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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


Hardware-Related Updates Follow Apple Announcements

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Not long after Steve Jobs left the stage at last week's Apple press event, a succession of small updates began to pop up, some of which applied to the brand-new machines themselves. The following updates are available via Software Update or as stand-alone downloads.

People who unpacked their new aluminum iMacs were treated to iMac Software Update 1.0, which provides unspecified "important bug fixes." It's a 5.1 MB download.

The Keyboard Software Update 1.1 is intended for people who purchased the aluminum Apple Keyboard separately and enables features such as the remapped function keys that adjust brightness and activate Exposé. The update, a 32.1 MB download, covers both the wired and wireless versions, though the latter isn't expected to ship until next month.

The Mac Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.1 applies to Apple's desktop tower Macs and adjusts the fan behavior; it's a 544K download.

The company's latest professional laptops also gained a boost in the form of MacBook Pro Software Update 1.1, which contains important bug fixes and also addresses issues with Motion versions 2 and 3. The 14.7 MB download applies to the 2.2 GHz and 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro models.


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