News Round-up: October 8 - November 9
The next major version of Mac OS X will be called Lion, it was revealed at a “Back to the Mac” media event on October 20. Due for release in mid-2011, Lion promises to bring dozens of features and ideas from the iOS devices. It remains to be seen how well these features will work with the larger Mac screen and a keyboard/mouse set-up.
But the big talking point has been the Mac App Store, which will be similar to the iOS App Store. Many (including myself) predicted this move to a central repository for Mac software, and the general consensus seems to be that it is a good thing -- provided the Mac App Store remains just one of many ways to obtain software for your Mac. Apple is soliciting submissions for the store, which is due to launch early next year.
In other Apple news, the new 11” MacBook Air fills a long-vacated hole in Apple’s laptop line-up -- last occupied by the 12” PowerBook. The base price of US$999 makes for a very tempting deal. Xserve, Apple’s rackmounted server line, will be discontinued on January 31. Apple has provided an "Xserve Transition Guide" to help existing users migrate to the Mac Mini or Mac Pro server solutions. Apple also revealed that its port of Java for Mac OS X is officially deprecated.
Apple also reported a Q4 revenue of $20.34 billion, an all-time record for the company. Year-over-year Mac and iPhone sales increased by 27 and 91 percent, respectively, while iPod sales dropped 11 percent in the same period. Check out the press release for a full run-down.
Leading Mac emulation headlines is the news that PowerPC Macintosh emulator SheepShaver has been updated twice in as many weeks. The new build offers a number of ‘under the hood’ changes, partial support for bin/cue files, and 64-bit mode for Snow Leopard users. See the E-Maculation forums for a download link and additional information. [Thanks WatchSmart for the tip.]
More emulation news after the break...
ScummVM has been updated to version 1.2.0. This new release incorporates the SCI engine, which means that ScummVM now supports the majority of Sierra’s graphical point-and-click adventure games (Space Quest I-V, Quest for Glory I-III, Police Quest 1-3, Leisure Suit Larry 1-6, King’s Quest I-VI, and many others). Support for GUI localisation has also been added, amongst a host of fixes and improvements. See the Release Notes for full details, then head over to the downloads page for a binary.
DOSBox front-end Dapplegrey received two more minor updates this past month, bringing it to version 2.18. The most notable change is that it now checks whether a language file exists before running a game, which can prevent unexpected crashes. Get it here.
Neo Geo CD emulator NeoRaine has been updated. The new version features compatibility with the official SDL framework and gives users the option to turn off overlays workarounds. See the official website for more information.
Arcade emulator MAME has reached version 0.140u1. As always, there are lots of changes. See here for a list of what’s new in version 0.140 and here for the 0.140u1-specific changes. The Mac-only port, SDLMAME, has been updated to match the latest official release. See here for a binary of SDLMAME or go to the official MAME website for the latest source.
The endless parade of new PCSX-Reloaded builds continues courtesy of SpeedofMac. The latest build (59210) offers fixes for several games. You can get a pre-compiled version from SpeedofMac’s website, or check out the official PCSX-Reloaded website for source code and more information.
Got any news tips? Let us know on the forums. I’d also like to know if there’s anything else you’d like me to cover, such as (retro-themed?) game releases, productivity software, or iPhone Apps. Hit up the comments if you have any suggestions or requests.