News Archive for: Thursday Dec. 6, 2007 (later added items first)
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Systems | CPU Upgrades | Video | Storage | Audio | Apps/OS/Networking | FAQ

How to use PS3 Rock Band drums with GarageBand
(from a reader mail)

" Hi Mike, Here's how I got the PlayStation3 "Rock Band" drum kit to work with GarageBand.
-Bill "

I asked Bill how he liked the PS3, as I'd seen people pay as much or more for a stand-alone home blu-ray DVD player as the PS3 costs (which has a BR player, HD and game system):

" The PS3 is nice. Picked it up a couple of months ago when they dropped the price. I own all 3 of the current consoles as well as a fairly new self-built PC (used exclusively for games - the only thing they do better than Macs!). I'd say the PS3 is sort of "behind" the XBox 360 in a lot of regards (such as online services) but has some good as-of-yet untapped potential. (Hopefully the XBox360 reliability issues of the past are history..)

I have yet to get any Blu-Ray movies, but have some free ones on the way from a rebate promotion. I'm trying to sit out the HD disc format war for as long as possible, but since I now have a BR player anyway, and it seems like in the future we will end up with combo players, I'll probably start picking up a few movies.

PS3 does look like the best deal for a BR player, yet I see reasons why some people would go with a traditional unit. The unusual physical form-factor and the fact that its remote control uses Bluetooth instead of IR come to mind, as well as simply being intimidated/turned off by it being a game system.
-Bill "

I picked up a Toshiba HD-DVD player recently for $99.95, with a coupon for 5 free HD-DVD movies. It upconverts standard DVDs to 1080P also, which from what I've seen so far looks better than I expected. (It and a 1080P 42in LCD TV @$798 were Sprawl-Mart 1 day specials last month.)

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G5 Coolant Leaks page updated (DIY leak repair/O-ring info)
I've updated the page on G5 Tower Coolant Leaks with another reader's notes/info on DIY leak repairs (including O-ring part number/source) for those that can catch a leak early before it does major damage. (Unfortunately many didn't spot the leak until the PS, Logic board, etc. were damaged.)
FYI - Updated at Noon Eastern for replies to questions I had (Delphi vs Panasonic LCS, info on leaking system models, notes on different o-ring thickness/PNs, etc.)
BTW - as I mention on the G5 leaks page please include requested details on your leaking G5 model, age, type of LCS (see example Photos here), etc. - it really helps to avoid (as every day for 10 years now) - repeated back and forth mails asking for missing info, repeatedly updating posts/pages. Thanks to those that do...
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G5 Owner notes on FirmTek Seritek 2SE2-2 RAID 0 Leopard Install
"Success! Leopard Installed Perfect to my FirmTek RAID 0 Setup
Success! Leopard Installed Perfect to my FirmTek Seritek 2SE2-2 RAID 0 Setup
Hi Mike, I think this might be an interesting tidbit for the latest in successful Leopard installs, and indeed it was an install that I was dreading doing that worked out to be very simple, and easy.

As you might recall, I wrote a review of my system for you about a year ago. (See Seritek 2eEN4 Enclosure/2SE2-2 PCI-e Controller RAID Tests (G5 PCI Express System)) Which should take care of any questions about what I have, and use daily as my work station. It's still going strong, never had an issue with the whole setup yet, and I have upgraded the firmware in the 2SE2-E bus masters to v5.3.1 to be compatible with Leopard's quirks and requirements. (Note some readers initially reported problems with some cards and the 5.3.1 update when it was first posted here.)

Once that tedious procedure was finished, I said to myself, what the hey! Let's go for it, and try an Archive & Install of Leopard onto the RAID, right over the old install of 10.4.11 that I've been very pleased with. But there's nothing like a new OS, and certainly Leopard is very new in so many respects, so I inserted the installer disc into my DVR-110 and restarted my G5 2.3 Ghz Dual Core PowerMac with a few butterflies in my stomach but lo and behold, voila! There 1st up in the installer screen once booted into Leopard's DVD ROM was my RAID system, much to my surprise.

I customized the installation, getting rid of the Languages and all the printer drivers but Epson's, and hit the Install button after choosing Archive & Install as the method. Some 20 or 25 minutes later, I really lost track of time there for a few minutes...the installer was finished. The G5 restarted and it booted right up into 10.5, and I immediately hit Software Update and went for 10.5.1 as quickly as possible. After that was finished, I went for Disk Utility and Repaired Permissions, and got a slew of weird things I'd never seen before, SUID this and that, (Deja-Vu - for many reinstalling 10.5.1 via the download updater and/or repeatedly repairing permissions cleared most of the messages - although for some of us the ARDAgent warning still exists, but its not a cause of concern as mentioned here previously ad nauseum) but it didn't stop me from seeing if everything was working right.

I tried my major Applications like Photoshop CS3 and Camera Raw 4.3, then Illustrator and Quark, and all the keys were fine, everything worked nominally. Ooops, Skype is dead though, so no love there...it just flat doesn't work under Leopard, which is a shame because I'm so used to using it for conferencing to Switzerland and the UK, where my partners are, so I guess it's back to iChat for awhile until the Skype folks get their act together. (Skype was broken originally but I asked if he had updated to the latest version-Mike)

Anyway, that's the story. No drama, and an easy install after all onto my 2TB RAID system, and so far, so good with everything except Time Machine in Leopard. I work with so many audio and video files that I have to turn off TM often otherwise it just keeps backing up huge video and audio files over and over again, and my backup drive (2TB Hitachi system in an OWC SATA Enclosure) would fill up to the max before I'd know it...so that's a drag. I may go back to a traditional backup system using SilverKeeper if it'll work in Leopard, and it seems it does, but right now I'm still hooked up with TM...just have to turn it off for much of the day or night, if I'm working on video or audio files.

There was some trepidation about losing my PL3507 external FireWire boxes, a couple HD's and my trusty DVR-110 external optical drive, but all the Prolific items are recognized without issues with 10.5.1. Maybe there were problems with 10.5 initially, but there's nothing bad happening with the external FireWire Prolific boxes in 10.5.1, I'm happy to report. Both my HD's and the DVR-110 are working perfectly, no issues at all at this time.

Another successful installation was with my Digital Audio PowerMac running the NewerTechnology DP 1.8Ghz 7448 G4 CPU system, by the way...not a bit of trouble with that installation. System profiler doesn't know quite WHAT to make of the CPU's, calling them "Power PC 60? (2.1)" CPU's, (that's common for 7447A upgrades also if no patch done for the ASP reporting. But at least with your integer ratio (bus/cpu multiplier) you didn't run into the misreported speed problem (causing the installer to think the system was too slow to meet requirements - a copy of previous tips/fixes for that are in the FAQ's CPU Upgrades and OS X sections.-Mike) and erroneously reporting that each CPU has 2MB of L3 Cache! Now that would make for a very nice CPU... But other than that, Leopard is running 100% perfect on that old box, which continues to perform nicely with the DP CPU's doing their thing.

Take care, and put out the word that successful Leopard installation over FirmTek SeriTek bus masters (bootable as they are) is a go! Kind of surprised me how easy it was to do, but then again, the FirmTek people always seem to have their act together when and where it comes to their firmware and the current OS, and they've again hit the mark with Leopard, straight and right on the money!
Kindest regards, David C."

(For those that had problems with the 5.3.1 updates with their card/system - don't flame me for that last sentence ;-)

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LG's impressive 6x Blu-Ray writer/HD-DVD reader drive
It may have gotten missed but one of last night's "other news" listing updates was a link to PCworld's review of LG's GGW-H20L 6x Blu-ray Drive/HD DVD Reader which shows a price of $400, less than previous 2x rated Blu-Ray drives and less than half their original list for the previous combo drive. The 2nd-gen GGW-H20L is the first 6x BD-R Blu-ray burner and although there's no current 6x rated media, their tests (PC) showed the drive's performance was better than the competition even on slower speed rated media. (And it also has good specs on other media - for instance 16x max for DVD-R.)
The GGW-H20L is a Serial ATA drive however, but if I had a Mac Pro (with the 2 spare onboard SATA Ports), I'd like to have one of these in the lower bay. (Although -some- PCI SATA cards for Macs have supported Optical drives, many don't.) I didn't see the new GGW-H20L model yet at LG's optical drive page, although the previous model (at 2x+ the price) was.
BTW - I don't have a Blu-Ray drive to test, but a reader said macbidouille reported Leopard has BR burn support in the finder without needing Toast 8 (which has a BR extension). In fact they reported a compat. issue with the new LG drive and current Toast 8. Roxio is working on an update to address that.
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New/Updated Apple Troubleshooting/Support Docs
(later added items first)

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Software Updates, Other News/Articles
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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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