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1/23/2009
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HP Releases Software Update For MediaSmart Home Server

The server supports Windows PCs and Apple Macs running Leopard using Apple Time Machine software.

Hewlett-Packard this week released a software upgrade for its MediaSmart home server.

Update 1.3 improves media streaming capabilities and server-side antivirus protection, HP said in a posting on the company's support site. The enhancements are for third-party software from PacketVideo and McAfee, respectively.

In addition, the upgrade prepares the server for compatibility with 64-bit operating systems. Such support requires Microsoft's Windows Home Server PowerPack 1 update.

The release, officially called HPMSS-1.3-R1 and released Wednesday, also adds a "rollback" option to the last update, according to the enthusiast site MediaSmartServer.net.

In addition, the "system temperature" tab has been removed, apparently because of numerous incorrect readings in the past, the site said. The upgrade also improves image processing in HP Photo Webshare, which provides integration with several online services, including Snapfish, Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa.

HP in late December introduced the next generation of its home server, boosting memory to 2 GB and storage capacity to as much as 1.5 TB.

The idea behind the MediaSmart Server is to provide a central repository for backing up and accessing digital music, videos, photos, and other files from multiple computers on a home network. The HP server supports Windows PCs and Apple Macs running Leopard using Apple Time Machine software.

Despite software improvements that make home servers easier to use, the products have been embraced mostly by computer enthusiasts and have yet to reach the mainstream consumer market. Microsoft, HP, and other hardware manufacturers are banking on the fact that the amount of digital content being created in homes will continue to grow, eventually making central storage devices a standard piece of equipment for many households.

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