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Examples of FREE Apple Updates

for iMacs and/or System 8.6 users


When Macintosh computers (e.g. iMacs) are shipped from the factory, they have a standard set of system software (e.g. Mac OS 8.6 for older iMacs) installed on them. Ideally (if there is adequate RAM) these should be upgraded to at least OS 9.1.

If for some reason this is not possible, these computers should at least take advantage of the Apple updates to OS 8.6. In almost all cases, these incremental updates are available for free. {These updates are easily downloadable from Apple, or through Mac software sites (e.g. Version Tracker).}

The reasons of these updates are: 1) to improve performance, and/or 2) to add features, and/or 3) to correct errors. The benefits of utilizing these free updates are often substantial.

Below are some notable (i.e. where Hardware, or System Extensions are modified) iMac and 8.6 updates (all free). Although using all these updates is usually beneficial, the bold items below are the most important ones.

    System Extensions (to add, delete, or update)
    Extension Original Version Updated Version
    Apple CD/DVD Driver [download] 1.2.2 1.4.8
    AppleShare 3.8.3 3.8.8
    CarbonLib None 1.6
    ColorSync 2.6.1 3.0.3
    DrawSprocketLib* 1.1.4 1.7.5
    Font Manager Update None 1.0
    InputSprocket Extension* 1.4.1 1.7.3
    Joliet Volume Access [not an Apple item] None 2.0.3
    MJRLib {+ related items} 2.1.1 2.2.5
    [in Modem Scripts subfolder] Misc Per Modem Type
    NetSprocketLib* 1.1.1 1.7.1
    ObjectSupportLib 1.2? Remove
    OpenGLEngine {+ related items} 1.0 1.2.1
    Open Transport (slot iMacs only) 2.0.3 2.6
    QuickTime {+ related items} 3.0.2 6.0.3
    SoundSprocket Filter and Lib* 1.0 1.7.1
    URL Access 1.0.1 2.3
    USB Printer Sharing None 1.0
    USB Storage Support 1.0.1 1.3.5
    *Part of GameSprocket 1.7.5

    Miscellaneous Mac Utility Software Updates
    Utility Original Version Updated Version
    Drive Setup 1.7.2 1.7.3
    Disk First Aid 8.5.2 8.6
    Mac OS ROM 1.4 3.8+

    Miscellaneous iMac Hardware Updates
    (applicable to certain models)
    iMac CD Update 2.0 DVD-ROM Firmware
    iMac Firmware Update 1.2 or 2.4 Modem Updater 1.3.5
    iMac Update 1.1 Apple DVD Player 2.2

The bottom line is that any iMac or OS 8.6 Mac that is not using most of these free updates, will definitely be more prone to conflicts, and will have poorer performance.

PS: As a point of reference, Microsoft’s site shows that there are some 100 Windows 98 updates needed to that OS during the same time period. Most were listed as "critical".

[Note: Whenever possible, all 8.6 systems should be upgraded to 9.1 — a very dependable version. It can be installed on any Macintosh that originally shipped with a PowerPC processor that has at least 32 megabytes of physical RAM (more RAM is very beneficial). See for more info from Apple.]

Download a printable pdf version of this document (rev: 5/01/05).

If you have any constructive comments or suggestions about this page,
please email John.

rev: March 21, 2006

— Section #7-d —