Apple last night released Mac OS X 10.2.4. The download is available through Software Update and from Apple's Web site.

The update is a 40.6MB download and requires a Restart after installation. The Combo updater is 76MB.

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Apple US is offering a CD of the Combo update for $20. A similar CD Update will be available from the UK Apple Store at some point today. It's set to cost £14.

Key components enhanced The update affects a number of key operating system components, including: digital hub and audio features; printing; networking, modem and Internet-related fixes; Address Book; and Mail and Finder enhancements. There are also a selection of other enhancements, including the most recent Security Updates.

Some highlights for the digital hub include an enhancement which means files and folders specific to OS X are no longer copied to a disc when burning a CD; improved FireWire audio-device audio quality, enhanced support for mLAN devices, and support for LaCie 48x-12x-46x CD burners.

Printing enhancements include the introduction of a feature in the Page Setup dialogue box that offers submenus if the printer has several margin settings for a paper size. The update also includes software for rendezvous-supporting printers from Brother. The Shared Printers list now appears by default in the Format For pop-up menu in page Setup dialog boxes.

Networking, modem and Internet-related enhancements include: being able to enable or disable the log-in to AFP servers using an Admin user password; and better results when copying 4GB or larger files to a Windows File Sharing (SMB) server.

Mail's use of Address book has also been improved, and the update also means the Finder is longer temporarily unresponsive after closing a Get Info window.

Full information on the update is available from Apple's Web site. An OS X 10.2.4 Combo update is also available. This updates a system from 10.2, 10.2.1, 10.2.2, or 10.2.3 to 10.2.4.

Macworld UK is hosting a forum for readers to share their experiences of the 10.2.4 update. So if you are having problems, or see problems resolved by the update; or simply want to discuss it, visit the Forum.

Enhancements delivered with this update include:

Digital Hub and audio enhancements Further improves an enhancement introduced with Mac OS X 10.2.3, in which files and folders specific to Mac OS file systems are no longer copied to the disc when burning a CD.

Improves audio quality for FireWire audio devices.

Enhances support for mLAN devices.

Adds support for LaCie d2 48x12x48x disc burners.

Improves the way voice-activated applications work in Classic.

Addresses an issue in which audio may not be sampled when using some Mac OS 9 audio applications in the Classic environment.

Printing enhancements The Paper Size pop-up menu in the Page Setup dialog now has submenus if the selected printer has several margin settings for a paper size.

Includes software for Brother printers that support Rendezvous.

Addresses a potential security issues with the CUPS printing software.

The Shared Printers list now appears by default in the "Format for:" pop-up menu in Page Setup dialog boxes.

Networking, modem, and Internet-related enhancements You may enable or disable the ability to log into AFP servers using an Admin user password.

Allows for use of a hardware Ethernet address with the ifconfig command in Terminal.

Improves results when copying large files (4 GB or larger) to a Windows File Sharing (SMB) server.

Addresses an issue in which connecting to an AFP or other server could cause a Finder window to open displaying the contents of the Volumes directory, instead of the target volume.

Addresses an issue in which the web browser selection could unexpectedly change to a different browser after updating your browser of choice.

Addresses a potential kernel panic situation when receiving a phone call on the same line that connects a DSL modem to the Internet.
Includes sendmail version 8.12.6.

Dialing with the modem sound turned on now produces sound on a portable computer.

Rendezvous-enabled computers that have Personal Web Sharing turned on appear in the Safari Rendezvous bookmark collection.

Address Book and Mail enhancements Addresses a situation in which an application making use of Address Book could unexpectedly quit when certain text is deleted from the Show People search box.

For German-localized: addresses an issue in which sent messages in Mail may be deleted even if the "Delete sent mail when" preference setting is Never, except for sent messages transferred to a different mailbox.

Address Book remains open after closing all of its windows.

Address Book edit mode now includes an Undo feature.

Resolves an issue that could occur when quitting Address Book after creating a new group.

Improves Address Book formatting for Irish and Japanese addresses.

Finder enhancements Addresses an issue which could occur when dropping items near the far left or top of the desktop in which existing item icons are "pushed away" from the dropped items.

Resolves a situation in which the Finder could become temporarily unresponsive after closing a Get Info window.

Improves behaviour when pasting a custom icon over an existing custom icon.

Dragging an alias from the preview column to the Trash no longer deletes the original item.

Improves wording in the progress indicator window when copying a large file to an iDisk or WebDAV volume ("5 seconds remaining" could previously for much longer than five seconds).

Other enhancements The Traditional Chinese Input Method now includes Hanin; using Hanin with either Zhuyinfuhao or Pinyin results in significantly more accurate typing.

Reduces issues that could be caused by a damaged font within the Fonts folder of the System Folder used by the Classic environment, even if Classic is not running.

Sherlock now allows for typed selection of search results.

Addresses an issue that could lead to a kernel panic when logging out.

Addresses some situations in which Apple System Profiler 3.0 may unexpectedly quit.

Addresses an issue in which the computer may not sleep when idle after disconnecting a FireWire or USB device.

Select several items in a dialog list by Shift-clicking now works better in some Mac OS X (Carbon) applications.

Turning on Folder Actions no longer results in increasing amounts of disk space being used.

The Classic environment no longer draws the Mac OS 9 desktop picture on both monitors if you are using Display preferences to arrange your displays while Classic is starting.

Addresses an issue in which the Classic environment could unexpectedly stop on a portable computer while the computer is in sleep mode and certain USB devices are attached.

Resolves an issue in which System Preferences could unexpectedly quit if the Speech preference pane was open, Speakable Items was on, and sound was detected by the microphone.

Improves compatibility with Firaxis Civilization III when the application's "Quartz text rendering" option is enabled.

The computer will now sleep as expected if certain Ethernet cards are installed but the network port configuration is disabled in Network preferences.

Addresses an issue with Disk Utility (10.3 v88.11), which could result in some disk repair utilities inaccurately finding issues with the "HFS wrapper" of a newly-formatted disk; the issue would not cause data loss.

For Swedish-localized, addresses an issue in which some advanced calculator conversions could result in zero.