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#805: Apple Updates (Bugs & Fixes), Browser History


Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and I am looking forward to spending a nice evening curled up on the couch reading to my cat. I hope all of you got to enjoy some time with your loved ones over the holiday season, and that it will continue into Valentine’s Day.

It’s too bad that Valentine’s Day comes only once per year. I think we should make a day for every month that can remind us to spend time with our loved ones and to appreciate them for being in our lives.

Thanks to all of you long time Tech Tails readers for your support. I hope that you know how much all of us here at Small Dog appreciate you!


  OS X 10.7.3 Is Here!  

Last Wednesday, Apple released their first Lion update for 2012. In addition to various Security Patches, there were enough fixes and enhancements that Apple bumped up the revision level to 10.7.3.

Among the various fixes are a few important ones that address issues I have heard on our support lines:

  • Better compatibility with Windows file sharing
  • Some early-model iMacs with ATI graphics would sometimes be slow after waking from sleep
  • Some laptops would occasionally have issues reconnecting to a wireless network after waking from sleep (I see this one a lot)

There are a lot of security updates that address possible data manipulation due to malicious code as well. This patch includes fixes for QuickTime and X11.

As part of this update, Safari has been updated to the latest version: 5.1.3.

There were additional fixes on the Lion Server side, such as new Server Admin tools (which will come down as a separate download if you have them installed) and various components to iCal, Address Book, and the Apache web server.

The original update made available via Software Updates apparently had some issues, the most notable of which replaced dialog box buttons with “CUI” and a line of question marks. The Combo Update, however, did not have this problem.

Apple has since removed the download from Software Updates, so if you want to download 10.7.3, you need to go to Apple’s site and grab the Combo Update. If you already applied 10.7.3 from Software Update and are having problems, you can install the Combo Update over the existing patch.

See last week’s other updates, etc. here.

  Snow Leopard Security Patch  

In addition to the 10.7.3 Update for Lion, Apple also released a security update for Snow Leopard. Fixing many of the same issues, it also had an unfortunate side-effect: Rosetta based apps stopped working.

Almost immediately, the support forums were filled with messages from people who found themselves unable to run programs like Quicken 2007 and AppleWorks 6. According to reports, the problem was sometimes limited to file access operations, but in some cases you couldn’t even start the program or it would crash on exit.

Despite the various complaints and accusations, this was not an attempt by Apple to get people to stop using Power-PC applications. They would have given plenty of notice if this was their intent (although, as I noted in a previous article, plenty of notice was given about the lack of Rosetta support in Lion, yet a large majority of people still didn’t know about it until it was too late.)

Within a few days, Apple released update 2012-001 v1.1, which has replaced the original patch. If you already applied the patch from last Wednesday, go back to Software Update and download the 1.1 version. If you have not yet applied the original, then you only need to download the 1.1 update and you’re all set. The 1.1 update removes the component that was causing Rosetta applications so much trouble.

  From the Art-chives: What Does Your History Contain?  

Originally featured in Tech Tails #724.

Every internet browser I have seen or used includes a feature known generally as “history,” which is essentially a map of where you have been surfing (over the last session, few days or even months or longer if your settings allow it).

This history list is something you can go back to and search if necessary—usually by day, week, etc. Perhaps to point someone to reference material you browsed by, or if you have to get back to that specific online auction listing you wanted to check on. Browser history is often a feature we take for granted or seldom use, but can be a needed tool to get back to where you were should the occasion arise.

There are always limitations to what the history feature can reveal; however, I came across just such a case last week while researching some genealogy info online with an associate of mine. We had finished our previous session the week before, late at night, and simply closed the lid on the sweet MacBook Pro 17-inch refurb purchased specifically for this project.

Upon reopening the computer the following session, and after checking on email etc., we tried to get back to where we had been using the History menu. It seems that the pay site we were subscribed to caches some of the information and documents that can be viewed, and that only certain pages were actually saved in the browser history.

As frustrating as it was to search the cached history that was saved the day we were researching, we could not get back to the pivotal document about the person we were looking up. We had already closed and reopened new browser windows and could not simply hit the back button at that point.

Needless to say, we learned a hard lesson about what the browser application can and cannot do for URL history. If the site(s) being visited have their own framework and cache their documents on their servers within your browser window, then your URL doesn’t change and new history isn’t being recorded. The pay site being subscribed to does have a “shoebox” feature which will be utilized much more frequently moving forward, and I expect to never lose out on an opportunity because of wrongly trusting the history feature.

While we have yet to get back to the document for the 1890’s Haverford College registry listing H. W. B. Wood’s attendance, we know the file exists, and we’ll find it again eventually. In the meantime, we’ll be adding other important documents to the “shoebox” of documents since the browser history will not save the exact content being viewed. Lesson learned!

Image source: The History Channel

  TT SPECIALS | 2/7/12 - 2/14/12  

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