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News Archive for: 4/17/2002 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

News stories of April 17th, 2002:

OS X 10.1.4 Available - List of Changes
Using OS X's Software updates shows a 10.1.4 update (build 5q125) with the following changes:

    Update 10.1.4 delivers improved networking, security, and additional disc recording device support. Specific enhancements include:

    Disc Recording Devices:
    - Updated and new support for Fast 10 SCSI drives, including the Pioneer 201 drive.
    - Expanded support for SmartDisk, EZQuest, and LaCie disc recording devices.

    Networking Improvements:
    - Dial-up connections over PPP are more reliable and system responsiveness has been improved.
    - Significant improvement to file searching on local and remote volumes.
    - Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) services can be browsed on networks with 3Com routers.

    Security Update:
    - BSD-based TCP/IP connections now check and block broadcast or multicast IP destination addresses.

Note: Reader Roland Burton later sent a link to the Download/Standalone updater.

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Apple's Web Based Mail for Mac.com Users
    Apple has released a beta version of a web based e-mail system for the mac.com accounts.
    I've only played around with it for a while but it seems great! You have the option to check external POP account (only one extra), set a custom photograph, and there is a very simple to use address book without all of the extras!
    The address: webmail.mac.com
    Aram
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Apple Announces 2nd QTR Earnings
Apple has a press release today noting their 2nd QTR profits were $40 million and that they shipped 813,000 Macs during the quarter, up 8% from the year ago quarter.
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IBM and Hitachi in Storage Pact
Two readers sent a note about this news with a link to a CNN/Money article. Despite the subject line of one reader's email (saying IBM was getting out of the drive business) - the article notes they're just creating a new stand-alone joint venture with Hitachi owning 70%.
As regular readers know, there were problems reported last year with their previous 75GXP series drives from many owners. (See the IDE articles page, hard drive section here for a previous article on the 75GXP drives.) Thanks to Dewey and Jamie for the link.
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XPostFactor 2.2B4 Update (OS X install Util for Legacy Macs)
Ryan Remple has updated his XPostFacto utility to address a bug in the previous version.

    " Fixes a problem with the "throttle" feature of version 2.2b3. On some machines, it was possible for the processor throttling to persist when you reboot into Mac OS 9 (which is undesirable). Version 2.2b4 fixes that. "
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US Robotics Doubles 802.11b Speeds with Backward Compatibility
PCworld has an article on US Robotics doubling Wi-Fi speeds (to 22Mbps) while retaining backward compatibility with existing 802.11b (aka Airport) devices. (There's 54Mbps 802.11a devices out now - but they're not backward compatible with 802.11b). The article also notes longer range (higher power radio) as a benefit even for existing 802.11b clients. The author cites a "30 percent greater linear range, or about 70 percent better area coverage."
The USR 22Mbps Wireless Base is expected to have a list price of $200; the 22Mbps PC Card $100; and a 22Mbps Wireless PCI Adapter Card at $120. (I suspect there will only be drivers for the PC on the latter items - but I'm not sure if the Airport drivers would work with their PCcards.)
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More Feedback on Floppy Disk Driver for OS X from PowerBook and Beige G3 Owners
(updated with 2 reports from Beige G3 owners)
Monday's news had a note on an OS X Floppy driver at http://www.darwin-development.org/floppy/. (That page lists some known bugs in the current (0.91) version and notes some compatibility info also.) The first report from a PowerBook G3 (wallstreet) owner noted he could not get the current (0.91) version to work, however later reports noted better results.

    " I thought I'd let you know that I tried the floppy drivers in my Wallstreet II and found they work when the floppy module is inserted in the expansion bay at startup. If you pull it out, though it won't reinitialize. I submitted a bug report, and one of the developers, David Gatwood got back with me almost immediately and let me know that this was a known issue with the present version.
    Best regards,
    Rob"

Another Wallstreet owner wrote:

    " Hi Mike,
    I have a Wallstreet Powerbook G3/266 with OSX 10.1.3 and the driver DOES work somewhat. I have the Apple Floppy Drive module and the 'book takes quite a while to boot with the new kext, and the system freezes for a split second every time the drive "clicks." Floppy disks mount and unmount but it takes forever to do so. The finder did hang for quite a while with the spinning cursor when opening a floppy to view its contents. I think the hack just needs more coder contribution and will result in a fully-working driver sometime in the future!
    Thanks for spreading the news about this development.
    Glenn B.

A PowerBook 2400C owner running OS X (used XPostFacto) wrote he had no luck with the external Floppy drive:

    " Mike, just to follow up on the Floppy Disk Driver. I was unable to get it to work on the 2400c's externa floppy drive either.
    jake"

A Pismo (PowerBook G3 2000) owner wrote his VST floppy drive didn't need any drivers:

    " Hey Mike,
    Don't know how applicable this is, but in light of the recent conversation regarding floppies working in OS X, I thought I'd let you know my situation. I've got a Pismo G3 400 running OS X 10.1.3 and a VST floppy drive that fits into the right bay. PC- and Mac-formatte 1.44MB floppies appear no problem (with the removable drive icon, similar to a disk image or Zip disk) on the desktop WITHOUT any extra drivers. They appear whether or not I boot with the disk in.
    Thanks,
    Bernard."

I asked if he had any problems reading or writing to the floppies. (Note I cannot get a PC (FAT32) formatted Firewire hard drive to mount in OS X, but have not tried PC floppies.)

(The first report from Tuesday)

    " Hi guys, PowerBook G3 Series (Revision 2) (aka: PDQ), [aka wallstreet2 I assume-Mike] drive doesn't work in either bay, whether inserted at startup or not. So far the only success stories on Versiontracker were from desktop users.
    Peter G."

A Beige G3 owner reported he didn't have any luck with the driver:

    " Hi Mike,
    I have a beige G3 desktop. I use mostly OS X these days. As soon as I saw the OS X floppy driver link on your site, I decided to give it a try. I thought it would be one more reason not to have to boot OS 9. I installed the package. It didn't work for me at all. The drive made noises for a while when I put in a disk, but nothing ever mounted. I tried rebooting (OS X) but when it came back up my USB mouse was dead. I tried unplugging and re-plugging it in but it would not be recognized. I rebooted again and still no USB mouse. I booted OS 9 and the floppy showed up (of course). I ejected it and booted OS X. My USB mouse was back again. I often have problems with the USB mouse and other USB devices being recognized in OS 9 after booting until I unplug them for a few seconds. I've always tolerated this, since after all this is a beige G3 and didn't come with native USB. OS X has never failed to recognize my USB mouse until now.
    Anyway for this beige G3 desktop it was definitely a no-go.
    Regards,
    Tony P."

Another Beige G3 owner report on the driver:

    " Mike,
    I installed the Floppy Disc Driver for Mac OS X on my G3 300 desktop (rev. c) and it worked. It takes about a minute for it to finally mount the disk, but reading and writing both work a comparable speeds when compared to Mac OS 9. Currently I am running 10.1.3. I have seen no other problems caused by installing this software.

    I am however downloading the OS X 10.1.4 upgrade as I type this so these result may change shortly. I will keep you posted.
    Graham "

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Reader Comments on Using Kensington and Logitech OS X Drivers
    "Hi Mike,
    I have both a kensington turboball and a logitech keyboard connected to my iBook 600/100. Recently, both companies released new beta drivers and I found I had to fight with them a little to get both sets of drivers to cooperate. I thought I'd share what I found with you and your readers in case somebody else has this type of situation or has a better solution.

    At first, I installed the kensington driver, then the logitech driver and rebooted. The trackball worked until the logitech background daemon loaded. The media keys on the keyboard worked and the Alt and Win keys were switched as per logitech's documentation. It required unplugging both USB devices, then plugging in first the trackball, then the keyboard to get both working. Keyboard driver working perfectly; trackball really slow (native OSX driver running it). Also, the mousworks preference pane said "No kensington pointing device connected."

    Next, I switched the order that the mouseworks background daemon and the logitech background daemon are launched in the login preference pane. Now, I didn't have to reconnect the USB devices after startup to use them, but the trackball still wasn't seen by or using the kensington driver (still very slow).

    The last step I did was uninstall/reinstall the kensington driver. I made sure that the daemon launch order was (logitech, then kensington). Both drivers now work for their respective products. The only thing that isn't working is that the logitch driver no longer switches the Alt and Win keys. All the multimedia keys still work however.

    I really wish companies that made USB drivers would think about other USB drivers running on the system. I have no idea which company's drivers fault this problem was. Hopefully, things like this get fixed in newer releases.
    Ray"

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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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