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News Archive for: 8/20/2001 Monday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 8/20/2001:

Photoshop Tests (50MB image file) - 1GHz G4 vs 1.6GHz Athlon:
An owner of a 1GHz G4 (overclocked G4/867) and 1.6GHz Athlon (overclocked 1.2GHz) systems sent results of the 21 filter PSBench tests using a 50MB test file size. [Update - PS v6.0 was used, which has a bug in the Radial Blur filter, causing it to be *much* slower than v5.5 or 6.01 (appx 6x slower on PCs).]
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Refurbished G4/466 for $1199, Dual G4/500 Refurb for $1449:
I wanted to post a note that Apple's "Special Deals" page in the lower right column of the main Apple Store site today (8/20/2001) has refurbished G4/466s (Digital Audio model with 128MB/30GB/CD-RW/Rage128 Pro/56K model/GB Enet) for $1199 and refurbished G4/500 Dual processor (Gigabit Ethernet model with 256MB/40GB/DVDROM/56K modem) for $1449. (No video card was noted, so I assume it's the Rage128 Pro. To see how the OEM Rage128 Pro card compared to the Radeon card option, click here.) The dual G4/500 price dropped about $100 from what it was a few days ago I believe. These could sell out at any time, so check the Apple store for current availability. [Note: in less than 24 hours after posting this, the dual G4/500s were sold out. The 466's are likely to be gone soon also.]
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HP Announces $599 DVD+RW Drive, but Pioneer DVR-A03 Better for Macs:
Cnet is reporting that HP has announced a "dvd100i" DVD+RW recordable drive due in stores (Best Buy, Circuit City and CompUSA) in September. (I originally missed the info on the Cnet article that noted the drive will write CDRs at 12x and CD-RW discs at 10x - higher than the Pioneer DVR-A03's 8x/4x CDR/CDRW speeds). A reader also noted DVD+RW is a different format than DVD-RW that the Pioneer DVR-A03 supports. I searched the HP website for DVD100i info and found only this DVD media compatibility page. According to this Extremetech page, the HP drive is actually made by Ricoh.

For Mac owners the issue of support (iDVD, DVD Studio Pro, Toast 5) makes the Pioneer Superdrive (DVR-A03) a more attractive option however. The Pioneer DVR-A03 (retail box PC version) has been seen for just over $600 (PC version) as noted here in the August 6th news. ($601 and $608 at two web sources that day - but prices there today are much higher [$70 or so higher].) The drive has been reported to work fine in Macs based on past reader reports in the news here and in the Drive Compatibility Database.
As noted here previously, although Apple's specs did not list DVD-RW (last I checked), but Pioneer's specs for the DVR-A03 drive do note 1x DVD-RW compatibility (DVD-R speeds are faster - 2x). Toast5 also notes DVD-RW support for the DVR-A03.

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Flashing OEM ATTO Ultra2 Cards with Retail U2 Firmware:
[Update - See the update below this original post for additional reader comments]

In reply to a past reader tip here on how to flash the OEM (Apple ROM) ATTO Ultra-Wide (not Ultra2) SCSI cards with the retail firmware, another reader sent a note about flashing the OEM Ultra2 SCSI cards with retail firmware.

"I used the ExpressPCI UL2D updater version 1.64 to flash my Apple/ATTO UL2D that I moved from a G4 server to a overclocked Rev. A beige G3 running 9.1. I ran the updater as-is just for the fun of it. No resedit hacks or any other kind. It gave me three choices:

  1. Update UL2Ds with older FW versions.
  2. Update all UL2Ds unconditionally.
  3. Do not update.

I chose 2 and the update PASSED! I shutdown and went for a lovely drive to the Hudson river with my partner. When I returned and booted my Mac it crashed while loading ATM Deluxe 4.6.1. I disabled it and rebooted, but it crashed at the finder before the desktop appeared at the end of the startup process. I could only startup with extensions disabled. Wow, was I bummed. I have all my installers on a drive connected to that card. Do retail ATTO UL2Ds require an extension or cp to function correctly?

So I did a clean install of 9.2 from a Quicksilver CD and rebooted. Same crash at finder just before the desktop appears. Then I remembered that I also have the ExpressPCI UL2D updater version 1.5. After launching, it presented me with the same 3 choices. Again I chose 2 and it PASSED! Firmware version 1.5 flashed successfully! Rebooted fine into OS 9.2. ASP 2.6.1 shows vendor id 104c/revision 1. I think it showed that originally, but it read -1 or something when I upgraded it to 1.64. I have my fingers crossed that it will function normally now...

Mike, thanks for a great site filled with extremely useful information. I rarely buy a drive without consulting your database first.
Daniel V.
PS I used the 9.2 and the 10.0.4 install CDs from a quicksilver G4 on my beige G3 and FireWire pb without any problems."

Remember the golden rule on Firmware updates (of any kind) - if you're not having problems it's often best to leave well enough alone. (There's no going back to the Apple ROM for instance and if something goes wrong during the flash the card could be left unusable. Also ensure there's some benefit or fix in the update to make it worth considering.)
[Update: A reader's comments from 1/14/2002 follow]

" Hi, Mike- I was tearing my hair out trying to get an Apple OEM ATTO ExpressPCI UL2D card (reflashed to retail 1.6.4 firmware) working in a PowerTower Pro 225. Basically, the system would crash with an empty white dialog box freeze whenever the Foreign File Access extension was enabled. I did some looking around on Google and found an old news item on your site explaining another user's similar experience:
http://www.focal.co.jp/1_PRODUCT/ATTO/

Anyhow, flashing the card to the 1.5 firmware solves the problem I was seeing which was driving me nuts. Please spread the word that updating this card to the 1.6.4 firmware is a BAD IDEA. Stick with whatever works in your machine.

Saved again by your site. -John"

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iPhoto Studio Mentioned in Apple's Free Seminar Event Page:
I must really be out of it lately as I initially missed a note on iPhoto Studio in one of Barney's news links tonight. Apple's Digital Workflow For Photographers (free seminar in New York on 8/21/2001) event page mentions the previously rumored "iPhoto" software. (See reader's comments below noting iPhoto is not Apple's software.)

    "Discover iPhoto Studio, the perfect solution for the high volume requirements of professional photographers. Combined with a Power Mac G4, iPhoto Studio lets you focus on the quality of your images by helping you manage your workflow for greater productivity and profitability. Explore end-to-end workflow solutions built around the latest professional digital cameras.

    See start-to-finish demonstrations from Center for Digital Imaging, Inc. and Fotocare, two of New York's leading providers of professional photographic solutions. Featured products include two Apple-based digital photography solutions: "iPhoto Studio" and "Studio in a Bag". "

Note: A reader replied to this post saying that:

    "iPhoto Studio is a workflow solution from CDI NY (http://www.cdiny.com) a cosponsor of the seminar. They also have a trademark on the name. It is a solution for high-end digital photography. It runs on Apple hardware but is not produced or sold by Apple."
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More CompUSA Firewire/USB Card Reports:
The Firewire/USB Combo Card feedback page here has had some mixed reports on CompUSA cards in Macs and notes on two different models being sold. The latest reports on this card comes from a Beige G3 owner that had good results with firewire DV import and export with a specific model of the card. A PowerCenter owner that previously had problems with a FWdirect combo card noted the CompUSA card he bought worked (but his later comments included notes on problems with an Epson USB printer.) Details.
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Creative Audigy Card Previewed:
TechTV showed the first sample I've seen of the next-generation Creative Labs Audigy sound card. The Audigy features 24bit//96KHz recording capability, 4x the processing power of the SBlive model and also has a Firewire port. (The sample was the higher end Platinum model, not sure Firewire will be on the base model.) The card is said to be available in September and pricing (PC) will remain the same as the earlier cards (Gamer and MP3 models $99, Platinum models $199, and a new "EX" version will be slightly higher). There's no official word of Mac versions (if or when they will be available). One unofficial comment I have heard is that "We need to get all of the LIVE working first. It wouldn't make sense to put a more powerful card in the Mac when the previous cards's features weren't all working (yet)."
TechTV's web site has their Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum.
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Save Be OS Petition:
" Hey Mike.
As you probably know, Palm just bought Be Inc. The BeOS' future is even more uncertain at this time, since Palm doesn't really have any intention to going up against MS on the OS front. It would be very sad to see this OS go, even if we Mac users (most of us at least) can't run it. There are a couple of petitions going on, the BeOS community needs all the help it can get. Signing only takes a few seconds, and as with the Amiga and Gateway, this might change Palm's intentions.

Thank you on behalf of the Be community, and to all of those that don't want to see the little OS that could go.
http://beserved.teldar.com/petition.asp http://www.petitiononline.com/savebeos/
Omar "

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 20 new reports added this morning. The database has reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 4,483 reports. Here's today's additions:

    Firewire CDRW Reports:
  • Sony CRX1600L-A2 12/8/32 w/iMac

    IDE CDRW Reports:
  • Lite-On LTR 12101B in B&W G3
    (listed under "other" brands - noted wake from sleep issue)
  • Lite-On LTR-16101B 16/10/40 in Beige G3
    (listed under "other" brands - noted $80 net cost after rebate)
  • TDK VelocCD 16/10/40 in G4 No AGP (Yikes G4/PCI)
  • Teac W512EB 12/10/32 in Beige G3
  • Yamaha CRW8824E 8x8x24x in G4/AGP
  • Yamaha CDW2100EZ 16/10/40 in Beige G3
  • Yamaha CDW2100EZ 16/10/40 in B&W G3
  • Yamaha CDW2100EZ 16/10/40 in PowerMac 4400

    USB CDRW Reports
  • Acer 6406EU-002 6x4x6 w/G4 AGP

    IDE DVD-ROM Drive Reports:
  • Panasonic SR-8587 16/40 in 73/75/7600 [didn't note which] using IDE to SCSI Adapter
  • Delta OIP-DV1200A in G4 no AGP (Yikes G4/PCI model)
    (listed under "other" brands)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Fujitsu 20GB in Beige G3
  • Maxtor 60GB in G4/AGP
  • Maxtor 30GB in Beige G3 using IDE PCI Card
  • Seagate 20GB in Beige G3
  • Western Digital 80GB in Beige G3
    (used CDRom cable tip noted in our Beige G3 Minitower drive upgrade guide)

    SCSI Hard Drive Reports:
  • Micropolis 3391NS 9GB in Umax S900
  • Seagate SCSI 2.1GB in 7200

    Tape Drives
  • SCSI Sony SDT7000 in Beige G3
    (didn't note capacity, noted Retrospect Express lack of driver support)

You can find full owner reports 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 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.]

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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 12 new reports today (total to date: 6,109). [Entries after midnight eastern time are added the following day. Incomplete entires missing info are not posted.]

  • Formac G3/450 in 73-7600 Mac [didn't note which model] (rated 2)
  • Newer Tech G3/275 in PowerTower Pro 200 (rated 9)
  • Other World Computing G3/333 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Other World Computing G3/450 in Beige G3 (rated 8)
  • Powerlogix Bluechip G3/466 in PB G3 Wallstreet1 (rated 1)
  • Powerlogix G4/450 in Beige G3 DT (rated 9)
  • XLR8 G4/450 in 8500 (rated 9)
  • XLR8 G3/400 in PowerCenter 132 (rated 9)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF with G4/450 PL ZIF in Umax S900 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF with OWC G3/400 ZIF in 8600/250 (rated10 )
    (bought OWC bundle - noted ZIF was a 10x G3)
  • Beige G3/300 OC report
  • PowerBook G4/400 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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Blast from the Past - News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:

I've had several readers ask that I restore a news item that I used to call "Blast from the Past" where links to past news pages from a year, two years, etc. ago here are included in the daily news. (Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work, and comments there were accurate on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News

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