Apple has quietly released the iMac Graphic FW Update 3.0, saying only that it “fixes a graphics issue that may cause an iMac to hang under certain conditions.” It’s conceivable that this will play a role in resolving the video-related crashes new iMac owners were experiencing under Mac OS X 10.7.0 Lion, though most of those seem to have disappeared with 10.7.1 (see “Video Viewing in Lion Freezes New iMacs,” 4 August 2011). Apple does indicate that this latest firmware update requires Lion, though the company doesn’t say which iMac models are affected. Frankly, though you can download this from Apple’s Web site, we recommend letting Software Update get it for you, since then the download will appear only if it’s relevant for your iMac. As with all firmware updates, be careful not to power down your Mac during the update. (Free, 482 KB)
Single Time Machine Backups
Tired of Time Machine running all the time? You can turn it off in the Time Machine preference pane, but still initiate a single backup by choosing Back Up Now from Time Machine's menu bar icon. Of course, your backup is much less likely to be up to date, but Time Machine won't be taking any resources while you're trying to work.