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iStats Menu updated for 64-bit Snow Leopard

The popular OSX system monitor that provides detailed information on your Mac has been updated for use in Snow Leopard. This update provides a new 64-bit local monitor and system preferences panel.

Get iStat Menu for free here.

1Password 3 Now Supports 64-bit Safari

There have been several updates to 1Password version 3 since my previous post August 14th. Most notably the development team as completed the 64-bit version of the plug-in for Safari 64.

To try 1Password 3 for free, download the version 2.9.29 from Agile's website. Install and launch on Snow Leopard and you will be presented with instructions on how to gain access to the early beta.


64-Bit Snow Leopard 10.6 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

There has been a lot of confusion surrounding 64-bit and the latest Snow Leopard release. Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.

Q: Do I need Snow Leopard to run 64-bit applications?
A: No. Leopard also has support for 64-bit applications. Even Tiger and Panther have limited support for 64-bit applications. The main limiting factor on older operating systems was the less-prevalent existence of 64-bit CPUs and machine limits below 4GB of physical memory.
"Tiger is also interesting in that it will actually support full 64-bit processing on the PowerPC processors that Apple has been shipping for years. Both the prior "Smeagol" 10.2.7 and "Panther" 10.3 releases of Mac OS X ran in a hybrid 32-bit/64-bit mode. " - The Unix Guardian.

"Mac OS X Tiger delivers the power of 64-bit computing to your Mac. Build and run a new generation of 64-bit applications that address massive amounts of memory, without compromising the performance of your existing 32-bit applications." - Apple.
Q: Does my EFI need to be 64-bit to run 64-bit applications?
A: No. EFI does not have any affect on applications running in 64-bit mode.

Q: Do I need to load the 64-bit Kernel & Extensions to run 64-bit applications?
A: No. 64-bit Kernel & Extensions will only make a difference on machines with 32GB of memory or more.
"In fact, the only big advantage of booting into a 64-bit kernel would be the ability to use more than 32 gigabytes of RAM. There aren't any Macs that can do that now, anyway, due to hardware limitations." - MacWorld
Q: I've read I can't run 64-bit Applications in Snow Leopard unless I run 64-bit Kernel & Extensions, is this true?
A: Again no. You will be able to run all of the included Apple 64-bit applications and 3rd-party 64-bit applications on Snow Leopard without a 64-bit kernel or extensions.
"So, bottom line: If you’ve got a Core 2 Duo or Xeon based Mac — any Intel Mac not running a Core Duo or Core Solo processor — you’ll be able to run applications in 64-bit mode, which will in turn be able to take advantage of faster 64-bit registers and math routines as well as access massive amounts of memory." - MacWorld

Q: Without the 64-bit Kernel & Extensions, will my 64-bit apps still be able to use more then 4GB or RAM?
A: Yes.
"Applications running in Snow Leopard will have access to a full 16 exabyte virtual address space, just the same as if they were running in a 64-bit kernel." - MacWorld
Q: Why is there so much new talk about 64-bit with Snow Leopard if 64-bit has been supported for so long?
A: Snow Leopard increases Apple's commitment to 64-bit by introducing 64-bit versions of most of its popular Applications and many services in 10.6. This means Apple has re-written much of Leopard to take advantage a 64-bit environment and more then 4GB of physical memory.
"Nearly all system applications — including the Finder, Mail, Safari, iCal, and iChat — are now built with 64-bit code. So not only are they able to take full advantage of all the memory in your Mac, but the move to 64-bit applications also boosts overall performance." - Apple

Transmission v1.74 Goes 64-bit on OS X

Transmission is one of the most popular Torrent clients for OS X. With version 1.74, Transmission the code has been added to run in 64-bit mode.

You can download the latest version of Transmission at

Force Snow Leopard 64-bit Applications to 32-bit Mode

A common question that will surely be asked a lot in the coming weeks is how to re-gain compatibility with 32-bit plug-ins with applications updated to 64-bit. The simple solution is to CMD+I click the application icon and check the "Open in 32-bit mode" box. I also made a quick screencast showing how this is accomplished.

Snow Leopard 64-bit Applications and Their 32-bit Plugins

Many Mac enthusiasts may already be taking inventory of applications on their system in preparation for their upgrade to Snow Leopard. One question that will likely dominate the support forums and social media networks is "will my application work on Snow Leopard?"

The simple truth is, for the most part yes. While Apple is taking great strides toward a 64-bit future, they're not about to abandon a 32-bit universe of apps. OSX 10.6 will have great support for your existing applications, however your plug-in experience may be a bit different.

Apple has re-written most of the core applications in 64-bit. This includes everything from the Safari to Address Book. Over the course of time, many applications have had third party plug-ins developed. Plug-ins, more than applications, will suffer from this change.

Safari Plug-ins will need to be re-written for 64-bit. While running Safari 4.x in 64-bit mode with 32-bit plug-ins installed won't prevent it from launching, you will need to force it to run in 32-bit mode for your plug-ins to work. This is accomplished using the "Get Info" command (CMD+I) and checking a new box titled "Open in 32-bit Mode." Safari does ship with a 64-bit version of Flash, if you do run in 64-bit mode, the millions of flash-enabled websites out there will still work.

Even the System Preferences application has been re-written. Having preference plug-ins such as Growl and MacFuse will not prevent these plug-ins from working, however it will present a dialog stating System Prefrences must quit and reopen. The tag "(32-bit)" will follow the title of the preferences panel. System Prefrences will remain in 32-bit mode until relaunched. This remains the case even if you click on a 64-bit enabled preferences option.

Itunes and QuickLook plug-ins will all work fine as both are still 32-bit native applications. With the large number of plug-ins written for iTunes, this may have been one of the deciding factors why iTunes was passed over for a 64-bit upgrade.

So while you are making plans for your upgrade to Apple's new OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, be sure to take into consideration any plug-ins you may have installed as well.

List All 64-bit Applications

OS X can show you a current list of 64-bit Applications using a simple command line in the Terminal. On your Intel Mac, launch Terminal and paste the following command:
locate -0 app/Contents/MacOS/ | xargs -0 file | grep x86_64
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