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News Archive for Monday August 18th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

News stories of August 18th, 2003:

ATTO ExpressPCI Plus driver 2.0 for OS X/Jaguar notes G5 Support
(Update - A reader with an OEM (from Apple) ATTO UL3D card noted installing the 2.0 driver resulted in a black screen at boot - I've written ATTO to ask if the driver update requires a retail ATTO card with latest firmware update. OEM (Apple) ATTO cards normally cannot be flashed with the retail card firmware, although the SCSI topics page here has an older article with tips on flashing older UW and UL2 cards, no reports on tips to flash OEM UL3 cards that I know of.)
Gregory sent another mail today on ATTO Updates:

"One thing I saw later:

    "Mac OS X version 2.00 - (File Size 962KB) This is a maintenance release of the ExpressPCI 'plus' driver for Mac OS X. Mac OS X release 10.2.4 or later is required.
    This release includes support for the G5 systems." (Note - page title lists ExpressPCI UL3S card),
note: anyone following the original links (see earlier news item below on other ATTO updates) and going to the drivers page will see the above, but support for G5 is probably worth editing and updating and having on the front news page (now I can feel safe ordering a G5 too! :)
(I don't own any modern ATTO cards but asked about support for other models than the UL3S and he wrote)
Start here:
ATTO Downloads - ATTO ExpressPCI Host Adapter Utilities
Which takes you to...
Mac OS X ExpressPCI Configuration Tool v2.50
    "Flash files are used by the ExpressPCI Configuration Tool to reflash the host adapter, if necessary. These files are hardware specific. Please download the appropriate file for your ExpressPCI host adapter.
  • Flash File for ExpressPCI FCSW, FC 2600 Host Adapter (File Size 131KB)
  • Flash File for ExpressPCI FC 3300, FC 3305 Host Adapter (File Size 140KB)
  • Flash File for ExpressPCI FC 3321 Host Adapter (File Size 153KB)
  • Flash File for ExpressPCI UL4D, UL4S Host Adapter (File Size 153KB)
  • Flash File for ExpressPCI UL3D, UL3S (File Size 96KB)
  • Flash File for ExpressPCI UL3D-66, UL3S-66 (File Size 96KB)
  • Flash File for ExpressPCI DC, PSC (File Size 96KB)
    and the Mac OS X ExpressPCI Configuration tool

    Hardware drivers are not included as part of this download package. However, these are required for proper operation of your ExpressPCI host adapter. These drivers can be downloaded from our driver download page"
    (there are pages for each card.)

The information on the UL4S/D confused me. Maybe it hasn't been updated yet? as it still lists the ExpressPCI Config Tool 2.40 which is the older version. The driver for the UL4's is v. 2.01 while the driver for the UL3S/D is 2.00.
If people have the UL4S, they might want to ask ATTO. Otherwise, seems safe to follow the links and download the three files you need for flash file, driver, and Configuration Tool."

For info on ATTO SCSI card compatibility with G5 systems (3.3V PCI power requirement) - see ATTO's comments in our July 2nd news page (and added near the bottom of the G5 first impressions/info page here).

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Roxio site now has info on Toast 6 Titanium/Promo Offer
Although other sites have had notes about Toast Titanum 6 this summer (due in September), Roxio's website now has information about the new version. See their Toast 6 page for preorder info. Cost is $99.95 (although they list $79.95 it's after a mail-in $20 "upgrade" rebate with proof of a retail (not OEM) previous Toast version and only in the 50 U.S. States and D.C. Rebate offer ends 9/1/2004 - see their fine print for all the terms/conditions). For a limited time (ends 9/6/2003) they have a free tshirt or headphones or CD case promotion.
For more info on features in Toast 6 (including DVD authoring), see the Toast 6 features page.
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Apple notes some G5s Now Shipping
Apple's front page today notes that G5's are "shipping now". I'm guessing that the first shipments are single G5 models/early orders - but if any reader gets a note his dual G5 ships let me know. (Update - Apple now has a press release that says the two single G5 models are shipping now, and dual G5s are still set to ship late this month. Last order status I heard on early Dual G5 orders was "on or before" August 29th.) Of course for any readers that get a new G5 (single CPU or Dual) - I welcome your comments, tests (esp. if you have a prev. G4 model for comparison) and impressions on the new system. Thanks.
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ATTO Express Configuration Utility v2.5 for Jaguar
(from a reader mail this weekend - thanks Greg. Also see later news item above on driver updates.)

"ATTO Express Config 2.5 for 10.2.4+
Mac OS X ExpressPCI Configuration Tool

ATTO ExpressPCI Configuration Tool v2.5 Read Me Notes 8/15/2003
ATTO ExpressPCI Configuration Tool helps you customize the settings of your ExpressPCI host adapter to maximize the performance of your storage connection. While the factory settings on your ExpressPCI host adapter should provide excellent performance for a wide range of applications, some specialized applications may benefit from modification of the adapter settings to tune the adapter for a specific performance range. The ExpressPCI Configuration Tool provides a tool to help you tune your host adapter. Additionally, this utility may also be used to verify the drivers and flash files currently in use and update the flash, as necessary.

Before installing and using this utility, please note that:

* ATTO requires Mac OS X version 10.2.4 (or later) and Mac OS X Java update v1.4.1 (or later) for proper operation. Please verify that you are using both of these components on your system. Use the Software Update application on your system to download and install the latest versions, if necessary.

* For proper host adapter operation, you should always use matching firmware and driver releases. ATTO strongly recommends verifying that driver and firmware are properly updated via the Device and Flash tabs in the application.

Installation Notes
* This application currently supports the following ExpressPCI host adapters: FCSW, FC 2600, FC 3300, FC 3305, FC3321, PSC, DC, UL3D, UL3S, UL4D and UL4S.

* For Ultra320 host adapters, trying to update flash or NVRAM when the driver and application are mismatched (i.e. v2.5 Configuration Tool with v1.01 Ultra320 adapter driver) will generate an error message. This is commonly caused by not rebooting your system after installing the application and driver. Reboot your system and verify that the proper driver is installed using the Devices tab."

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Tip for DVD Studio Pro 1.5 use with Pioneer DVR-106/A06
Last week in the news here a reader noted problems using a Pioneer DVR-106/A06 drive with DVD Studio Pro ("format error -37"). It turns out the solution was the same as it is for iTunes burn support with the DVR-106 - using the a modified PioneerCDR device plugin. (Posted in the FAQ here some time back.)

"Hi Mike,
Success, thanks to you and
Installed 'modified PioneerCDR device plugin file' from your FAQ (CDROM/CDR section) pages
iTunes then saw the drive...
Decided to give it a go with DVD Studio Pro 1.5.2 and to my total surprise I'm now able to 'Build & Format Disc', with the Pioneer DVR 106D.
Thank you so much for all your help... Best Mac place on the web...
Charles T."

I assume he used DVR-R (not DVD+R) media. I know many readers have used that modified plugin with their DVR-106/A06 drive (since 10.2.6 doesn't have native support for the drive).

One reader from france said he saw problems (KP's) if Energy saver was set to -allow- drive sleep when using the plugin. (with all retail superdrives at least - since 10.1.x it's always been recommended to disable drive sleep due to some seeing problems with drive sleep with a disc inserted for long idle periods, although ES settings are not a universal fix for that.) Some DVR-105 drive owners reported KP's (kernel panics) but I never saw the problem wth my DVR-105 (1.33 firmware). And no other reports of the DVR-106 KP/sleep issue with the plugin from anyone else so not sure if it's common (but then most have drive sleep disabled). Also run repair permissions after every OS X or X apps update.

There have been other problems reported from some DVR-106/A06 owners such as buffer underruns (at 4x burn rates) - I wonder if (like the early DVR-105 model) - there may be some bugs in the current firmware (or fixes to come via firmware updates in the future, as was seen with the previous DVR-105 model).

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Reader Feedback on SAI Write-CDRW (packet writing software for OS X)
Friday's news had a reader mail noting SAI's Write-CDRW software for OS X - but the only reader feedback on it so far noted it's not compatible with OS X 10.2.

"I purchased, downloaded, and installed CD-RW on my Gigabit Ethernet dual G4/500 running 10.2.6 with both a Pioneer DVR-106 and a Yamaha CRW-F1 installed. (neither of these drives are on the SAI compat. listing at their write-CDRW product page, but I have not checked those drives specs to see if they support Mt. Rainier. From their comments though, the software isn't compatible with OS X 10.2 period.-Mike) Nothing happened. Nothing. I contacted Software Architects, and I got this reply. - Rob N."

"Hello Rob
The current version only works with 10.1 not 10.2
Probably when we soon release WriteDVD it will support CDRW drives.
If you want a refund and assuming you downloaded it, call 800 656 5426
Thank you

I wrote SAI sales to ask they clearly note the compatible OS X versions on their write-CDRW product page.

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Petitions for Mac Half-Life 2 and RTCW Enemy Territory
(from a reader mail this weekend)

"Hi Mike, I was on a few games forums earlier on tonight looking at Half Life 2 and Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Apparently, according to Valve are looking at bringing Half Life 2 to the mac (easier now due to MacOS X) but are not sure of the economics of doing it. Here's a petition that may just sway them -

The other thing I was looking at was the expansion to Return to Castle Wolfenstein. According to the developers on the PC, it's up to iD and Activision, and other than emailing Activision they suggested a petition as well -
I know you probably receive hundreds of these each day, but Half Life 2 in particular is going to be a huge title and it would be great to get it on the mac. Thanks for the great site.
-- james"

I agree 100% that it would be great to see a mac version of Half-Life 2. I know most times petitions don't help but it can't hurt.
In other mac game news Aspyr is going to offer Mac versions of Splinter Cell and Raven Shield. (Remember last month's note about CompUSA having aPre-Order page for Mac Splinter Cell for $39.99? guess that wasn't a mistake...)

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Veta Universal - Bluetooth clicker for Nokia 3650
(from their email press release)

" August 17, 2003 - Victor Kulesh today announced Veta Universal - long awaited software that will turn Nokia 3650 phone into a universal remote controller for your Macintosh computer running OS 10.2. Veta Universal is a Symbian Series 60 application designed to take advantage of Bluetooth capable Nokia phones and Mac OS X computers. Now users can use their Nokia 3650 phone to remotely control many applications such as iTunes, Keynote, DVD Player and even control the mouse on their computers.
Those users that need to control other Applescriptable applications can easily write their own scripts and Veta Universal will accept the menus. Veta Universal works seamlessly with Romeo, freely available software from Arboreal Software. Pull out your Nokia 3650 and get control of you Mac!
Pricing and Availability: Veta Universal is immediately available as a download through or for a suggested retail price of $8 (US). Minimum system requirements include Nokia 3650 phone, Mac OS X with Bluetooth and Romeo 0.9.1. "
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 7 new reports this morning (reader entries from Friday until Sunday midnight; entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,658. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Giga Designs G4 1.4GHz in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Giga Designs G4 1GHz in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 9)
  • Other World Computing G4 1.4GHz in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Other World Computing G4 1.4GHz in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix Bluechip G3/900 in Powerbook G3 2000 (rated 8)
  • Powerlogix G4 1GHz in G4 Cube (rated 8)
  • Sonnet G3/350 in 6400/200 (rated 10)
    (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 14 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 11,124 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Teac CD-W54E used w/iMac (OS 9.1)
    (using externally run cable - not bootable from CD he said)
  • IDE Cendyne 5224P (52x24x52x) in Dual G4 DDR (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands, no native burn support)
  • IDE Liteon LTR-48246S (48x24x48x) in G4/AGP (OS X)
  • IDE Liteon LTR-52246S (52x24x52x) in Dual g4 DDR (OS X)
  • IDE Liteon LTR-52327S (52x32x52x) in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (problems noted - didn't try Master setting, said modified burn support plugin didn't work for him.)
    (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.)

    CD-ROM Drives:
  • IDE LG GCR-8523B (52x) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)

    DVD-ROM Drives:
  • IDE Toshiba SD-M1612 (didn't note drive speed rating) in G4 no AGP (OS X)

    DVD-R + DVD RAM:
  • IDE LG GMA 4020B in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (no native iTunes, etc. burn support)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-106 in Dual G4 (OS X)
    (using burn support plugin from FAQ)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-106 in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (using burn support plugin from FAQ)
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) Mitsumi DW-7801TE used w/G4 AGP (OS X)
    (no native itunes, etc. burn support)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Western Digital Caviar 80GB in G4/AGP using IDE PCI card (OS X)
    (Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here in B&W G3 rev2 and G4 towers up to the QuickSilver models.
    IDE articles page RAID section has an illustrated guide for adding 2 more drives in the side bays.)
  • IDE Maxtor 80GB in Beige G3 (OS X)
  • IDE Seagate 7200RPM (didn't note capacity) in iMac g4 (OS X)
    (systems page, iMac section has iMac G4 take-apart article)

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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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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