Mac OS 8.1 Update Available — Today, Apple released Mac OS 8.1, an update to Mac OS 8.0 that includes support for Macintosh Extended Format disks, DVD-ROM and Universal Disk Format (UDF) disks, plus new versions of PC Exchange, Open Transport, the Location Manager, and the LaserWriter driver. Mac OS 8.1 refines Virtual Memory and disk caching (which improves application launch and re-launch times, as well as network file copies) and adds components such as MRJ 2.0 (Mac OS Runtime for Java) and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.01.
The U.S. version of Mac OS 8.1 will be available on CD-ROM in February (Mac OS 8 owners can purchase a CD for $19.95); localized versions should appear in April. Happily, current Mac OS 8 users can download the Mac OS 8.1 update for U.S. systems for free. Apple has posted the update in BinHex and MacBinary versions, both as a large (15 to 22 MB) single file and as thirteen smaller files.
Make sure to read Mac OS 8.1’s documentation and back up your system before installing. Also, keep an eye on TidBITS Updates during the week for further details about Mac OS 8.1. [GD]