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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 12/06/2001 Thursday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of Dec. 6th, 2001:

Authoring Support 1.1.5 Update Available
If the update does not show up in OS 9's Software Updates (control panel), you can download it at http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=120069.
(from the readme file)

    " Changes in Version 1.1.5
    Version 1.1.5 fixes some issues for ISO burns using iTunes and DiscBurner.

    New CD-R Drives Supported
    CD-R drive manufacturers often use several different mechanisms in the same CD-R product. The following drive models and mechanisms are the only new combinations tested by Apple. This list may change; for the latest information, check the Apple CD-R Compatibility Web site.

    Drive Name / Mechanism
    Sony CRX-1650L-A2 - CRX-1611
    Sony Digital Relay - CRX-1611
    Sony Spressa Professional 10x4x32x - CRX145E

    For a complete list of supported drives see www.apple.com/itunes/compatibility/.

Other drives may also work however. A reader email noted a Lite-On 24x drive appears to be supported, even though it's not in the list. (However I suggest a test burn to make sure the drive is supported.) The Apple CD/DVD extension version was not updated. (Note: For those that have modified support files for iTunes - make a backup copy of them before applying this update in case they are overwritten. If the update does not include support for your drive you can then copy the modified file back over.)

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Apple Store 4th Birthday Email Offer - $50 Off on $500 Purchase
Not earthshaking but I just received an email from the Apple store (4th Birthday noted) with an offer of $50 off purchases of $499 or more good until 12/20/2001. (If it was $50 off on $399 or more - that iPod would be very tempting...)
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Testing OWC's new 512MB PC133 RAM sodimms in PowerBook G4/667:
Sponsor OWC sent two of their latest 512MB PC133 SODIMMs for testing with a PowerBook G4/667. So far I've seen no problems restarting or running these dimms in the PB G4/667. ASP in OS 9.2.2 and OS X both report 1GB of RAM. I'm running a GaugePro ram test now and no errors reported after an hour of continuous tests.
These are the most unusual SODIMMs I've seen - they have what appears to be a metal heat spreader (heatsink) over the chips. I was a bit leery at first that this might contact the capacitors on the PB G4 motherboard - but after OWC assured me they'd tested these in a PB G4/667 fine I installed them as is and have seen zero problems so far. These are CL3 dimms, as are the original modules that shipped with the system.

For those that don't check the news every day (or the past 3 days summary on every day's news page) - I had a very scary experience with two Crucial CL2 256MB modules in the PB G4/667 noted in the Nov 12th news page. Not only would it not restart with the modules installed, but I saw some screen image problems (shaking and 'melting' effect) as well as noticing the dimms were _very hot_ when removing them. (The Crucial/Micron 256MB CL2 dimms I had were 16 chip modules, which Apple does not recommend in their dev docs. OWC says these are 8 chip modules.)
At the time I'm posting this OWC's picture on their 512MB module for the PB G4/667 does not show the same design module as these are but I assume that photo will be updated shortly. (I've taken some photos of the modules for posting later.) The "other net news" page here in the last month has linked to a thread in apple's forums where PB G4/667 owners have reported restart and other issues with 512MB modules from several vendors (including earlier versions of OWC modules). From what I'm seeing - the latest OWC modules solve this problem.

For my previous tests and comments on the PowerBook G4/667 - see this article.

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Virtual PC Performance Tip for OS X:
In reply to the Virtual PC 5 test results posted earlier today (below) a reader sent a suggestion which I have forwarded to those that sent results.

" Try this - "sudo renice -1 VPC-PID". Get the PID with ps or top.
[using the terminal-Mike]
This should increase the priority of VPC to one less than it normally is (0). The smaller the number the higher the priority.
Nice boost.
mark"

I've asked those that sent OS X VPC results today to try this and report back on how it affected test scores.

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Virtual PC v5 Tests with Dual G4 vs. Single G4 in OS X:
" Tried VPC 5 on both a Titanium Powerbook 500 w/OS 9.2.2 and a Dual G4/500. Both had 256 megs of RAM (160 devoted to the virtual machine, which was Windows XP Professional). Neither had any apps running except the finder, and it was running full screen.

Overall, pretty slow (what i expected). However, what surprised me was that the TiBook performance seems better than the Dual G4/500- So here, even having dual processors does not seem to overcome the speed penalty of running VPC in OS X :(

I grabbed a benchmark utility called "FreshDiagnose" from versiontracker (never heard of it, but i figured it would be fine for relative testing). Sure enough, the Tibook scored very similar to and in some cases outperformed the Dual G4/500 (CPU, "Multimedia", Memory, Disk)...

(Higher numbers are better)
CPU:
Tibook Whetstone FPU 155 MWIPS, Dhrystone ALU 569 MDIPS
Dual G4 Whetsone FPU 153 MWIPS, Dhrystone ALU 552 MDIPS

Multimedia:
Tibook Benchmark index 173
Dual G4 Benchmark index 178

Hard Disk:
Tibook Write 1.67 MB/sec Read 6.23 MB/sec
Dual G4 Write 3.78 MB/sec Read 5.55 MB/sec
[Notebook drives are slower than desktop models-Mike]

I'm pleased Connectix has brought Virtual PC to OS X- it is a shame that it did not result in larger (or any) gains over OS 9 in performance- even with an extra CPU.
JC"

I welcome other Dual G4 owner test results with applications also. And if anyone has tested VPC 4 vs VPC 5 in OS 9.x. Send me your test results and system details.

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Virtual PC v5 Tests on PowerBook G4/667 in OS 9 and OS X:
" Hi! I have my Powerbook 667 with 512 Mb with MacOS 9.2.1 (Italian) and MacOS X 10.1.1. Well, I have tested VPC5 with Cinebench 2000 for windows:

MacOS 9.2.1
Shading (Cinema4D) = 2.12
Shading (OpenGL) = 1.24
Raytracing = 2.41

MacOS X 10.1.1
Shading (Cinema4D) = 1.29
Shading (OpenGL) = 0.83
Raytracing = 1.38

Good performance on old MacOS. Slooow on new MacOS.
Massimo De Carli
from Italy"

I noted yesterday I was disappointed in the OS X test drive performance compared to OS 9 running VPC 4. I'd hoped v5 might address this. Perhaps for dual G4 owners the support version 5 has for dual processors will help. (It uses the 2nd CPU for video tasks I believe.)
If any readers test Virtual PC5 with a dual G4, send me the results of any tests you run comparing OS 9 to OS X.

Another VPC 5 owner wrote with comments:

"Mike, I upgraded to VPC5 today and can now login to my Novell server using OSX 10.1.1 and VPC 5. I could not login using VPC test drive for OSX. I logged in fine under OS 9.2.1. VPC 5 is not as fast under OSX as VPC 4 under OS 9.2.1.
I use it for accessing my accounting system at my office, a vehicle tracking system, a pricing program, and estimating software. The vehicle tracking worked under VPC test drive because it uses IP to communicate with it's server. The other 3 programs all use Novell 5.1 and IPX to communicate with the Novell server. I had to turn on something called "Virtual Switch" in VPC 5 to make the Novell server work with VPC 5. I hope they can speed it up to where VPC 4 under OS 9.2.1 was because it was great.
OSX 10.1.1, G4 733, 1.2 GB ram
Lonnie"
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Complete List of OS 9.2.2 Revised Extensions:
I've posted a page with a complete listing of OS 9.2.2 revised extensions (there are quite a few). The list of course includes all the new ATI and Nvidia graphics card extensions and OpenGL 1.2.4.
I updated 4 Macs here - all using the downloaded installer (not Software Updates). I've had a few reports from readers that noted problems with the software update install. Also 3dfx card owners should note that in the past there have been problems reported with 3dfx cards running OpenGL 1.2.2, and OS 9.2.2 installs version 1.2.4 (as well as the ATI OpenGL renderer extension).
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OS 9.2.2 Update - Huge List of New Resolutions with My GeForce3:
Also included on my page of OS 9.2.2 revised extensions is a complete (very long) listing of all the resolutions I now have with an OEM GeForce3 card (firmware v1055) connected to a Sony F400 19" monitor. (I'd usually think firmware was responsible for more modes - and honestly can't remember checking the full list since running OS 9.1 with the original 1045 rom in the card - so I'd welcome GeForce3 owner comments with pre-1055 rom regarding their OS 9.2.2 display modes.)

The list has several wide-screen modes and 1280x960 mode many readers wished for in the past. (Instead of 1280x1024.) This weekend I'll be testing the GeForce3 w/OS 9.2.2 connected to a Sony FW900 (22" widescreen CRT) to verify the widescreen modes work with that monitor. (I'm sure they will.) Under OS 9.1 the GeForce3 didn't support any of the widescreen modes. (I had updated the firmware of the Geforce3 card since then, so that might also be a factor.)

After the tests with the FW900, I'll be updating the previous article here on Mac graphics cards and Sony FW900/F900 monitor support. (I should also update the modes listed in the spring 2001 review of the G4/733 digital audio system w/GF3.)

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Notes on Vitual PC and Pre-G3 Macs/CPU Upgrades:
A reader sent a reminder that Connectix does not officially support Macs other than G3 or G4 models (Mac that shipped with a G3 or G4 CPU) per their latest FAQ (.PDF file).
VPC has always been very sensitive with upgrades as far as speeds (CPU overclocking and even cache speeds). In the past, it has been one of the best tests for marginal settings/speeds with CPU upgrades. (I ran VPC 2 and 3 with several CPU upgrades in older macs - it would often lock up at startup if cache speeds or CPU speeds set too high, even though other apps may have ran OK.

The Misc. articles page has several VPC articles on previous versions, including the full readme from v4, notes on 3d support, tests, etc. but VPC5 is new and yesterday's news was just a press release note basically. I hope to get a copy to test here.

Even VPC 4 may or may not work with CPU upgraded older Macs. One Bluechip owner noted it doesn't on his upgraded Wallstreet and that Connectix offered to refund his money. I think they officially don't support upgrades just to avoid the tech support costs since there's an infinite number of variables with older macs and cpu upgrades literally.

And note in the past here there were cases where upgrade owners fixed issues with VPC by just switching the cache control software to another brand (I think some sonnet owners had this problem that was solved by using PL or xlr8's cache control).

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Reader Comments on XLR8 Firewire Card w/Free QT Pro Key:
" Hi Mike,
I'm not sure if this is common knowledge so I thought I'd send it in. There's been lots of discussion regarding the $20 Compusa card. However, I just bought a XLR8 MachFire PCI Card for $50 from OWC (not installed yet) and I was able to update QuickTime 5 to QuickTime Pro 5 (with a XLR8 supplied registration number).

If you subtract the cost of QuickTime Pro, I paid $20 for the XLR8 card. The card also comes with Strata Video Shop 4.5.
John"

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OS X Metadata Petition:
(I've gotten over 2 dozen emails today on this petition asking I post a note.)

" Hi, you're maybe aware of the fact, that Apple proposed to replace the type/creator etc metadata completely by the usage of filename extensions in OSX. They did so in their Technical Note 2034 (which has been redrawn lately due to the overwhelming criticism they received from their developer community). Apple tells us, that they're going to adapt the TN based on our feedback in the developer mailing lists. Users aren't asked, as it seems. Obviously due to the fact, that, when asked, most probably none of the MacOS users would agree, that filename extensions are a big step in user experience.

There's a petition running over at
http://homepage.mac.com/jcs/.Public/metadata.txt on the topic of filename extensions. [That page was in last night's other net news page. Actually the petition I've seen is at http://www.PetitionOnline.com/osxmd/petition.html-Mike]

TN2034 also proposes some other weird stuff. I wonder if Steve has the slightest idea about what his company wants their developers to do.

Anyway, I'd be overly thankful if you could place a short note with a pointer to the petition on your site. "

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 16 new reports added this 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, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 5,709 reports. [Entries after Midnight are added the following newsday morning.]
(Note - ** Please include your CD/CDRW Drive Speed in the entry **. And Please do not post questions in the database, use email for that and check the database and articles here for answers/tips/guides first. Incomplete entries, those with no comments, etc. are deleted.)

    DVD-R Drive Reports
  • IDE Pioneeer DVR A03 in G4/AGP (OS X)
    [2 separate reports from 2 different owners, same drive/system]

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports
  • Cyberdrive cw038 16x12x40x in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (listed under "other brands")
  • Lite-On LTR-24102B 24x/10x/40x in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
  • Lite-On 24x/10x/40x in B&W G3 (OS 9.1)
  • Matshita CW-7502 (4x8) using IDE to SCSI adapter w/Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
  • Yamaha CEW2100EZ 16x/10x/40x in G4 no AGP [Yikes] (OS 9)
    (problems with Audio CD burns noted)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports
  • Formac (Sanyo mechanism) 24/10/40 used w/iMac slot loading (OS X)
    (formac listed under "other brands")
  • Lite-On LTR-24102B (24/10/40) in OWC FW case used w/Dual G4 (OS X)
  • Sony CRX1600L-A2 (12x/8x/32x) used w/B&W G3 (OS X)
    (now has removed the IDE drive in the case and using it internally)
  • Sony CRX175E (24x10x40x) in Sony FW Case used w/Powerbook G3 2000 (OS 9.2)

    SCSI CDRW Drive Reports
  • Panasonic 7502B (4x8) in 8600 (OS 8.6)

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports
  • Maxtor 40GB used w/iBook 2001 (OS 9.2)
  • Transintl 100GB used w/PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X)
    (listed under "other brands")

    IDE Hard Drive Reports
  • Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 20GB in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
  • Seagate ST340016A, Barracuda ATA IV 40GB in G4 Cube

    Removable Media Drive Reports
  • Lexar Compact Flash 256MB (using Firewire card reader) w/PowerCenter/Pro (OS 9.1)

You can find full owner reports 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.]

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports this morning. (total to date: 6,482). [Entries after midnight are posted the next newsday morning.]

  • PowerLogix G3/500 in PowerBase (rated 10)
    (running lower than rated speed)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in PowerBook G3 Wallstreet2 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/240 in 6400 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 8500 (rated 10)
  • Beige G3/233 OC report (@300)

(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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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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Software Updates, Apple TILs and Other Net News Links

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