News Archive for: Wednesday, April 12th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Updated info on ATI 9600 Mac/PC Edition Compatibility
Since it's a long post with a copy of the new ATI compatibilty tech note, OWC's response and ATI's comments on the technical issue (no video w/some Macs), I've put them all on a separate page on ATI 9600 Mac/PC Edition Compatibility Notes. (Also includes links to posts here on the problem from last September.)
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Problem with Final Cut Pro 5.1 rendering to non-Boot drive (solved)
(Update - she later wrote the tip on drive permissions solved this)

"Help Needed
Recently Installed OSX Tiger 10.4.6 and FCP 5.1 on my G4 - clean install.

Problem: Won't Render FCP sequences on any but the main Mac Drive.
Everything else seems to be working great. HELP!

Machine Name: Power Mac G4
Machine Model: PowerMac3,5
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (2.1)
Number Of CPUs: 2
CPU Speed: 1 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 256 KB
L3 Cache (per CPU): 2 MB
Memory: 1.5 GB
Bus Speed: 133 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.3.3f2

(I asked for a better description of the "won't render" problem-Mike)
There are 3 internal drives. The primary drive has 10.4.6 and the FCP 5.1 install and it renders fine to that drive, but will not render to either of the other two internal drives since upgraded to Tiger and FCP 5 from FCP 4x.
(I asked again for a better description of the problem and she replied)

by "doesn't render" on two of the three drives, I mean it makes an attempt - I see the render bar light up for a split second, but it will not eliminate the green and red bars in the time line - won't render.
Nothing else happens...
Thanks for your help. -Katherine "

Update: She later wrote the tip below on Drive Permissions helped solve the problem:

" My friend Mike had me check the permissions panel on the two drives I was unable to render on previously - somehow I had been eliminated as a user. Once I reinstated myself, I was able to render without problems on either drive. YEAH! I'm excited.
THANKS for everybody's suggestions.
-Kathleen "

Here's a previous reader reply suspecting drive permissions:

" Hi Mike, That usually happens when there is a permissions problem. Most often, it happens if there is more than one user account on the machine... If a FCP project is started by one user, the other user can have problems writing to the same drives.

If possible, the solution is to "Ignore ownership on this volume," but manually opening up permissions on capture volumes will do too.
Hope this helps,
Graham J.
(day job as broadcast video editor) "

" Concerning the person that can't get FCP to render to anything other than the boot drive, I've never had that particular problem, but I have had the render window flash up and immediately disappear without rendering anything. As best as I can recall, the solution was to select a different render option, i.e. instead of Render Selection, use Render All or Render Only. I know that I was able to get it to work but I wasn't able to duplicate the problem just now.
-Lew K."

" so long as she selects a different scratch disk in the settings. Final Cut Pro> System Settings> then select the other drives as the scratch disk, and removes the boot drive as an option it should work. unless of course its a bug.
-Leandro F. "

I asked if she could select one of the other drives from the FCP Prefs (as a scratch disk for instance) and she replied:

" Yes - I tried selecting both the Maxtor and the Hitachi as scratch disks but when I did, FCP wouldn't render in them. The only one it seems to be able to render in is the main drive which holds the software and operating system stuff. I've done disk utility and even Drive Genius defragging and repairing. No luck....
-Katherine "

I asked her to check the other tips here. (several readers suspected a permissions issue, which turned out to be the cause of her problems.)

" Did he say how the other drives are formatted?
Maybe they are UFS and FCP doesn't like that.
-Nick S. "

She didn't say but apparently they were usable with FCP 4.x before her Tiger/10.4.6 (from 10.3.x) and FCP 5.x update. Another reader said to make sure Energy Saver was set to not allow drive sleep.
BTW - a reader with FCP 3 said he's seen the same problem:

" I've seen the same problem here with my upgraded G4 450 (OWC 900MHz upgrade) 10.4.6 (happened before this update). I tried to render to an external FW drive (which is usual for me) and it refused. Reads and renders previews correctly though I didn't check to see if those previews were on the internal drive. Fortunately I have enough space on the boot drive.
This is with FCP 3.0 so this may be a Tiger issue.
-Sondjata O. CEO
InnerVisions Productions LLC "

I asked if he tried the permissions tip above.

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info on Gigabit G4 tower Front panel IC part number (burned out)
(from a reader mail, I don't have a gigabit G4 tower anymore)

" Mike Having been a dedicated reader for many years, I wonder if any of your readers can help me with a problem I have?
I've a gigabit ethernet powermac which won't turn on due to a faulty front (power switch) board. The part no. on the board is 820-1147A although Apple quotes p/n 922-4234.
The problem is the IC on the board has burned out and I am trying to source a replacement. As far as I can tell it is a Philips chip, but burning has obscured the type no. If anyone can shed light on the chip type or preferably send a hi-res image of the board it would be much appreciated.
TIA. Nigel "

IIRC there were some problems reported with this many years ago. (I almost remember some web articles/pix on this - either the burned out front panel or related to the random powerup issue with some Gigabit models in 2000 - I asked Nigel if his motherboard had a diode (or 2) on the Vreg near the AGP slot.)
I thought the board might be the same for some later models like the Digital Audio tower and according to a refurbished Front Panel board page (922-4234/820-1178) ($189+), it's compatible with models up to the Digital Audio. (Even with the larger image, not enough detail there to read the chip P/N.)
Update - Nigel later wrote:

" ... I hate the thought of spending that much money ($189.xx) if the board can be repaired :-)
(Kevan sent a link to a different source with a lower price - $126.40-Mike)
I found a thread on the forums about a capacitor on the logic board which can catastrophically fail (this is on the output of the regulator that feeds the front panel with a +5v standby supply), yes this has failed (is a pile of ash!) but the regulator still seems to work, so that part should be OK with a new cap fitted.
If all else fails I will probably end up lashing together an equivalent circuit if I can work out what the chip is supposed to do.
-Nigel"

A reader sent a note that the IC may be programmed:

" the chip seems to be a Philips 87C752 microcontroller which runs the application specific custom software programmed (burned) into its internal EPROM memory.
http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/pip/83C752_87C752_3.html
Unfortunately, replacing this IC with a brand new microcontroller without being able to program the microcontrollers EPROM will not help.
The best idea would probably be to try to find a cheap G4 tower with failed logic board at eBay and use its Front panel board as a spare part.
Best Regards,
-Juha" "

A Gigabit owner replied:

" I have a Gigabit front panel board (820-1147-A) board sitting in front of me. There is a sticker with V44 HM on top of the Philips chip. Underneath that sticker is

P87LPC76 ??? (P87LPC752BD on Digital Audio sample-Mike)
KOV547
Hn0022

The adhesive of the sticker made the last few digits on the first line difficult to read. Hopefully that is enough to locate a replacement.
-Kevin G. "

Alcohol may clean that off but I also keep some "Goo Gone" around.
A Digital Audio owner replied to the original post about the IC P/N, although his board P/N is different than Nigel's:

" Hi Mike, In response to Nigel's request for information regarding the Philips chip on the front panel board, I have a Digital Audio machine. The part number printed on mine is 820-1178-A (Nigel said his had 820-1147A). Anyways, the chip has the following printed on it, arranged as follows:

    P87LPC752BD
    K0W274 08
    Pnr0042 A

The Philips logo is in the space below the "P87" and to the left of the other two lines. (one of those is usually a date code) Also, the following is embossed in the chip (not printed), below the bottom line of printing: V44-HM
I hope this helps Nigel find what he's looking for.
-Adam "

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Final Cut Pro 5.1 Performance tests - Intel CPU Macs vs PowerPC Macs
Christopher (aka "cld2b") sent another link to an article Final Cut Studio 5.1 tests of Intel Macs vs PPC Macs - an (english) page at creativemac showing MacBook Pro 2.16GHz Final Cut Studio 5.1 performance beats Dual 2GHz G5. That article has a wider range of tests than the earlier page below and notes very close performance of the MBP vs Dual G5 , even though they used a slightly faster MBP model. Both creativemac systems had 2GB ram. (Earlier post follows.)

Christian sent a link to a german site with Final Cut Pro 5.1 (univ. binary) render tests comparing Intel CPU Macs vs PowerPC Macs. (Here's a rough babelfish english translation of the page.) The test machines were:

  • Apple G5 dual 2GHz, 1.5GB memory, NVIDIA GeForce 6600 LE
  • iMac G5 20" 2.1 GHz, 1.5GB memory
  • iMac Intel 20" 2GHz core duo, 1.5GB memory
  • MacBook pro 2GHz core duo, 1.5GB memory

The results there are surprising to say the least. (See above creativemac article which shows much less difference in a wider series of their tests.) The article also has a render file you can download for tests.

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SerialATA Expresscard for MacBook Pro (Updated w/info)
(see below for updated replies/links to cards, etc.)

" Any word on availability or a timetable for sata expresscards for the MacBook Pro. They seem to be shipping for Windows PCs - Here's a Siig expresscard that was announced back in November and in stock today:
www.computervideogear.com/sata/siig-expresscard-sata-ii-esata-card.htm
-Steven "

Doug sent a note that the SIIG card above is ExpressCard/54 size (54mm slot) and the MacBook Pro has an ExpressCard/34 slot (34mm slot) and later sent an image (over 500KB - too big to post here) from http://www.expresscard.org showing the 3 different card sizes (two 54mm, one 34mm) to illustrate that and he later wrote:

" Hi Mike, After more research, it is apparent that even though the 54mm Expresscard format has a connector that's 34mm wide like the one on a '34' card, it will NOT connect properly in a 34mm slot.
Why? Because way more than 22mm of card length must be inserted into the slot! In other words, the 34mm-wide portion of an Expresscard/54 will not reach far enough into the slot to make a connection. In the attached picture of a MacBook Pro taken apart, you can see the Expresscard "cage" and how long it is compared to the hard drive which is 2.5" (64mm) wide. It's safe to say that around 60mm of card length must be inserted into the slot.
Again, the contact edge of a '54' card simply cannot be inserted far enough into a '34' slot to connect.
-Doug "

Here are some links to 34mm cards, including one that's listed as Mac compatible:

"I found 3 SATA II expresscard/34:

http://www.vydeo.com/products/eSATA.html This is Mac compatible!! and ships in april/may (2006).
("TC" also sent that link, it's the Vydeo eSATA 34: Dual Port 34mm Express Card-Mike)

http://www.lycom.com.tw/EK102.htm (This is not Mac compatible!)

http://www.ratocsystems.com/products/subpage/ex30s.html (Japanese page! Not mac compatible)
Hope this is useful!
(he previously wrote)
I found the official list of express cards available.
http://www.expresscard.org/web/site/cons_wtb.jsp . There are SATA cards from SIIG and from Dell but all are 54mm
-Francesco"

If anyone tries one of the Vydeo eSATA 34 cards (once they ship) in a MacBook Pro, let me know. Thanks

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Free Sync-Repair utility for corrupted iSync 2.2 installations
I don't use iSync personally but several readers reported problems after the 10.4.6 update (even those that followed the Apple "before you update" instructions) so I can't say if this will help everyone but Novamedia sent an email they've posted a Free Sync-Repair utility for corrupted iSync 2.2 installations. (The email also included a direct download link - www.novaamedia.de/programme/sync/nm_sync_repair.dmg.) Here's a clip from their PR:

" Many so called iSync hacks render iSync useless after Apple has released iSync 2.2. It can be a real pain to have to reinstall isync 2.2 and look for a working plugin. Fortunately, nova media comes to rescue and released nova media sync-repair, a small 50 kbyte program to return iSync 2.2 into its original state.

"nova media sync repair installer replaces the current MetaClasses file in iSyncYŌ2.2 with the original one. It thereby reverts the changes several hacks are doing to it resulting in corrupting iSync 2.2.", states Jan Fuellemann, PR spokesperson at nova media. "nova media phone plugins for iSync 2.2 do not touch the iSync application itself, placing new mobile phone definitions in the appropriate folder in the Mac OS X system instead. Thus the nova media phone plugins for iSync 2.2 is a clean way of expanding the capabilites of Apple's iSync software." "

I think some had problems even with devices that were natively supported before (w/o hacks), but if this helps with your iSync/10.4.6 problems, let me know the details. Thanks.

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More notes on MacBook Pro Noise (capacitor vibrating?)
(from a reader mail yesterday)

" Mike, I thought you might find this reply from Apple regarding my contacting them with a noise issue with the MacBook Pro. I noticed that if I were to disable a processor core the noise immediately stopped and this is Apple's reply.
Eric"

Begin forwarded message:
"Hi Eric, I heard back from engineering and was informed that this normal behavior for the MacBook Pro. When the processors are idle a capacitor on the logic board will take on additional power loads causing the capacitor to vibrate, thus creating the noise. Turning off the second processor and/or using better energy saver settings reduces the load on the capacitor causing the noise not to occur.
For more information check out http://www.apple.com/support/macbookpro/. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions..."

Several replies to this mentioned the capacitor should be replaced if it's actually the source of this vibration. (And questioned the capacitor's rating if it was vibrating.)
I've added this to the MacBook Pro User Reports page.

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Other Net News/Misc. Software Updates
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CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 3 new reports added this morning. (Entries later today are added the next newsday morning.)
The database includes reports on DVD +/-R, CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 15,711 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Aopen duw1616L in iMac G4 (OS X 10.4)
    (listed under "Other" brands. iMac G4 15in take-apart article here)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-111D in G5 tower (OS X 10.4)
  • Firewire (cased) Pioneer DVR-111D used with (MDD) Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.4)
    (noted no current Retrospect support)

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). If you've added a IDE, SCSI, Firewire or USB hard drive, CDRW, tape drive, etc. make sure you add a report - link is on the search page. (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.)

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,248. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Giga Designs Dual G4 1.8GHz (7447A) in (QS 733) G4/AGP (rated 10)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

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 report in the database. Search the database for entries from most every upgradable Mac model *before* you buy. (Searchable by mac model/upgrade brand).

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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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