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News Archive for Friday April 18th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

Click for Wireless Networking Adapters and Bases!
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News stories of April 18th, 2003:

Apple AirPort Extreme Firmware Update 5.0.4
Spotted the Apple AirPort Extreme 5.0.4 update at MU. Here's the change info from the Apple Kbase doc for this firmware update:

" AirPort Extreme Base Station Firmware 5.0.4 is an upgrade for the AirPort Extreme Base Station. This firmware revision is not for use with the original (Graphite) or the dual-Ethernet (Snow) base stations.

Fixes in this Update:
This update is recommended for all customers with French AirPort Extreme Base Stations or if your AirPort Extreme Base Station stops responding after being on a busy Ethernet Network.

This firmware update fixes an issue where an AirPort Extreme network appears to be unavailable as displayed by the AirPort Menu Extra or the Internet Connection application. This behavior may result from excessive 2.4 GHz radio interference which causes the wireless network to disappear. The update allows the base station to more gracefully recover when exposed to sources of interference. For additional information on reducing the effects of interference, see the Apple Knowledge Base document "AirPort: Potential Sources of Interference"

The AirPort Extreme Base Station will no longer spontaneously restart itself.
There is now no known limit to the number of FTP connections that can be initiated through the base station. "

In addition to the doc on potential interference sources, Apple also has a general Airport Troubleshooting document.

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iMac to IICI Case Conversion Article
Pat Sullivan sent a Word doc that I converted to HTML with photos and info on his iMac to IICI case conversion he performed on a used iMac with analog board failure.
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OWC posts Benchmarks of Firewire 800/USB 2.0 Combo Drives
I missed noting that OWC was shipping FW800 drives a couple of days ago when the press release went out, but Jamie Dresser sent a note that he's included benchmarks with each model of their Firewire 800 hard drives. See the graphs at the bottom of each model's "more info" page linked at their listing of Mercury Elite Pro FW800/USB 2.0 hard drives. The drives include two FW800 ports, one FW400 port and one USB (2.0 and 1.1 compatible) port, Intech Hard Disk SpeedTools/benchmarking software and have a 2 year warranty.
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Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin 1.03 Beta
Alan sent a note that Versiontracker listed the Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin 1.03 beta update yesterday but no info on what's changed/fixed in 1.03. Checking the Battlefront CMBB downloads page doesn't list the 1.03 update yet. (As of 12:45PM EST today only the 1.02 and 1.01 updates were there, perhaps 1.03 not listed since it's a beta.)
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More reports on MDD G4 Tower internal case/Drive Heat
Wednesday's news had a link to an AMUG article on MDD Dual 1.25GHz Superdrive and Hard Drive temperatures that sparked some readers to send their comments on their MDD systems. One reader noted a hard drive failure, although I can't say how common this is (many may not run their systems 24/7). Another MDD owner replied to this post with comments on drive heat, but not noting a drive failure.

" Speaking of internal temp problems...
I recently hosed a 200gig WD JB drive. I believe the reason is a combination of 3 things.

  1. installing apples new 'quiet' case fan, which pushes noticeably less air then the 'old' one. (also as noted before here - the original PS was a 400W, the replacement PS is a 360W.)
  2. having my pioneer dvd drive ripping dvds 24/7
  3. having two extra drives in the left side expansion area blocking what little air flow is left..

The drive died from heat no doubt. It was not a case of directory corruption or some other file problem. The noise it made was not healthy at all. When I opened the case it was unbelievably hot. The processor heat sink, which sits right next to the right side drive expansion area, was so hot I could not touch it. Lucky for me the processors survived.. 2x867 MDD.

Needless to say I have changed things in my case. I took the 2 drives off the ata66 expansion and re-installed the old loud case fan. Now the heat sink on the processor is barely hot...

2 lessons.

  1. Heat will kill drives faster than greased owl poop.
  2. back up your stuff...

I lost 4 months of pictures of my kids and 55 dvd divx rips. And countless other bits and pieces I can't recall (that*s the scariest part) .OUCH..hard lesson to learn.
If your case is packed be sure you got proper air flow or its only a matter of time before your machine will sing the clickity clackity song.
-steve "

Although it's not run 24/7, a MDD Dual 1GHz here (recently upgraded with the quieter PS/Fan kit) hasn't had a problem (so far at least) with a OEM 80GB HD plus WD 120GB (slave on primary bus), Superdrive and Teac w540 CDRW drive installed, but I've not run any drive temperature tests. I'm also considering opening up the metal shield near the superdrive's fan; even with the small vent holes in that shield area, it's still blocking some of the fan's airflow. (But the area I'd have to cut out includes one of the depressions used to remove the sheild.)

Another reader replied to this posting:

"Mike, After upgrading the PS fan kit from Apple, I still was dissatisfied with the CPU's fan noise, so I put back the quieter Panaflow I had settled on prior.

I agree with the others about the heat, as now that the 2nd DVD-R drive is working (thanks to 10.2.5), the discs are coming out rather hot. (as I mentioned yesterday - the rear CD drive shield plate for the lower bay does not have holes for the Pioneer DVD-R drive's fan, which blocks airflow from it and probably should be opened up. Ed later wrote he removed the shield completely.-Mike) I opened the case and found a great deal of hot air sits at the top, between the empty PCI slots and the AGP card. Some models, I noted, look like they have "perforated" PCI slot covers. (the latest MDD G4s have holes in the PCI slot covers from the photos) My MDD G4 (1 Ghz Dual) does not have this. Instead, I bought a $6 PCI slot fan (a long, narrow blower), and it draws the hot air out, through the top PCI slot. Its a little louder than I like, but still quieter than what Apple originally sold me. Thanks to the PC bretheren pages out there for cooling tips.

I am pondering a friend CNC'ing a copper cooling heatsink for my processors and an 80mm Verax. Still waiting to hear when the Verax quiet kit will be out.

All in all, I hope Apple gets the picture here that quiet and cooling are something to take seriously. My Dell P4 2ghz, model 4550 is so quiet...I forget that it is on. My AMD Lian-Li case, well, that one has 7 fans and I know its on, even downstairs! :)
Ed S."

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More Feedback on Interactual Mac DVD Player Software
Yesterday's news had a note from a reader that the Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets DVD had a Mac version of their Interactual DVD player. Here's the latest reader comments on using it:

" Hi Mike, Went out and bought the Harry Potter DVD as soon as I saw the post about the Interactual DVD player. It works GREAT. I am using it in a Beige G3-333Mhz, with cpu upgraded to G4-500Mhz & Radeon PCI videocard. I have been frustrated for years as every time that I get apple dvd player to work apple breaks it in the next system update.
I have 10.2.5 installed and the Interactual player works great. Many thanks to you and whoever it was that sent the original post.
Regards, Cal "

Another beige G3 owner comments:

I have installed the Interactual DVD player from the new Harry Potter DVD on my Beige G3 300 with a Radeon 7000 videocard running 10.2.5.

The DVD playback is just fine and would appear to support ATI DVD acceleration. Unaccelerated DVD playback on this computer is unwatchable. The only issue worth mentioning is that it doesn't appear to like the Quartz Extreme PCI hack. (OS X 10.2.x hack to enable Quartz Extreme with PCI Radeon cards noted on this previous article, which has some drawbacks.-Mike)
I have tried it with several DVD's and they all work great.
Thanks for the heads up,
Trevor M."

The reader that sent the original news item later wrote with more comments (in reply to my comments on the interactual player on a PC vs WinDVD in yesterday's news):

"I acutally like the InterActual Player better than WinDVD. WinDVD has more advanced features, but the versions I have used have been a little quirky. The InterActual Player doesn't have all the bells and whistles but does enough to play the DVD movies I watch. Most of the time I watch movies on my Windows Laptop while flying so I don't interact a lot, just start the movie and go. What I do like about the InterActual Player is that the Movie Companies that make "PC Friendly" DVDs try to integrate websites into the DVD to move the DVD experience online. InterActual is the player that the websites are optimized for. The Mac version supports some of the basic features of this online integration. When I launched the InterActual player with the Harry Potter DVD loaded it launched the Harry Potter website automatically. I'll admit it was a bit annoying, but the InterActual Player version is 1.0.4 if I remember correctly, so I'd assume more features will be coming in later versions that might be useful. It will let the Mac users get access to the additional content that the Movie Companies are putting on the DVDs. Even the disclaimer at the bottom of the DVD package has been changed to say "The extra content of this DVD *might* not work on an Apple Macintosh computer." Before I believe they always said the extra content *won't* work on a Mac.

(I had asked what mac model he had, and if anyone with a RageII/RagePro based mac could run the player (since Apple's DVD player requires a rage128 or later graphics chip/card)-Mike
I have a QuickSilver 2002. I think the InterActual Player is based on the source for the Apple Player. InterActual most likely licensed the source. If you do a "View Package Contents" they both look very similar, based on the same DVD Framework. The player most likely won't enable users who previously could not view DVDs on their machine to view them, but it might give some additional features that Mac users have been missing out on.
-Chris "

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PowerBook G4 17in LCD Shatters after Unsticking Display Latch
I haven't heard any other reports of this - but several readers wrote to mention a story from a PB G4 17in owner that said he had the display crack after unsticking the display latch. See the linked page for details and a photo at the bottom of the page of the display. Hopefully this is just a freak accident but he noted it was not covered by the warranty.
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ePocrates Rx Pro for Macs
(A bit off-topic for this site but may be of interest to some readers)

" ePocrates Rx Pro is the leading handheld drug reference guide with over 750,000 healthcare professionals who rely on the software to reduce medication errors and practice more efficiently. The new ePocrates Rx Pro for the Mac is compatible on Mac OS 9.2 and above and can be used with Palm OS devices. Now Mac users can use AutoUpdate to obtain updates simply by syncing their PDA with their desktop computer while connected to the Internet. This helps save time and ensures the most up-to-date medical information possible. ePocrates Rx Pro also includes formulary information, DocAlert∆ Messages, alternative medicine information. For more information and to download ePocrates Rx Pro, please visit "
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 4 new reports this morning (reader entries from yesterday util appx 9AM Friday; entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,308. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple G4/400 ZIF in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Other World Computing G4/550 in B&W G3 (rated 9)
    (OWC G4/550 tests at up to 600MHz included in my PL G3/800 review)
  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 867MHz in QS G4/AGP (rated 1)
    (problems noted)
  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1GHz series 100 in G4/450 AGP (rated 6)
    (problems noted. Full review of series 133 dual PL 1GHz here.)

(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 13 new reports added (reader entries from yesterday until 9AM Friday; entries later 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 10,311 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    DVD-ROM Drives:
  • IDE Sony DDU1621 16x/40x in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
    (not bootable from CD he said)

    Combo DVD+CDR Drives:
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) LG GCC-4320B (32x10x40x + 16x DVD-ROM) used w/iBook 2002 (OS X)
  • IDE Samsung SM-332B (32x10x40x + 12x DVD-ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (problems noted, FAQ has OS 9 and 10.2.x burn support files)

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drives:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105/A05 in eMac (OS X)
    (FAQ's imac section has link to eMac/superdrive install guide)
  • Firewire Toshiba SD-R5002 used w/iBook (OS X)
    (FAQ has burn support plugin, but iDVD does not work w/ext. drives)

    IDE CDRW Drives:
  • Arrgon 52X (didn't note drive model) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (problems noted, listed under "other" brands)
  • LG 52X (didn't note drive model) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (boot problems noted)
  • Plextor 48/24/48A in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
  • Lite-On 52x24x52x (assuming LTR-52246S) in Dual G4 DDR (OS X)
    (another report that 2 sec gaps required for itunes burns with this drive)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD/DVD 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:
  • IBM Deskstar 40GB in iMac (OS 9.2)
    (boot problems noted, even w/small 1st partition and original 6Gb drive replaced)
  • Seagate ST340014A 40GB in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
    (Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here in B&W G3 rev2 and G4 towers up to the QuickSilver models.
    IDE articles page RAID section has an illustrated guide for adding 2 more drives in the side bays.)

    Firewire Hard Drives:
  • IBM travelstar 30GB/OWC FW Express case used w/Dual G4 DDR (OS X)
    (problems noted)

    Removable Media Drives:
  • Firewire Macway case kit w/80GB drive used w/G4 AGP (OS 9.1)
    (not clear what this really is - probably should have been posted under FW hard drive)

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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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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