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News Archive for Tuesday, August 10th, 2004Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of August 10th, 2004: (Later posted items first)
10.3.5 Fixes DVD Player Artifacts with ATI 9800/9700 Cards
Today I kept forgetting to mention that a reader said the DVD Player artifacts seen in 10.3.4 with some ATI cards like the 9800 Pro is fixed in 10.3.5. A quick test here with the Indiana Jones Raiders DVD looks like it has fixed the problem. (ATI released a hotfix/patch for the same problem in 10.3.3, but 10.3.4 broke that and the patch would not apply in 10.3.4.) The original tip here before ATI released the patch for 10.3.3 was to use the DVD player from 10.2.8, which fixed the problem in 10.3.4 also for me. But glad it's been fixed (again) without needing to revert to an older DVD player app. (BTW - The problem was easily seen on a retail 9800 Pro/MDD G4 system, but a OEM 9800/G5 system didn't seem to have it.)
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Apple releases Java 1.4.2 Update 1
Yet another update appears today in Software Updates (10.3.5 used here).

" Java 1.4.2 Update 1 (26.4MB) provides support for JDK 1.4.2_05, improved behavior for applets in Safari, and increased stability for desktop Java applications.
The system will be updated to Java 1.4.2 Update 1. If the system currently has Java 1.4.1, it will be removed.
For more details on this update, please visit: http://www.apple.com/java/ "

If anyone finds this update fixes or breaks anything, let me know the details. I'm updating the PB G4 here as a test guinea pig but I don't visit a lot of sites that depend on java. (Some readers originally mentioned problems with some java based investment or banking sites for instance on the first reports page on java 1.4.2 earlier this year.) There was a mid-May 2004 re-release of Java 1.4.2 with a revised installer, but no code changes.

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DVD Studio Pro 3.0.1 Update and Pro Apps Support Update 2.1
I don't own the program (wish I did) but while digging at apple's support page to help a reader with a DVD problem (and update an old FAQ's DVD section item links from the obsolete TIL to kbase doc links) I spotted the iDVD Studio Pro 3.0.1 update at Apple's downloads page. Here's the full list of changes from the kbase doc linked at the update page:

" The DVD Studio Pro 3.0.1 update includes the following enhancements:

  • Increased performance due to resolved memory issues.
  • Thumbnails now display correctly when using layered .psd files for background or overlay.
  • An empty asset container can now be safely deleted and a new project can be created immediately after previewing slide transitions.
  • MPEG-1 video successfully compiles and does not cause the alert "Compiler, Internal Muxer Error."
  • Now creates the Video_TS folder in the directory set in preferences instead of the location of the last burn.
  • Transitions can now be changed on a track that comes from a converted slideshow without having the audio extend past the end of the track.
  • Improved simulator support for playing 4:3 tracks in PAL 16:9 and where buttons with a transition may have been inactive.
  • After selecting a subtitle stream, you are now able to select the View checkbox in the Layered Button Property Inspector.
  • You can now assign a Jump to Story based on GPRM Marker in Script editor.
  • You can now compile a multiangle track that includes an additional still at the end of V1 without adding a marker at the end of the clip.
  • You can now add an MPEG from the Finder to a Drop Zone while Motion is on.
  • The Disc Meter in the toolbar is now updated when duplicating assets in the Timeline.
  • An iDVD 4 project imported into DVD Studio Pro should no longer cause the computer to stop responding.
  • Burned discs will now play in Mac OS 9 without requiring them to be mounted as an ISO-9660 disc."
    (no longer requiring Command-Option-I, an old tip for mounting problems with UDF format discs in OS 9.x)
  • There's also a Pro Apps Support 2.1 Update available. I don't have any Pro apps installed to see what the changes are however but Travis sent a clip from the SU panel:

    "This update provides improvements for Apple's professional applications, and is strongly recommended for all users of Final Cut Pro, Cinema Tools, Compressor, LiveType, Soundtrack, and DVD Studio Pro. This update improves general user interface appearance and reliability and is required to receive future updates for these applications" "
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    Fan Speed Tip for MDD Owners
    (fan speed control extension mods in OS X)
    I've not tried this personally (athough I have used the NAP mode and some of the fan/cooling mods listed on the Systems page) but a reader sent a note about a modifying a fan speed control extension for OS X that reduced temperatures at the expensive of some increased noise.

    " Hey Mike, I recently bought a dual 1.25 Ghz MDD. Since it has 2 MB of L3 cache and no FW800 I assume it is a first rev model, but with the silent psu fans and case fan. There's been some fuzz considering the ammount of noise these machines produce, but it's much more silent than my old dual 1 GHz QS G4. (the first models had a very annoying frequency noise from the original PS/fan version.)
    What was actually bothering me was the heat: the power supply runs very hot, and so does the CPU in my opinion. Temperature monitor showed temps of 59 degrees Celcius. (the G4 CPU's rated max junction temperature is much higher than that - but these readings are from the sensor on the CPU module. The internal CPU junction temperature is likely higher than the reading from the module's sensor.) I will be performing some case mods, adding some extra fans, but in a meanwhile I found a tip on a website that also helps:
    http://homepage.mac.com/paul74/MDDFanExtensionMod.htm
    It's about changing the temperature at which the big papst fan kicks in. I changed it exactly the same way he did and the temperature dropped to 55 degrees now. It doesn't make a difference for the psu, but it does for the cpu and hard drives.

    The MDD is a little noisier now, but it doesn't bother me because it's under my desk anyway. I'd rather have a well-cooled mac, decreasing the chance on hard drive failures and so on.
    I'll send you an update when I've done some case mods. Regards, Otto "

    The G4 section of the Systems page here has several past articles on MDD case cooling/mods ranging from a simple PCI slot cooler, to copper heatsink replacement and additional fans/case mods. I liked that Unreal mod myself (replacing the internal speaker in the front with a cooling fan.) The PCI slot cooler is also cheap and helps exhaust some heat out of the case.

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    iSync 1.5 Update released
    Two readers sent a note that iSync 1.5 is available via Software Updates (10.3.5 used here). Here's a clip from the SU panel on the changes:

    " iSync 1.5 adds support for more devices such as the latest Sony Ericsson and Motorola phones. For more information about supported devices and connectivity requirements, visit www.apple.com/isync.

    Before you install iSync 1.5, you must install iCal 1.5.2 or later. To download the latest version of iCal, visit www.apple.com/ical, or use Software Update (in System Preferences) to install the latest version.

    If you are using Mac OS X version 10.3 and plan to synchronize a Bluetooth mobile phone, you need to have Bluetooth version 1.5 or later installed. To download the latest version, use Software Update (in System Preferences). If you have an earlier version of Mac OS X, visit www.apple.com/isync to download the appropriate Bluetooth version. "

    Thanks to Joe and Steven for the heads-up.

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    How to Fix the Sonnet 745x G4 Cache Enabler/OS X 10.3.5 Problem
    I've updated the page of OS X 10.3.5 reader reports page with a guide to removing the Sonnet cache enabler extension that (as I suspected) was the cause of the 10.3.5 update kernel panics/boot problems a reader reported earlier today with this Sonnet G4/800 ZIF upgraded B&W G3. Sonnet has posted a beta update to the enabler to reportedly fix the problem with 10.3.5.
    (This enabler is used for the G4/700-1GHz Sonnet upgrades - not sure if it is also used for their older 7400/7410 upgrades, but those CPUs do not need cache enabler software when used in B&W G3 macs, although a cache enabler is required for any G4 upgrade in a Beige G3 and older Mac.) An earlier Sonnet G4/800 user said that Powerlogix's CPU Director didn't have the problem in 10.3.5 with his Sonnet G4/800 upgrade in a legacy Mac, so that's another option. Removing the Sonnet kext/extension is still required though.
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    CHUD Tools v4.0b6 - Removes NAP mode option
    Update Two readers replied to this post saying that CHUD v4.0b6 does not allow changing NAP mode anymore:

    " Hello Mike,
    Just a quick note to say I d/l and installed CHUD 4.0.6b and now on my G4 dual MDD 1.25Ghh there is no "NAP" feature available anymore. Where the nap checkbox used to be there is now a line that say's "altivec - yes". So I guess the party is over for us G4 users. -Jerry "

    Another reader wrote:

    " Mike, I thought you might like to caution readers that CHUD 4.0.0b6 appears to abandon the ability to turn on Nap mode, at least as it appears on my DP867 (MDD) running 10.3.5. That caused the temperature in my machine to rise by 13 Celsius degrees in a very few minutes. Apple surely must have done that by mistake?

    Regrettably, my visit to the Developer site revealed that v. 4.0.0b5, which included the Nap switch (as have all others hitherto), has disappeared; the most recent previous version still posted is 3.52. Fortunately, for some reason I had saved a download of v. 4.0.0b1, and I have reverted to that for now.
    Jeremy "

    I suspect it was not a mistake (and the dual MDD models never had nap mode enabled by default that i know of - the single G4 MDD models did). I'm betting they removed it to prevent users changing NAP modes on the G5 or any other Mac. (As mentioned last year on the G5 PS noise tips page, Apple did not recommend disabling NAP mode even though many owners did to stop the chirping/squealing noises. And more than a few dual G4 MDD owners reported problems with NAP mode enabled, even though not all did. I always wondered if the CPU revision may have been a factor.) I'm guessing they removed the feature to prevent more tech support calls related to NAP mode. For now at least, the Apple FTP Developer Tools directory linked in the past here still shows several older versions (including 3.5.2, 3.0.4 and 2.5.3) - but no other 4.0 betas than b6.

    And several readers reported problems with Apple's CHUD Tools 4.0 beta5 released recently (typically with dual MDD systems using NAP mode)
    For those new to the site, CHUD's Hardware preference panel was popular with G5 owners to disable CPU Nap mode as a common tip for G5 Power Supply Chirping Noises. And some used it to enable Nap mode to lower Dual G4 MDD CPU temperatures. (It's enabled by default on single G4 MDD models but some Dual G4 MDD owners reported problems with NAP mode enabled.)
    Apple suggests removing your existing CHUD version before installing a new version and for those using the Nap mode enable/disable feature without problems, it may be best to leave well enough alone.

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    Call of Duty 1.4 (final) patch, Myst IV: Revelation demo
    There's a Call of Duty 1.4 final patch at 3dgamers.com (added yesterday) that that fixes some performance issues from the 1.4 public beta and adds better support for FSAA. The readme included in the download has a complete list of changes/fixes.
    Ed also also wrote there's a Myst IV: Revelation demo available at MU.
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    Reader Feedback on 10.3.5 Update
    I've posted a page with reader reports on the 10.3.5 update released last night. I've not seen any problems so far with the PB G4 updated here, but four G5 1.8GHz (single CPU) owners reported their systems wouldn't go into deep sleep and some noted 3rd party temperature reporting utilities no longer worked (XResource graph still reports temperatures on the PB G4 here). One older mac owner w/Sonnet G4/800 ZIF upgrade reported boot problems after the 10.3.5 update, although someone using the same upgrade with PL's CPU Director was ok. (Updated with info on how to remove the sonnet extension and use their later beta release of the enabler.)
    Several reports on changes/improvements to ASP memory type/timing reporting and more. See the 10.3.5 Feedback page for details.
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    OWC Clearance page updated (Systems from $99, ATI cards, Dimms, CPU Upgrades)
    (from site sponsor OWC)

    " Another clearance round
    Lots of various PowerMac G3 Beige systems from $99, PowerMac 8600 and 9600s from $39.00, OWC On-The-Go FireWire enclosures from $45, Hard to find Radeon 7000 MacEditions, a couple ATI 9800 256MB G5 AGPs, 16MB DIMMs for $3.95, 32MB DIMMs for $7.50, 64MB for $9, G3 processors from $19, G4 Processors from $15, and various other new goodies to browse. Lots of deals for everyone. Open Box/GarageSale/Clearance.
    First Come, First Served - parts deactivate when sold out.
    Best Regards,
    Lawrence R. O'Connor
    Other World Computing"
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    Photos of VA Tech's Xserve G5 Supercomputing Cluster
    Jamie sent a note that there's photos of VA Tech's new Xserve G5 based supercomputer cluster (replacing their original G5 tower models) at http://www.tcf.vt.edu/upgrade_gallery/upgrade_pics.html.
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    Apple Production Suite (FCP HD, DVD SP3 and Motion Bundle)
    Apple news page links to their Production Suite bundle of Final Cut Pro HD, DVD Studio Pro 3 and Motion that lists for $1299 or $699 for an upgrade version. (They also note Motion is now shipping.)
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    iPhoto 2.0.3 Update adds AAC music support and update notification
    Last night I mentioned a reader said there was an iPhoto 2.0.3 update, but I didn't have the details. I'd updated a machine to iPhoto 4.0.3 last week but I'd forgotten i had iPhoto 2 on a system here and checking Software Updates shows the update with this change info:

    " iPhoto 2.0.1 now supports AAC music files and provides notification when new versions of iPhoto are available. "
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    More G5 owner reports on Optical Audio
    I've updated the page of G5 owner reports on Optical Audio with another Logitech Z-680 owner's comments (noting some hiss from the amplifier, but not objectionable).
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    Sonic Solutions to Acquire Roxio's Consumer Software Division
    Yesterday Roxio posted a press release on the sale of their consumer software division to Sonic Solutions. (Wondering about the impact of this on Toast and Jam...)
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    Apple Knowledge Base Doc Updates
    (from apple's mail list)

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    CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
    The Drive Compatibility Database had 4 new reports added this morning. (Reader entries from Monday, entries today are added the next newsday morning. Entries with no comments, missing info etc. are not posted). The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, 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, USB, adapters). Current total 13,441 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports)

      DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
    • IDE NEC ND 2510A in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
      (using Patchburn II for burn support. No iApps Dual Layer disc burn support to date, but toast 6.0.7 supports it.)
    • IDE Pioneer DVR-107D in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)
      (noted problems mtg DVD-R discs, asked what format the disc was burned and what brand of media used.)
      (native burn support in 10.3.3 and later, FAQ has links to patchburn 1.1 for 10.2.x burn support and an OS 9 burn support file.
      Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers Beige G3, B&W G3 - G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model)

      Hard Drives:
    • IDE Samsung Spinpoint SPN 120GB in iMac slot-loading (OS X)
    • IDE Western Digital WD2000JB (8MB cache) 200GB in eMac (OS X 10.3)
      (emacs have native big drive support)

    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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    Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
    The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report this morning (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,497. Here's a summary of the report added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

    • Apple G4/450 (at 500MHz) OC report (G4/AGP tower)

      (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. - see the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

    (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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    Recent Reviews and Articles:
    Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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