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News Archive for: 4/17/2001 Tuesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 4/17/2001:

Reader Comments on Toast 5.01 Update - Improves DiscBurner/iTunes Support?
This just in from a reader regarding the Toast 5.01 update:

"Hi Mike,
I just downloaded the Toast 5.01 updater. It installed without incident but had an interesting side effect.

The readme file says that Toast moves the USB and Firewire Authoring (Apple's Disk Burner versions) to the disabled extensions folder and replaced them with newer toast extensions for firewire and USB that it says are also Disk Burner/Itunes compatible.

Well I had a 12*8*24 HP drive that was supported under Toast but not under disk burner or Itunes. When I rebooted I inserted a blank CD before launching Toast and lo and behold the diskburner dialog box popped up. As an experiment I decided to make an iTunes CD. The CD burned just fine and I am listening to it now. I also used Toast to copy a CD as well: no problems
Very very cool.
Mac was a Powerbook G4 running OS9.1
George S."

My copy of Toast 5 (upgrade) arrives in a few days. I have some unsupported drives (by iTunes/Discburner) that I hope will work well with it.

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Toast 5.01 Update, X-Assist for OS X
The Toast 5.01 update (3.6MB download) and X-Assist (adds several (missing) OS 9 features to OS X) are two of the major items in tonight's software updates and other net news.
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IBM ViaVoice Mac SDK 90 Day Trial Version Available:
A reader from IBM wrote:

" The New IBM ViaVoice for Mac SDK V1.0 is now avilable

Now Mac developers may include speech recognition in their applications, providing an enhanced user experience to their customers. The ViaVoice for Mac SDK enables programmers to develop both dictation and command & control applications.

Download a 90 day trial version of the IBM ViaVoice [SDK] for Mac."

Note: You must install ViaVoice for Mac before installing the ViaVoice for Mac SDK according to the page. The page notes a price of $995 (USD) for the (non-trial version) SDK v1.0 for Mac.

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$75 Off Pre-Orders of Iomega's Peerless Compact 10-20GB Drives:
Iomega has a spring pre-order sale with $75 off (for the month of April) on their new Peerless high-capacity Firewire/USB/SCSI Mac/PC drives. The Firewire version notes it's bus powered (no AC adapter). Iomega claims up to 15MB/sec transfer rates with removable disk capacities of 10GB and 20GB. Estimated delivery date is "Mid-Year, 2001 US" but the bundle pages noted an estimated ship date of 6/1/2001. The 10GB disk cartridges are shown as $159.95, 20GB discs are $199.95 (not including price of the Peerless drive itself). They also show 10GB and 20GB firewire drive+disc bundles ($284.95 and $324.95 respectively).
The question (especially at these prices) is will this be another unpopular format that dies on the vine. I think I'll pass for now and see how things play out.
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More Mac SoundBlaster Live Feedback and Tips:
As noted in yesterday's news, Brian Souder of Creative Labs has started a thread in the forums here asking for feedback (good/bad/problem reports, suggestions) on the Mac Soundblaster live. Included in the multi-page thread now are some tips for using Creative's speaker sets with the card and its outputs. There are also comments on the card's lack of deep sleep support and notes on input issues if Digidesign's Pro Tools (Free) extensions were enabled. (There's also an earlier page here with some initial first impressions and performance tests from the first reader's that received their SBlive cards.)
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Reader Tip for OS X Software Update Can't Connect Message:
A reader sent comments and a tip for the "Can't Connect to the Internet" message sometimes seen when running OS X's Software Update:

" The "Cannot connect to the Internet" error one sometimes gets from Software Update is due to a small bug in it, and has an easy workaround.

The workaround: visit in a browser, and Software Update will immediately work.

The explanation: there are several different types of DNS records, most notably NS (information about nameservers); MX (information about mail servers); and A ("normal" name/ip mappings). When you interact with your computer gets all of these types, and caches them for an amount of time suggested by the Apple's server.

Apple's server is currently suggesting that you cache A records for one hour, and all others for one day, which is quite reasonable.

When Software Update requests that your computer fetch the address for, it incorrectly asks for "ANY" record, when what it really wants is the A record. If you've looked up in the last day (but _not_ in the last hour), your computer returns what it already has cached (the NS and MX records). Software Update sees that it didn't get back an A record, assumes that you can't talk to Apple's nameserver, and gives up.

Thus, if you just connect to with something that explicitly requests the A record (as Software Update should), you have it cached for another hour, and SU works.

With luck, we'll see a fixed version of this soon; it should be a trivial thing for Apple to correct.

For those users that applied any of the 4L5 or 4L7 "unofficial" updates to OS X, Friday's news has a tip that will allow you to get the "official" (4L13) OS 10.0.1 update via Software Updates.

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Listing of What's in the OS 10.0.1 Update:
A reader sent a list of the components/drivers included in the OS X 10.0.1 updated released on Friday.

" Here's a quick breakdown of the stuff in the 10.0.1 update. The highlights are improved usb drivers and the (re)inclusion of SSH, even though it's an older version -- 2.3.0p1. It's pretty cool what you can do with pax, a man page, and the knowledge that software update puts its cruft in the /tmp directory... ;)
- Jason Allum





System Libraries:

    CFM Support (Bridge Libraries)

Kernel Extensions:

    Apple Storage Drivers:
    Lucky Goldstar DNR8080B
    Hitachi GD7000
    BCD to Hex CDROM Driver
    Sony DSC Camera Driver
IO SCSI Architecture Model Family
IO Serial Family
IO USB Family:
    Apple USB CD Driver
    Apple USB Composite
    Apple USB Keyboard IO USB Lib
    IO USB HI Driver
    Apple USB OHCI
    Apple USB Mouse
    Apple USB Merge Nub
IO USB User Client
IO USB Mass Storage Class

BSD Subsystem:

    OpenSSH 2.3.0p1

System Preferences:

    Sharing Pref (updated to enable/disable SSH)

For those users that applied any of the 4L5 or 4L7 "unofficial" updates to OS X, Friday's news has a tip that will allow you to get the "official" (4L13) OS 10.0.1 update via Software Updates. (Run Software Updates twice - the first time you apparently get an updated Software Update, the second time you get the 10.0.1 update. Running it again will show an Epson 1.1 driver update, although it did not add support for my Photo 870 printer and many other Espon models.)

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Powerlogix Lowers Prices on BlueChip G3 and PF G4/450 Upgrades:
Powerlogix sent a press release on lower pricing on selected CPU upgrades. The BlueChip G3 466/233/1MB has dropped $150 from $599 to $449. The BlueChip G3 500/250/1MB dropped from $699 to $599. (Bluechip upgrades are for the PB G3 series. I reviewed the Bluechip G3/500 here, including an install guide page.) The PowerForce G4 450/225/1MB CPU card (for 7300-9600 and compatible clones) as well as the G4/450 ZIF model (for Beige/AIO/B&W G3s) has dropped $50 from $499 to $449.
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports (total to date: 5,540). [Entries from after midnight EST will be added the following day.]

  • Sonnet G4/500 in B&W G3 (rated 9)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/OWC G3/300 ZIF in Umax S900 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/OWC G3/466 ZIF in Umax J700 (rated 8)

You can find these full reports by searching the database selecting the indicated Mac model and upgrade card brand/type. If you've upgraded the CPU on your Mac, please post an entry in the database. Search the database for entries from most every upgradable Mac model *before* you buy. (Searchable by mac model/upgrade brand). For detailed reviews with performance tests and install tips, see the CPU Upgrades page.)

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CDRW/CD/DVD/HD Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 8 new entries added this morning. The database has reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROMs, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, MO drives, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 3,562 reports. [BTW - the drive database is not a place to post questions, it's for reports on drives you've used. For guides to drive installs, see the IDE, SCI or Firewire articles linked above and/or the FAQ. If you post an updated entry - make sure you use the same name, etc. as you did before so I can find your past entry. Thanks.]
You can find full owner reports by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
If you've added a IDE, SCSI, Firewire or USB hard drive, CDRW, tape drive, etc. make sure you add a report to the database.
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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News

    Apple TIL Updates:
    (none today)

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