Mac OS X 10.2.7 may be one of the shortest lived operating systems when all is said and done. The core system update, which was brought to life only several months ago, is scheduled for completion just weeks shy of Mac OS X 10 10.3 (Panther).
The objective of the the update, code named "Smeagol," is to provide a version of Mac OS X Jaguar that would support the G5 processor while Apple continues its development work on Panther. Smeagol does not take advantage of the benefits of the of the 64-bit chip, but has allowed Apple to place several Power Mac G5 units in the hands of it's prized customers for several weeks now.
According to sources, several of Apple's larger corporate and government customers began receiving select shipments of single and dual-processor Power Mac G5 configurations a couple of weeks ago. Even more units are said to be rolling off the assembly lines at the computer maker's manufacturing plants as you read this article. All units that have shipped to date are currently running pre-release versions of Smeagol.
Last week, Apple provided Premier Apple Developer Connection members with the latest version of Smeagol that has been installed on several of the shipping units. Referenced by its build number of 6R34, the update currently weighs in at just over 33 MB.
Although Smeagol's main role is to provide the adhesive between Jaguar and the G5 Power Macintosh, it will also serve as yet another system update for current Mac OS Jaguar users. "10.2.7 will be released over Apple's Software Update mechanism and can be installed on top of Jaguar build 6L60 (the current release)," one source added.
The 6R34 build of Smeagol contains just one known issue, according the the developer note accompanying the software. If a user has a USB hard drive connected via a USB PCI card, the machine may hang on sleep mode.
Meanwhile, Apple is asking developers to extensively test areas of the system pertaining to FireWire, USB, PCMCIA Cards and ATI and Nvidia graphics drivers. An extra emphasis was placed on the testing of USB 2.0 cards.
An update on the latest release of Panther will follow shortly.