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News Archive for Monday August 11th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of August 11th, 2003:

Reminder to run Repair Permissions after ATI 9800 Update
Just a reminder to any readers that apply the ATI update mentioned earlier today. As is a good rule for any OS X or X Apps update - run repair permissions from Jaguar's Disk Utility afterwards. A reader that applied the update noted that there were a lot of permission corrections made. (I've not installed this update yet, but I've seen this sort of thing in the past as well.)
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ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Driver Update Available
" Hey Mike, New 1.1 software (with 3D overrides and robust HTML manual for ATI Displays (inside "What's New" alias)) has been posted:
http://www.ati.com/support/drivers/mac/macosx-radeon9800-110.html
Release notes:
http://www.ati.com/drivers/mac-radeon9800-110.readme.html
ttyl. -Bruno (ATI)
(he later wrote)

There is a "What's New" document in the archive that provides an introduction to the 9800 Pro and documents, in detail, all the functionality of ATI Displays. Please read it for info on everything from VERSAVISION to what the different Advanced/3D options do. There's even a page dedicated to FSAA and Anisotropic filtering, with magnified example images.
As always, stay tuned for more... "

(As mentioned in a later news item - run repair permissions from Jag's Disk Utility after running the installer. A good general rule to follow for any OS X or X apps update also.) I've got a 9800 pro review in the works now (very late due to family health problems in the last few weeks). As with my 9700 Pro OEM review, I'm comparing it to a GF4 Ti, 9000 Pro and 8500 graphics cards in a Dual G4 MDD system.

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Review/Tests of PowerBook G4 Superdrive Upgrade
I've posted a review with tests of the PowerBook G4 superdrive upgrade from MacResq comparing performance to the original combo drive in a PowerBook G4/800. Tests with DVD disc burns in Toast 5 are also included (of course it's also compatible with iDVD 3).
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Apple updates Hot Deals page
Site sponsor OWC sent a note that Apple now lists them on their hot deals page.
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Update to free Sizzle DVD Authoring Program
(Update - the reader's website for Sizzle is down he said but you can use the MU link I included which had a working download for the software.)

"Hi- Just wanted to let you know that I released a new version of my DVD authoring tool, Sizzle. (homepage is http://thegoods.ath.cx/~hmason/sizzle/ but it's not responding as of 9:30 AM ET this morning - MU page for it is here and notes OS X 10.2 or later required.-Mike.) The new version, 0.5, now has support for menus and buttons and a number of other cool features. I know a number of readers of Accelerate Your Mac are owners of third party DVD burners which can't use iDVD.
Sizzle is free, but you'll need to have an MPEG-2 encoder, as it does not have one built-in. Users might want to look into programs like Forty-Two, ffmpegX, or BitVice Lite (http://www.innobits.se/), a $56 professional MPEG-2 encoder.
-Henry"
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Reader Feedback on using New OpenAL Lib with Jedi II/UT2003
Friday's news page had a note about a new OpenAL (audio) Lib from Ryan to fix the Revolution 7.1 problem with America's Army and his comments that it would improve performance a bit in UT2003 also (even with onboard Audio). A reader sent comments on using the new Lib with other games that use OpenAL. (Note - I tried using the new lib with Jedi Knight II and didn't see any gain on the PB G4/800 using low-res to ensure the graphics chip wasn't a bottleneck. A reader with a G4 Tower also noted no gain - so I'm leery that copying the lib into the Jedi package does anything. The programmer (Ryan) noted it was a benefit for UT2003 however - and America's Army which both already have an existing lib in the game app package that the new lib replaces.)

"I tried the OpenAl lib in UT2003, Jedi Knight II, Wolfenstein, Dungeon Siege, and Sacrifice. (Note - Wolfenstein does not use OpenAL as far as I know - not sure about Dungeon Seige and Sacrifice as I do not own those games. A reader said that Dungeon Seige uses Miles, not OpenAL. Unreal Tournament (pre-2003) PR3 for OS X is another game that uses OpenAL though, although it's not a bundled app (you can't do a show-package contents and insert any files).-Mike)

There is a significant jump in fps in Jedi Knight II and UT2003, of about 10 fps . In Jedi Knight II application place the new lib in the the resource folder by opening the application icon. (I.E. For single button mice, Control+Click the app icon and select "Show Package Contents" - or use right mouse button on 2 button mice.-Mike)
UT2003 is also much smoother and a performance. This library is definitely great! My system is an iMac G4 800 with 1Gb RAM, & Nvidia Gforce2MX
Jeffrey M. "
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Simcity 4 Video Fix/Tip for Radeon 9000/9000 Mobility
(from a reader mail this weekend)

" Mike, I have a Powerbook G4 1ghz Ti with Radeon 9000 64 megs and a Dual 1.25 with the same video card. While playing Sim City 4 it was all choppy and the video would do some strange things. I contacted Aspyr and this was the fix. Now it runs ultra fast with no video distorations. Thought I would pass along the fix.-JAustin
Aspyr Media Support Response

"Hi Jon,
In the SimCit4 data folder is a file called Video Cards.sgr. Open that file, then change the following:
The line for the Radeon 9000 Pro reads:
card 0x4966 "Radeon 9000 Pro"
Change it so the file says:
card 0x4c66 "Radeon 9000 Pro"
This should correct the graphical errors.
--Rick Chen
www.aspyr.com/support/ "

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Guide to SCUMMVM Tool for Playing Monkey Island/Indiana Jones/Maniac Mansion/Sam&Max in OS X
(from a reader mail this weekend)

"Hey Mike, I don't know if you're familiar with the SCUMMVM project, but I wrote a walkthrough how to use the SCUMMVM Tools
http://scummvm.sourceforge.net/
Scumm VM allows you to play classic adventure games (that used the scumm engine) in Mac OS X like Monkey Island, Indiana Jones Fate of Atlantis, Maniac Mansion, Sam & Max and more http://www.ps2cheats.com/randomstuff/scumm/

It requires a bit of terminal handy work in order to play some of the games and can be hard to non-terminal users to figure out (such as myself)
Greg Gant"

As a followup - a reader sent a note about a GUI tool:

" Hi from germany,
don't know if this is interesting for the community, but i stumbled over this sentence in your news...

    (from above news item)
    "It requires a bit of terminal handy work in order to play some of the games and can be hard to non-terminal users to figure out (such as myself)..."

There is a tool called:
ScummAqua 1.0
Written by Oscar Gothberg
The ScummAqua website: http://www.d.kth.se/~d00-ogo/ogosoft/scummaqua/
don't know if it works with the latest release, didn't have the time to test it... sounds good anyway.
-TRON "

Greg Gant, who wrote the FAQ on using SCUMMVM replied to this post:

" Scumm Aqua mainly served as a preloader for games but serves little purpose in the newer versions of ScummVM. In fact it doesn't even work with the latest versions. Also it doesn't provide GUI frontend for any of the utilities so you still need to use the terminal to rescumm certain games (too bad). Also, on a side note, I updated my FAQ so its only semi- poorly written... "

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PR on Australian Apple University Consortium Grants
(clip from their email press release from Jeffrey of Apple Asia - shorted a bit for brevity)

" Apple University Consortium makes $125,000 available for Grants
The Australian Apple University Development Fund (AUDF) is a joint venture set up by Apple Computer Australia and the Apple University Consortium (AUC) to support and encourage development using Apple technology in education. The fund was set up in recognition of the contribution and the creativity and skill of Macintosh developers on AUC campuses. The AUDF is 2003 will provide approximately $125,000 to foster new developments to add to the base of more than 5,000 applications already available for the Macintosh and to provide new functionality.

The AUDF has been operating as a major benefit of the AUC for over 13 years and has supported many important projects including the establishment of the BAFTA award winning Interactive MultiMedia Lab at the University of Wollongong. Grant recipients in 2002 included; Mr Andrew Brown from the Queensland University of Technology with his project ìInternet Music Jamminí Softwareî, Mr Mike Cutter from the University of Melbourne for his project "Squid Administration Tool" and Dr Danny Ratner from the University of Wollongong who received a Grant for his project ìProgrammable Radio Control Robot Kitî.

The AUDF Grants for 2003 are split into two tiers:
* Seeding Grants are aimed at programmers new to the Macintosh environment and include a loan Macintosh computer, CodeWarrior Professional programming environment, membership of Appleís WorldWide Developer Program and support from local Macintosh developers. The grant is aimed at staff and students alike.
* Development Grants are designed to enable proof-of-concept projects, from staff and students with a strong preference for "pilot" products that are actually of some use in their own right. Funding up to $10,000 is provided for equipment, software, and other resources.

Applications for AUDF Grants open on the 11th August and close on the 3rd October 2003. Applicants must be staff or students of an Australian AUC member University. More information about the AUDF Grants including application forms can be obtained by visiting the AUC Web site at http://auc.uow.edu.au/ "

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Themes 2.5 for Apple Keynote
(from their email press release)

"Keynote Themes 2.5 now includes 13 high-quality themes for Apple's presentation software Keynote. New themes ("Black", "Gridway" "Redwine") and old themes ("Old Paper", "Photo Artist", "Network", "Wood", "Developer", "Valentine", "Simple") are available in both (1024x768 and 800x600) sizes. Majority of themes comes with custom bullets. Keynote Themes 2.5 package also includes 14 high-quality Desktop Pictures. Keynote Themes 2.5 fits for all business, scientific, educational, informative, persuasive and creative purposes. That's why Jumsoft Keynote Themes are very popular - it becomes a must-have package for those who own Apple Keynote.
Downloadable (90Mb) version of Keynote Themes 2.5 is US$ 10. It is also available Keynote Themes 2.5 CD version which is US$ 25."
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports this morning (reader entries from Friday until Sunday midnight; entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,638. Here's a summary of the updates added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Giga Designs G4 1GHz in DA G4/AGP (rated 9)
  • Other World Computing G4/450 in Beige G3 (rated 8)
  • PowerLogix BlueChip G3 900 in Powerbook G3 2000 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4 800 in 9600/200 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 9)
    (My full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades w/apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked here.)

(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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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 17 new reports added (reader entries from Friday until Sunday midnight; entries today are added the next newsday morning). 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 11,076 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE CenDyne Lightning IV (48x12x48) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands, didn't test boot from CD, using modified burn support plugin file)
  • IDE LG GCE-8520B (52x24x52x) in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (10.2.x modified burn support file for this drive in FAQ)
  • IDE Liteon LTR-52327S (52x32x52x) in G4 AGP (OS X)
    (FAQ's CDROM/CDR section has burn support plugin for this drive)
  • IDE Plextor PX-W4824A (48x24x48x) in G4 no AGP (OS 9.2)
    (didn't note if bootable from CD, no itunes burn support)
  • IDE Teac CD-W540E (didn't note speed rating) in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (didn't note if bootable from CD)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD/DVD/CDRW drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs.)
  • Firewire Teac CD-W516E (16x10x40) used w/iMac slot-loading (OS X)
    (problems noted, running 10.2.3)

    Combo DVD+CDR Drives:
  • IDE Matshita CW-8121 (8x8x24x +8x DVD-ROM) in G4 Cube (OS X)
  • Expansion Bay Matshita UJDA-720 (8x8x24 + 8x DVD-ROM) in PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X)
  • IDE Samsung SM-352B (52x24x52x + 16x DVD-ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (using modified burn support plugin from FAQ)
  • IDE Toshiba CDR1312 (32x10x40x +12x DVD-ROM in B&W G3 (OS X)

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drives:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105 in G4/AGP (OS X)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire LaCie d2 (Pioneer DVR-106 based) used w/8500 (OS X)
    (noted problems with 4x burns, other issues)
  • IDE Sony DRU 500A in eMac (OS X)
    (no native itunes burn support - FAQ has modified sony plugin from 10.2.4)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE IBM 60GB in Beige G3 (OS 9.1)
    (Beige G3 MT illustrated HD upgrade guide here)
  • IDE IBM Travelstar 48GB in PowerBook G3 1st model (OS 9.2)
    (may have been a wallstreet model, rather than the first PB G3 aka 3500) (wallstreet illustrated HD install guide here)
  • IDE Seagate ST3120026A 120GB in iMac (OS X)
  • Firewire (IDE drive in Pyro FW case ) Quantum 4GB used w/Beige G3 (OS 9.1)

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.)
(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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Reader Game Reviews Database Updated
The Rate Your Mac Games database update today included two more reviews of Ghost Recon. Total Reviews (all titles): 1038. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. Please include as much detail as possible in your review comments. (If your game title is not in the long listing, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles, guides and reviews you may have missed.
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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 off-site links may no longer work. Remember comments were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, pricing, etc.)

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