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News Archive for: 4/20/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 4/20/2001:

512MB PowerBook G4 SODIMMs for $364.95:
Earlier this week I posted a page on the TransIntl 512MB SODIMMs ($399 ea. in April 2001 when this page was originally posted - prices later fell A LOT of course. See this page for current mac memory pricing). Sponsor OWC wrote they also have 512MB PB G4 modules now for even less.

" OWC now has 512MB Low Profile SO-DIMM in stock for the G4 Titanium PowerBook. Our P/N TPW512TS costs less and is for the upper slot only.

Unlike Trans, we actually have these to ship. Trans has not shipped any other than the sample to my knowledge. We will have a lower slot module available in the near future and this upper slot module will work just fine with that module when it is available.
Best Regards,
Larry O'Connor
Other World Computing, Inc.
(he later wrote)

The module we have is 1.4" and top slot only. It is thicker but does not make contact with the lower slot module. It is too [thick] to be placed in the lower slot though."

Transintl was supposed to get stock on Wednesday. [Several readers replied to this post over the weekend noting they had received their 512MB modules from Transintl.]
BTW - If the module fits the upper slot on the PB G4, then it should fit the lower slot also unless it's the thickness, not the height that is the issue. (Since the upper slot is actually a tighter fit height wise, due to the support bar - see the photo in my article.) You can lift out the support bar so that you can install modules in the lower slot. As noted in the 1GB RAM PB G4 article on the TransIntl dimms, that is what I had to do to install the module in the lower slot.

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DVI/VGA to ADC Monitor Adapter Kit:
Gefen has a web page offering an adapter to convert DVI/VGA to ADC monitors. There are two models available, one for ADC 15" or 22" LCD monitors and one for the 17" CRT ADC monitor. Both cost $299. Note: The VGA to ADC support is only for the 17" CRT monitor, not the ADC LCD displays, according to their product page.
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Reader Performance Tests of OWC Oxford911 bridge based Firewire Case:
A reader sent results of ATTO benchmark tests comparing his older ClubMac firewire case vs the $139 OWC Oxford911 bridge based case kit . ( With both cases using the same 5400 RPM drive.) See this page for details. (I'm ordering an OWC case with a 60GB IBM 75GXP drive separately for testing here next week.)
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iTunes Helper Download Promises Improved Drive Support:
If the Toast 5.01 update (or our reader's support files) don't add iTunes/Disc burner support for your CDRW drive this util might be worth a try.

" We invite your users to download a free copy of iTunes CD-RW Helper at
http://www.ituneshelper.com
If your CD-RW recorder is too new, too old (but not way too old), or just not supported by the current version of Apple's iTunes, you used to be out of luck or had to resort to hacking resources.
Now you can run iTunes CD-RW Helper and iTunes may be able to work with your drive. iTunes CD-RW Helper requires Toast 5.0.1, Mac OS 9.1, iTunes 1.1, and Disc Burner 1.0.1.
Best regards,
El Gato Software LLC"

For those that missed the previous news/articles here, our FAQ's CDR section also has some "unofficial" reader support files (Plextor 16/10/40 IDE and Teac drive) files and the Toast 5.01 update also is reported to improve support in iTunes/Disc Burner. I welcome reports where iTunes Helper improved support. (They have a page listing unsupported drives here which is worth checking first.)

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OS X Image Capture Device Compatibility:
One of tonight's Apple TIL updates covers OS X Image Capture Device Compatibility.
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Apple Event May 1st Sparks Rumors of New Products, Retail Store Announcements:
Cnet has a story today regarding an Apple PR event with Steve Jobs that hints at possible new product announcements (rumored to be a slimmer iBook and new dual G4 Macs) and/or word on retail store plans.
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FSAA Code Found in ATI's Current Radeon Drivers:
A reader posted a thread in the forums here that he found references to FSAA in the current ATI Radeon drivers. The FSAA feature was to be an option in the ATI menu that appears when installing the retail drivers. I've written ATI to ask if they can comment on FSAA being enabled in the future. (It was a promised feature noted in the first Radeon Mac Edition Review here last year.)
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OS X Won't Boot with 133MHz Bus Speed Mod on Sawtooth G4/AGP Systems:
Michiro Isobe, author of the original article here on the first G4/AGP systems (Sawtooth models) cpu module speed settings and bus speed tweaking sent a note that OS X does not boot with overclocked bus speeds:

" (Mac OS 9) By applying G4 firmware update 4.1.8, the time-base problem of original sawtooth model is resolved without Open Firmware tweaking. The only problem is Apple System Profiler still recognizes the bus clock to be 100MHz and displays incorrect machine speed.

(Mac OS X) Mac OS X has the same time-base problem with the original sawtooth system. Unfortunately, OS X detects Open Firmware tweaking to "timebase-frequency" and refuses to boot. Currently no solution is found.

Best Regards,
Michiro Isobe "

I've added this info to his original article here on the Sawtooth CPU module speed settings and mods.

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Diablo II 1.06 Update:
Blizzard has posted a 1.06 update to Diablo II. The 1.06 update includes all previous fixes they say as well as:

  • Updated Battle.net's Terms of Service agreement. It can now be accessed without having to create a new account.
  • Further optimized client to server communication.
  • Fixed copy-protection for various CD, DVD and CD-R drives.
For more info and to download the page see www.blizzard.com/support/information/d2patch.shtml or use this direct download link (4.23MB).
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Sony FW900 and Radeon Graphics Card WideScreen Mode Tip:
" Eureka!
Solving Wide Screen Monitor Resolution Issues with ATI Radeon Card and Macintosh G4.

After numerous (and I mean numerous) tech support calls to all parties involved, I have finally reached satisfaction regarding monitor resolutions on my G4 with ATI's Radeon graphics card connected to a Sony GDM-FW900 wide format monitor.

While reviewing the problem to submit to ATI tech support, I discovered a process that allows me to set the monitor at 1920 X 1200 @ 76hz with full edge to edge image.

I suggest following these steps:

1 - Connect the monitor to the G4 using the five connector BNC cable with NO DONGLE. Sony suggests using the dongle if problems occur with 16:10 image aspect ratios, but I have found that using the dongle removes all but one resolution option from the "Monitor" control panel. Take the dongle off.

2 - Open the "Monitor" control panel and set the resolution to 1920 x 1200 @76hz. This resolution option should now be available.

3 - DON'T TOUCH THE ASC BUTTON! Sony suggests using the the ASC (auto sizing and centering) to "easily adjust the picture to fill the screen" but in this case it scales the image incorrectly. Use the monitor's joy stick (or controls) to manually resize the window to fill your monitor. Read the manual if you are unfamiliar with the process. It's important at this time to keep an image on the screen that represents a "prefect square" because you'll need to set the monitors geometry so that, whatever it is your looking at, does not stretch vertically. I suggest using the monitor control panel window, because the buttons for color, monitor and preferences are each square. Adjust your monitor's geometry until these look perfectly square to you. DON'T TOUCH THE ASC BUTTON!

In summary:
DON'T USE THE DONGLE
DON'T TOUCH THE ASC BUTTON
ADJUST IT YOURSELF

ATI is aware of problems with both the OEM and the retail version of the Radeon card when used with a wide format monitor and are apparently looking into it. This fix will hopefully keep everyone going until everyone concerned figures out what is causing this erratic behavior. I'd be happy to share any thoughts and comments with others involved in this situation.
Danny Hommes
The Pixelography Company
http://www.pixelography.net/"

I've added Danny's comments to the page here previously on Sony FW900 widescreen support with Mac graphics cards.

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Toast 5.01/iTunes DVD-RAM Owner Problem Report:
" Hi Mike,
Just thought I'd drop you a quick note to let you know of a glitch which arose when I updated my Toast Titanium to 5.0.1. As the new version supports iTunes directly, it turned off certain iTunes Extensions and used the Toast versions. All seemed to work OK. I was able to burn CDR's from both applications in 9.0.1.

I have an ADS Pyro FireWire case which contains a 4.7GB DVD RAM drive and it had suddenly become read only. Every disk (both 5.2GB and 9.4GB double sided disks) which were readily writeable a couple of days ago had become locked. I booted into Mac OS X, where I had (only today) done my last writing to a 9.4GB disk, and was still able to write comfortably to that and other disks. I could also format disks in Disk Utility.

I rebooted into 9.0.1 and the write protect was on again. After swapping out the mechanism for an older 2.6GB mechanism the problem was still evident. So, I turned off the Toast stuff in Conflict Catcher 8.0.8 and reinstalled iTunes 1.1 from the image file. I also copied the Apple CD/DVD driver (v1.44) from my Apple Software Install CD System Folder into my boot Extensions folder replacing the version (v1.43) which was installed by an earlier iTunes. The 1.1 install did not replace the earlier version. I rebooted the Cube and hey presto the problem went away. I am now able to format and write to DVD RAM volumes again. Might be of assistance to other users with similar hardware setups or experiencing issues with Toast Titanium 5.0.1. Cheers...
Tony "

Previous news pages here since the Toast 5.01 update have reported it added support in iTunes/Discburner for drives previously unsupported. However they were from CDRW drive users, not DVD-RAM.

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Closeout on Newer Tech iMac G3/466 CPU Upgrades:
" We have a nice supply (for the moment) of iMax[Powr] G3/466Mhz iMac 233-333Mhz upgrades with 1024K Cache. Our price is $294.95, no trade in required.

The really nice thing about the NewerTech upgrade is that it requires no software to operate. It is 100% plug and play... And 100% compatible with OS X right out of the box. No messing around. :)

We also offer the iMax 466Mhz w/iMac GameWizard as a bundle special right now for $359.95, a really special price! :)
Best Regards,
Larry O'Connor
Other World Computing, Inc."

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Latest SoundBlaster Live Owner Reports/Creative Comments:
The SoundBlaster Live feedback forum thread has grown to over 5 pages now and includes more comments from owners and Creative. The last comments indicate that they are considering support for deep sleep mode (normally this is a firmware issue with PCI cards ).
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports (total to date: 5,552).

  • Newer Tech G4/400 in 7500 (rated 8)
  • Powerlogix BlueChip G3/466 in PB G3 Wallstreet1 (rated 1)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 8500/180 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3 450 ZIF in PowerTower Pro 225 (rated 10)
  • B&W G3/350 OC report

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 9 new entries added this morning. The database has reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROMs, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 3,582 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
News links include a Roxio FAQ on Toast5/iTunes/Discburner support (note the comments on Toast Audio CD copy quality vs iTunes), Wacom (Tablet) Driver update and much more.

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