OS X Combo Updates

combined update

Generally speaking, the automatic software update feature of OS X is pretty good. That being said, there are times when running those incremental updates just don’t seem to work quite right… due to who knows what.

Fortunately, Apple almost always combines all the recent updates in to one package, and makes them available for download.

If after an update (through Software Update), your computer seems to be behaving strangely, or you start having a problem that you didn’t have before the update, it may be a good idea to download and install the combined updater. Doing that can sometimes fix little problems. The current combined updater is 10.4.5, and can be downloaded here.

One more tip… whether you are updating through Software Update or downloading the standalone combo updater, it’s always a good idea to repair permissions before and after and major software installation. You do this with Apple’s Disk Utility, located in your Utilities folder.

The work of Jason Levesque

Jason Levesque: Paper Dolls

I recently came across the work of Jason Levesque. He’s an artist, living in Chesapeake, Virginia, and he maintains a website called StuntKid. He has some really beautiful illustrations and photographs.

For you Photoshop enthusiasts, Jason has some cool brushes and tile-able patterns available for download.

Jason has also built a cool Flash project called Paper Dolls. I have to admit I had fun playing around with it. Nice job Jason!

mediaBOOM: a cool flash site


mediaBOOM, an interactive design firm in Connecticut, has a really cool Flash site. It’s set in the 1940’s, and features city fly-thoughs as transitions for all the sections. You can change the time to day or night and watch them either way. Good job guys. Check out all the sections to get the full effect.

Security Flaw in Apple’s Safari & Mail Application

Safari Prefs

Yesterday, a security flaw in Apples web browser, Safari, was discovered. It revolves around the “Open ‘safe’ files after downloading” preference, which is on by default.

Basically, a malicious website can download a file, that is masquerading as another type of file, to your drive… and proceed to do just about anything it wants… like erase all your files.

The first step in avoiding this problem is to uncheck that “feature” in the Safari preferences (under the “General” tab). Another step that can help, while we wait for a security update from Apple, is to move the Terminal application out of your utilities folder, as the malicious files require it to be in that specific location to function. But, you should put it back into the Utilities folder before performing any OS updates.

Unfortunately, the vulnerability exists in Apple’s mail application as well. The best advise I can give, is to never open attachments / downloads if you are not sure of the source.

** Check out these articles for the full scoop on: Safari & Mail

Updated (3.01.06): Today Apple released a security update that plugs these holes. Check out the story on Macworld.

What a difference a picture can make

empty image

If you come here very often, or you’ve just scrolled through a few pages… you’ve probably noticed that I put an image into almost every post. The story doesn’t always require an image, but I’m a very visual person. I like images. I like having a visual representation of the story.

This morning I came across this post, by Chris, over at Faraway, So Close. Chris had seen my post about the movie, A Scanner Darkly, and he followed the link to the trailer. He mentions he had also seen the original post about the movie on Binary Bonsai (like I did), a day earlier, but had not followed that link to the trailer.

What was the main difference between the two stories…? Mine had an image and the Binary Bonsai story didn’t. Having an image in the story made just enough difference to entice Chris to follow the link. As a visual person, and a designer, I find this very interesting.

Of course, this is not meant to say that all stories / blog posts everywhere should always have images. There are times when it may be best not to use images. It really depends on the content, the writer, and the intended audience.

A Scanner Darkly

A new movie from Warner Independent Pictures, called A Scanner Darkly, is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2006. It’s a scifi film starring Keanu Reeves, Robert Downy Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Winona Ryder. The movie is a composite of live-action photography and Interpolated Rotoscoping, giving it a very unique, “graphic novel” look.

“A Scanner Darkly is set in suburban Orange County, California in a future where America has lost the war on drugs. When one reluctant undercover cop (Reeves) is ordered to start spying on his friends, he is launched on a paranoid journey into the absurd, where identities and loyalties are impossible to decode. It is a cautionary tale of drug use based on the novel by Philip K. Dick and his own experiences.”

A Scanner Darkly looks like it could be pretty cool, at least visually. I’m looking forward to this one. Check out the trailer.

Found via Binary Bonsai

Camino 1.0

As long as I’m on the subject of browsers, you may have heard that Camino recently made it out of Beta, with it’s 1.0 release.

Although I’m happy with Safari, if I were to switch, I would very much consider Camino as my next browser of choice. It’s simple, straight-forward, and easy on the eyes. In my opinion, it also happens to be the fastest Mac browser available.

Camino’s tag line is Mozilla power, Mac style. I couldn’t agree more.

Make Firefox look like Safari, with GrApple


Even though I think Firefox is a very good browser, I personally use Safrari. It suits my needs, and I like to support Apple when ever I can.

If you use Firefox, but for some reason you always wished it looked more like Safari, it can… with the GrApple set of themes. They make Firefox look pretty close to Safari. Unfortunately, the GrApple themes are only available for Mac, sorry PC people.