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Apple releases Snow Leopard Rosetta fix security update 2012-001 v1.1

Sections: Apple News, Operating Systems, Snow Leopard

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Mac OS X Snow LeopardAnother occasion to thank myself for not being an early adopter. Last week, along with the OS X 10.7.3 update (which itself has proved to be bug-plagued), Apple released Security Update 2012-001 for those of us who are Lion skeptics and continue to use OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

I actually downloaded the Security Update 2012-001 installer, but didn’t get around to installing it before news broke in tech forums that the Security Update was breaking Rosetta emulation support for legacy Power PC applications. Upon installing the update, users were reporting that Rosetta applications would no longer work properly—unable to open, crashing if they did, unable to create and save files or unable to print. Not cool, since like a lot of other longtime Mac users, I still depend on several legacy programs with Power PC coding (one of the several reasons for remaining a Lion outlier).

To its credit, Apple moved quickly to address the issue, and on the weekend released Security Update 2012-001 v1.1, an update to the first iteration update.

Apple recommends Security Update 2012-001 v1.1 for all Snow Leopard v10.6.8 system users to improve the security of Mac OS X, noting that version 1.1 of this update removes the ImageIO security fixes released in Security Update 2012-001 that had addressed mishandling of certain kinds of TIFF image files and updated a library called libpng to remove security concerns dealing with PNG images. Reportedly, Security Update 2012-001 v1.1 reverses those changes.

Personally, I think I’ll continue continue hanging back for a bit and not mess with my smooth-running OS X v10.6.8 setup for now. I keep automatic Software Update disabled, and download desired Apple system and application software standalone updaters at my discretion.

One might speculate that the reason Apple missed what seems to be a fairly basic bug issue in Security Update 2012-001 because its interest level in sustaining Power PC support is pretty minimal these days. However, since the Lion 10.7.3 Update is also manifesting serious stability problems</a>, I suppose such suspicions would be excessively paranoid.

TidBits’ Adam C. Engst says he doesn’t believe these problems are an attempt by Apple to encourage people to move away from PowerPC-based applications, noting that Apple has already encouraged that behaviour sufficiently by dropping Rosetta support in 10.7 Lion, and would have absolutely nothing to gain by angering long-time customers who still rely on older apps. I agree, and deduce that the glitch is likely more attributable to neglect and indifference than to deliberate design.

Or is it that Apple, with its central focus on the iOS now, is relegating OS X in general to a back-burner priority? Betalogue’s Pierre Igot thinks so, noting in a Saturday blog that ever since he upgraded to Lion last summer, he’s been dealing with the usual, seemingly unavoidable collection of bugs that each and every major OS upgrade brings. But what’s been particularly irritating about the phenomenon this time around is that six months and several incremental OS updates later, most of OS X 10.7 Lion’s problems are still there, “… and there is no indication that Apple is taking them seriously enough that we can expect them to be fixed soon.” Not a testimony that encourages foot-draggers like me to switch from Snow Leopard.

Snow Leopard users can download this update via Software Update, or from Apple’s Downloads page.

For more information, visit support.apple.com.

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