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News Archive for Wednesday April 9th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of April 9th, 2003:

Comments on Missing Media Burner/CDRDAO, precursor to Firestarter
Earlier today in the news item on Firestarter, I had commented that I remembered a previous OS X disc burning utility that supported overburning, but could not remember the name. Several readers replied with info:

Your memory is correct. There is another over-burning app for Mac called Missing Media Burner. It has a cocoa GUI that controls the command line app called CDRDAO. Note that this is exactly how Fireburner works also. Missing Media Burner is about to release a new version shortly (v0.6.0) that I think is much better than Fireburner, but that's another story... :)

Another reader also sent comments MMB/CDRAO:

"Mike, It is based on cdrdao (cdr disk at once, which is the program you remembered that is gui-less), There is a gui for cdrdao in MissingMediaBurner, which is a free program that does almost everything Firestarter does, including bin/cue files, CD Text, overburning, ect.
MissingMediaBurner is a great program, and I will be testing out the beta for Firestarter. MissingMediaBurner works great for my burning needs, but not so great for EMacs and other certain unsupported drives.

I searched MU and found Missing Media Burner 0.5 listed there.

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Stuffit 7.0.3 Update, Omniweb 4.2
Macupdate lists both the 7.0.3 standard and 7.0.3 deluxe version updates to Stuffit.

"Version 7.0.3 improves support for Mac OS X's UNIX environment by adding the ability to browse Tape Archives (.Tar), Bzip2, and Gzip. The update provides support for RAR 3.0, adds an improved "Expert Mode" dialog for compression settings, and fixes a number of bugs. "

MU also lists OmniWeb 4.2 with a long list of changes.

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eMac EDU price cut, Dell stops selling iPods
Cnet today has stories on eMac price cuts for students/faculity at Apple's Education store, and that Dell has dropped the iPod probably due to the reports of recent changes in reseller terms. The article also mentions the 5GB iPod may be on the way out.
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Reader Movie Guide on MDD G4 Pwr Supply/Fan Swap
Although the Apple MDD G4 PS/Fan swap kit includes an illustrated guide (w/black and white photos) in several languages, a reader sent a note he's made a QT movie (appx 20MB) of the process:

" I made a video of the Power Supply swap for the MDD G4's.
I used iMovie to edit the footage which I think turned out pretty well, if a little dark in places. Thanks for the site.
Marcus Aanerud "

A reader expressed concern over the rough handling of the drives (the hard table surface made it sound worse than it was I think), dumping old components in the trash and lack of ESD precautions in the movie (which are covered in the Apple printed guide/instructions), although I suspect Marcus was just rushing to cut the time down as short as possible for the movie. (The P.S. and connections handled are not like handling memory or components that are easily damaged from static discharge, although you should follow the static discharge steps noted in Apple's instructions whenever working inside the computer.) That reader (Bensch Blaser) also sent links to 2 AVI movies ( and he made showing the sound difference before and after the swap - although the MDD G4s I've heard were louder than it sounds in that movie (and more annoying in its tone - the most accurate movie audio I've seen that demonstrates the original noise is this movie example.)
Monday night I installed the replacement PS/fan in a MDD rev A machine and it made quite a difference in noise, as many readers have also noted in mails since the kits starting arriving a week or two ago. Kudos to Apple for addressing this issue with the low-cost $19.xx (S&H) kits.

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FireStarter FX, a new Cocoa Disc Burning Application
(I was out most of last night so late in posting this PR from yesterday evening)

" I just released the first beta of a new application for Mac OS X called FireStarter FX.
FireStarter FX is a cool new application for making backups of your CDs and DVDs (not DVD-Videos) and burn them back to another media.

It's also a very easy way of burning disc images from the PC world : It handles perfectly well cue/bin files , which are so common on Windows, and which were very hard to burn with other tools.
Plus, it's a very easy way to erase an RW media, without the hassle of Disk Utility.

Why FireStarter FX?
FireStarter is a pure Cocoa, Mac OS X only, burning application
It allows you to easily back-up CDs that Apple's Disc-Copy cannot copy
It allows you to back-up as easily CDs that even Roxio Toast cannot copy
It makes brings for the first time on Mac OS X the burning of cue/bin disk-images from the PC world
It brings for the first time overburning available to Mac OS X (there was an overburn util for OS X before, but can't remember the name - might have been non-GUI though.-Mike)
You can easily burn complex CD formats such as VCDs and SVCDs Because you don't want to compromise on quality, FireStarter FX sports all the features you want to see in a commercial grade burning application:
Simulation, Customizable RAM cache, High speed burning , Buffer under-run technology to prevent wasting your media, Multi-session burning, Paranoia audio-cd ripping, for best error protection copy CDDB access to automatically create CD-TEXT data, CD-TEXT reading and writing with drives that support it , and many more powerfull features
All information, screenshots, and the application are available from here :
Direct download link: click here
Thanks for your time.
Best regards,
Verrocchio M. "

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OS 10.2.4 Burn Support File for Formac FW 48x12x48x CDRW
Hussein Holland sent a modified LiteOn CDR device-plugin edited by Patrick Gilmour for OS X 10.2.4 burn support for the Formac Firewire 48x12x48x drive which used a Liteon mechanism. (ASP Product identified as CDR-6S48, Vendor id : CD-RW, they may have used other mechanisms over time.) As always, these files replace the original files of the same name (long path to the device-plugin file in OS X - use sherlock to find it. Use the terminal as root to replace existing file in OS X - or reboot to OS 9 to overwrite the existing file). These files are provided "as-is", and may not work flawlessly with all systems/configurations. (I've added this info/download to the FAQ's CDROM/CDR section for future reference)
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Sony announces Blue Laser Burner (23GB per side)
PCworld has an article on Sony's blue laser drive (to be available by the end of this year) which claims higher speeds than some other designs and notes a capacity of 23.3GB per side. Future plans include a 50GB and 100GB version several years out. Initial drives will be Ultra160 SCSI interface according to the article, with mid-year samples of the drive costing around $3,000 and $45 each for the media. (Hopefully prices will fall over time as they have with other new technologies.) The March 14th news page had notes on other blue laser drives from NEC and Toshiba.
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 6 new reports this morning (reader entries from yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,279. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Giga Designs G4/800 (2MB L3 SDR) in G4/ 450 AGP (rated 9)
    (includes before/after apps tests used in my prev. GigaDesigns full reviews here)
  • Giga Designs G4/800 (2MB L3 SDR) in G4/ 400 AGP (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1.2GHz in QS G4/933 AGP (rated 2)
  • Sonnet G4/800 in G4/400 AGP (rated 9)
  • Apple OEM G3/350 ZIF in Beige G3 (rated 8)
  • Apple G4/400 AGP OC report

(Warning - Overclocking may not be reliable and could lead to hardware failure or corrupted data.) You can find the 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/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 3 new reports added (reader entries from yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 10,239 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    Multi-Format Card Reader:
  • USB Sandisk SDDR-86 6-in-1 used w/G4 AGP (OS X)

    IDE CDRW Drives:
  • Lite-On LTR-52246S (52x24x52x) in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
    (not bootable he said, FAQ here has burn support file for OS 9.x)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs.)

    IDE Hard Drives:
  • Seagate ST3120023A 120GB in G4 Cube (OS X)

You can find full owner reports (latest shown first) by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches). For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the IDE Articles page. The Firewire articles page also has guides on case kits, installing drives, etc.
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. (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.)
(Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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Reader Game Reviews Database Updated
The Rate Your Mac Games database update today included another review of Ghost Recon. Total Reviews (all titles): 1022. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. Please include as much detail as possible in your review comments. (If your game title is not in the long listing, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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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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