Mac OS X 10.3.9 Update Released — Apple has released Mac OS X 10.3.9 Update, which is almost certainly the last numbered release for Panther. With Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger due to ship 29-Apr-05 (details later in this issue), any new Panther releases will be specific application or security fixes (as was true for Jaguar). This update includes fixes for a lot of fiddly problems that must have been weighing on Apple so they could close the book on continuing engineering (three of the upgrade notes relate to Stickies, for crying out loud). However, a few important nuggets are included: for example, erratic trackpad behavior on some PowerBooks has been fixed, as well as some possible kernel panics when waking a PowerBook G4 from sleep and a number of security fixes to the kernel.
The update is available as a huge 51 MB download for users upgrading from Mac OS X 10.3.8. The Combo Installer, which works for all previous 10.3 releases, is a whopping 143 MB. Mac OS X Server 10.3.9 was also released at 63 MB (upgrade) and 117 MB (combo). I must chide Apple for never considering since the release of Mac OS X 10.0 how average dial-up users, still the majority of all Internet users in the U.S., are supposed to cope with these massive downloads. [GF]