By Collin Allen

Toast 7

August 22, 2005

Roxio just announced Toast Titianium 7, a major upgrade to their awesome CD and DVD burning application.

I’ve been using Toast since verison 5, and I still swear by it for nearly all my CD and DVD needs, except for those where Disk Utility is absolutely necessary. Toast 7 takes everything a step further, and features DivX 6 encoding for high definition content, iDVD-like menu creation, H.264 and PSP encoding, audio recording, and the ability to span an archive across multiple discs (as well as restore it either in full or per file).

MacWorld has a detailed article covering all the new features. I can’t wait to get the new version!

hotTunes 2

August 21, 2005

Dave Warker has released hotTunes 2.0, an update to his fantastic iTunes hot-key controller. New features include hotkeys to control all sorts of new iTunes abilities, hotPlay playlists, track change detection, AppleScript execution on certain events, play mode cycling, and controls to disable nearly all attention-grabbing windows. It’s definitely worth a look, and is a refreshing change from other iTunes controllers out there. You can check it out at his website or at MacUpdate.

Dual Platform Radeon 9600

August 20, 2005

In a surprising move, ATI has released a $199 Radeon 9600 Pro card which works on both PCs and Macs. This is a smart move for ATI, even if it does involve a significant bit of engineering cost and effort. Now they can distribute one card for both systems, which have a long history of using different cards, with Mac versions being hideously overpriced. In the end, consumers will benefit from every angle, by being able to purchase the card in stores, as well as saving some money.

For the price, the card is quite nice, too. Personally, I would never spend over $200 on an upgrade video card for any system, and ATI just barely hit that mark. The AGP 2.0 card features 4X and 8X compatibility, 256 MB of DDR RAM, as well as the dual-link capability (to drive the high-end 30” Apple displays). Finally, an affordable Mac video card exists which doesn’t skimp on performance…or TV output! [via]

OS x86 Protection

August 19, 2005

Leo and crew mentioned the cracking of “OS x86” on This Week in Tech, and how people have managed to install the developer-only version of Mac OS X for x86 on compatible Intel machines. With the right SSE3 hardware, even Rosetta works and will run current Mac programs. Clever hackers have managed to remove the TPM code, allowing the OS to run without hardware copy protection, limiting the software to only Apple machines. So, nearly a year before x86 Macs are released, we have 10.4.1 running on non-Apple Intel hardware. This poses some interesting questions…

Does Apple intend to leave the TPM hardware protection as-is, and simply let Mac OS X go anywhere, including taking a chunk of Windows’ market share? It’s a double-edged sword, really – it means more widespread adoption of Mac OS X at the expense of lost hardware sales. There will always be people who either don’t know enough to install OS X on Intel hardware or simply prefer Apple’s design, so their sales won’t drop to zero. I think the bottom line is that regardless of any protection Apple can implement, such a huge invitation (OS X on any Intel) is bound to be cracked, and they had better be prepared for it. We won’t know how the final version will be protected, but TPM is our only clue at the moment. What we do know is that there are plenty of smart people out there who already have the skills to make Mac OS X run on any Intel hardware (see my “Uncrackable” post).

…And that Apple is sending cease and desist letters to websites hosting videos of hacked installations, as if that will stop anything.