News Archive for: Tuesday, April 18th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Apple releases Java 2 Standard Edition 5.0 Release 4 for OS X Tiger
Matthew called with a heads-up on a Java update available in Software Update (for 10.4.x users). I fired up a 10.4.6 system here and ran SU - here's the info:

" Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) 5.0 Release 4 delivers improved reliability and compatibility for Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0 on Mac OS X v10.4.5 and later. This release includes J2SE version 1.5.0_06. With this update J2SE 5.0 becomes the preferred Java version, superseding Java 1.4.2. Java 1.4.2 is still installed on your machine, but applications will run with J2SE 5.0 unless they specifically request Java 1.4.2.

For more details on this Update, please visit this website:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302983 "

FYI - Apple now has download pages for J2SE 5.0 Release 4 (Intel) and J2SE 5.0 Release 4 (PPC).

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OWC iMac G5 DL Superdrive Upgrades (w/old drive trade-in rebate), FW800/USB 2.0 Portable Drives
Site sponsor OWC sent a press release on a price reduction to $129.99 on their Dual Layer Internal SuperDrive Upgrade Kit for iMac G5's. (The page includes links to PDF install guides for iMac G5 17in and 20in models and they also offer an installation service for those that don't want to do it themselves.) OWC also has Trade-in rebates of up to $45 for your existing drive. For their complete line of DVD burner upgrade/bundles for many Mac models (desktop and portables), see www.macsales.com/superdrive.
Larry at OWC also wrote on price cuts to FW/USB 2.0 portable drives:

" The OWC Mercury On-The-Go line offers up to 160GB of data capacity in a reliable, performance solution that weighs less than 12 ounces. Using the best hard disk mechanisms and Oxford based bridge interfaces for the FireWire models, these solutions go where you need them and are great for Audio/Video, Backup, Music, and more!
All models are bootable via FireWire and/or USB2 interfaces (system must support such boot option), can be bus powered, are EMC/Dantz Retrospect Backup Certified, and include: All connecting cables, EMC/Dantz Retrospect, Intech HD Speedtools utility suite, Carrying Case, and a 1 Year OWC Warranty.
OWC Mercury 2.5" FireWire 800+USB2.0 Combo/Bootable Portable Solutions:
40GB 5400RPM w/16MB Buffer remains $147.99
60GB 7200RPM w/ 8MB Buffer remains $209.99
80GB 5400RPM w/ 8MB Buffer was $189.99, now $179.99
80GB 7200RPM w/ 8MB Buffer remains $239.99
100GB 5400RPM w/16MB Buffer was $239.99, now $225.99
100GB 7200RPM w/ 8MB Buffer was $289.99, now $279.99
120GB 5400RPM w/ 8MB Buffer remains $299.99
160GB 5400RPM w/ 8MB Buffer was $419.99, now $369.99

UPS Ground Delivery from only $2.95; 2nd Day Air within the US $7.95 or less.
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing "

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Notes on MacBook Pro and Mixed Mode Wireless Networks
"...First of all this may well have been reported to you by somebody else, however I Googled it and cannot find it anywhere on the web.

I've had a stock Apple MacBook Pro 2.0ghz running for about a week, tonight I was messing about installing NeXT OPENSTEP 4.2 under Parallels virtulization software and was transferring a 400 odd mb .iso of my Digital Audio, I became aware that the speed of which it was transferring was extremely slow. The Digital Audio G4 is plugged via Ethernet into a Linksys WRT54-GS V1 Router/Wi-Fi access point which is running DD-WRT v23SP1.

I did a few tests and they are as follow, if I config the router to wireless G and zap the pram on MacBook I get 225mb transferred in 60 seconds which is about right. If I then set the router to wireless B I get about 45 to 50mb in 60 seconds, which again seems about right, if I then set the router to mixed mode B/G the MacBook stays in wireless B, even if restarted, in fact the only way to get it to go back the wireless G is to zap the pram. (If any other 802.11b device/system is active on the network it's normal for it to run at "B" speeds if base in Mixed mode.) The odd thing is, that if I set the router again to wireless G without zapping the pram, I get 50mb in 60 seconds (wireless B speeds), even though it's not set to B or mixed mode. (Anyone else seen this?-Mike)

I have to use mixed mode as I also use a G4 Pismo in the house for emails and browsing etc (It's a lot more portable than the MacBook) and the Pismo has got an Apple Airport card in it. (both are 802.11b) I had an iBook G4 1.33ghz before and never saw this behavior on that, nothing else has changed except to MacBook Pro.

I have the router set to only allow all the Mac addresses of the machines I use, I also have WEP enabled. I put the original Linksys firmware back onto the router and it was just the same.

Has anybody else seen this, I have Windows XP SP2 on the machine using BootCamp beta, and XP behaves in exactly the same manner.

Is there anyway to lock the MacBook into only connecting to wireless G networks?

All machines, Pismo, MacBook & Digital Audio are running OS X 10.4.6
Any advise or opinions welcome.
Regards, Mick B."

Two readers suggested having one base for 802.11g systems and one for 802.11b. I don't own a MacBook Pro but if anyone else has a tip for it not resetting to "G" mode when the router is changed (even after a reboot he said), let me know.
BTW - I asked Mick if turning Off Airport (on the MacBook, an option in OS X) and then back On helped reset it back to "G" mode after setting the base to G mode. (That's a routine I use when my PB G4 doesn't reconnect to the wireless network after waking from sleep.)

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CPU Upgrade Problems due to dust accumulation on heatsink
(from a recent reader mail)

"I hope this is a useful tip for Powerlogix (and other) upgrade users out there:
I started getting kernel panics on my upgraded Sawtooth PowerMac (server edition -- beefed up power supply, gigabit ethernet, only AGP to ship with OSX, upgraded with PowerLogix dual 1.0 Ghz). The usual software trouble-shooting, permissions repair, and running of TechTools diagnostics got me nowhere. I suspected overheating, installed a secondary cooler fan in an open PCI bay, but it just kept getting worse. Finally, I couldn't even boot anymore, not even from the Tiger DVD or in safeboot. I pulled the CPU, put the stock 500MHz CPU back in (sigh) and everything was okay again. No problems. Which suggested that my PowerLogix had failed (wouldn't be the first, right?).

That evening, as I was bemoaning the performance of Toast 7 on the old CPU, I took a close look at the PowerLogix sitting on my desk. Nothing obvious, but then a puff of dust leapt off the heatsink as I breathed on it. It looked clean, but buried in the crevices were huge amounts of dust. Trusty can of compressed air comes out, dust clouds appear. Then I squirt air between the CPU card and the dissipator. Even more clumps of dust fly out. A large amount, really shocking dust balls, which I can't explain, since the inside of my Mac is absolutely immaculate. Very little dust accumulation anywhere. But the PowerLogix seemed to be a dust magnet.

Reinstalled the now dust-free PowerLogix, rebooted without problem, it's been running like a charm for 3 consecutive days, no issues. I wonder how many other PowerLogix problems (other than faulty units from the factory) this could account for? It certainly is worth checking if you start encountering problems like mine.

I plan on some preventative dust removal every few months from now on. Anybody else encounter this -- and find a solution to the dust build up?
-Ed "

I've seen some (like G5 tower owners) make inlet filters but I don't think most go that far. (I have seen some large dust bunnies inside some machines here used heavily for long periods of time even though I didn't think the room was that dusty...)

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Review of Apple Remote Desktop 3
I didn't spot this yesterday afternoon but Erik sent a note he's posted a Review of Remote Desktop 3.
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Other Net News/Misc. Software Updates
(Updated, later added items listed first)

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 4 new reports (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,258. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Other World Computing G4 1.33GHz in (Quicksilver) G4/AGP (rated 7)
  • Sonnet G4 1.4GHz in (Sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 8)
  • Sonnet G4 1.33GHz in (Quicksilver) G4/AGP (rated 8)
  • XLR8 G4 500MHz in B&W G3 (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, send a review with your experience and rating. 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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