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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 05-May-08

  • Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 1 from Apple installs Java SE 6 version 1.6.0_05 on your Mac, making it possible to run Java applications built for Java 6. Or rather, it does if your Mac is a 64-bit Intel-based Mac that’s running Mac OS X 10.5.2, since it won’t install on any PowerPC-based Macs or older Intel-based Macs using the Intel Core Duo (versus the Intel Core 2 Duo). Java 5 remains installed, and remains the default version, even though Java 6 has been out since December 2006. (Free, 57 MB)
  • iMac (Early 2008) ATI Radeon HD Graphics Firmware Update 1.0.1 updates the firmware of the ATI Radeon HD 2600 or 2400 XT graphics card in certain recently released iMac models to improve system stability. Apple’s download page explains how to determine if your iMac needs the update, but I suspect that it’s best to assume that Software Update will give this update to you if you need it. The updater requires Mac OS X 10.5.2, and won’t do anything if its not necessary for your computer. (Free, 848K)
  • 1Password 2.6.1 from Agile Web Solutions enhances anti-phishing features and Web browser support in the password management and form filling utility. 1Password 2.6 provides optional integration with the PhishTank anti-phishing service, adds automatic detection of changed online passwords via Change Password pages, and optionally makes pronounceable passwords via the Strong Password Generator. The update also adds, restores, or improves support for OmniWeb 5.7, the site-specific browser Fluid, the latest Camino nightly builds, and Firefox 3. ($34.95 new, free update, 14.5 MB)
  • Synchronize Pro X 6.0 from Qdea makes the file synchronization and backup utility significantly more aware of changes that require backup. The new version uses Leopard’s FSEvents technology to speed up filesystem scanning time, can trigger backups whenever a folder’s contents change, and provides a Web-based interface for monitoring of backup status. ($99.95 new, $49.95 for a two-year license renewal, 2.9 MB)
  • Infovox iVox 1.2 from Acapela Group and AssistiveWare adds new voices and a pronunciation editor to the collection of international voices that works with any Speech Manager-compatible application (see “Macs Speak Clearly with Infovox iVox,” 2007-09-06). The update includes new voices for Finnish, Swedish, Czech, Icelandic, Polish, and Turkish; the final four require Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, whereas the first two work with 10.3.9 and later. The pronunciation editor enables users to add abbreviations or change the pronunciation of individual words. (Prices vary by language)
  • MacPilot 3.0.1 from Koingo Software adds hundreds of new customization options to the system tweaking utility, bringing the total to over 600. MacPilot helps users customize the Dock, the Finder, Safari, and many other applications by providing a graphical interface to settings that would otherwise require entering commands in Terminal. MacPilot 3 is fully compatible with both Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard, documents all the changes it can make, and can reset options to the default. ($19.95 new, free update for purchases after 31-Oct-07 or $9.95 otherwise, 8.1 MB)
  • Tinderbox 4.2.4 from Eastgate Systems fixes some cosmetic bugs in the flexible note taking and outlining utility, and fixes some problems with opening old documents on new machines. See “Light Your Fire with Tinderbox,” 2002-10-14, for a review of an early version; check the Related Articles list on our site for additional coverage of Tinderbox and similar programs. ($229 new, free updates for purchases in the last year or $90 otherwise, 16.5 MB)
  • Microsoft Messenger for Mac 7 enables Mac users to participate in corporate messaging systems run by Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, complete with audio and video support. (The audio and video support is available only for the corporate service, but not when chatting directly with other Windows Live users using the personal service.) Messenger 7 also makes it possible to search an address book, adds Bonjour support for detecting presence, and more. Messenger 7 won’t replace iChat, but it will make using a Mac in a corporate environment easier, and will simplify chatting with Windows Live users. (Free, 21 MB)
  • DiscLabel 5.2.1 from SmileOnMyMac adds support for the Dymo DiscPainter direct-to-CD printer, along with other unspecified enhancements and fixes. ($35.95 new, free update, 12.6 MB)
  • TextExpander 2.1.1 from SmileOnMyMac fixes bugs in the recent release of the typing shortcut and abbreviation expansion utility. Bugs fixed include problems with post-expansion cursor positioning, delimiters that use the Shift key, and more. ($29.95 new, free update, 3.9 MB)

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