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OS X update embraces gadgets

Apple releases another update to its operating system, adding more support for peripherals such as digital cameras.

Apple Computer has released another update for its Mac OS X operating system, adding more support for peripherals such as digital cameras.

Version 10.1.2 of OS X is available for download via Apple's Web site. According to Apple, the update includes:

•&nbsp Support for more devices with universal serial bus and FireWire connections, including FireWire-equipped digital cameras.

•&nbsp Support for storage devices based on the PC Card format, including media readers, that are useful for shuttling data between digital cameras and laptops.

•&nbsp Version 2.0 of AirPort, Apple's wireless networking technology.

•&nbsp Software drivers for using infrared modems in PowerBook laptops equipped with FireWire connections.

•&nbsp Version 1.3.22 of the open-source Apache Web server software.

•&nbsp Assorted improvements for audio, networking, printing and display.

Apple released OS X in March, amid considerable hype and speculation. Built on an entirely new software base, the Unix-based OS X was considered the most important upgrade of the Mac operating system since the first version came out in 1984.

The initial OS X release attracted some criticism, however, for lacking key technologies, such as support for CD burners and DVD playback.

Those functions and numerous others were included when Apple released in October the first major update to the software: OS X version 10.1. The update boosted consumer confidence in the OS and prompted major software developers to show increased interest in creating OS X applications.

The release turned somewhat sour for Apple, however, when some Mac enthusiasts found a way to convert the free upgrade into a full version of the operating system.