Articles tagged with: os x

News Roundup: February 7 - March 4

Niemann on Friday, 04 March 2011. Posted in News

apple-logoApple has released new MacBook Pros, with the new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt connectivity. Early reports indicate that they are much faster than the previous generation machines -- to the point where the new baseline 13" model matches or betters the old 17" model on many speed and performance tests.

overview_missioncontrol20110127It has been revealed that Mac OS X Lion will drop Rosetta, a software abstraction layer which provides support for PowerPC binaries on Intel machines. This is an interesting move that some are labelling premature, as, on the one hand, it forces developers to get their code up to modern standards, but, on the other, it breaks compatibility with some professional software still actively in use. Some of the other features slated for Lion are looking promising, though.

iPad2At a media event on Wednesday, Apple announced a second-generation iPad, complete with a processor upgrade (the iPad 2 sports a 1GHz dual-core A5 processor), front- and rear-facing cameras, Smart Covers, and an option to get it in white colour. The new iPad models will be available in the US from March 11, and in other countries over the following weeks. In the meantime, you can pick up the first-generation iPad at a discount.

Also announced at the event was iOS 4.3, which features some useful enhancements to AirPlay, allows iTunes Home Sharing, improves performance in Safari, and offers the long-demanded iPad side-switch preference (rotation lock or mute). It will be available from March 11, and is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 GSM, 3rd-gen iPod Touch, 4th-gen iPod Touch, iPad, and iPad 2 (I guess that means iPhone 3 and 2nd-gen iPod Touch owners should upgrade now).

We've had a quiet month in Mac emulation news, but there were notable updates to VICE, Dapplegrey, and gbpablog, amongst others. Hit the jump for details on these and other minor emulator updates, as well as a couple of Mac gaming tidbits.

News Roundup: January 5 - February 6

mossy_11 on Sunday, 06 February 2011. Posted in News

appStoreThe Mac App Store launched in early January, pulling an impressive one million app downloads in the first 24 hours of operation. The initial lineup of 1000 apps has expanded considerably over the past few weeks. For gamers and emulation enthusiasts, the impact of the store is still unclear. It is certainly good for the exposure of games on OS X, but could potentially discourage people from looking elsewhere for software that doesn't meet Apple's stringent requirements. The only emulator that seems to have made it past Apple so far is MacWise (a terminal emulator).

LugaruHDApple's stringent approval policies have come under fire recently, following the listing of an unauthorised clone of Wolfire's Lugaru HD game which severely undercut the price of the original. The developers of this unauthorised version claim to be within the rights of the GPL2 licence under which the source was released back in May, while Wolfire insists that the assets -- graphics, sound, other artwork -- are protected and may not be redistributed. At the time of writing both versions remain on the Mac App Store. Also see the Kotaku post for a more detailed run-down of the issue.

OpenEmulatorA new(-ish) emulator called OpenEmulator -- not to be confused with Open Emu -- aims to be "an accurate, portable emulator of legacy computer systems." Development efforts are currently focused on implementing a Mac OS X interface and emulating the Apple I and MOS KIM-1 computers, although there is also functional Apple II support. The emulator notably uses a software components framework, which allows the simple addition of expansion devices and peripherals (including virtual monitors). See the official website for more information.

MS-DOS emulator Boxer approaches nearer to its official 1.0 release, reaching 1.0rc1 a few days ago. The 1.0 release promises to be a complete overhaul, with more intuitive game installs, a new interface, support for cover art, better stability and performance, and "much, much more." See the official website for full details and a download link.

More emulator updates after the break.

News Round-up: December 6 - January 4

mossy_11 on Tuesday, 04 January 2011. Posted in News

apple-logoHighlights in Apple news this past month include the announcement that the Mac App Store will open on January 6 and the passing of a new milestone in market capitalisation. Apple’s market cap now stands at over $300 billion, which is still some $70 billion behind Exxon Mobil -- the largest US company. This marks a great year in stock for the company, which passed $200 billion back in March and rose to become the second biggest US company in May (leapfrogging Microsoft).

virtualboxOpen-source x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualisation tool VirtualBox received a major update shortly before Christmas. Version 4.0 provides a major reworking of the GUI, adds support for new virtual hardware, removes the 1.5/2 GB guest RAM limitation on 32-bit hosts, and more. See the changelog for a full run-down and the official site for a download.

boxerIn news we missed last month, MS-DOS emulator Boxer has entered public beta for version 1.0. New builds were released throughout December, with the biggest changes being that games can be imported “painlessly” from CDs or folders, there is a dedicated games folder automatically created, and the program launches with a welcome panel. Check out the official Boxer website for more details.

MAME and SDLMAME were updated three times over the past month. The latest version (0.141) adds support for the games Heavy Unit, Poizone, Silver Game, and Jack Potten’s Poker, in addition to providing a long list of improvements and bug fixes. Check out the MAME website for full details, and grab the latest SDLMAME build from here.

More updates after the break.

News Round-up: November 10 - December 5

mossy_11 on Sunday, 05 December 2010. Posted in News

apple-logoIn Apple and Mac gaming news, iOS 4.2 was released two weeks ago, bringing “multi-tasking” functionality to the iPad; a Steam hardware survey suggests that most Mac gamers are using laptops; Feral Interactive has released a Mac port of popular action-RPG Borderlands; Aspyr’s Mac port of Civilization V has landed; Telltale has released a poker game, Poker Night at the Inventory, with Max (from Sam & Max), Strong Bad, The Heavy (from Team Fortress 2), and Tycho Brahe (from Penny Arcade) as the opponents; id Software’s Rage has hit the current generation of iOS devices; and the Grand Theft Auto 3 trilogy has finally made its way to OS X.

stellaAtari 2600 VCS emulator Stella received a big update last month. Version 3.3 lists around twenty bug fixes, improvements, and additions to graphics display, application performance, debugging, and more. See the official Stella news page for release notes and the main site for the latest download link.

MacifomCycle-exact and Cocoa-native NES emulator Macifom has been updated to version 0.15. This new version adds support for games that use the MMC3 mapper on TxROM boards and games that were designed for SUROM boards, in addition to providing various other improvements. See the official site for full details.

More updates after the break.

News Round-up: October 8 - November 9

mossy_11 on Tuesday, 09 November 2010. Posted in News

mac_os_x_lion_bannerThe 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-logoApple 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...

News Round-up: September 3 - October 7

mossy_11 on Thursday, 07 October 2010. Posted in News

pd6fm_box_161x166pxParallels Desktop 6 for Mac is now available. The new version boasts enhanced performance, remote access via iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, easier setup, up to 80% faster 3D graphics performance, and Surround Sound 5.1 support, amongst a wealth of other features. Check out the official website for more information.

jpcsp_logoJava-based PSP emulator JPCSP has made considerable progress in recent months, with the latest release (0.6) offering a host of new features and major improvements. The developers boast compatibility with more than 70 games (commercial and homebrew). See the release notes for full details on the update, and the homepage for more information about the emulator. [Thanks dickmedd for the tip.]

DapplegreyQuickfire updates have been released for DOSBOX front-end Dapplegrey, which is now at version 2.16. Changes include more freedom to choose which DOS executable file to use when starting a game, in addition to a few related tweaks to the interface and behaviour.

mini_vmacAn alpha build has been released for Macintosh Plus emulator Mini vMac’s upcoming 3.2.1 update. Described by the developer as the “netbook edition,” the update promises more accurate timing in CPU emulation, while a new feature called “AutoSlow” allows users to conserve battery power by reducing the emulation speed to 1x when no input or output occurs for two seconds. See the Mini vMac website for more information.

More updates after the break.

System 1.0: A Revolution Called Macintosh

mossy_11 on Thursday, 16 September 2010. Posted in Opinion

Mac OS X turns ten this week. That's ten years since the first public release of the jewel in the crown that signifies Apple's rise from the brink of death with a modern and "revolutionary" clean slate. But it wasn't the first time a piece of Apple software saved the company -- that honour goes to the original Macintosh operating system: System 1.0. Read on to learn how Apple changed its fortunes and revolutionised computing back when the terms GUI and mouse were foreign concepts.

The core of the Macintosh experience was never the attractive industrial design, the sense of superiority, or the use of a strange one-button mouse -- although those elements were vitally important. From the very beginning, even before the first Mac hit the market in 1984, right through to the latest iMac or Macbook models, the Macintosh was about providing the most accessible and intuitive interaction possible between humans and computers.

Computers should be easy to use, with user interfaces that Jack and Jill Smith who just walked in off the street can use comfortably with almost no instruction. Gestures, not typed commands; desktops, buttons, and icons -- not command lines, carriage returns, and terminals -- have clear analogies to things from everyday life that people without a degree in computer science can understand. This is at the heart of the Apple philosophy, as it has existed since that fateful trip to the Xerox labs in December 1979.

Glider PRO

mossy_11 on Sunday, 31 January 2010. Posted in Mac Classics Reborn

The quintessential paper plane simulator, John Calhoun's shareware classic Glider first emerged in 1988 "for all Macs". Its basic premise involved the player guiding a paper plane through 15 rooms, while avoiding obstacles (including a cat) and keeping the "glider" airborne, with the help of upward air movement from vents. Subsequent versions added new rooms, features, and obstacles, but the gameplay remained essentially the same.

Glider's simple mechanics and undeniable charm spawned a dedicated fan community, consisting mostly of modders, who created new levels or "houses" for the game. There was even a fanzine for a few years in the mid-90s.

Glider PRO, the fifth major version of Glider, was released in 1994 for Macs running System 7 or better. It was repeatedly updated to run on newer hardware, and even got a commercial release on CD, before publisher Casady & Greene went out of business in 2003. John Calhoun released all versions of Glider as freeware soon after.