News Archive for: Thursday, August 24th, 2006
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Apple recalling Sony Cell based iBook G4 and PB G4 Batteries
" Apple Computer is recalling 1.8 million batteries that use Sony's battery cell technology
See this over news.com, but nothing on the apple.com yet. I am going to dig out my old dead battery tonight. They may give a new one :)
Should check this too. It has the detail info.
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06245.html
(titled "Apple Announces Recall of Batteries Used in Previous iBook and PowerBook Computers Due To Fire Hazard")
- Matthew M. "

Apple's page for this recall is https://support.apple.com/ibook_powerbook/batteryexchange/. (The sidebar of that Apple page also has a link to a different recall at https://depot.info.apple.com/batteryexchange/index.html on iBook G4/PB G4 batteries, also related to a fire hazard, but for LG made batteries. That link is the same as another earlier LG made battery recall (fire hazard) for PB G4's only originally posted in the Aug. 19th, 2004 news page here.)

Sony Cells were used in the (infamous now) Dell notebook battery recalls also. (BTW - Some readers were concerned about 3rd party batteries but I've been told that the Newer Tech iBook and PowerBook Batteries do not use Sony Cells.)

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Free Bryce 5.0 download (through Sept. 6th, 2006)
(Updated again at 1PM Eastern with notes on why v5.0 is not listed as 10.4.x compatible - see reports below from Bryce users)
Domingo sent a note there's a free download of Byrce 5.0 (Mac and Windows):

" Download Bryce 5 Free
...For a limited time, DAZ is pleased to offer Bryce 5 software absolutely FREE!* Now through September 6, 2006, download Bryce 5 for no charge at Download.com. Once you have completed your installation, you will be prompted to register your copy at the DAZ3D.com website to receive your Bryce 5 serial number. At that time, you'll also be able to download the Bryce 5 presets. Strike an optimum balance between power and ease of use by integrating this innovative 3D software into your creative process.

*An extensive collection of Bryce 5 original content is available as part of a special Bryce 5 Content Pack in the DAZ web store.

NOTE: Bryce 5.0 does not run under Mac OS X Tiger (Mac OS 10.4 and above). (lists Mac OS 8.x/9.x/10.1/10.2/10.3)"

The Daz page (left) sidebar also has notes on a 5.5 upgrade for $19.95 under the "Art Zone" heading (sign-up). Despite the note about OS X Tiger, several readers wrote to say the app did run on their 10.4.7 machines, however some experienced Byrce users wrote about specific issues with Tiger:

" Mike,
Despite what people have sent you - Bryce 5 does NOT work in Tiger. The dialog boxes popup BEHIND the main application window, which if you've used Bryce you know that it takes over the entire screen. So, sure it starts up and runs, but it doesn't take long to realize you can't use it. There are no work arounds except to update the the newer Bryce 5.5.
I hope that helps.
-Sean
Dream Catcher, LLC "

And another reader also mentioned problems seen w/5.0 in Tiger:

" Just wanted to let you know about Bryce 5 on Tiger: 've been a heavy Bryce user for 8 years, and although Bryce will Run on a Tiger machine, there are numerous annoying bugs, such as freezes when copying and pasting, PICT file corruption, random problems when opening, etc. Not something you'll want to use in a production environment.
-Nathaniel "

One reader said he's used it under 10.4.7 for several hours without any problems so far, but not sure what features he's using. Another reader said he registered first, then downloaded from Daz's site (not download.com link, implied that was a different build?) and ran it under Classic in 10.4.7. (Get info on app, selected 'run in Classic'.) I downloaded it on my primary work PB running 10.3.9, but not 'registered' it yet. If you really like it, it's probably worth getting the $20 upgrade/update.

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Latest feedback on (SS) Classic on Intel Macs
" Aloha, I decided to take a look at it when I read your article last week. At first I had a bunch of crashes but once I brought the system software up to 8.6 it seems pretty stable.

So far I've been able to run AppleWorks, HyperStudio 3.1, and iCab 3.03.
Generally the speed is very good.

Originally I didn't have sound and seemed unable to bring up the volume. I found the sound control panel buried on the 8.5 installer CD and used that to activate sound.

I've also been unable to get AppleTalk to work but I am able to access a file server using the IP number.

Overall I'm very impressed. I don't have too much need for Classic applications but this allows me to access the ones I do need.
Mahalo, Kevin B,
Kapolei, Hawaii"

I've added this to the previous page here on Sheep Shaver w/Intel Macs.

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Mac Pro 2.66GHz vs Dual 1.8GHz G5 Photoshop CS2 Filter tests
A Follow-up from the 2.6GHz Mac Pro owner comments yesterday:

" I ran the OWC PSBench suite, (PSbench 21 filter action script w/o repeated tests/image restores, see notes/link below-Mike) and the results show what I expected from subjective use. If the bench is similar to real world usage, then a Quad 2.66 Xeon is about equivalent to a Dual 1.8 G5. I ran the test on a brand new CS2 installation on brand new and updated 10.4.7 installations (obviously the Mac Pro's install is a later Intel version). Both were running with 2GB RAM.(Note - he later wrote the G5 had only 1GB RAM) The Mac Pro was running on a 250GB SATA/2 drive, and the G5 on a 120GB SATA/1 drive.

Time to complete OWC PSBench action script with Photoshop CS2:
Dual 1.8 G5: 153sec, Mac Pro Quad 2.66 Xeon: 151sec (Rosetta)
(I asked what PShop CS2's Prefs were set as far as max Memory usage and he wrote with revised results of tests, as previous CS2 Apps users recommended a lot of RAM for Rosetta use.-Mike)
I made a slight mistake. The G5 was actually running with 1GB RAM installed, not 2GB (long story). I used the Photoshop preferences to set both machines' copies using only 1GB of available RAM. (Appx 971MB) The result: two back-to-back tests resulted in the G5 being 4 seconds faster than the Mac Pro. In my books, that's still equal on a bench that takes almost three minutes.

Most interestingly to me, their speed differential was not linear throughout the test. You could see the Mac Pro ahead of the G5, and then the G5 would catch up and pass, but then slow down on later tests. I can't remember which filter tests specifically. But in the end the Mac Pro just edged out the Dual 1.8. To me, this is excellent. The Dual 1.8 G5 is no slouch at Photoshop, and I have never found it laggy or inordinately slow. Nice to know my Mac Pro will equal my past experience until CS3 is out and universal next year. Obviously, people using Dual 2.0 G5s and higher will experience degradation in performance for now.

Also of interest:
Opening Photoshop (CS2) for the first time after reboot:
Dual 1.8 G5: 13sec, Mac Pro Quad 2.66 Xeon: 17sec

Opening Photoshop (CS2) for the second time after reboot:
Dual 1.8 G5: 5sec, Mac Pro Quad 2.66 Xeon: 9sec

And finally of interest. I had Activity monitor open on both machines, just the CPU monitor showing, to see what was going on. Amazingly, all four cores were maxed out on the Mac Pro at many times during the test. I didn't expect this. Isn't Photoshop only dual core aware? I seem to recall benchmarks where the Quad 2.5 was the same as a Dual 2.5 G5. I have also noticed running other Rosetta apps, that all four cores seem to be active. Perhaps Rosetta is able to thread the operation of legacy PPC apps to all cores? Interesting, if true, but also scary that it takes 4x2.66 GHz to translate PPC code as fast as 2x1.8 GHz native.

(in reply to yesterday's notes on some QT codec's not being mutli-threaded (some are, some not) he wrote)
the components in ffmpegx (http://ffmpegx.com/) certainly are!
I just converted a 3:46 DV stream into H.264 in 2:30. That's one third faster than real time!
-Vader"

Regardling Rosetta performance, emulators typically take a big performance hit, but at least you're not running significantly slower than with your previous G5 dual 1.8GHz system. Increasing memory prefs setting may help with Rosetta/CS2 performance.
BTW: Jamie at OWC sent a note you can download the revised action script based on PSbench at this page. Jamie's edited PSBench script is a -lot- less tedious to run (it removes the 3x repeated tests/image restores required to repeat each test on the same image).
To be fair regarding the original PSBench script, it allows you to record an Avg. of 3 runs of each filter test, so you can compare performance of each filter/function, not just a total time. (Think of it as a "Higher Resolution" of test results than just a combined total time.) And of course repeating each filter test 3 times requires restoring the image each time so it's re-run on the exact same image. It's very tedious to run, but was designed as a way to compare -individual- filter/function performance in addition to overall time to complete all the tests. It wasn't meant to emulate how an artist uses photoshop, it's purpose was to see how different CPUs/Macs/PCs performed at various functions in photoshop (as well as comparing total times).
And in some cases in the past it was useful to highlight bugs in the app, show strengths and weaknesses of various CPUs, as well as showing the gains from various functions seen from SIMD, showing which filters benefited most from MP, Altivec, etc. (and by how much). But again it's very tedious to run, but just wanted to remind people that there is a reason for the repeated tests, etc.

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AL Cinema Displays and MacBook Pro owner reports pages updated
The Apple Alum Cinema Displays page has another owner's comments (23in model, new spec version) and the MacBook Pro page has notes from a new MBP 2GHz user on CS2 apps/rosetta performance/RAM use, display inverter whine and temperatures.
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Other Net News / Software Updates
(later added items first)

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