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News Archive for Monday Dec. 2nd, 2002Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of Dec. 2nd, 2002:

Update to Norton Utilities 7 for 10.2.2 Compatibility
(from a reader email - see below for a report on problems with NU 7.03 with Jorunaling enabled in 10.2.2)

"Norton Utilities and Jaguar 10.2.2
I ran Live Update today and downloaded a 4.8Mb update for Norton Utilities. (7.03) After a speedy restart on my Dual 1.25Ghz the good news is that Utilities can now see my hard drives. Well done to Symantec for providing a fix reasonably quickly.
Kevan Gordon. "

The 10.2.2 update feedback page had NU 7 owner reports about not being able to see partitions with the previous 7.0x versions.
*Update* This reader noted a major problem if Journaling was enabled (not sure if it was on the other problem reports)

"I updated Norton System Works 2.0 via LiveUpdate.
Norton Diskdoctor / Speed Disk / Unerase crash after the update if you enable the apple HFS+ Journaling!
Disable it and the Norton Utilities work!
Come on Symantec put more energy in your MAC products!
With Kind Regards
Andreas Goiczyk "

I've had two other reports of problems with the NU 7.03 update but don't know if they had Journaling enabled.

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Virex Defs Update
Macupdate lists the latest Virex Definitions updates for Virex 7 and Virex 5.9-6.x .
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Pixels 3D 4.1.2 OS X Demo Version Available
(clip from the email press release)

Pixels Digital, manufacturers of PiXELS 3D, announce a 30 day demo version of PiXELS 3D version 4.1.2 for OS9 and OSX. The demo version is a fully functional version, with the ability to save, export and render. The only limitation is that rendered images are watermarked.
Among the changes in 4.1.2 is an updated user's manual and a simple serial registration system that discards the standard industry practices and burdens of using softkeys or dongles...
Pricing Information:
PiXELS 3D 4.1 for OS9 or 4.1.2 for OSX are available now at these prices: (any purchase of PiXELS 3D 4 on OS9 qualifies the user for the same OSX version for free should they upgrade to OSX after purchase)
MSRP: $399.00, 3.x Upgrade: $199.00, Competitive Upgrade: $299.00
More information along with the new Demo version are available on the Pixels Digital website: http://www.pixels.net/.
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English Article on Overclocking Sonnet G4/800 CPU card
Josh sent a link to his page in English on Overclocking the Sonnet G4/800 CPU card. Of course this voids the Sonnet warranty, may not be reliable, etc. Also note that Josh's (and I suspect all shipped to date) card has a G4 7455 rev 2.1 CPU, which is not able to run faster than the standard 800MHz via boosting the bus/cpu ratio setting since it's already shipped at the 16x (max) setting for that chip revision. With the 16x max bus/cpu ratio limit for the rev 2.1 CPU, that means boosting the bus speed is the only way to overclock it. (This was the method used in the Japanese Sonnet G4/800 OC article linked here back in the September 25th news, now in the FAQ's OC'ing section here.)

However as mentioned in the Oct 31st, 2002 news page, the latest G4 7455 CPU specs (page 46, table 17) shows the 7455A supports ratios up to 32x and has a lower core voltage, which would mean cooler running and much higher potential CPU speeds.
I'm not sure if any of the shipping Sonnet G4 cards (to date) use a 7455 CPU revision later than 2.1 however - but you can use PPC Checker to see if yours is a revision 2.1. (If a rev 2.1 CPU, then increasing the bus/cpu ratio isn't an option.)
I've updated previous info FAQ's Overclocking section item to include Josh's page link for future reference.

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Reader's PB G3 Wallstreet Take-Apart Article
" Hi, I've just put up detailed take-apart instructions for Powerbook G3 Wallstreets with tons of pictures. I think this might be interesting for your readers, maybe you would like to mention it or link to it from your articles section?
http://homepage.mac.com/sysop/PhotoAlbum3.html regards,
Mike "

Since the above is a .Mac page, bandwidth limits may result in the page being shut down at times depending on usage. I offered to mirror the page here if he wished. (FYI - The Systems page, PowerBook section has other Wallstreet related articles like my illustrated Hard Drive upgrade guide, adding RAM, CPU upgrades, etc. and the FAQ's PowerBook section has links to articles on Wallstreet display hinge and audio jack repair .)

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iMac G4 17in LCD Owner Comments/Info on Dual Monitor Support
(from a reader email - related to the past article on firmware tweaks for dual monitor support for 2002 iBooks.)

" Hi Mike, I thought I'd pass along the great news about monitor-spanning on my iMac 17" 800 MHz, GeForce4 MX under Mac OS X. It works!
Eric Doyle
(he included a copy of an email sent to the author of the ibook mod - edited to correct a prev. typo.)
Subject: Monitor-spanning works on my iMac 17" LCD under Mac OS X!
Thank you, thank you!

The iBook monitor-spanning Open Firmware modification also works on my iMac 17" 800 MHz, GeForce4 MX. I was looking around in Open Firmware on my iMac and noticed that there are several words at the root of the device tree that represent some relevant constants:

no_strip_timing -- 10 hex, 16 decimal
allow_desktop_mode -- 8
allow_headless_boot -- 4
force_mirroring -- 2
default_mirroring -- 1

It appears that the value of the " graphic-options" property is derived from a bitwise OR of a combination of these values. The default value for this property on my iMac is 12 hex. Therefore, to disable the force_mirroring option, it seems that all one really needs to do is turn off the second least significant bit, i.e., change 12 hex to 10 hex.

This means (at least for my iMac) that 00000000 in the original intructions could be replaced by 00000010 so that the line reads:
00000010 " graphic-options" get-my-property 2drop !

Either way, it works on my iMac 17" LCD system. Quartz Extreme seems to work fine on both displays. DVDs can be played on fine on either screen. This definitely extends its flexibility as true "digital hub", something I intend to use extensively for my own projects.
Thank you for discovering the original modification! It has been a great help.
Eric Doyle "

Note - this firmware mod isn't without some risks apparently, as several iBook 2002 owners reported major problems after the mod, requiring a repair from an Apple dealer. (Not sure why some had this problem and others not - see previous article with iBook owner feedback on the mod.)

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Reader Tests on Firewire vs USB 2.0 PCCard w/Iomega ZIP 750 drives
(from a reader email )

" I got bored at work the other day and decided to see if USB 2 was indeed faster than Firewire. I've attached a chart to show the speed tests in case you wish to publish this. I decided to test out a pair of new Zip 750*s I received coupled with my new Orange Micro USB 2 PCMCIA card. While my tests are not really scientific, they do represent real world conditions. My test bed consisted of the following:

    Powerbook G4 800
  • 60 GB Drive (IBM Aftermarket 4K drive)
  • 1 GB Ram
  • MacOS X 10.2.2 (All apple supplied updates)
  • Run in clamshell mode
  • Iomega 750 Firewire
  • Iomega 750 USB 2/1.1
  • Orange Micro 4 port USB 2 PCMCIA Card w/ Latest Drivers
  • Stopwatch was a SonyEricsson T68i (using the built-in stopwatch feature)

I used two different Iomega supplied Zip 750 disks. I reformatted the DOS disks, using Disk Utility, as HFS+. I plugged only the Firewire drive in while testing and the same for the USB 2. The only other peripherals connected to the machine were a apple extended keyboard and a Kensington mouse which were plugged into the USB 1.1 ports on the back of the power book. Also the machine was being run in clamshell mode, connected to a Mitsubishi 21 CRT display, and was connected to a Netgear switch at 1000 Base-TX.

My first test was with a 270 MB folder with ~ 300 items within it. I started with the USB 2 drive. On first attempt, the drive was only copying at 1.1 speeds. I restarted the machine and attempted the test again. This time it registered as a USB 2 device and began copying much faster. However with about 10 items left to copy the machine froze. I did not receive a kernel panic message, but I was effectively crashed. I attempted to ssh from another machine, but neither ping nor SSH were successful in making a connection, so I was forced to do a hard restart. Finally on the third attempt it worked. Two minutes later, the copy was over. I then moved over to the Firewire drive (I was able to do THIS test on the first try ;) One minute and 47 seconds later this test was done. I then had a thought. I figured since both drives were the same size, in theory I should be able to strip them and use them as a RAID. I thought I might run into problems as the drives were using two different connections but Disk utility had nary a problem creating a strip set with the two drives (note: creating a strip set reformats the disks to be used in the set) I then performed the test again. 57 seconds later it was done. Finally I thought I would try good 'ol USB 1.1. A torturing six minutes and 26 seconds later this test was finally done.

I then moved on to a single large file, knowing that transfer speeds on disk are always faster copying a single larger file would be faster than a bunch of smaller files. I decided to use the War3.mpq (421 MB) file that is installed in the Warcraft III folder. I followed the same steps as above and came out with the following times:

  • USB 1:33
  • Firewire: 1:32
  • RAID: 47 seconds

I decided against trying again with USB as my patience had been put to the test once already.

As you can see Firewire was faster in both tests (though only a second in the large file test), while not surprising is the fact that the disk in raid or considerably faster. I was pretty impressed that Firewire not only held it*s own but performed better than USB 2. I do have to caution however that the fact that the USB 2 interface was over PCMCIA and using non Apple supplied drivers may have had some influence on the tests. In the end however, I decided that Firewire's other benefits (Bus powered ability, lack of need for a host computer to operate) far outweigh any slight speed improvements that USB 2 might provide. Besides this all becomes moot when Apple finally releases the second iteration of Firewire which should provide speeds of 800mb/s. As for USB 1.1, I can only imagine the agony of trying to copy 20 GB of mp3's to a USB device.

Finally as for the zip drives themselves. It amazes me still that Iomega hasn't gone out of business. With the proliferation of CD burners and now DVD burners, I don't know why most people would be interested with these drives. The fact that the drives can ONLY READ zip 100 disks, the bulk of the disks that we have lying around or office, really makes this a product without a market segment. One other beef I have with these drives are the pricing. The USB 2 drive costs $30 cheaper than the Firewire. What's up with that Iomega? Not only is the drive slower, but it also REQUIRES a AC Adpator (included), something the firewire (not included, sorry iLink people) does not.
Carib Mendez "

I've still seen reports in the past (even on the PC) that showed Firewire was faster than USB 2.0 (even w/USB 2.0 drivers, USB 2.0 PCI card, and fast hard drives) despite the USB 2.0's max spec for bandwidth being higher - 480Mbit/sec vs 400Mbit/sec. [A reader (thanks Glen) replied to this post with a link to a TechTV page with USB 2.0 vs. Firewire tests also showing Firewire performed better.]
I don't know what the Cardbus slot bandwidth is, but I doubt the ZIP 250 drive sustained rates exceed the cardbus interface rates.
For an older article on ZIP 250 drive (Firewire vs USB, 250MB vs 100MB disks, showing slower rates with the 100MB discs, see this article. The higher density drive writes thinner tracks, which seems to slow performance with the 100MB discs as others have noted back when the 250MB drive was released. With CDR/CDRW drives and media so cheap, I stopped buying ZIP discs or drives years ago.)

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated today with 6 new reports this morning. Total to date: 7,787 (Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning.)
Here's a summary of the updates added today :

  • PowerLogix G4 Dual 1GHz in Dual G4 (rated 1)
  • PowerLogix G4/533-550 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/800 in PowerCenter 150 (rated 8)
  • Sonnet G4/800 in G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Beige G3/266 OC report
  • Beige G3/233 OC report

(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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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 23 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, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 9,169 reports.

    Multi-Format Card Reader Reports:
  • USB Imation IMN-USB-FG1 (FlashGo!) used w/iMac G4 (OS X server)

    SmartMedia Card Reader Reports:
  • USB eFilm Reader no.14 used with G4 AGP (OS X)
    (using drivers from dazzle linked in a prev. report)

    CD-ROM Drive Reports:
  • IDE Lite-On 48x in Beige G3 (OS X)

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drive Reports:
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) Cendyne CDIC00108 (actually Pioneer DVR-104) used w/G4 AGP (OS 9.2) (listed under "other" brands)
  • Cendyne "DVR-104" (actually Pioneer) in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (Cendyne reports listed under "other" brands)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105 in G4/AGP (OS X)
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) Pioneer DVR-105 used w/PowerBook G4 (OS X)

    DVD+RW Drive Reports:
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) Ricoh MP-5125A used w/PB G3 2000 (OS X)

    Combo DVD+CDR Drive Reports:
  • IDE LG GCC-4320B (32x10x40x + 16x DVD ROM) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
  • IDE Toshiba SD-R2212 (16x10x24x + 8x DVD ROM) in iBook 2001 (OS X)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Lite-On LTR-52246S (52x24x52x) in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)
  • Lite-On LTR-48246s (48x24x48) in G4 No AGP (OS 9.2)
  • Lite-On LTR-48125W (48x12x48x) in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)
  • Lite-On LTR-48246S (48x24x48) in G4/AGP (OS X)
  • Mitsumi 40x20x28 in Beige G3 (OS 9.1)
  • Philips PCRW 4816K/20 (48x16x48) in Beige G3 (OS 8.6)
    (problems noted)
  • LG GCE-8480B (48x16x48) in Beige G3 (OS 8.6)
    (problems noted)
  • LG GCE 8320B (32x10x40x) in B&W G3 using IDE PCI Card (OS 9.2)
  • Samsung SW-248BRASF (48x16x48) in 8500 using IDE PCI card (OS X)
    (problems noted)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs.)

    SCSI CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Matshita CW-7503-B (8x20x) ext. used w/7500 (OS 9.1)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Lite-On LTR-48125W (48x12x48) used w/B&W G3 (OS X)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 60GB in 7600 using IDE PCI card (OS X)
  • Western Digital 1200JB 120GB (x2) in Dual G4 using IDE PCI Card RAID (OS X)

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.]
(Entries today will be added the following newsday. 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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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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