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A Tweak For Tiger

On Tuesday, Apple released a maintenance upgrade to Mac OS X 10.4, aka Mac OS X Tiger. This 10.4.9 update offers the usual mix of bug fixes, security patches and minor new features, as Apple's release note outlines:

The 10.4.9 Update is recommended for PowerPC and Intel-based Mac computers currently running Mac OS X Tiger version 10.4.8 and includes general operating system fixes, as well as specific fixes or compatibility updates for the following applications and technologies:

- RAW camera support
- Handling of large or malformed images that could cause crashes
- Image capture performance
- Mouse scrolling and keyboard shortcuts
- Font handling
- Playback quality, and bookmarks in DVD Player
- USB video conferencing cameras for use with iChat
- Bluetooth devices
- Browsing AFP servers
- Apple USB Modem
- Windows-created digital certificates
- Open and Print dialogs in applications that use Rosetta on Intel-based Macs
- Time zone and daylight saving for 2006 and 2007
- Security updates

More details are available at Apple's tech-support site.

Like most of Apple's updates to OS X, this one's not a quick download--160 MB or 72 MB, depending on whether your Mac has an Intel or a PowerPC chip inside. (If you have dial-up, the only thing I can suggest is that you leave your Mac online overnight. Or go into an Apple Store with a blank CD, download the update on one of the showroom machines, and burn it to that disc.)

10.4.9 installed without any complications on an iMac Core 2 Duo. I'd like to say the computer feels a little snappier afterwards, but nah - this is just not an amazingly exciting patch, at least at first glance.

One other thing: The name of this update suggests we've seen the last of major fixes for Tiger. If there were another big update to that operating system to arrive, Apple would have to call it 10.4.10, and that would be a little silly.

Update:

A couple of other links with helpful info about this patch:

* The MacUser site breaks out the cell phones that OS X's iSync address/calendar-synchronization software now supports with the help of this update. (Apple's release notes had glossed over that detail with a bland statement of "iSync support for more devices.")

* One of the programmers at Mac-software developer Unsanity has posted a troubling report about how a bug in Apple's software-update routine can cause things to go awry and render a Mac unbootable (short version: even though Mac OS X lets you use other programs while Software Update is installing a new patch, you shouldn't do that).

By Rob Pegoraro  |  March 19, 2007; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  Mac  
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