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Enough For Two Macworlds?

Steve Jobs wowed the crowds in San Francisco this week with the introduction of a new line of PowerBooks, adaption of X11, and the brand new web browser Safari.

The Next Things Both Big and Small

Vern 'Mini-Me' Troyer and Chinese basketballer Yao Ming led off the ads for the new aluminum PowerBooks. West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin also contributed, as did Jeff Goldblum with the voice-overs.

The two new models come with 12" and 17" inch screens, nVidia graphics cards, 802.11g, Airport Extreme (five times as fast as the old Airport), and a new anodised aluminum casing to replace the sensitive titanium/graphite combination with the 15" model.

While the 12" model resembles an iBook spray painted in silver and the 17" looks like a big 12" PowerBook, the 17" comes with a ton of features not found on the smaller model, features such as a light-sensitive back-lit laser sculpted keyboard.

The 12" models will ship in a few weeks; the 17" is expected to ship in a month.

Surfin' Safari

After Steve Jobs presented the PowerPoint killer Keynote and a new 'one click enhance' feature for iPhoto, it was time to unveil the new Apple web browser.

Dave Hyatt of the Chimera project was brought over in July 2002, sparking rumours that the browser would be Moz-based, but in fact Safari borrows its 140,000 lines of code from KDE's Konqueror instead.

At a mere 2.9MB to download, and with its blistering speed, Safari is one of the most comfortable and pleasurable browsers available anywhere.

Off to a Bad Start

Things got off to a bad start for Safari, however, when early downloaders found their systems trashed.

Through a bug which remains undocumented, early downloaders of the very first disk image - different from the image available later that day - unwittingly overwrote their home directories. Apple have released an update and recommend all Safari users download it, but questions remain.

Which is Which?

The easiest way to find out which version you are running is to check the MD5. The MD5 is a unique 128-bit 'message digest' constructed by reading an entire file.

Open Terminal, navigate to your Safari.app directory, then drop down two more levels to Contents/MacOS. Use the ls command to list the contents of this directory. You'll find the file 'Safari'. Now use the following command:

md5 Safari

The deadly download will have this number:

ad71b90ea007ccacf116eb21adcd2c2f

The download of build 48 later the same day which was 'all right' will have this number:

0cf9c100dff3329de0d187c00355ef03

Any other MD5, for build 51 or otherwise, should mean you are in the clear. David Hyatt has also directed attention to a new knowledge base article:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107370

This article only addresses the lesser of the two issues. The explanation for the disappearance of home directories and user files is, almost a week on now, still not forthcoming.

Safari is currently in beta; Apple have promised a final release version by mid-year.

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