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Wild Safari

safari.gif While most of the Mac-heads are recovering from their weeks-long iphone-gasms, there’s some other Apple-related news at mediabistro.com that isn’t quite as sexy as the latest Steve Job’s special, but still just as vital to western civilization the mediabistro.com community (the ones who are on Macs at least). It’s all got to do with that cute little web browser called Safari.
Recently we rolled out a new registration form on the site. It features some nifty programming technology called AJAX (the non-bathroom cleaning kind). Ironically it’s a non-Ajax portion of the registration form that’s causing a few Mac users some issues, specifically when using the Safari browser.


Some Safari users have complained that they are unable to choose a Primary Occupation after the have chosen a Occupation Category. Where normally they would see a list of choices in a drop down menu, the menu is completely blank. Since mediabistro.com is devoid of those cute little computers from Cupertino, I took a trip to the Apple store with the one-and-only Shao(or the “female programmer,” as our CEO so eloquently describes her) to try and replicate this little bug. Fortunately (or unfortunately if you’re one of those glass-half-empty kind of people), the registration form performed flawlessly with the Safari browser.
Back at headquarters, we theorized that even though everything worked fine on the Safari browser at the Apple Store, we were testing it under optimal conditions— the most recent version with all updates was probably what we were working with. Since running software updates is not something that end users typically like to do, we figured there was a high probability that the problems with the registration form were occurring on Safari browsers that were not completely up-to-date. Sure enough, the next time a user had the issue, I kindly asked them to run their Apple Software Update, and there was a brandy-new browser update available for download. Once the user downloaded the updated version, the registration form worked as it should.
Since this issue has only come through the support channels a few times, and there is only one documented successful solution, we can’t say 100% that this is the only fix. But our early assessment is that running your Apple software update and keeping Safari current will prevent this and other browser hiccups that may arise in the future. Hiccups or not, it’s always good practice to run software updates at regular intervals. It’s imperative for PC users, but Mac users should update regularly as well to avoid the black bomb of death.
It’s good practice to have at least two browsers installed on your machine so that you can test things that may work in one browser but not another. Firefox is a great first and second choice browser for Apple disciples.

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