Apple ships second major patch for Snow Leopard
Yesterday afternoon, Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.2, its second maintenance update to the Snow Leopard operating system it shipped in late August. Like most of Apple's decimal-point updates, this large download -- 157.7 megabytes -- installed without any problems, but didn't offer any obvious improvements either. If you haven't found Snow Leopard a groundbreaking improvement, this probably won't change your mind.
Instead, you have to turn to Apple's vague release notes to see what you're getting out of this update. One terse document skims over 10.6.2's changes, a second provides only a little more detail. Both are frustratingly generic when describing problems this patch fixes: "an issue adding images to contacts in Address Book," "a graphics distortion issue in Safari Top Sites," or "an issue that caused data to be deleted when using a guest account."
That last item grossly understates the extent of the problem: In some rare conditions, 10.6 would delete all of a user's data after somebody else logged into the Mac using the optional Guest Account feature. But at least Apple has squashed this bug.
The only real detail comes in a third release note covering this update's security fixes, which specifies what was broken, what risks that entailed and who found the problem. It's somewhat heartening to see that while this note enumerates four problems that are exclusive to 10.6, it also cites 10 that don't exist in 10.6. My colleague Brian Krebs notes some of these issues in his Security Fix blog today.
For more, and more useful, details about the 10.6.2 update, see the Mac newsletter TidBits' evaluation of the changes. AppleInsider, in turn, notes how this patch removes support for Intel's Atom processor -- making it a non-starter for people who have installed hacked copies of Snow Leopard on netbooks with that low-power chip.
Have you installed 10.6.2 yet? Share your own experience in the comments...
November 10, 2009; 11:44 AM ET
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