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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 

 

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PowerBooks, Quantum Daytonas, & SCSI Manager 4.3

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During the last few weeks, reports have circulated on the nets about failures to properly spin up PowerBook hard disks after putting a PowerBook to sleep. These reports have most often been associated with the use of SCSI Manager 4.3-savvy drivers.

La Cie has confirmed that some series of Quantum Daytona hard disks with capacities of 250 MB, 340 MB, and 540 MB don't like SCSI Manager 4.3-savvy drivers and have exhibited problems with Silverlining 5.6 (the first version of Silverlining to take advantage of SCSI Manager 4.3). The workaround is to obtain from La Cie a revised version of Silverlining (5.54/23) that specifically addresses this problem.

La Cie will send version 5.54/23 at no charge to any owner of Silverlining 5.6 who is having problems with a Daytona drive. Note that the disk image for version 5.54/23 is included with the La Cie software included on all La Cie's new drives (even ones that shipped with Silverlining 5.6), so check for it before you make a telephone call. La Cie's standard upgrade policy from any previous version of Silverlining is $10, plus $5 shipping (or $7 and your phone number for Airborne Express). To upgrade from a previous version, you'll need to send your original program disk to the address below.

FWB, makers of Hard Disk Toolkit (HDT), also confirm that their engineers discovered a problem with sleep mode on Quantum Daytona disks and will correct the problem in HDT 1.6.3, which they hope to ship by the middle of this week. An upgrade policy has not been set at this time, but a FWB representative indicated that they anticipate offering a free upgrade to users of HDT 1.6 and Quantum Daytona disks, and they also plan to release an updater application to the nets.

In the meantime, PowerBook users with Quantum Daytona disks may wish to avoid SCSI Manager 4.3-savvy drivers (we haven't received information from other driver makers) until these problems are resolved. Note that although SCSI Manager 4.3-savvy drivers improve hard disk performance on most 68040 Quadras and all Power Macs, they don't improve performance on 68040-based PowerBooks or the Quadra 630 (see TidBITS-251 for details). For the time being, PowerBook users have no reason to upgrade to SCSI Manager 4.3-savvy drivers.

La Cie Technical Support -- 800/288-9919
8700 SW Creekside Place, Beaverton, OR, 97008 (Attn: Updates)
FWB Software Upgrades -- 415/474-8055 -- <fwb.inc@eworld.com>

 

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