firmware

TinyUmbrella review

TinyUmbrella backs up your iOS firmware SHSH blobs and can restore them to downgrade your device to an older working firmware, proving to be a potential lifesaver whenever an iOS jailbreak operation fails. This program combines two earlier tools called Umbrella and TinyTSS.

Pros

Brings you peace of mind: TinyUmbrella effectively eliminates the risks associated with jailbreaking an iOS device by saving your firmware and sending it to a remote server from where it can always be restored.

Accessible: Even if you're not tech-savvy, you should be able to use this app without any problems. The clean and straightforward … Read more

Microsoft delivers new batch of Surface firmware updates

It's Patch Tuesday, yet again. And as it often does, Microsoft is rolling out a number of Surface firmware updates as part of it.

There are no firmware updates for the ARM-based Surface RT this month, according to Microsoft's update history page. But the other three Surface devices are all getting numerous updates that users will see listed as "System Firmware Update - 3/11/2014" in their update histories on their devices.

All three are getting keyboard/cover updates, including a driver that supports the new Surface Power Covers that Microsoft will begin making available as of March 19. … Read more

Apple issues Mac Pro SMC Firmware update

If you are the owner of a late-2013 Mac Pro, then an update is available that addresses some bugs and enables new Power Nap modes.

The update is a small 544KB SMC firmware update, that will allow the Mac Pro to now run in Power Nap mode without running the fan that is located at the top of the unit. This will make the system run completely silently when in sleep mode, while still performing Power Nap functions like Spotlight indexing, iCloud syncing, receiving new Mail messages, Backup, and downloading software updates from the Mac App Store.

In addition to … Read more

Time to extend that support contract? No more free firmware for HP servers

Hewlett-Packard server customers might have a new expense to worry about for older ProLiant models: the company no longer gives away firmware updates to just anyone.

Instead, the update is available only if the machine is covered by a warranty or service contract. That's got some folks angry.

"I am really enraged by this action from HP," said Glen Drager, a school district network administrator, in a forum post at IT discussion site Spiceworks where others also complained. Among his reasons: hardware updates could become more expensive, buying used servers could become unwise, and it raises the … Read more

Apple issues EFI Firmware update for 2013 Mac Pro

Apple has issued an EFI firmware update for the newly released Mac Pro, which addresses some outstanding hardware bugs that have been identified since the release of the machine.

The new Mac Pro, which was announced at WWDC in June of this year, was today made available for purchase through the Apple online store. The system introduces a radical new design twist for Apple's pro Mac systems, ditching the old aluminum chassis that was reminiscent of the initial PowerMac G5, in favor of a new, rounded, and relatively minute form factor that relies on Thunderbolt connectivity for expansion, rather … Read more

Google ejects CyanogenMod installer, citing warranty worries

The CyanogenMod app to more easily install the open-source Android variant only lasted two weeks on Google Play.

CyanogenMod developers removed the installer because Google said it violates Google Play developer terms, but the startup has hopes it'll be restored. Cyanogen explained the installer removal in a blog post Wednesday:

They advised us to voluntarily remove the application, or they would be forced to remove it administratively. We have complied with their wishes while we wait for a more favorable resolution...

After reaching out to the Play team, their feedback was that though application itself is harmless, since it &… Read more

Apple issues SSD firmware update for MacBook Air

Apple has released a firmware update for its MacBook Air systems, which addresses a problem with the SSD drives on these systems that could lead to data loss. Apple apparently issued a small batch of faulty drives with its mid-2012 MacBook Air, and this firmware update should correct the problem.

The update should be available via Software Update for relevant systems, and being that this addresses a potential data loss issue, this update is highly recommended. If you do not see the update available in Software Update, but believe your system is an affected one (mid-2012 MacBook Air), then you … Read more

Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which I answer Mac-related questions sent in by our readers.

This week readers ask about how to use an older iMac as an external display for a new one, managing an unexpected EFI firmware password on a system returned from a service center, and creating unsupported custom character combinations in OS X.

I welcome contributions from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, please post them in the comments!

Question: Using an old iMac as a monitor MacFixIt reader Sam asks:

Here's what I want to do. … Read more

Apple issues MacBook SMC firmware updates

Apple has released a number of SMC firmware updates for its line of MacBooks, starting with the mid-2012 models through to its latest mid-2013 models. This includes the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and the MacBook Air.

The updates address problems specific to battery function, where systems may stop responding when the battery charge gets low, or the battery simply stops providing power.

If you have one of the affected systems you should be able to get the relevant update through Software Update in the Apple menu. The updates can also be downloaded from the following Apple … Read more

Car firmware need updating? Red Bend hopes to make it easy

What do you get when you cross the software auto-update era with the cars reworked by the computing industry?

A lot of trips to the dealer to have your engine's combustion algorithm tuned and your lasers recalibrated.

Naturally, when such problems arrive, businesses are keen to profit from solving it. That's the case for Red Bend Software, which on Tuesday announced its FUSE technology that enables over-the-air updates.

Smartphones and computers don't have much trouble with software updates, since they're relatively powerful devices. Fuse -- short for firmware updating of small electronics -- is designed for … Read more