The JK Buzz 2.28.2012, in this edition...

Apple Updates and Update Issues: OS X 10.7.3 review, Snow Leopard Security Update breaks Rosetta, OS X 10.7.3 wireless sleep bug, Lion Server 10.7.3 PowerPoint bug with Windows users

OS X 10.7 Lion: Photoshop/Lion data loss bug, Understanding and using Lion Internet Recovery, Avoid Lion's new AirPort Utility

Mac OS X: Bummer... new OS X due this Summer, Mountain Lion removes Software Update

Office Applications: Older versions of Mac Office reaching end of life


Apple Updates and Update Issues

OS X 10.7.3 review

Apple released OS X 10.7.3 on 2/1/12, and I am now officially recommending it for most of our clients running Lion or Lion Server (*see exception below). If you jumped the gun and updated to 10.7.3 within a few days of it being released, or if you plan on pushing out 10.7.3 remotely to a large number of Macs, make sure to read this entire article.

*There is a bug with QuarkXPress 9 when run under OS X 10.7.3 that causes icons in the application palettes to disappear, and Quark tech support is currently stating "we cannot recommend to update OS X to 10.7.3 and recommend to stay with 10.7.2 where the problem does not exist". Read more here: http://forums.quark.com/t/27741.aspx

The 10.7.3 update is one of Apple's sloppiest releases that I can recall. As the norm, Apple initially released a 730MB Delta update (for those already running 10.7.2) and a 1.3GB Combo update. A large number of people that downloaded and applied the Delta update through Software Update experienced major problems, including: severe video redraw issues, CUI errors, and random crashes. I've seen these problems firsthand, and can confirm the 10.7.3 Delta update was buggy.

Apple pulled the 10.7.3 Delta update on 2/4/12 without any explanation. Those who were crippled by the Delta update found their problems could be fixed by downloading and re-applying the 10.7.3 Combo update (booting into Safe Boot mode first if the display was too garbled to read).

So you would think that Apple would simply fix the problems with the 10.7.3 Delta update, then re-release it with a revised version (they've done this in the past with other botched updates). They haven't, and at this point I don't anticipate that they will. This means the only way to update to 10.7.3 is using the Combo updater. This may not seem like the end of the world, but if it's your job to deploy updates to a large number of Macs, it can really complicate things (the Combo is almost twice the size of the Delta, and pushing out multiple 1.3GB files remotely can easily overwhelm slower internet connections).

And the story doesn't end there. When Apple pulled the 10.7.3 Delta update, they also silently revised the 10.7.3 Combo update. The Combo update initially released on 2/1/12 had a different size and checksum than the one currently available, but the two have the exact same version.

So what this all boils down to is... If you haven't already updated to Mac OS X 10.7.3, go ahead and do so now if you aren't using QuarkXPress 9. If you updated to Mac OS X 10.7.3 prior to 2/5/12, it would be a good idea to download and re-apply the Mac OS X 10.7.3 Combo update available on Apple's site, regardless if you're experiencing problems or not.

Snow Leopard Security Update breaks Rosetta

Apple released Security Update 2012-001 for Snow Leopard on 2/1/12. This security update broke Rosetta, causing a wide variety of problems with older PowerPC based applications including random crashing and the inability to print and save (especially with Office 2004 and Adobe CS2 apps).

Apple fixed this problem on 2/4/12, and they posted a new v1.1 of the Security Update 2012-001.

If you are running Snow Leopard, and applied this security update prior to 2/5/12, it would be a good idea to download and re-apply v1.1 of Security Update 2012-001, regardless if you're experiencing problems or not.

OS X 10.7.3 wireless sleep bug

The Mac OS X 10.7.3 update appears to have a bug that disconnects your wireless network when you wake from sleep, requiring that you manually re-select the wireless network. Apple has released an patch for late 2009 and newer iMacs to fix this, however many users are reporting this issue with MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs. If you have an iMac experiencing this problem, make sure to apply Apple's iMac Wi-Fi Update v1.0. Hopefully Apple will release a patch for other Mac models soon.

Lion Server 10.7.3 PowerPoint bug with Windows users

Lion Server 10.7.3 server has a confirmed bug where if Windows users mount SMB shares, they are unable to open PowerPoint files directly off the server. This problem doesn't affect Word or Excel files, and doesn't occur when Macs try to open the same PowerPoint files directly off the SMB share.

When this occurs, Windows users will either get the error "PowerPoint was unable to open or save this document. Please ensure that you have access privileges to read or write the document and that it is not encrypted" (Windows XP w/Office 2003) or "The path or file name [...] is invalid. Please check that the path and file name are correct" (Windows 7 w/Office 2010).

There is no workaround to this issue currently, other than copying the PowerPoint files down locally to open them, then copy them back to the server if modified.


OS X Lion

Photoshop/Lion data loss bug

If you have a Lion workstation connected to an AFP server volume, and work on Photoshop files directly off the server, there is a critical bug I've experienced that you should be aware of to avoid data loss.

While navigating the AFP volume, if you are using the Finder's column view, and have the Photoshop file you are actively working on highlighted in the Finder (so it displays it's preview in the far right column)... you will get an error in Photoshop when attempting to save stating "Could not save [...] because write access was not granted". After clicking OK to this error, the Photoshop file you were trying to save on the server will DISSAPPEAR! The file will remain open in Photoshop, and you will be able to save again to the server, but if you close the file without resaving the file will be completely lost.

This problem only occurs if you have the file highlighted in the Finder while in column view when attempting to save. If you are using list view you won't experience it, nor will you experience it if you only occasionally have the file highlighted in column view (therefore it may seem like a random problem).

Work arounds include NOT using column view, and unchecking the Finder's option for "Show preview column" (from the Finder click on View->Show View Options) which will prevent the preview from showing when files are highlighted in column view. A more advanced and use-at-your-own-risk work around is to disabled the launchd system agent named com.apple.quicklook.ui.helper, which will prevent the problem from occurring while allowing you to still see a limited preview in column view.

I have confirmed this problem occurs with both OS X 10.7.2 and 10.7.3 when connecting to a Lion server. According to a long thread on the Adobe Discussion boards, this same issue can manifest itself on different operating systems with different servers. So far I've only seen it with Lion workstations connected to a Lion server, see here for more info... http://forums.adobe.com/thread/732422

Understanding and using Lion Internet Recovery

As described in the 8.10.2011 JK Buzz, when you install or upgrade to Lion, a 650MB hidden partition is created on your boot volume named Recovery HD. You can boot from this volume by holding down command-R at startup, and it can be used to repair or reinstall Lion. Basically this replaces the functionality of the OS X install DVD, which is not available with Lion.

This Recovery HD partition may however be missing if your Lion boot volume was restored from a clone, if your Lion boot volume is part of a RAID, if your Lion boot volume has become corrupt, or if the boot volume previously was partitioned into multiple volumes prior to installing Lion.

To address the possibility of a missing Recovery HD partition, OS X 10.7 has a redundant feature called Lion Internet Recovery. If you boot into Lion while holding down command-R, and a Recovery HD partition isn't found, the Lion Internet Recovery will attempt to boot via the internet directly from Apple's servers. This feature requires that the Mac is connected to the internet using DHCP (you will be prompted for a Wi-Fi password if an Ethernet connection isn't found), and only works on newer Macs.

All Macs that shipped with Lion pre-installed support the Lion Internet Recovery feature. Macs manufactured after mid 2010 are also supported, but require a firmware update to activate this feature. See here for a list of supported Macs and firmware updates: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4904

The Lion Internet Recovery feature will run a quick test of your memory and hard drive prior to giving you the ability to repair or reinstall Lion. If you have to reinstall Lion, it will be downloaded via the internet (just like booting from the hidden Recovery HD partition does).

Avoid Lion's new AirPort Utility

Apple has released v6.0 of AirPort Utility for Lion, and the response from the IT support community has been very negative. Airport Utility v6.0 is repackaged version of it's iOS counterpart, tailored to home users, and is missing the ability to configure most advanced features including LDAP, wide-channels, Mac address access control, transmit power, time server settings, network extending, DHCP Client ID, SNMP, and IPV6 settings.

Luckily Apple still has v5.6 of AirPort Utility still available for download (which also requires Lion). If you are running Lion, and depend on configuring any of these advanced features, do not update to v6.0!


Mac OS X

Bummer... new OS X due this Summer

Apple has announced that they will be shipping OS X 10.8, a.k.a. Mountain Lion, this Summer. They have a lot of info and screenshots posted to their site, and a preview version of Mountain Lion is now available to developers.

Although I'm all for progress, I couldn't help but groan in frustration when I read about the Summer release date. Come one Apple... you just released Lion last July, let's get all the bugs worked out before changing everything yet again!

Here's my prediction... Apple is aggressively pushing the OS X development cycle in an attempt to eventually meld OS X and the iOS/mobile platform together. Most of Mountain Lion's new features are pulled from iOS. Apple is marketing Mountain Lion as "Inspired by iPad. Re-imagined for Mac", plus they've rebranded it "OS X" instead of "Mac OS X" in a subtle move to further disassociate OS X from desktop hardware. This focus change, in my opinion, is causing Apple to really drop the ball with OS X quality control. The bungled 10.7.3 Delta update and Rosetta-breaking Security Update 2012-001 illustrate my point, but this has been going on for quite some time. For example, Apple's OS X 10.6.7 update caused major problems with Open Type fonts, which crippled many in the creative field, but it took them over a month to fix this.

Perhaps I've just gotten spoiled with Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard... all who had a two year development cycle, allowing Apple to eventually get all the bugs worked about before releasing the next big thing. I seriously doubt Lion will be patched beyond 10.7.4 prior to Mountain Lion's public release, which is a vast difference when you compare it to mature version numbers like 10.4.11, 10.5.8, and 10.6.8.

Mountain Lion removes Software Update

According to developers running the preview release if Mountain Lion, Software Update has been removed, and all Apple updates must be downloaded through the Mac App Store. This requires an Apple ID, which is going to cause a whole new bag of hurt in the IT support world.


Office Applications

Older versions of Mac Office reaching end of life

Microsoft terminated support for Mac Office 2004 on 1/10/12, and they have announced they will be dropping support for Mac Office 2008 in 4/9/13. Microsoft is currently only selling Mac Office 2011, although some online vendors still have copies of Mac Office 2008 in stock.