News Archive for: 8/8/2005 Monday's News (later posted items first)
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Using Hauppage WinTV-PVR USB2 with MyTV.pvr
" Hi, I wish to contribute to your page on Mac compatible TV tuners.
Recently, hauppauge/eskape introduced the mytv.pvr USB2 for the Mac.
http://www.eskapelabs.com/myTVPVR.html
It was backorder everywhere, so I decided to try my luck with the "windows" clone = wintv-pvr-usb2
http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/products/data_pvrusb2.html
It turns out the product works perfectly with the Mac Drivers.
Price is currently 150$ CDN in online stores such as BestBuy/Futureshop.
Best regards, Vincent P. "

I've added this to the previous page here on OS X TV Tuner Software used with various Tuners (incl. TurboTV, Formac ProTV, Hauppage WinTV, PCTV Rave cards, etc.)

(FYI - I've also updated previous posts on iBook case cleaning methods/products, X850 Radeon and the Other Net News section.)

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Playing Doom on the iPod
Several readers sent a note about running Doom on the iPod at http://www.ipodlinux.org/Doom. See their page for more info and downloads but here's a clip on the features:

"Features
Mostly playable I need to sift through the Doom post for some key binds. Can load game saves. Can save game.
Plays all wad files: Doom I Shareware (won't play demos), Doom II Shareware, Ultimate Doom, Final Doom wads, and Doom II..."

(Last year a reader posted a Review of Linux on the iPod, although there's now a later version available.)

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Mirror Drive Door system ATX Case Conversion article
W. Li sent an article with photos of his MDD to ATX Case Conversion. (For other System/Case Conversions, Cooling mods, and related articles, see the Systems page.)
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Tiger user Tip for Revolution 5.1 noise problems
I've updated the page of reader feedback on the Revolution 5.1 audio card with an OS X 10.4/Tiger user saying that driver v1.0.0 worked w/o the noise problems other readers reported in Tiger with later drivers. (I was a little skeptical at first but a reader said the 1.0.0 driver tip did help - his post includes a link to the 1.0.0 driver and a note about one negative to using the 1.0 driver.)
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iBook owner tips on Case Cleaning
(Updated several times today)
A reader with an iBook G4 that needing cleaning wrote with his experience on trying to of the cleaning items mentioned earlier today

" Mike,
That was such good info on cleaning the iBook from dirt, grime, newsprint, etc, that I went and purchased the Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser from Office Depot and the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser from Long's Drugs to see which was the preferred tool.

The Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser was $2.99 for 4 erasers that will no doubt last until we colonize Mars, does work. However it was a very slow and messy process. It took as long to clean up the small particulate matter as it did to clean the left palm rest. It was streaky and uneven in its stain removal. I worried more about the particulate matter getting into and behind the keyboard than any time ever using other cleaners in the past. I did use air to blast out behind the keys when I was finished with it. On a localized basis in a small area away from the keys I would use it if Mr. Clean wasn't around. Not a hearty recommendation.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is one wicked puppy. Watch out, the next thing you know you will be cleaning everything with it. A 2 pack runs $2.39 for two very white sponge size pads. I thought the full size out of the box was too unruly so I cut it into 4 smaller sponge size blocks. The right palm rest took about 3-4 seconds of light rubbing with a DRY pad to make it as clean as new. No particulate matter to speak of, but I air blasted anyway to be sure. The small pad made it super easy to get around the keys on the keyboard, in between the channels between the keys, around the bezel of the LCD and anywhere it needed it. The actual mouse clicker pad was really bad, so I VERY lightly moistened the pad a very carefully washed it quickly and dried it with a clean white terry cloth rag and it turned the pad and the rag rather brown. But yes, my iBook looks like new again. And if the store I went to didn't have the Mr. Clean (Magic Eraser), I'd go to another store before using the Mars Plastic Eraser.

I did not use either of these items on the back side of the LCD display as I use only warm water on a clean rag or mild solution of Ivory Soap on a clean rag to keep it looking good. If it was really dirty, I would not hesitate to try the Mr. Clean (Magic Eraser) on it after a test patch cleaning on the bottom side.
-Matthew Culmore"

(Earlier posts on cleaning tips/product follows.)

" I noticed your article on cleaning the palm rest of a white iBook . I work at a small computer repair shop where we work on mac's quite often. One of the things we use to clean the palm rests on the iBooks is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. They cost aobut 2.00 for 2 of them at target.
http://housekeeping.about.com/od/productreviews/gr/mrcleanmagicer.htm
they work like a charm and do not scratch the surface of the iBook.
(Normally you use these pads Wet for typical home use, but I asked if he used them wet or dry-Mike)
Both, wet and dry. Usually I use them dry, and just lightly scrub it over and over. If the stain is ingrained enough I dampen it JUST A LITTLE bit. Not enough to soak it. We haven't ever had an issue with bleaching or anything like that (the plastic seems pretty tough).
The stains seems to be result of having oily skin. The oil from your hands trap dirt and deposit it on the laptop where it smooths out into a solid grime. Mr. Clean (Magic Eraser) is the only thing I have had luck with on cleaning them.
Cheers, Jeremy W "

I don't own an iBook but I've used the "Magic Erasers" for cleaning walls and other surfaces in the house and they work great for that. (A real timesaver when we were cleaning up an old house for sale.) Normally you wet those pads first (for wall cleaning, etc.) as in addition to the pad itself they seem to have a bit of cleaner impregnated in them. (Almost like a bleaching effect seen on walls in the past here from the wet pad dripping down the walls if left on for some time then wiped off, even if not scrubbed with the pad.) So if used wet you'd want to keep any of the liquid from seeping down the keyboard area, etc.

Another reader replied to this post with a general cleaning tip:

" Hi Mike,
I just read the post on cleaning an iBook. I am willing to divulge my secrets to let you all know about a cleaning product that turns grubby Macs back into as-new looking Macs. Amberclens, made by Ambersil, is the only cleaning product we use at Fix My Mac. The results never fail to amaze. Customers need convincing that they have received their own machine back. Even on Macs that look clean, you still get a dirty cloth after cleaning it with Amberclens. I have used a couple of other foaming spray cleaners but nothing even comes close to Amberclens. G4 iMacs are usually the best candidates as they have so much white plastic on show. However, any surface of your Mac will shine after use. I have used it on several monitor screens in places where the user smokes in front of the display. The colour the foam changes to after having done its work shows clearly that a daily wipe of the screen does not remove the build up. The difference is noticeable if you only clean half of the screen. The monitor returns to maximum brightness. I have no hesitation in recommending it to every customer that comes to Fix My Mac.
Kevan G.
Www.fixmymac.co.uk
(I mentioned I'm leery of using some cleaners on LCD displays, and asked if this cleaner was safe for them.-Mike)
I use it on both glass (crt) and LCD screens. I use twin 17in Apple LCD's and clean them once per month. Ambersil also do(es) a product specifically for LCD screens. You need to see Amberclens in action to believe it. "

When using anything wet (foam or liquid) be careful as you don't want it seeping into any areas that have electronics/components.

The previous iBook owner's report follows:

" I've got an iBook G4 with a white body. The build quality is great, I love it, but after using the book for about two years I accumulated a noticeable brown layer of dirt on the palm rests and next to the keyboard. As time progressed and it became more noticeable I tried to remove it. I've tried using damp cloth, tissue, soap and water, rubbing alcohol, a toothbrush, and I even considered buying a thirty dollar cleaning kit, none of these things worked, not even a little bit.

Around the same time that I was considering the cleaning kit I got wise and started thinking about some of the other things which I usually have laying around in my studio. (I was trained as a graphic designer and that's what I still do * half of the time at least) I started thinking about glue as a P.B.P.R.S. "possible brown patch removal solution" I tried applying rubber cement, white latex glue, and a clear water soluble children's glue to my iBook. Surprisingly the glue did sort of work. The latex glue and clear kid's glue took off a layer of brown with each application. I would apply a thin layer of glue to the surface in two or three inch patches and let the glue dry. After it dried I would peel it off and take some dirt off with it. This was not a 100% solution because it only faded the brown spots. For example; after one application and peel session the book would go from 50% brown to 30% brown. Another application would lessen it further to about 20% brown and so on. The whole process was very time intensive because of the long drying time.

Then I had a stroke of luck. I went out and got a brand new Staedtler plastic eraser, and I went to work on my iBook. After 15 minutes of vigourous erasing, it looked as good as the day I bought it! Of course I put it to sleep before I started erasing to protect my hard drive from all of the shaking.
I highly recommend this technique to the masses of people with discolored iBook palm rests. Also note that the eraser does nothing to improve the look of the glossy exterior.
-Three BKK "

I assume from the last comment the eraser didn't do any damage to the original finish. (Most erasers have some abrasive compound in them.)

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Petition for Firmware updates for Powerbook/Mac Mini Superdrives
(from a reader mail this weekend.)

" After purchasing 2 new Apple machines (a 12" PowerBook and a 1.42Ghz Mac Mini) with SuperDrives I was all excited. As time went on, the excitement faded with frustration as faulty firmware on the drive made it very picky about the media used. 90% of the media I had tried on this drive will detect as 2x media - nowhere close to the advertised burn speed (8x and 4x respectively). (There's been reader reports on this also in the past here - even from some readers that used some models of Pioneer (like the K04L) and Matshita slotted drives with non-apple firmware, although there may be later firmware updates from the mfr's now that improves this.-Mike)

Apple has done very well at denying that there is an issue with these drives, however there is mounting evidence that these drives are well and truly crippled by the Apple shipped firmware. After discussing these issues with the manufacturer of the MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-835E drive, it became clear that this was caused by problems with Apple supplied firmware.

On the Apple discussion forums, there is a thread detailing the exact problems with more than 300 replies - many of these mirroring the frustrations of not being able to burn anywhere near the quoted specs of the devices purchased. I have now setup a petition that people may sign to collect something that cannot be ignored by Apple. Please publish this information on your site, and point people who are having this issue to:
http://superdrive.crc.id.au
I shall be presenting this issue to Apple's Australian managers again in the near future, and would like this issue to be resolved by Apple by then. I can be contacted on the details for any questions you may need answering. (see linked page for email contact link)
-Steven H. "

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Are Radeon X850's back-ordered?
(from a reader mail Friday)

" I placed an order with Apple for a PowerMac 2.7 GHZ with Radeon X850 XT graphics card on July 28. I was told it would ship on August 4, but on that date I received an e-mail that shipping was delayed until August 26. My guess is that the special order ATI Radeon X850 is the problem, not the PowerPC CPUs.
Bruce C. "

Several readers replied to this post saying they'd gotten their G5 w/X850 card already. Most were happy with it but one noted some issues with Pro Apps in Tiger for instance. I'll post their comments tomorrow as well as info on a related update. (See Tuesday's news page X850 owner reports.)

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Other Net News / Apple Kbase doc updates

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 4 new reports added. (Entries later today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 14,971 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) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • IDE Liteon sohc-5232k in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (noted drive not bootable from CD, didn't comment on iApps burn support in 10.2.8 but this drive isn't natively burn supported as far as I know, so you'd need to use toast or other 3rd party burning software, or try Patchburn for iApps burn support.)
  • IDE Philips CDD5301 in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (native iApps burn support he said but not bootable from CD in the B&W, it was in an AGP tower he said.
    Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers B&W G3 and G4 models up to the Digital Audio model.)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) NEC ND-3540A used w/Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-109 in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for 10.3.x iApps burn support. FAQ's DVD section has firmware updaters also.)

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 3 new reports (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,020. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple Mac Mini OC report (1.25GHz at 1.42GHz)
  • Other World Computing G4/1GHz in G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Giga Designs G4 1.4GHz in G4/AGP (rated 8)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at 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).

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Mac Game Reviews Database Updated
The Rate Your Mac Games database update this morning included reviews of Medal of Honor Allied Assault, Soldier of Fortune II and Star Wars Jedi Knight II. Total Reviews (all titles): 1236. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review (reviews of newer titles encouraged). Please include as much detail as possible in your review comments. (If your game title is not in the long list of titles, 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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