News Archive for: Friday December 1st, 2006 (later added items first)
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Traktor DJ Studio Universal Binaries released
" Hi Mike, Native Instruments ( http://www.native-instruments.com ) have finally released Universal Binaries for their DJing solution Traktor DJ Studio 3.
It's a major update which also includes a number of performance improvements and a bunch of new or changed features.
The 3.2 update is avaliable for PPC and Windows users free of charge, Mactel users will have to pay a small fee (USD 25). They get to keep their PPC version license though, so it's still good deal.
It also seems that the Traktor Finalscratch to Traktor DJ Studio 3 crossgrade has also been graced with UB. I couldn't test the new version yet because I'm at work but I'll try to give a short review later on today. You'll get first impressions in the NI User forums.
Cheers, Dominik S.
Zurich, Switzerland"
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Parallels Desktop for Mac Beta Update
(thanks to Paul for the heads-up)

" Parallels Desktop for Mac build 3036 Beta is available for download
We are continuing our efforts for bringing you even more feature-full product and we are making our latest Parallels Desktop for Mac Beta Build 3036 early available to you. It will be one more FREE update of the currently available version.
Here's a short overview of the new features and enhancements introduced by this Beta: (see linked page for full details)

* New Look and Feel and Improved Usability....
* Virtual Machines Catalogue....
* One-click Virtual Machine Aliases...
* Resizable Main Window...
* Auto-Adjusting Screen Resolution...
* Drag and Drop files and folders between Windows and Mac...
* Read/Write BootCamp partition...
* Boot from BootCamp partition... (see full notes on linked page)
* Parallels Transporter Beta bundled...
* Coherency. Shows Windows applications as if they were Mac ones.
* Improved graphic performance. Up to 50% on different applications.
* Connect/disconnect USB devices schema improved...
* Up to 5 Virtual NICs...
* Enhanced Shared Networking Mode...
* Transparent mapping of Command-AZXCV key combinations...
* Power On/Power Off/Suspend/Resume/Pause animation.
* Shared folders configuration on-the-fly.
* Drag and Drop CD/FDD images and folders to the Parallels Desktop statusbar.
* And dozens of other not that evident enhancements....
IMPORTANT! Resume and shut down all suspended Virtual Machines prior to upgrade. Please remember that this is beta software... Do backup your virtual machines before starting them...
IMPORTANT! Uninstall Parallels Tools from the guest OS prior to downgrading and install them again after finishing the downgrade procedure.
As usual, any feedback is extremely appreciated at beta@parallels.com mailbox.
Best regards,
Tim and Parallels Team
------------
Download links:
Parallels Desktop for Mac Beta Build 3036
Parallels Tools For Boot Camp"

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OWC offers free passes to Macworld SF 2007
Site sponsor OWC has a download of a free pass to MWSF 2007 at their Macworld page.

" Get your FREE* pass for Macworld San Francisco 2007 from OWC today. This $45 value is our gift to you, providing full access to the Macworld exhibits January 9-12. And don't forget to come see OWC at booth #S2218!
(*Must register by December 11th to take advantage of this free offer) "
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More on low-cost 802.11g Airport 3.x Compatible PCI cards
"Hi Mike, Just picked up a Buffalo Wireless-G card at the local Best Buy for $40.00. It has the Broadcomm chip (you can actually see the Broadcomm label in the photo of the card on the packaging) so it registered as an airport card upon boot. (Most Broadcom chip based cards are supported in Airport 3.x and later since OS X 10.2.6. Also remember to remove any Airport card in the system before installing the PCI card, since the Airport prefs panel is used to configure natively supported cards.-Mike)
Nice option for older non airport capable machines and no third party drivers. (The G4 towers had an Airport 802.11b card slot but not an Airport Extreme (802.11g) card slot. Older PCI Macs didn't have any airport card slot though.-Mike)
I've attached a photo of the box and the exact model number (WLI2-PCI-G54S on bar code). Maybe some of your readers will find this of use.
Regards, Joshua"

There's other reports on this same card from earlier this year - the July 6th news mentioned getting one at a local Best Buy for $29 (on sale?) and the Sept. 6th news page had a Quicksilver G4 tower user report on this card and a Belkin. A couple years ago I thought some Buffalo cards were actually listed as Mac compatible. (Back in 2003 a reader reported on a Buffalo 802.11g PCMCIA card w/Airport support.)
The FAQ's networking section has other past reports on various brand/models of Airport (3.x and later) compatible PCI/PCcards (and a warning about vendors changing chipsets over time - sometimes a 'revision' to the same model number card) as well as drivers for some other chipset based models. (A natively supported card is preferred of course.)
Note - The Dec. 4th news page has a Reader report on ASUS WL-138G V2 PCI card (Airport 3.x compatible).

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MacBook Pro owners note Sleep Problems w/Expresscards and 10.4.8
(from a reader mail. Updated for other MBP owners mentioning the same thing.)

"Question about 10.4.8 & Expresscards
Every since I updated to 10.4.8, my MacBook Pro won't wake from sleep.
it's a core duo model, the 2.16 Ghz, purchased in April, a built to order model. I actually just had to have the logic board replaced (for a separate issue, a malfunctioning fan) and the wake from sleep trouble was present before and after, so I'll continue to assume it's a bug in the OS.
I've tried resetting the SMU and PRAM, enabled and disabled bluetooth device wake from sleep, and installed the latest EFI Firmware update that was just released.
(he's referring to the MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.2 released on Nov. 13th.-Mike)

I've now narrowed it down to the 10.4.8 and a change in how it handles Expresscards. If I have my NitroAV FW 800 card plugged in during a session, it seems to prevent the MacBook from going to sleep properly. According to various Console messages, the PCI sleep is being prevented, and sets the computer into System Doze instead, from which it won't wake. The sleep light stays fixed and steady, only disappearing if I press the power button (it only reacts to the power button). From there the screen remains dark and all plugged in device fail to respond. I can hear the drive spin back up.

It reacts the same whether or not I eject the card before putting the computer to sleep. This behavior was not present before installing 10.4.8 and having fallen back on a back up of my 10.4.7 install, can say it's not present in the older OS version. I was hoping the EFI firmware update would deal with this, but after having installed it and 10.4.8 anew, I'm having the same old results.

This is a typical console output for these incidents:
Nov 2 04:32:04 marlon-rubios-computer kernel[0]: PCI sleep prevented by AppleFWOHCI (5)
Nov 2 04:32:04 marlon-rubios-computer kernel[0]: PCI sleep prevented by PXS3 (1)
Nov 2 04:32:04 marlon-rubios-computer kernel[0]: hibernate image path: /var/vm/sleepimage
Nov 2 04:32:04 marlon-rubios-computer kernel[0]: sizeof(IOHibernateImageHeader) == 512
Nov 2 04:32:04 marlon-rubios-computer kernel[0]: Opened file /var/vm/sleepimage, size 2147483648, partition base 0xc805000, maxio 400000
Nov 2 04:32:04 marlon-rubios-computer kernel[0]: hibernate image major 14, minor 2, blocksize 512, pollers 3
Nov 2 04:32:04 marlon-rubios-computer kernel[0]: hibernate_alloc_pages flags 00000000, gobbling 0 pages
Nov 2 04:32:08 marlon-rubios-computer kernel[0]: IOBluetoothHCIController::terminateWL .. done
Nov 2 04:32:08 marlon-rubios-computer kernel[0]: System Doze

After that, nothing until I force a restart.
I've had the NitroAV FW 800 ExpressCard for a few months now and I've used it to boot off external hard drives (a pair of Wiebetech TrayDocks) on a pretty steady basis with no issues.
-Marlon"

If anyone else has seen this with an Express/34 card in their MacBook Pro, let me know the details (and if the problem was present in 10.4.7 also). Thanks. (Earlier this week two MBP users reported on booting from SIIG FW800 and FW400 express/34 cards, but didn't mention sleep testing - however see below for a note from one of them on this same issue.)
Update - here's the first reader replies:

" had the same problems with the Nitro AV FW800 card on my Macbook Pro 15in 2.16GHz ... Now i have the new core2 duo 2.33GHz but haven't checked the card (because it finally has FW800 built in!) but will do a check on it and will let you know...
-Paul "

One of the readers that commented earlier on the SIIG FW400 card wrote he's seen the same thing:

" I just wanted to report I'm having the same problem with the FW400 card I told you about. I didn't mention it before because I never tried to sleep the machine with the card installed. I've tried several times and I get the same behavior that your reader described. I didn't have the card when I had 10.4.7 installed. (to see if 10.4.8 was a factor)
-Chris "

" My MacBookPro (Core Duo) failed to wake properly in the same way after falling asleep with an eFilm ExpressCard34 compact flash adapter installed...fyi
-Matt D.
Photographer"

Update - here's more feedback on this subject received a couple days later:

" Hi Mike, I rarely put my MacBook Pro to sleep but since updating to 10.4.8, I'm experiencing the same sleep issue as Marlon with his NitroAV FW800 Expresscard.
The screen would go blank but the MBP does not sleep--the sleep indicator would remain dimly lit until I force power-off the Mac.

I should add that if I unmount the drives connected to the SIIG FW800 ExpressCard and select "Power off Card" from the card menu bar icon, the system can sleep and wake up successfully. Just need to eject and reinsert the card if I need to use FW800 peripherals.
Regards, Eric "

A MBP owner with an eSATA card (not bootable he said) didn't see the problem:

" I have the same (MBP) model as Marlon, and use the Firmtek Expresscard/34 eSata card, and have no trouble with wake from sleep. One difference is that this card is not bootable (unfortunately).
(I asked Lars if he was running OS X 10.4.8. (As some mentioned they thought the problem appeared after updating to 10.4.8.)-Mike)
Yes, 10.4.8. I just tested it to be sure, by putting the computer to sleep from the Apple menu, and waking it from sleep. I got the pulsing light, heard the external drive spin down, and then woke the computer from my external USB keyboard. So all seems fine for me.
-Lars "
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Intel-Cpu Mac Delayed Write Errors in Bootcamp/XP w/Firewire/USB drives
(updated - see below for reply)

" Ok, I have done countless research on this topic, and I think it's time to see if anybody out there has same issue.
I have a second generation intel-cpu Mac mini 1.66GHz, everything stock. I bought an empty newertech ministack v2 for it and popped in a maxtor 80 gig hd formated it to NTFS
Within bootcamp windows XP pro Anytime I try transferring files I get what is known as a DWE, or Delayed Write error. Now i never have problems with firewire and macs, but with pc's i can understand. So I switch into USB 2.0 I get the same problem. Looked up online, i tried updating the win xp with all the hotfixes it mentions and believe me there are plenty, I also updated the oxford 911plus chip to make sure it's at the latest firmware. I also turned off write caching to disc.
I am at my wits end. I even installed a program that is suppose to keep the transfer blocks at 128k. If anybody who even dabbles on the dirty PC side. does anybody have these problems?
Thanks, Alex "

(Just for the record I asked if his Mini had all the latest firmware updates and if he had another machine to test the drive with - to isolate out the Mac/XP install.) I've used Firewire drives with XP (and Win98SE) homebrew machines over the years but never saw this, but I don't own an intel-based Mac. (And I rarely boot that XP machine anymore, other than when I need to use a Helm Mustang service manual CD.)
If anyone else has seen this error in bootcamp (with any FW or USB drive) or has a suggestion (other than a XP wipe and reinstall) let me know.
Here's the first reader reply:

" I've had the dreaded "delayed write" on Bootcamp, and sadly for several years on pc's with both FW & USB drives!
I still have to use pc's because of h/w in a PCI slot, & sometimes find the next morning many files are ruined because of this error!

The only way I've found to work around it (and I have gone through dozens of MS etc. "solutions") is to select the HD, right clk, Hardware tab, select the relevant drive *again* from the list that appears (MS likes you to click a lot), select Properties, select the Policies tab, then untick "Enable write caching on the disc" (phew).
(the reader above said he disabled write caching to the drive but that it didn't help him.-Mike)

That slows performance of course, but seems to help. Amazing that this has never been fixed all these years.
HTH, john "

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Mac Drive Compatibility Database Updated
The Drive Compatibility Database had 2 new reports added this morning. Current total - 15,948 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-111D in (Sawtooth) G4/AGP (OS X 10.4.x)
    (Illustrated Optical drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT and B&W G3 Macs)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Serial ATA PCI card (SIIG 2 port from OWC) connected "Generic" (refurbished) 300GB drives ($65 ea.) in (Quicksilver) G4/AGP (OS X 10.4)
    (Listed under "Other" drive brand. 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 and IDE PCI controller card - SATA card/drives are similar except no drive jumper settings needed)

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). The database includes reports on DVD +/-R, CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, 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).
If you've added a IDE, SATA, Firewire, USB, or SCSI, hard drive, Optical drive/burner, NAS, tape drive, etc., send me the details (drive info/mac model/OS used, etc.) for adding to the database. (*Please take a minute to test for booting from CD with Optical drives*.)

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Other News/Misc. Software Updates
(Updated 5:45PM Eastern, later added apple related 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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