Mac OS X 10.6.5 Update Released

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone as the rumour sites have been buzzing with beta news for weeks now, but Apple’s latest OS update has hit the fibres. Mac OS X 10.6.5 promises to fix a slew of minor and major-ish bugs including:

  1. improve reliability with Microsoft Exchange servers
  2. address performance of some image-processing operations in iPhoto and Aperture
  3. address stability and performance of graphics applications and games
  4. resolve a delay between print jobs
  5. address a printing issue for some HP printers connected to an AirPort Extreme
  6. resolve an issue when dragging contacts from Address Book to iCal
  7. address an issue where dragging an item from a stack causes the Dock to not automatically hide
  8. resolve an issue with Wikipedia information not displaying correctly in Dictionary
  9. improve performance of MainStage on certain Mac systems
  10. resolve spacing issues with OpenType fonts
  11. improve reliability with some Bluetooth braille displays
  12. resolve a VoiceOver issue when browsing some web sites with Safari 5

Don't worry, it's just an OS update!

If you really must know all the gory details you can look here for fixes, and here for security patches. Most users do just fine with selecting Software Update… under the Apple menu and letting the OS do it’s automatic update thing. This will only download what your particular Snow Leopard install needs to bring it up to date. However, users experiencing spotty OS performance might benefit from applying the Mac OS X 10.6.5 Combo Updater, which can bring any version of Snow Leopard up to date as well as re-apply clean patches to damaged OS installs.

In any event, I follow a reliable “best practice” when updating my OS…

  1. Use Disk Utility to repair the permissions on your OS disk. This cleans up any bad settings that my have evolved.
  2. Use Mac OS X Cocktail to take care of all the Unix chores such as clearing caches, deleting logs, etc. This is shareware, but will allow a generous free trial period. You can also do this with MacJanitor, which I believe is free.
  3. Make sure you’ve backed up your OS drive, either with Carbon Copy Cloner, or Apple Time Machine just in case you need to back-track.
  4. Once you’ve prepped your Mac, apply the update.
  5. I usually repair disk permissions again following the update. You might be surprised how many settings can change during the install.

So, that’s it! If the pundits are accurate, there should be a major update to iTunes either today or tomorrow to prepare the way for iOS 4.2.

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