Apple in trademark dispute over MacPro

The Australian reports that Apple is contesting a ruling by the Trademarks Office in the New South Wales Federal Court that MacPro Computers (Aust.) Pty Ltd has the right to use the name “MacPro” as its intellectual property. MacPro Computers have been in business since 1983, whereas Apple registered the trademark in Australia in May 2006 after registering it in New Zealand in 2005

Retrospect 8.0 released

EMC have after three years finally released another version of Retrospect, Retrospect 8.0 for the Mac (well, Intel ones at least, PowerPC support is still forthcoming). Changes from version 6.1 are documented here, and here is a list for upgrade pricing
Notable changes include

  • Support for up to 8 simultaneous tasks
  • Wake on LAN support
  • Delayed verification
  • Reporting(!)
  • No FTP backups, yet
  • AES-128 and AES-256 encryption support
  • Staged backup “Disk to Disk to Tape”
  • Fast catalog set rebuild (usually requiring only the last tape of the set)
  • [Edit] No support for accessing archives created with Retrospect 6.1 or earlier (yet)

Apple releases VGA Adapter Firmware update

Apple have released a Mini DisplayPort to VGA Firmware Update 1.0 available via Software Update.

This firmware update addresses intermittent flickering and compatibility issues such as no video on some external displays when using the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter on your Mini DisplayPort enabled Mac.

Fairly obviously you have to have the updater plugged in in order to update it.

New iPod Shuffle DRM chip – not.

“Paranoia strikes deep…”

It seems that Boing Boing gadgets found (gasp!) a chip lurking in the 3rd generation iPod shuffle headphone controller. Donning their tinfoil hats they then proceeded to speculate it was a DRM chip, preventing non-approved headphones from working with the Shuffle. Could this be the start of Apple using its 70% of the MP3 player market to crush the headphone industry?

Erm… No.

The craziness even spread as far as the usually more sensible Macintouch, where a user’s post of a link to BoingBoing caused mention of the authentication chip to be rolled into their Shuffle review.

Fortunately after a bit more digging some rationality seems to have prevailed. Yes, you still have to license it from Apple, but on the plus side it means you can sell your wares to all the iPod Shuffle owners out there.

Of course, the Shuffle still starts playing through plain old stereo headphones when you plug them in.

Apple Keyboards available with or without numeric keypads

Whilst browsing through configuration options for the new Mac mini I noticed that you can buy either “Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad” or “Apple Keyboard” to go with it. Obviously you can ditch the numeric keypad if you’re only going to be using it as a media centre PC or something. The Apple Keyboard has the same layout as the Wireless Keyboard.

Mac OS X Server AFP high CPU load problem

This discussion thread over on Apple’s forums documents a large number of system administrators who have their AFP (Apple File Protocol) creating a high CPU load and thus making the server unusable for their users.

Suggested workarounds which have anecdotally provided varied success (including none 🙁 ) include:

  • Turning off Spotlight on client machines
  • Turning off Spotlight indexing on the shared volumes
  • Executing

    defaults write /Library/Preferences/ -dict-add afp_wan_threshold -int 1000
    defaults write /Library/Preferences/ -dict-add afp_wan_quantum -int 131702

    on all 10.5.x client Macs.

  • Installing Security Update 2009-001 which states

    Description: A race condition in AFP Server may lead to an infinite loop. Enumerating files on an AFP server may lead to a denial of service. This update addresses the issue through improved file enumeration logic. This issue only affects systems running Mac OS X v10.5.6.

The problem was originally posted with respect to Mac OS X 10.5.4 on 29th of August 2008, and still seems unresolved for many people. And people wonder why it’s hard to argue that Mac OS X Server belongs in the data centre.