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News Archive for: 8/29/2001 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 8/29/2001

Location of Internal Backup Battery in PowerBook G4:
The other day I asked if any readers knew where the internal backup battery is on the PB G4. I had the firewire ports stop working and wanted to try the fix I had used for the G4 Cube that had the same problem - removing the internal battery for several hours. (Zapping the PRAM, clearing/resetting NVRAM via OpenFirmware, resetting the power manager, etc. did not help).
Stephan K. sent a photo of an X-Ray of the PowerBook G4 that shows the backup battery (several disc-type batteries) above the DVD drive in the front corner. I've lifted the DVD ROM drive up and carefully disconnected the battery connector (very small connector). I'm going to leave it disconnected overnight to see if that fully clears the NVRAM and solves the problem as it did with the Cube. (It may not, this could be a hardware problem.)

Several readers had replied to my post noting their PB G4's firewire had also failed (as with mine, even Firewire target disk mode didn't work) and wanted to know where the battery was. Remember if you're not careful you can do more harm than good inside the PB, so for those that noted Apple was going to fix the problem I'd recommend you let them do so.

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Demo Version of Alice Game Available and OS X Demo Fix:
It's a hefty 81MB download, but if you want to try out the demo of Alice, it's available at this Macgamefiles page. They also list a OS X Alice demo fix 1.2MB download.
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Latest G4+ CPU Errata Document notes Temperature Feature Removed:
Yesterday's news had a note on Thermograph that a G4/867 owner used to check temperatures of the CPU. Another reader noted it did not work and sent a screenshot that showed an error message that thermal monitoring was not supported on that system. (I also commented that G4 CPU temperatures have always been inaccurate according to industry insiders.)
The only differences in the two systems was that the one that worked had a 2.0 7450 CPU revision and the one that didn't work with Thermograph was a rev. 2.1 7450 CPU. A post by Michiro Isobe on the latest errata of the G4+ CPU notes why it didn't work on the 2.1 rev CPU (that feature has been removed):

" Motorola released a document about 7450 errata. [PDF file]
Most errata seem to be fixed at rev2.1. But, TAU issue may be given up.


    "Error # 25: TAU reports incorrect temperatures...
    Projected Solution:
    None. This erratum will not be fixed in future revisions of the MPC7450; use of the TAU on the MPC7450 is not supported. "
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100MHz Bus iBook Modifications cause Timebase Problems in OS X:
An iBook owner that modified his system to run 100mhz bus speed (vs the default 66mhz) noted that in OS X the time is not accurate (too fast by about the same delta as the bus speed boost the reader said). Michiro Isobe replied that "It is the time-base problem. Current version of OS X is not compatible with bus overclocking (as for core99 based PowerMacs)". (I believe this may have been noted in one of his past articles here on 133mhz bus speed G4 mods.)

I'm going to ask Tycho to check this and then post a note in the 2001 iBook Overclocking guide which shows how he modified his 2001 iBook to run 100mhz bus speed and 600mhz CPU speed.

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Prototype Powerlogix G4 CPU Upgrade for Lombard:
Reader Masayuki sent a note that there's a japanese page with a photo of a prototype G4 CPU upgrade for the PowerBook G3 Lombard (1999). At Macworld NY 2000, Powerlogix reportedly had a G4 upgrade running in a wallstreet or Lombard the last day of the show (I left the day before) but I hear it had temperature problems that prevented it from becoming a production item.
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PC Graphics Card Maker VisionTek Notes Apple in Press Release:
A reader noted that a recent VisionTek press release about Nvidia's "Personal Cinema" card had a note they make OEM graphics cards for Apple (among other companies). I suspect they make the OEM GeForce3 Mac Graphics card since the heatsink, etc. looks the same as the VisionTek PC GF3 version (same heatsink color/design). They may also make the OEM MX cards. Here's a clip from the press release:

    " About Visiontek
    Founded in 1988, Visiontek, Inc. is the largest manufacturer of 3D graphics accelerators and memory in North America. ....
    Visiontek, Inc.'s PC OEM customers include Apple, Compaq, Gateway, IBM, and Micron... "

This doesn't mean they will ever release a retail Mac card, but at least we now know who makes the OEM Mac Nvidia cards. (Apple may have other sources for them as well.)
VisionTek's Geforce3 was one of the brands noted on a previous page here with reader reports on flashing PC Geforce3 cards for Mac use. (Previously there were GeForce2MX reports that the G4 4.1.8 firmware update had enough rom support to allow PC MX cards to work without flashing, but I think there were some issues with resolutions/support, but can't remember now. There's an old article here on PC MX cards in Macs from March with more info.)

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PC Graphics Cards and Apple Cinema Displays:
I have recently personally seen a DVI Cinema display work with a Gainward/CardExpert GeForce3 PowerPack !!! (the "!!!" is part of the name). The Gainward/CardExpert Geforce3 card has DVI, VGA and VIVO ports and although the Cinema Display's 1600x1024 native resolution is not listed on the box (or at their web site) as a supported mode - it is an option with the card (Windows 98SE even identified the monitor as a "Cinema Display"). The card worked flawlessly with the Cinema Display - even the DOS boot text was visible (not so on some other cards according to reports). I suspect the PC ATI graphics cards with DVI ports may also work, but have asked for confirmation that 1600x1024 is an available resolution.

For ADC Cinema displays, you'd need a DVI to ADC adapter like the Dr.Bott DVIator to supply the 28V power for the ADC display - DVI Cinema displays have an AC adapter for power. The Hercules Prophet III (Geforce3) is also said to work, but I have not personally seen this. I've gotten a few emails asking about this from companies and home users and have added this info to the older info on the subject in the Cinema DVI display review here from 2000.

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 13 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 4,570 reports. Here are today's additions:

    IDE CDRW Reports
  • Que 16/10/40 in Beige G3
  • Philips PCRW 804K17 8x4x32 in G4/AGP
  • Sanyo CRD-BP1400PT (16/10/40) in B&W G3
    (listed under "other brands" - odd burn problems noted)
  • Sony CRX-140E in Beige G3
  • Sony CRX-140E in Beige G3 (updated report/problems noted)
  • Sony CRX168E-RP 16x/10x/40x in B&W G3

    Firewire CDRW Reports
  • Clubmac 16/10/40 with G4/AGP
  • Plextor 16/10/40 in ADS Pyro case (G4/AGP system)
  • Plextor PX W1210A (12/10/32) in converted FW case (G4 AGP system)
  • Plextor PX W1210A (12/10/32) in ADS Pyro case (G4 AGP system)
    (updated report after 5 months noting a problem)

    SCSI CDRW Reports
  • Yamaha 2100SZ in external case w/G4 AGP

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM 60GB (master/slave) in B&W G3
    (problems noted)
  • Western Digital 60GB in iMac slot loading

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 Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports today (total to date: 6,156). [Entries after midnight Eastern time are added the following day. Incomplete entires missing info are not posted.]

  • Apple 604e/200mhz in 8500/120
    (noted boot problems, most likely due to the original L2 cache dimm)
  • Newer Tech G3/500 in Powertower Pro 250 (rated 5)
  • Sonnet G4/400 in 7300/200 (rated 10)
  • B&W G3/350 OC report
  • Powerbook Duo 250 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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