Good news Mac owners! Apple has released a graphics and USB focused update just for late model, Mid 2012 MacBook models including “all Mac notebooks released in June 2012.” This update “includes graphics performance and reliability enhancements and improves compatibility with some USB devices.”
As with any OS X update, simply choose updates in the App Store or choose Software Update from the Apple menu. Once all prerequisites are installed (which include 10.8.2), the update will appear.
Details on the update are rather sparse at the moment, however initial findings on the 11 inch Air I use as a primary work laptop are positive. After installing the update, some U3 Communicator HD docks which I had previously identified as defective actually worked consistently and at normal speeds.
I’ve also noticed better reliability on the arrangement of the quad display panel I use with the tiny Air and a set of our DisplayLink-based UGA-165 adapters. Previously I could virtually never reboot and have my display arrangement persist, but now that seems to have been corrected- however this probably has more to do with the unusual number of hubs and devices I go through in day to day equipment testing and the constant swapping of ports that comes with it.
One frustrating issue that persists is when an USB storage volume unexpectedly disconnects, finder will freeze- immediately if you instruct it to eject the improperly disconnected volume. Forcing a reboot corrects the issue, however the system is largely unresponsive until the reboot which of course could result in data loss.
We’d love to hear your input on how this update is affecting your Plugable devices on those shiny new MacBooks!
Microsoft’s official statement is “Windows RT uses class drivers and in-box drivers exclusively, departing from a common driver added scenario on the x64 or x86 architectures.” (see Microsoft policies). There is no DDK. Officially, installing drivers on Windows RT is not supported.
That said, it turns out there is at least oneWindows ARM driver that exists (probably built and extracted from a full Windows RT platform development kit), and as a user you can install those drivers on a normal, unmodified Microsoft Surface device at least.
Whether Microsoft will close this mechanism in the future is unclear.
Below is a more complete list of all the Plugable devices which can and can’t be made to work with the surface today. Most use the drivers already built into the RT, so none of the above is a concern — but Windows RT is “special” so check for compatibility before assuming a device will work!
What devices work out of the box with ARM-based Windows RT (without a 3rd party driver install)?
Plugable Windows Easy Transfer Cable (Although Windows Easy Transfer is available on Windows RT devices, the driver for USB Easy Transfer cables is not. Kind of surprising since on Windows XP – 8, this is a driver developed and provided by Microsoft in the box)
What needs a driver package and has one available for ARM-based Windows RT devices
We recently received a Raspberry Pi at the Plugable offices and we have been using it to test how our various devices interact with it. The Raspberry Pi has 2 USB 2.0 Ports, and no USB 3.0 ports, so our testing was focused on USB 2.0 devices and a couple USB 3.0 storage devices.
All of these tests were carried out on a Raspberry Pi Model B using the latest version of Raspbian wheezy. Here’s a video of the full setup, followed by a bunch of detail about our tests:
Plugable USB 2.0 10 Port Hub with 2.5A Power Adapter – Causes the Raspberry Pi to reboot upon connection, because it supplements the 2.5A wall power with 500mA from the upstream port. This is too much for the Pi., but just at the moment it is plugged in. If you plug the 10 port hub in when the Pi is powered down, you can boot into the Pi and all will be well. But since there are better options (like the 7 port hub above), we don’t recommend our 10 port hub with the Pi.
USB2-2PORT – Causes the Raspberry Pi to reboot upon connection. This is simply because this is an unpowered hub. Only hubs with their own power adapter should be used with the Pi.
USB3-HUB7-81x – USB HID devices(Mice, Keyboards) are known not to work with this hub on the Raspberry Pi.
USB3-HUB81x4 - USB HID devices(Mice, Keyboards) are known not to work with this hub on the Raspberry Pi.
USB2-SWITCH2 – No issues
The common pattern with all devices is you must have one of the powered usb hubs above and connect the device through that. If you don’t, the Pi won’t be able to handle the power draw, and it will drop voltage and reset.