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News Archive for Monday April 21st, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

News stories of April 21st, 2003:

First iBook G3/800 Owner reports on using PL 750FX CPU Speed Control
The first iBook (750GX chip model) reader report on using the Powerlogix CPU Director (750FX G3 CPU speed control for their G3/800 ZIF upgrade) mentioned earlier today noted problems at any speed setting with his iBook G3/800 in OS X 10.2.5: (See updated reply for OS 9 tests.)

" I just tried the powerlogix software from your news, to overclock my ibook 800, and it failed :-( .
I first tried 850 Mghz and after I press "apply", the ibook freeze. Then I tried disable the cache memory, same freeze.
I tried 900 MHz (disabled cache) = freeze too
I tried 600 MHz and 400 MHz with cache disabled, freezes too
So the program don't work for me, maybe with an older os X (I have 10.2.5)?
Have no idea what to try now :-(.
Thanx
Jean-Luc "

I asked if he had tried it in OS 9, although it still may not work that would be one check to see if it was an OS 10.2.5 issue. Here's his reply:

" That's OK on OS 9
It works, I tried 400 MHz (with norton system info to be sure it's ok) and it worked, but crashes when I try to set to 800 MHz again.
I tried 900 MHz and have a crash after 15 seconds.
I tried 900 MHz with no cache (disabled) and it seems ok (but slow with no cache :-)
I tried 1 Ghz with no cache and it freezes.
Too bad the cache ratio cannot be changed.
Jean-Luc "

Another iBook owner wrote that the utility also froze his iBook G3/700 in OS X and a 3rd iBook owner wrote that he had the same freeze problem in OS X with both the USA and Japanese site download versions.

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Source for Powerlogix CPU Director (Speed Control Util for G3/800 750 FX Chip)
Since I posted the review of the Powerlogix G3/800 ZIF upgrade I've had many readers (incl. buyers of the G3/800 ZIF) ask where to get the CPU speed control software I used in the review (info of every CP panel shown on the software controls page of the review). As of today it's still not available on the Powerlogix.com (USA) site that I can find - but one of this weekend's CPU database reports from a PL G3/800 owner (w/B&W G3) noted he found it at Powerlogix's Japan site. I checked their japanese site and found it listed at their support page in the table of downloads there for the PL G3/800 ZIF which links to this page on the software which has a download link at the bottom of the page. (Update - a reader later wrote he found a version on the PL USA site, linked from a FAQ item - I had checked the downloads/support page and it was not there as of this morning.)

"Mike,
Thanks for the heads-up on the PowerLogix utility. I found this version on their US site (in the FAQ for the 800 ZIF (item #5 or so)). Not sure which is newer - this or Japanese version. I do have an iBook w/ the right G3 chip and may do some testing tonight.
http://www.powerlogix.com/downloads/CPUDirector1.0f1.sit
Cheers,
Alan"

The linked Japanese PL page download shows http://www.powerlogix.co.jp/bin/CPU_Director030328.sit.hqx so not sure which is really newer - I wonder if the "030328" filename means March 28th, 2003. (I've not downloaded both to see if the "about" box or file dates would show which is later but a reader later wrote they are both dated March 28th and seem to be the same version.)

Note: I don't own a 750FX chip based iBook but this software may be able to adjust the CPU speeds of the latest iBooks with a G3/750FX CPU (to date the only PowerPC that can have the CPU speeds adjustable via software without resistor/hardware mods as noted in this older article here where some owners used CHUD tools v1.1 to adjust speeds). Of course overclocking the CPU may not be reliable and could lead to crashes, data corruption, etc. so use this software with iBooks at your own risk...
Update: Jean-Luc, an iBook G3/800 owner reported he had problems at any speed setting (even those lower than the stock speed) with this utility in OS X 10.2.5. So this may not be compatible with the 750FX iBooks.

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More Comments on MDD G4 Lower Bay Superdrive Cooling
"... I have a MDD dual 867 tower. I have performed a number of upgrades, many using the excellent information available here on this site. Among them have been installing a faster CDRW drive and a DVD-R drive (105). I had the DVD drive in the lower bay to minimize its use as a primary drive for my kids and their various games/educational programs. With 10.2.4 I had to change the jumper to master to keep make it work in that position (the issue noted here back when 10.2.4 was released, where superdrives set to CS/Slave were not recognized, fixed by the 10.2.5 update per reader feedback-Mike), having done the latest update to 10.2.5 I went to change it (the jumper) back to my original arrangement so it would be the second drive (Option-eject). I pulled the back off and was removing the cables and noticed the ribbon cable completely blocks the fan on the back of the DVD drive not allowing it to be properly cooled. Not having a new ribbon cable with more slack between the two connectors, I have now moved the DVD drive to the upper bay to ensure the fan can move the air appropriately. Has anyone sourced a new cable that has more distance between the two connectors on the IDE ribbon cable? Many thanks.

This seems like an important issue and I have not seen anyone else comment on it. I should have noticed it at the first install and really only thought about it in reference to your note about making more holes in the back drive cover to allow better ventilation. (last week I had noted in the news item on MDD drive temperatures that the lower area of the rear drive metal shield has no vent holes for the DVD-R/Superdrive's fan-Mike)
Karl Mead"

I don't know of any prebuilt custom cables to address this (the distance between the master/slave cables on the MDD cable is very short) but the FAQ in the past has noted UltraCable.com as one source of custom built cables (but they used to have a minimum order of more than 1 cable years ago - but that page doesn't note that as of today). One reader last week noted he removed the rear shield completely due to it blocking the lower bay superdrive's fan, but didn't mention the cable blocking the fan. (I think he may have had two DVD-R drives, and with the same connector horizontal location this may not have been an issue.) The spacing of master/slave IDE Cables (standard ones) is 6 inches (the max per spec), although the MDD CD cable I have seen is much less spacing than that.
Looking at the one MDD tower I have access to - I'd bet the location of the CDRW drive's IDE connector (horizontally) is a factor (Karl later wrote it was) - the Teac CDRW I have installed has the IDE connector spaced more to one side than the Superdrive - if the two drive connectors are more inline horizontally this may not be an issue.
Apple's G4 tower CD cables (at least in pre-MDD towers) are much longer than the spec limit of 18 inches (which is probably why the CD interface is only ATA/3). I wonder if the ATA/66 interface cable (or a non-standard length cable) would help this issue as they typically have more spacing between the Master/Slave connectors which may help with folding/routing the cable away from the drive fan for those seeing this problem.

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Comments on Changes in Combat Mission BB 1.03 Beta
Friday's news had a link to the 1.03 beta of Combat Mission Barbarossa to Berlin but there was no info on the changes. A reader replied with comments on the beta update:

" The CMBB Beta 1.03 update is intended for the hardcore CMBB Forum community as an opportunity to test the changes being made to various settings to correct many game play/balance issues that have been problematic. The Forum community (11000 registered users) is very committed to the development of this program, version 1.03 is intended to be the last update (for CMBB) so BFS is doing its best to ensure the final quality of the game is the best it can be before moving on to the next iteration of the CM series. The beta update can only be downloaded from a link on the CMBB forum.

The CM series was/is made on the Mac and ported to MSW by a very committed team. Sadly, due to the quality of the Apple's implementation of Rave in Classic under OSX, the current game engine of the CM series will not run under Classic (you have to reboot into OS9 and turn off Classic Rave), which has really begun to hurt the CM Mac community and presumably sales, as Apple transitions to OSX only Macs.

The third installment of the CM series is in development using the current engine and moves the focus to three new regions of conflict. North Africa from 1940-43. Italy (including Sicily) from 1943-45 and Crete in 1941. Combat Mission Afrika Korps will be available in the fourth quarter of this year when it is complete with no fixed date for introduction (this is a long standing BFC approach to ensure product quality). Info available here: http://www.battlefront.com/index.htm

BFC is also working on the next generation game engine that will be OSX capable (and MSW), will use OpenGL as the API and will incorporate many improvements to the game as well as allow for easier introductions of new variations of the series. The next generation is expected in 18-24 months and is referred to as CMX2, again no fixed introduction date is available.
Karl Mead "

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SFX Machine RT (Real Time) Audio Effects Plugin
(from their email press release)

" The Sound Guy, Inc., today announced the release of SFX Machine RT, a real-time version of the company's award-winning SFX Machine audio effects plug-in. The new plug-in is available in Audio Unit and VST formats for Mac OS X, and VST format for Mac OS 8 and 9.
SFX Machine RT includes hundreds of presets, from conventional effects like choruses and flangers to unique, ear-catching effects. The plug-in allows automated parameter control via a simple "MIDI Learn" interface, providing new dimensions of interaction that were impossible with earlier versions of the software.
Pricing and availability: SFX Machine RT is available now via online download for $150. A $25 discount is available to registered owners of SFX Machine. The demo can be downloaded from: www.sfxmachine.com/sfx_downloads/SFX_Machine_RT_1.0.img.bin "
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports this morning (reader entries since Friday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,311. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Powerlogix G3/800 in B&W G3 (rated 9)
    (full PL G3/800 review here w/comparisons to G4 CPU upgrades)
  • Powerlogix Bluechip G4/500 in Powerbook G3 2000 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1.2GHz in G4/533 DP (rated 5)

(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 8 new reports added (reader entries since Friday; 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 10,319 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    DVD-R + DVD_RAM Drives:
  • IDE LG GMA-4020B in B&W G3 (OS X)

    Combo DVD+CDR Drives:
  • IDE LG GCC-4320B (32x10x40x +16x DVD-ROM) in B&W G3 (OS X)

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drives:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105 in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (FAQ has burn support plugin)

    IDE CDRW Drives:
  • Lite-On LTR-52246S 52x24x52x in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (FAQ has burn support plugin for OS 9.x)
  • Pacific Digital 52x24x52x in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (listed under 'other' brands, no itunes support, noted 16x burn rate limit)
  • TDK CDRW5200B 52x24x48x in Dual G4 DDR (OS X)
    (using modified burn support plugin)
    (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.)

    Firewire CDRW Drives:
  • (Formac) Liteon 6S48 48x12x48 used w/iBook 2001 (OS X)
    (burn support plugin in FAQ)

    Firewire Hard Drives:
  • Seagate ST340014 40GB in FW case used w/iMac G4 (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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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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