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10/1/01 Monday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

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PowerBook G3/400 Firewire Owner Comments on OS X 10.1, DVD Player, Camera Capture, Etc.
Steve Weisel sent comments on his experience with OS X 10.1 running on his PowerBook G3/400 firewire model. His comments include DVD player performance, interface improvements, digital camera image importing and QT movie playback.

" Here are my initial observations and impressions after having installed the update from OS X 10.04 to 10.1 on a 400 MHz Pismo. I'll try to cover some things that I haven't seen in the myriad of pre-release reviews.

Running the firmware update + installation of the update to 10.1 took approximately 1/2 hour.

I've spent only a couple of hours exploring, and in a word: SWEET!!!
Big time kudos to Apple!

The first thing I wanted to try was the DVD player. When running it in 9.1, accessing a menu or the on-screen remote controller caused the movie to momentarily freeze, although the sound would continue to play smoothly. This is, as many have read, not the case in OS 10.1. There is absolutely *no* pause in the playback of the video when accessing a menu or the remote controller, or indeed, even switching to another app, with DVD player in the background. The video and audio are smooth as glass!

I usually have my screen resolution set to 800 x 600 when browsing, using text apps, or even most anything else. However, when using DVD Player, jaggie-like artifacts around the edges of certain objects (like hands, faces, etc.) during fast moving action on the screen are much more apparent at 800 x 600 than at 1024 x 768.

Next, I ran the iBook ad "Middle Seat" in QuickTime for X. Although some other movies played smoothly with 10.04, this movie always stuttered and the audio became unsynchronized with the video as frames were dropped. With the 10.1 update, (and who knows, maybe an update or a tweak to QuickTime?), this ad played smooth as glass! (This is the highest quality version downloadable from When looking at it with the screen set to 640 x 480, it nearly fills the screen and looks like watching TV!

Brightness controls on the keyboard now work with Classic apps! And you can now darken the screen all the way to black, something 10.0x would not allow.

Using the Volume controls on the keyboard now cause an increasing or diminishing "ding, ding, ding", attracting unwanted attention if you're in proximity to others. A work-around is to use the volume slider in the menu bar. You'll only get one "ding", when you let go. There was no "ding" in earlier OS X versions. Maybe there's a setting or work-around I'm unaware of.

In previous versions of OS X, any slash in a file name would be changed by the OS to a dash or hyphen. This really bugged me and I'm very glad that Apple changed it in 10.1.

In a Finder window (list or column view), typing the first few letters of a file name will now jump you to that file and highlight it. In previous versions of X, the file would get highlighted, but you would have to manually scroll to see the file, practically eliminating any usefulness of the action.

Something I discovered tonight, but had never tried before: in column view you can navigate (even between different columns) using the arrow keys.

One of the most annoying things about using OS X as the main OS on my Pismo since the Public Beta was having to reboot into OS 9.1 every time I wanted to transfer photos taken with my Olympus C-2100 UZ. What a pain!!
That's all in the past, because not only does the app "Image Capture" launch and offer to download my pictures as soon as I connect my camera, it even correctly identifies it and has a nice little picture of my camera in the window! As I said: "SWEET!" Image Capture also offers to build a web page or to format the photos for 3 x 5, 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 7 sizes or for "other".

Another feature I've not seen before on my Pismo using X: after a certain period of mouse or keyboard inactivity, 10.1 goes into a screen sleep mode: the screen goes black, and a faint outline of the Apple logo and the word "Pismo" appear. Next time the screen sleeps, the logo and the word "Pismo" are relocated to a different position on the screen.

As has been reported, booting is faster, and QuickTime and IE:Mac launch almost instantly.

It was a helluva long wait, Apple, but the results are very nice. Thanks.

A reader replied to this article with some further comments on the Powerbook display adjustments:

    " I read the comments written in by a powerbook fire wire 400 user. He noted that you can now dim the screen to black. It's true, but he failed to mention that (in my view) this is because the interval (between darkest and lightest) has shifted more towards the dark side. I have noticed that putting the brightness all the way up doesn't make it nearly as bright as it used to make it under OS 10.04 (after loading display services in Software preferences).
    Even using the slider in the display pane, I am unable to make the screen as bright as i used to. Maximum brightness is now 2.5-3/4's what is used to be. This is the biggest let down I've found in 10.1.
    Everything else is great, but now my screen looks dull. I now have flawless DVD playback, but a dull screen :-(.
    Jason "

Other OS X 10.1 Articles:

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