Mac OS 9.2.2 Update Released -- Apple last week updated Mac OS 9 with little fanfare or documentation. According to Apple's Web site, the Mac OS 9.2.2 Update "improves Classic application compatibility in Mac OS X and delivers support for Macintosh systems that are based on the PowerPC G3 or G4 processor." The update is available through the Software Update control panel, or can be downloaded separately from Apple's Web site as a 21 MB disk image. The update is available in North American and International English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch versions, and requires Mac OS 9.2.1 and a Macintosh with a PowerPC G3 or G4 processor, excluding the original PowerBook G3. Initial user reports on sites like MacInTouch and MacFixIt have revolved around problems with unrecognized FireWire devices, loss of video resolutions, and Open Firmware booting. Solutions generally involve resetting the PRAM, and in the cause of Open Firmware booting problems, defragmenting so the System Folder is in the first 8 GB of the hard disk. As always, make sure you have a current backup before installing. [JLC]
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.