Apple Makes Quick Patches Before Panther

The computer maker releases Mac OS X, Version 10.2.6 -- code-named 'Jaguar Black,' perhaps as the final say on its year-old operating system.

Apple Computer is closing the book on its Jaguar operating system with the latest patch, which it released Tuesday.

Mac OS X, Version 10.2.6 (code-named "Jaguar Black") makes only minor adjustments to the Address Book, graphics, printing, OpenGL, and PC card and USB hub device compatibility.

For example, the upgrade addresses an issue for Mac OS X 10.2.5 in which a kernel panic message may appear if certain USB hubs or devices are connected. It also improves printing compatibility for PostScript OpenType fonts as well as compatibility for Maya Auto Paint and Paint Effects features.

"Black" also covers an issue for Mac OS X 10.2.5 in which English is the default language and Asian language scripts are not available in the International preference pane if a script's font is not available.

It also improves compatibility for MacSoft Unreal Tournament 2003 on computers with NVIDIA GeForce 2MX and GeForce4MX graphic accelerator chipsets. The fix also helps the Address Book support the Sony Ericsson T610 phone.

The latest version comes less than a month after its last minor update, 10.2.5. The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker did not say if it plans on another minor update, which would be version 10.2.7.

The next major software release expected from Apple is reportedly Mac OS X 10.3. -- code-named "Panther." The company is expected to release early versions of the operating system at its World Wide Developers Conference this June in San Francisco.

The company says the incremental upgrades are key to CEO Steve Job's promise of attracting between 9 and 10 million active users by the end of this year. Currently, Apple boasts more than 5 million active users and upwards of 5,000 native Mac OS X applications.

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