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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 28-Apr-08

  • Boot Camp Update 2.1 from Apple “addresses issues and improves compatibility with Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Vista running on a Mac computer using Boot Camp.” Anyone running Windows XP under Boot Camp who plans to install Microsoft’s Service Pack 3 when it is released later this month must first install this Boot Camp Update. The free update comes in three versions – one for Windows XP (215 MB), one for Windows Vista 32-bit (228 MB), and one for Windows
    Vista 64-bit
    (236 MB). These updates must all be applied while running Windows, and are also available through Apple’s Software Update for Windows. (Free)
  • VMware Fusion 1.1.2 fixes a crash related to having a virtual CD/DVD drive when no physical drive was connected to a MacBook Air and adds support for CD/DVD burning with the MacBook Air’s USB-based SuperDrive. Another fix allows Time Machine to back up Fusion virtual machines, something that Fusion previously prevented due to a conflict with Mac OS X that was fixed in 10.5.2, but given the size and frequent changes of the virtual machine disk image, it may be best to exclude it from Time Machine backups anyway. Other changes include support for Windows XP Service Pack 3 Boot Camp partitions, the addition of Simplified Chinese to the localized languages (English, French, German, and
    Japanese), proper disconnect of USB devices left connected to the virtual machine at shut down, a fix for wireless bridged networking not being able to pick up an IP address via DHCP, full compatibility with the new Apple Aluminum Keyboard’s new keys, and more. ($79.99 new, free update, 176 MB)
  • TextExpander 2.1 from SmileOnMyMac enhances the typing shortcut and abbreviation expansion utility with support for single-character abbreviations, and improved performance for fast typists. TextExpander also now remembers open groups in the Preferences pane, preserves formatting when creating snippets from the selection or the clipboard, and fixes expansion problems with multiple nested snippets. ($29.95 new, free update, 3.9 MB)
  • Default Folder X 4.0.5 from St. Clair Software fixes a bug in the Open and Save dialog enhancement utility to prevent Default Folder X from reactivating after a file dialog was dismissed in Acrobat 8, Dreamweaver CS3, and possibly other applications. It also improves the way Spotlight and Info panels fit into very small Open and Save dialogs. ($34.95 new, free update, 9.3 MB)
  • ScreenFlow 1.1 from Vara Software is a significant update to the highly regarded new screencasting software for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Important changes include display of the audio waveforms for editing, markers for easier navigating and QuickTime Chapter Tracks, 20 to 40 percent faster export, presets for Apple’s non-Macintosh devices, significant reduction in CPU usage when recording desktops with little or no motion, many bug fixes, and much more. ($99.99 new, free update, 4.7 MB)
  • MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.5.1 is a replacement for the 1.5 version of this firmware update (see “Apple Releases Various Firmware Updates,” 2008-04-08), but Apple doesn’t specify what has changed. I recommend using Software Update to get and install this update, since Apple is entirely unclear about which models of the MacBook Pro need it. (Free, 4.9 MB)
  • Firmware Restoration CD 1.7 from Apple enables users of various Intel-based Mac models to restore the firmware of their computers in the event of a botched firmware update. Check the Firmware Restoration CD 1.7 description for a full list of supported models, and remember that if your Mac isn’t included, you’ll need a previous version of Firmware Restoration CD (a hint: just change the version number in the URL to check out versions 1.3 through 1.6). If you have only one Mac that can make a CD, I recommend downloading the appropriate Firmware Restoration CD and burning to CD now, before you might conceivably need it. (Free, 22.5 MB)
  • Keyboard Maestro 3.0.1 from Stairways Software fixes a number of bugs in the recent 3.0 release of the company’s macro program, including some cases of excessive CPU usage, problems with palette placement on multiple monitor setups, failures with the Launch Application action, and more. ($36 new, free update for owners of Keyboard Maestro 3.0, 4.0 MB)

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