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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

 
 

OS X 10.8.4 Mountain Lion Finally Fixes Messages

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Clearing the decks before WWDC, Apple has released the OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 update, along with Safari 6.0.5, to fix a number of lingering bugs that were missed by the 10.8.3 update back in March (see “OS X 10.8.3 Mountain Lion Fixes Nagging Bugs,” 14 March 2013). The free update is available via the Mac App Store, with delta (342.33 MB — from 10.8.3) and combo (809.98 MB — from 10.8) updaters ready for download from Apple’s Web site. Though we haven’t heard of any significant problems with the update, it’s always a good idea to wait a few days to see if any arise.


The most welcome fix is for an issue that caused iMessages to appear out of order in the Messages app. This was a long-standing issue that often jumbled messages and made conversations hard to follow.

Enterprise users will be glad to hear that compatibility has been improved when connecting to certain enterprise Wi-Fi networks. Other fixes for enterprise users include improved Active Directory login performance, improved Wi-Fi compatibility with Active Directory networks, and fixes for file saves over SMB, Xsan, and NFS volumes.

Calendar’s compatibility with Microsoft Exchange has been improved. Also fixed in Calendar is a bug that caused birthdays to appear incorrectly in some time zones.

Other miscellaneous fixes include an issue that prevented scheduled sleep after using Boot Camp, a bug that blocked FaceTime calls to non-U.S. phone numbers, improved VoiceOver compatibility with PDFs, an issue that reset desktop wallpapers on restart, a problem that prevented files from being opened after being copied to a volume named “Home,” and unspecified improvements to mobile account compatibility. A variety of security holes were also plugged.

Included with the 10.8.4 update is Safari 6.0.5, which improves stability for Web sites with games and chat features. Also, 24 memory corruption issues with WebKit were patched, which could lead to crashes or exploits, as were 3 cross-site scripting vulnerabilities.

While these changes are welcome, and possibly the last bug fixes that OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will see apart from security updates, as we stated above, it’s always a good idea to hold off briefly on updating. However, those who use Messages often will be tempted by the chance to fix one of OS X’s most irritating bugs.

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>
 

Comments about OS X 10.8.4 Mountain Lion Finally Fixes Messages
(Comments are closed.)

NVIDIA Web Driver 313.01.01f03 and OSX update 10.8.4 are not compatible.
Steve Nicholson  2013-06-06 10:22
I just set up a new Mac Mini for a coworker. I must have hit Apple's update server the instant 10.8.4 became available because it hadn't yet been mentioned on any of the Apple blogs or news sites I follow. When I logged onto our Active Directory server I noticed a huge difference in how long it took. Normally it can take anywhere from five to twenty seconds. This time it was instantaneous. I'm not normally one to do an OS update on day one, but I updated my work Mac and saw the same speed improvement.
Johan Van Rafelghem  2013-06-11 10:35
Help viewer stopped working altogether after installing the update. Restarting alone and restarting after removing Help viewer from the login list didn't solve the problem.