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News Archive for Monday, August 23rd, 2004Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of August 23rd, 2004: (Later posted items first)
IBM article on Airport Express and new breed of Access Points
Frank sent a link to a recent article at IBM's developer pages titled Airport Express leads the new breed of consumer Access Points that includes comments on more than just Airport Express.
(If you missed it, there's a page here of Airport Express/Airtunes owner reports/tips/setup guides that also includes links to Apple's kbase docs on Airport Express at the bottom of the page)
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Review of Vue 4 Professional (3D terrain generator)
Erik of IT Enquirer wrote he's posted a short review of Vue 4 Pro.
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Virex 7.5 available (free to .mac users)
MU lists Virex 7.5 today (previous version I had from .mac was v7.2). .Mac subscribers can download it free after logging in at Note: If you've been using a previous Virex 7 version delete the prefs (plist file) before using v7.5. See the readme doc included with 7.5.
(If you're a gamer grab the free copy of Wingnuts mentioned last week if you haven't already.)
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Comments and Photos of Mac Nvidia 6800 Ultra card (bought off ebay)
(updated) At first I thought he may have been sold a PC 6800 Ultra, but looking at the photos shows features only present on a Mac card

" Hi mike... I bought from a private seller last week an nvidia 6800 ultra. The seller claims the card was won at a conference a few months ago. Anyway, the card doesn't seem to work, its pretty weird since everything starts up normally, the apple appears, the the screen dims black and I get a message telling me to restart the computer.
Now, i knew what I was getting into buying this card and i probably got screwed, but now i'm trying to figure out why it isn't working. Is it because the drivers are not in mac os 10.3.5? (there's nothing later than a NV30HAL in 10.3.5, but I was hoping it would fall back to at least some basic video functionality) is it my dvi to adc converter? is the card just busted? I zapped the pram and reseted the motherboard on my g5 2ghz already. I'm sending you a link to the pictures of the card, see if this gives you or anyone else any ideas.
cheers, gaetan
3Dotz Productions

(I asked if he would try booting OS X in verbose mode using Command+V keys and see what errors it listed.)
I tried booting in verbose mode, there was tons of stuff written on the screen ( it felt like good old DOS) (that's normal), then it stopped and the last thing written was ''hangup''. I have also deleted the geforce extensions from my system to see if they were comflicting, it made no difference. I've added pictures of the verbose booting (photos of the screen in sections) as well as the screen I get when trying to boot normally. "

From the photos the card is a Mac model (note the ADC stub connector for powering the card, long card form factor, etc. - neither of those 2 features are seen on PC models). Of course I can't tell what firmware is in the card. I checked 10.3.5 and the latest Nvidia HAL is for the NV30, but I would have hoped that basic video would have worked regardless (since even some cards w/o any real drivers in OS X have basic functionaltity w/o acceleration). I asked if he could test it with another monitor. (I'm guessing the 6800U mac card only orders may ship with a driver CD, unless they roll NV40 support into a previous driver.)

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Firewire/USB PCI card deep sleep reports page updated (More NitroAV card tests)
I've updated the page of Firewire/USB/Combo card feedback on deep sleep support with another long report from a reader that tested a NitroAV FW800/USB 2.0 card including some performance tests. (In reply to another owner report on that card that mentioned lower performance than expected.)
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More on Nvidia 6800 BTO System Est. Ship Dates (Student ADC Order)
As a follow-up to the previous post on delays of Nvidia 6800 Ultra card est. shipping dates (separate card orders as well as sysems w/BTO option):

" I have an Student ADC order in with a September 3rd ship date. It has been this way the whole time, and not had any of the slippage emails that have been going around with either the 2.5 or the 6800 problems.
During multiple calls to ADC, they have assured me that the system will ship on the 3rd. I will call them again on Monday and update you.
jim m. "

If anyone that ordered a Mac 6800 Ultra (card only or BTO'd w/system) ships before 9/17, let me know. Thanks.
I previously posted a note that a card-only order from June 29th AM had the estimated ship date delayed from "On or Before August 25th" to "On or Before Sept. 17th". Some buyers of BTO'd systems also had offers to ship the system with an ATI card (9600XT) and then have the 6800U card shipped later. (Basically getting the 9600XT for free - a similar offer was done in the past when the GF3 and GF4 Ti cards were first offered as options.)

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More on PowerBook G4 Slottted Superdrive Cleaning
A reader replied to the post in Saturday's news (reader article on removing/disassembling the drive for manual cleaning) with an easier method he used:

" Hi Mike, I love your site (regular visitor for 3+ years) best wishes from Leicester, UK
I was interested in the disassembly article for the 15" 1ghz TiBook, basically I had the same problems, I couldn't burn CD's and then DVD's stopped playing.
Although covered by Applecare I couldn't afford to be without my mac for a week or more so i turned to a keyboard cleaning spray aerosol (from the later comments, not a liquid, just pressurized gas to blow dust away) and inserted it down the centre of the drive to roughly where the lens is and gave it a squirt. DVD's then played normally and and I was back to burning CD's in iTunes and iPhoto. A quick and dirty solution for the less technical user, but there's been no problems since, and it seems to pickup discs a lot quicker when they first go in.
best regards, Matt
(I asked what type/brand of spray he used, was power/battery removed, etc. since I'd never consider spraying the internals with any liquid based cleaner.)
I didn't remove the battery, but I had the computer switched off.
The brandname is Automation Facilities Sprayduster, but it's just a very generic 'invertible air duster' which I happened to have around. It's normally used to clean keyboards. It is described on the canister as 'pure compressed gas for blowing dust and debris from inaccessible areas of electronic equipment' "
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WinSwitch 1.5 Update sent word they've updated their open source/free WinSwitch enhanced Fast User Switching for Panther. Version 1.5 is a maintenance release which among other things updates the included localizations they say.
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 17 new reports added this morning. (Entries from Friday-Sunday, entries today are added the next newsday morning.). 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 13,485 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)

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Benq 5232W (52x32x52x) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands, no native iApps burn support so using Patchburn II for Panther iApps burn support.)
  • IDE Khypermedia KHCRW482448 in Beige G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (listed under "other" brands, no native iApps burn support so using Patchburn II for Panther iApps burn support.)
  • IDE Liteon SOHR-5238S (52x32x52x) in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3) (using Patchburn II for Panther iApps burn support.)
  • IDE Sony CRX230AD-U in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (no itunes burn support - using toast. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers Beige G3 MT model)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • IDE Panasonic (aka matshita) CW-8123-B (24x16x24x +8x DVD-ROM) in Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.3)
  • Exp. Bay Teac DW-224EA93 (24x24x24x +8x DVD-ROM) in Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X 10.4) (unclear if iApps burn supported, if not try patchburn II. Also noted not bootable from CD)

    DVD-R Drives:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-104SA in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (didn't have the firmware update to fix the 4x DVD-R media issue noted here in late 2002, and a 4x disc apparently locked the drive/resulting in a failure. See FAQ's DVD section for notes/past links to firmware updates for the DVR-104 and DVR-103 drives that address the 4x media issue as well as links to an OS X flasher with later firmware.)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE PIoneer DVR-108 in G5 Tower (OS X 10.3)
    (no native iApps burn support, so using Patchburn II)
  • IDE TDK DVDRW420N in Dual G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (no native iApps burn support - most use Patchburn II for Panther iApps burn support.
    Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers B&W G3 and G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Maxtor 200GB in (Quicksilver 2002) G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (QS 2002 models have native big drive support if formatted in 10.2.x or later - mentioned problems in OS 9 accessing beyond 128GB however.
    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 Seagate ST3160023A 160GB in (MDD) Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.3)
  • IDE Seagate ST94811A 40GB in PowerBook G3 wallstreet2 (OS X )
    (PB G3 1998/wallstreet illustrated HD install guide here)
  • IDE Western Digital WD400EB 40GB in iMac slot-loading (OS X 10.3)

  • USB Fujitsu DPC-UD1 (xD removeable media) used w/Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X 10.3)

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 5 new reports this morning (entries from Friday-Sunday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,522. Here's a summary of the report added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Daystar G4/550 in (Pismo) PowerBook G3 2000 (rated 9)
    (includes comments on battery life, heat, etc.)
  • Other Brand (fastmac) G4/1GHz in (gigabit) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/700MHz in Beige G3 (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G4/1GHz in G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • XLR8 G3/500 in B&W G3 (rated 9)

    (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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Reader Game Reviews Database Updated
The Rate Your Mac Games database update this morning included another review of Command and Conquer Generals. (Looking for more reviews from owners of new Mac games.) Total Reviews (all titles): 1169. 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 and reviews you may have missed.
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