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News Archive for: 4/18/2001 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 4/18/2001:

$139 Firewire Hard Drive Case Kits with Oxford 911 Bridge:
Sponsor OWC sent a note they are now offering a Firewire hard drive case kit (less drive) with the fast Oxford 911 IDE/Firewire bridge board for $139. (Prices may change over time - See this page for details.)
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Next Version of iTunes Won't be Toast 5.01 Compatible?
A reader sent a note with comments that said the next version of iTunes may break the compatibility with Toast 5.01 that readers have reported here since last night. If true, this is very disappointing. Since I can't personally verify the comments from the company involved (it was not Apple), I don't want to quote his remarks, but am posting this as a FYI for owners of Toast 5.01 that are now enjoying both iTunes/Discburner and Toast 5 co-existing with the same extensions set. Of course until the next update to iTunes is released I won't know if the comments are true - I hope not.

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Reader Reports Toast 5.01 Update Adds Discburner Support for SCSI Yamaha CDRW:
Another report on added drive support in Discburner from the Toast 5.01 update:

" Mike, After trying a number of hacks and fixes to get DiscBurner working with my Yamaha 8424SX, I finally gave up and decided that I'd sell the SCSI device, and save my pennies for a FireWire CDRW unit.

Of course, while doing this testing, I rendered my Toast 4.x installation unusable. I went looking for my Toast 4.x cd, and it went missing! With the exception of iTunes, I could not burn anything (but I amassed a great collection of greatest hits CD's for the truck).

Well, I ponied up the $75 for the Toast 5.0 upgrade, and just got it yesterday. Of course the 5.0.1 upgrade was released yesterday, too. Installed it all, and the most amazing thing happened... all of the programs work, and well together! Pinch me... I didn't even open the pref's dialogs, just burned... Roxio got it right.
Gunnar "

The Toast 5 upgrade is $59.95 plus shipping for previous owners of Toast 4.

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SoundJam 2.5.3 Update:
Versiontracker is listing a Soundjam Mp 2.5.3 update today that is not listed yet (as of 11:40 AM Eastern time) at the main Soundjam web site.
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Unofficial DirectCD 1.04/1.05 Patch Adds More Drive Support:
Last year I posted some info and reports on Joe Borzellino's unofficial patches for Adaptec's DirectCD which added support for more drives. (As Joe notes, you should test to make sure the patch is reliable even if it adds recognition for your drive.) Joe has updated his unofficial patch for Adaptec's DirectCD 1.04/1/05 to add support for some later CDRW drives. For more info and to download the patch, see Joe's page at www.math.psu.edu/borzelli/Pages/Plextor/Plextor.html.
As noted here recently, Roxio (Adaptec's spinoff for CDRW software) noted that there would be no more DirectCD updates other than a planned OS X only version.
(I wasted $59 last May purchasing the DirectCD v1.05 version online. It does not work with any of my CDRW drives I've bought in the last year or two. And I never even saw a 1.05 update posted for those that bought previous versions.)
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First 512MB RAM Modules for PB G4 that fit Top and Bottom Slots:
Site sponsor Transintl.com has the first 512MB SODIMM modules for the PowerBook G4 that fit both the top and bottom slots, for a total of up to 1GB of RAM. Although I hear another vendor recently listed 512MB PB G4 modules on their web site (for the same price), those SODIMMs reportedly do not fit the upper slot, so you can't have two installed. For more info, photos and installation notes, see the 1GB RAM Powerbook G4 page.
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Tests with $145 Bootable Combo DVD-ROM/CDRW Drive:
(Update - this drive failed a test with the bundled Adaptec CD Creator in a PC also - so it must be defective. ) The Samsung 308B is the cheapest CDRW/DVD ROM combo drive I've seen ($145 plus shipping for OEM version) but I don't know if I trust it after tests on my G4/500 DP system (w/firmware update) and Toast 4.1.2 at least. The good news is that it was bootable (original OS 9.04 System CD) and was recognized by Toast 4.1.2 (despite it not being in the list of supported drives). However I'm getting frequent failures during CDR burn verifies - unreadable sectors error. And the CDs where this happen do indeed have problems. (File copies from them on other Macs reported read errors). Out of about 10 tries with 2 different brands of CDR media only 3 CDs were error-free.

One Toast 4.1.2 CDR I burned (a rare one that passed verify) with the system folder did boot the system, but the frequent verify errors make me leery of suggesting this drive. Perhaps the firmware update or this specific mac is a factor (or Toast 4.1.2 not fully supporting it), but just a note to make sure you check verification with this drive. I wrote another reader that has the drive that filed a database report (2001 G4 tower) and he reported that the few times he has verified CDs, he had no errors. I've ordered Toast 5 to test with it.

There's no official iTunes 1.1/Disc Burner 1.01 support based on the list at Apple but I'm wondering if the Toast 5.01 update might add support for the drive in iTunes/Discburner based on a reader's comment that the 5.01 update includes support files compatible with Apple's software.

Although it's only a 8x/4x burner, it was faster than the OEM DVD ROM drive in tests (reading/random access, etc.). It has no Burn-Proof support. However if burns were reliable I'd be happy with it.

I later tested Maxell CDRs - one of the manual's recommended brands and still had verify errors in 2 out of 3 burns. And the CDs that had errors during verify did in fact have problems. Copying files from these CDs on another machine reported read errors. Even at 4x speeds, I had the same failures. So far the only consistent burns (two for two with no errors in verify) have been with Imation 4x CDRW discs, but I can't say for sure they'd be 100% reliable either. This could be a suspect drive, but it has no other problems and no errors are reported during the burn, only during verify. I'm going to try Imation CDR discs to see if they are reliable.

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Toast 5.01 Update Adds More CDRW Drive Support to DiscBurner/iTunes:
A reader noted in last night's news that the Toast 5.01 update (3.6MB download) includes support files that are iTunes/DiscBurner compatible and that his HP drive that was unsupported in iTunes/Discburner now works. My copy of Toast 5 (upgrade) arrives in a few days, but if any readers that have Toast 5.01 can comment if it adds iTunes/DiscBurner support for the Combo DVD/CDRW drives from Samsung and Toshiba, please let me know. (Reports of other previously unsupported drives working are also welcome.)
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Reader Reports OS X 10.0.1 Improves Palm Hotsync Support:
"I was staring at my Palm V sitting in it's hotsync cradle that had been rendered useless by OS X. Just for grins I pressed the hotsync button, and to my amazement it worked! Hotsync Manager had no issues running under Classic in 10.0.1. Even AvantGo synced with no issues.

Booting into 9.1 just to sync my Palm was getting quite aggravating. This is a useful real-world improvement that I haven't seen posted anywhere. I figured it would be good news to those folks out there that, like me, were holding their breath waiting on Palm to release Hotsync Manager for OS X. I have a Beige G3/466DT with a USB card and a Keyspan PDA adapter for my cradle.

I have no idea if anyone else was having trouble getting Hotsync Manager to work under OS X, but I just thought I would pass that along.
Gary B."

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MacPopUp Instant Messenger for OS X:
MacPopup v2.5b adds OS X compatability and features text-to-speech support and more. They state this is for LANs, so I'm not sure if it's AIM compatible like the free Fire and AOL's instant messengers for OS X. For more details see http://www.macpopup.com/.
.
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 2 new reports (total to date: 5,542).

  • Metabox G4/400 in 8600/200 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix BlueChip G3/466 in PB G3 wallstreet2 (rated 9)

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 5 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 3,567 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

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