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News Archive for: 8/7/2002 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of August 7th, 2002:

'Enabler' Software with OWC Firewire DVD-R/RW Drive Going Away
Last night OWC wrote to ask me to post an important note in my previous review of their Firewire DVD-R/RW drive. For those that may have read the review already and would miss the note there, I'm repeating it here just to make everyone aware that the unique 'enabler' software will not be available anymore after existing stock is sold out. (My comments in the review on using iDVD2.1 with the Firewire drive required the enabler.)

    "The enabler that allows the extra Apple DVD support under OS X is being discontinued once existing units are exhausted. [once their current stock is sold out-Mike.] Specifically this will ONLY affect compatibility with DVD Player and iDVD under OS X. Only those with a legal license to have iDVD would be affected by the iDVD part, but it is disappointing on the player portion for sure.
    Our product will continue to remain fully compatibly with Apple DVD Studio Pro, iTunes, Toast5, etc."

It's really disappointing to see that feature go away. Maybe Apple will eventually sell a non-neutered version of iDVD2 that works with external drives.

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DVD Studio Pro 1.5.1 OS X Updater Mod for G4 Upgraded Older Macs
A reader from Germany sent a tip to solve the problem of the DVD Studio Pro 1.5.1 OS X Installer not running on a G4 upgraded B&W G3 noted in yesterday's news:

" Hi Mike,
I've had the same problem with the updater on my B&W with Xlr8 G4/500 ZIF-upgrade, but I found a workaround:
You need BBEdit (lite) [free version]:
"Open Hidden" > "Show: Any files": open the DVDStudioProUpdater.pkg > Contends > Recources > InstallationCheck
You only have to change a "0" to a "1" and save the file, then it works...
See the screenshot for details...
This is the first time I saw a problem like this.
Greetings from Germany

The OS 9 Updater was said to run OK on G4 upgraded Macs.

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Belkin $49 BlueTooth USB Adapter (w/100 meter range)
[Updated for a Keyspan employee's comments below]
Although the shortage of the $49 D-Link DWB-120M may be over now, a reader sent a report on a Bluetooth adapter from Belkin that he noted worked with the Apple OS X drivers, cost only $49 and had better range to boot:

    " Mike,
    FYI. Took a Mac chance on the new, "Windoze only" Belkin Bluetooth USB Adapter (F8T001) this weekend. Happy to report that it works under OS X 10.1.5 (haven't tried OS 9); my connected phone was discovered in the Apple Bluetooth preview release.

    I was able to transfer my phonebook between my Mac and Ericsson T39m phone, no problem, with all three programs I've tried, GSM Remote, SIM express 1.4.1. and Ericsson Client. I was also able to send SMS messages through the first two applications. There may of course be limitations that I haven't come across yet, but it seems to work great.

    The best part is that its stated range is actually 100 meters, as opposed to 10m for the other adapters. It is only $49.99 at CompUSA, the same price as the D-Link adapter at the Apple Store. Also, it is slightly larger than the D-Link, but totally reasonable.
    Istvan "

I don't think there are any OS 9 Mac Bluetooth drivers (that I'm aware of at least). I've added the above info to the FAQ's networking section's previous info on Bluetooth USB adapters that worked with the Apple OS X drivers.
A Keyspan employee wrote in reply to this post:

    " Hi Guys,
    I read your note about Belkin's bluetooth adapter and thought that you should be aware of two things.

    1. Just because a Bluetooth adapter "works" with Mac OS X does not mean that it works well. We've tested many bluetooth chips in the past 18 months and have found significant differences in performance. Your reader reports that his Belkin adapter works with Mac OS X... but he is not able to tell you if the adapter is faster or slower than the D-Link model. (I think you'll find that it is best to use the same chip used in the D-Link model.)
    [I replied that if they work with the apple driver, I assume the adapters used the same chip, but I could be wrong. I've not had any complaints from users of non-D-Link adapters that were reported to work with the OS X drivers so far.-MIke]

    2. You may want to ask Apple for a statement regarding 100m Bluetooth adapters. Greater range is not always a good thing. For example, users may find that interference issues increase.
    [I replied that generally I'd think more power/range is a good thing (in general) but there may be exceptions of course.
    As a FYI, I've had zero complaints about better range (than D-Link) bluetooth adapters from end users so far.-Mike
    Mike Ridenhour
    President, Keyspan "

As far as asking Apple - I get the feeling this site (and some others that don't just spew the party line) are seen as an 'enemy of the state' so to speak. If they even responded I doubt it would be more than just a comment that they officially support only the D-Link adapter they sell at the apple store.

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Warcraft III for $35.95 Shipped (USA) [Updated for 2nd source]
A reader replied to the earlier post with another source of Warcraft III for under $36.

    " Hey Mike, has Blizzard's WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos for $29.95 with $5.95 for shipping. [standard shipping to USA addresses] This beats the previous deal posted by a whopping five cents! Limit one per customer.
    Nobbie "

I check their main page links on WCIII and even their promos page - both had it priced for $37.95, so I wrote him again and he sent a different link that does show the $29.95 price "Special Promotion is available until 8/9/02 or while supplies last! Limit one per Customer!" That's the lowest price I've seen on WCIII to date and they say it's the full retail box version.
(Earlier noted sale from a reader's post follows)

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The 'Cell' SuperComputer on a Chip
That's the claims made in this article about a new multimedia chip being developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba which they say could be in commercial production by the end of 2004. When I saw a mention of it possibly being used in the PS3 game console I almost stopped reading - but one of the article's later quotes on the power of the (multi-core) chip said it could "deliver one trillion calculations per second (teraflop) or more of floating-point calculations. It will have the ability to do north of 1 trillion mathematical calculations per second, roughly 100 times more than a single Pentium 4 chip running at 2.5GHz.". Sounds impressive...
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EyeTV Owner Reports Updated
I've updated the EyeTV owner comments page again with more owner reports on the TIVO-like device. (I also have links there to the 1.01 and 1.02 driver updates.)
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Sony's Mac EverQuest page with Q&A
Although it's not due out until spring 2003, a reader noted that Sony has posted a Mac EverQuest page with some answers to questions about the mac version. The Q&A for instance notes some estimated system requirements (600MHz G4 CPU/GeForce2MX or better, OS X only) and that there will be Mac specific servers. (Thanks rtmac)
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Comments on Medal of Honor Co-op Mods
(from a reader posting)

    " I just got done messing around with a co-op mod some people made. Here's a link with some links to the files:;action=display;threadid=694
    In use you only need two files:

    The files in CO-OP LOADERS are just windows Shortcuts for starting up.

    There are instructions on how to join a coop game within the menu system. The only way I've been able to connect is by knowing the host's IP address.

    Key notes:
    You only play one map at a time. I'm not sure if the server will auto switch. The maps are custom co-op versions of the singleplayer. There's one spawn point, so once you spawn, run or else you'll telefrag someone, or worse, crash the server (haven't seen that happen yet though).
    There are currently only a handful of co-op maps, but apparently you can make your own with instructions included with the 3 downloads.

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SnapZ Pro X 1.06 Update
Listed at Macupdate, v1.06 features a huge list of changes/fixes.
(Note: Owners of the version bundled with new Macs can't update without losing the registration. Ambrosia offers a $19 upgrade for bundle owners - see this page for details.)
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 10 new reports added today. 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 8,070 reports. Here's a summary listing of today's new reports. (Does not include updates to previous entries)

    CompactFlash Readers:
  • USB 2.0 IOGEAR Memory Bank used w/G4 no AGP [yikes] (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands)

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drive Reports:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-104 in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (problems noted)

    DVD+RW Drive Reports:
  • Firewire HP DVD200e used w/G4 AGP (OS X)
    (no iDVD support, no iTunes support)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drive Reports:
  • IDE Samsung SM-332 (32x10x40x + 12x DVD) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (didn't test booting, no iTunes support)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Lite-On LTR-48125W 48x12x48x in B&W G3 (OS X)
  • Plextor PX-W4012A 40x12x40x in PowerTower Pro using IDE PCI Card (OS 9.1)
  • QPS CRD-BP1700P (Sanyo 40x12x40) in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD 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 Drive Reports:
  • Plextor PX-4012A 40x12x40x in FW case used w/G4 AGP (OS X)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Seagate Barracuda IV ST340016A 40GB in 8600 using IDE/SCSI adapter (OS 8.6)
    (see SCSI topics page for past reviews of Acard IDE/SCSI adapters)

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports:
  • APS 80GB used w/G4 no AGP [yikes] (OS 9.2)

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.]
(Entries today will be added the following newsday. 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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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated today with 1 new report. (Total to date: 7,320). [Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning. Incomplete entries, those with no comments, missing info, etc. are deleted]
Here's a summary of the update (does not include updates/added comments to previous reports):

  • Powerlogix G4/550 in B&W G3 (rated 9)

(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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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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