Free, 683 KB)
Syslogd Overwhelming Your Computer?
If your Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) system is unexpectedly sluggish, logging might be the culprit. Run Activity Monitor (Applications/Utilities/ folder), and click the CPU column twice to get it to show most to least activity. If syslogd is at the top of the list, there's a fix. Syslogd tracks informational messages produced by software and writes them to the asl.db, a file in your Unix /var/log/ directory. It's a known problem that syslogd can run amok. There's a fix: deleting the asl.db file.
Launch Terminal (from the same Utilities folder), and enter these commands exactly as written, entering your administrative password when prompted:
sudo launchctl stop com.apple.syslogd
sudo rm /var/log/asl.db
sudo launchctl start com.apple.syslogd
Your system should settle down to normal. For more information, follow the link.
27-inch iMac Graphics Firmware Update 1.0
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