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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 2/12/2001 Monday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of Feb. 12th, 2001:

Reader Comments on Wired4DVD v1.28 Software - No DVD Playback from HD
A reader notes a negative of the recent update the Wired4DVD decoder card software:

"Mike,
I downloaded the 1.2.8 Wired4DVD update, but then dumped it. Here's why.

Just before I installed the update, I read the note that comes along with the 1.2.8 "agree" button (or whatever that click is), and it informed me that Wired4DVD will not play DVD from a hard drive.

Well . . . my version 1.2.7 certainly does. If I rip a DVD, the card allows me to play the ripped clip from my HD just fine, and while I'm definitely against DVD piracy, I also like having the ability to use the card to teach myself how to construct and rip DVDs.

Maybe I'm misreading the purpose of 1.2.8, but I wonder if anyone else thinks it's designed as a counter-piracy update?...
Fran Maier (franx)"

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Info on OS X Beta SSH Security Issue (Updated):
Julian Koh wrote about a security issue in OS X beta. His mail and Steve DiDomenico's are both long so they're listed on the details page. (Update: Several readers sent a note that Stepwise covered this issue last November in an article on how to install OpenSSH version 2.3.0. I've added one reader's comments on the Stepwise article with tips to the details page.)

A reader sent a few tips/comments on the stepwise OpenSSH 2.3.0 install article:

" Hello here is a link to a stepwise article on how to install the latest OpenSSH 2.3.0 on osxpb. It also works for darwin. I have done the install on several of my machines. It is long and all done in the terminal. There are some pointers that I would also point out. Between each app install type CD to go back to roots home directory. This just make things cleaner. Also type all the commands in manually. Don't cut and paste you can possible miss configure it. Also edit the SSH start up script (or make your own) to point to /usr/local/sbin/sshd instead of sshd. Here is the link:

www.stepwise.com/Articles/Workbench/OpenSSH-2.3-MacOSX.html
Shawn Welter
Information Systems Technician
Dark Horse Comics, Inc. "

(original post follows)

" A colleague of mine (Steve DiDomenico; please do not publish his name/email address unless he replies with consent) has verified that the version of SSH installed on Mac OS X Public Beta is OpenSSH 2.1.1. This is unfortunate given that a security hole was discovered in the past week that affects all versions of OpenSSH prior to 2.3.0, as well as just about all SSH1 implementations out there. The SSH2 protocol is not vulnerable.

See http://razor.bindview.com/publish/advisories/adv_ssh1crc.html for details of the security hole and fixes for various SSH servers. More details can be found at BugTraq, .

OS X PB users should upgrade to OpenSSH 2.3.0 ASAP. I don't know how easy/difficult this is with OS X PB, since I'm not running it on any of my computers. It was fun enough upgrading from ssh 1.2.31 to OpenSSH on my MkLinux machines. :):) OpenSSL (latest version 0.9.6), which is required by OpenSSH, took over 2 hours to compile on a 7100/66! Users may want to upgrade the OpenSSL on OS X PB as well, just for kicks.

OpenSSL: http://www.openssl.org
OpenSSH: http://www.openssh.org

Of interesting note with this bug is that even if you follow the patching instructions to fix ssh 1.2.31, you apparently open yourself up to other security problems. Thus, if you want to continue to use the SSH1 protocol, you should definitely move to OpenSSH.

NiftyTelnet SSH is a nice SSH1 client, based on NiftyTelnet. MacSSH is a SSH2 client, based on BetterTelnet.

http://www.niftytelnet.com
http://www.lysator.liu.se/~jonasw/about/
http://www.cstone.net/~rbraun/mac/telnet
http://www.macssh.com

We're definitely going to have to be a little more diligent about security matters in the OS X world...
Julian Koh"

Steve DiDomenico's mail follows:

"Hello all,
This is in regards to Julian Koh's email about the security problem with certain versions of SSH. You can use my name (Steve DiDomenico) and email address (please use stevedidomenico@yahoo.com if you display my address publicly) if you'd like. I haven't tried installing the OpenBSD version of OpenSSH 2.3.0, nor have I tried compiling a version myself--and both of these solutions may be a bit involved for most users (if they work at all)!

What I've done is just kept OpenSSH 2.1.1 installed, but I've turned off the SSH1 protocol and left the SSH2 protocol turned on (because the latest security releases state that OpenSSH versions earlier than 2.3.0 aren't vulnerable if SSH1 is disabled). I think this is much easier than any other solution--at least until Apple comes out with the full Mac OS X in March (which hopefully will use a newer version of OpenSSH). Here's how to do it (please keep in mind this is the first time I've configured sshd, so I hope I'm not forgetting anything!):

This only affects you if you're using SSH with Mac OS X Public Beta (i.e., you've previously turned on SSH in your /etc/hostconfig file).

1. Open a Terminal window, and su to root (type "su", press return, then type in the root password) if you aren't root already.

2. Go to the /etc directory (type "cd /etc").

3. Make a backup of your sshd_config file (type "cp sshd_config sshd_config_backup") in case you really mess things up.

4. Use pico, vi, or emacs to edit the sshd_config file (for example, type "pico sshd_config"). Pico is the easiest editor to use.

5. Change the line "#Protocol 2,1" to "Protocol 2". Make sure you remove the "#" from the beginning of that line.

6. Save the file and exit the editor (if you're using pico, press control-x, press "y" to save the buffer, and then press return to save the file).

7. You'll also need to create a host DSA key. While you're still logged in as root, type in "ssh-keygen -d".

8. After a couple of seconds, it will ask for the file to save the key. Type in "/etc/ssh_host_dsa_key".

9. After a couple of seconds, it will ask for a passphrase. Just press return.

10. It will ask you to type in the passphrase again. Press return again. The key should be saved.

11. Restart your computer, and it should be ready for SSH2 connections only (people familiar with UNIX can just HUP or kill and restart sshd).

(If you messed up somewhere, and your computer no longer accepts any SSH connections at all, you can return your previous SSH configuration by logging in as root, and typing
"cp /etc/sshd_config_backup /etc/sshd_config"
and then restart your computer.)

NiftyTelnet SSH will no longer work for you to connect to your Mac OS X machine remotely because it only uses SSH1; MacSSH uses SSH2. There are instructions on how to configure MacSSH at the macssh.com site, and this Ohio State site also has some good information: http://www.math.ohio-state.edu/support/ssh/mac/macssh/

Note there are some other security issues with Mac OS X Public Beta besides SSH1. I've found that if your turn on Telnet services using the Mac OS X interface, it also automatically turns on rlogin and rshell in inetd; rlogin and rshell have been known to have security problems. Users who want telnet turned on (though if they use SSH, they shouldn't need it; telnet uses cleartext passwords), should comment out the login and shell lines in the /etc/inetd.conf file. ftp is another service that users should be careful turning on; ftp uses cleartext passwords, and you have to be careful that outside users can't access your files.

When I talked with one of Apple's reps at MacWorld, he said that all services (ftp, rlogin, rshell, telnet, etc.)--except SSH--would be turned off by default in the final version of Mac OS X. I didn't ask him if they would be using SSH1 or SSH2, or which version.
Steve"

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Article on Repairing PB G3 Wallstreet Hinge/Clutch:
Reader Jeff Pollard sent a note he's posted an article on how he replaced the hinge/clutch assembly in his PowerBook G3 Wallstreet. Several readers in the past have noted that after years of use (at least with opening/closing the lid daily), the display will no longer stay vertical. Repairs from Apple cost over $300 some say.
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Rene Trost's First Mac Game Available For Download:
Rene Trost, author of the Throughput benchmark used here in the Video card/FPS database sent word he's finished his first Mac game written in assembly language. It's a 3D side-scroller shotgun shooting game.

" Hi Mike,
I've finished my first Macintosh game, written in 100% PPC-Assembler.
The game offers a 6-layer parallax scrolling ((never seen on the Mac before) graphics and 3D sound.
Due to copyright reasons I can't provide the graphics with the application in one archiv. The application and the required DAT files are available at
www.coolmedia.de/macmoorhuhn/macmoorhuhn_files_e.html.

Currently only the download page is available in english, the other sites are in german and will be translated soon.

The game is a real "hype" here in Germany, with over 5.000 downloads in the first three days since it was available.
The game requires a PPC with 32 MB RAM, MacOS 8.6 and DrawSprocket 1.7.3 or later to run.
Best Regards,
Rene Trost.
[he later wrote]

The game has some "secrets":

1. Hunting season is between August and December (also in the game, then you'll see more chickens)

2. The moorland chickens don't like scarecrows with hats, if you shoot off the hat from the scarecrow then more chickens will cross the scarecrow area.

3. Shoot ten leafs and get 100 points for the 10th leaf to push up your highscore :-)

There are more secrets and cheats in the game but it's boring to tell them all ;) "

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Newer Tech G3/500 10x ZIF Settings for Newer Carrier Card:
I spotted this in the forums here. A Newer Tech Carrier card owner with Newer Tech G3/500 ZIF finally found the 10x ratio settings for the ZIF module (unlike XLR8, Newer Tech did not document high ratio settings with many of their ZIFs, which are needed for the lower bus speed Macs)

" Here are the setting for the Carrier and [Newer Tech G3/500] ZIF.

SW2: All OFF, SW1: ON, ON, OFF, OFF
ZIF: (CPU) OFF, ON, ON, OFF
Carrier Card Jumper in the "UP' Position

The Card is now running at 500 Mhz. My thanks to Neal and W.Raitt Howard for helping put this problem to bed.

Ralph Light"

I've added this info to my article on the Newer Tech Carrier (ZIF) card.

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Feedback on URL Access v2.3:
Last Friday's news had a note that URL Access v2.3 was available via OS 9's Software Updates control panel. Two readers so far have written with comments on it.

"Just a few observations on URL Access 2.3
True, URL Access 2.3 is available through the software update panel. However, it does not appear to have fixed the "Error -6986" problem when using ICab to access secure sites.

After posting this info to Apple's discussion site, some people replied with "IE and NS work fine"-these programs use their own security features instead of URL Access.

Again, just because IE or NS can get into a secure site doesn't mean URL Access is working. This is reminiscent of NS' java engine vs. MRJ....you could download MRJ if you liked, but until recently NS used its own version of java.

I'm emailing Herr Joppich today to see if ICab 2.4 can actually interface with URL Access 2.3. According to him, URL Access still has problems with 128-bit encrypted sites...
Robert W. St. G. Fisher, IV"

Eli Block wrote that he's seen Type 2 errors in IE 5 since updating to the new version. I only have one Mac with OS 9.1, but didn't see any problems with URL Access 2.3 on that machine in limited use with IE 5.0.

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HyperCard User Group Ask for Help Getting it Carbonized:
If you still use HyperCard, the International HyperCard Users Group (IHUG) would like your help in getting it Carbonized for OS X. Visit http://www.ihug.org for more info.
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Petition to Save the Dogcow Icon in OS X:
Chris Ridley wrote there's a petition to save Clarus the Dogcow from extinction (in OS X) at http://www.PetitionOnline.com/sod/petition.html
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 17 new reports (total to date: 5,232). [Entries from after midnight EST will be added the following day.]

  • Apple 100MHz upgrade for PowerBook 520c (rated 8)
  • Newer Tech G4/400 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Newer Tech G4/400 in B&W G3 (rated 10)
  • PowerLogix G4/350 in Powerbase 180MT (rated 10)
  • PowerLogix Zforce in PowerCurve (rated 10)
  • PowerLogix BlueChip G3/500 in PB G3 wallstreet2 (rated1)
    (problems noted despite lowering cache speeds and disabling speculative access.)
  • Powerlogix G3/375 in 9600/233 (rated 8)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 6400/200 (rated 7)
    (problems noted in some apps after the upgrade)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 6400 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/450 in 8500/150 (rated 7)
    (some problems noted after several weeks)
  • Sonnet G3/250 in 6100/66AV (rated 10)
  • XLR8 G4/400 in Beige G3 (rated 10)

  • G4/AGP OC report
  • B&W G3/400 OC report
  • B&W G3/300 OC report
  • 2 Beige G3/233 OC reports

You can find these 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)

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CDRW/CD/DVD/HD Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 35 new entries including IDE and Firewire CDRWs (incl. Plextor 16/10/40 IDE report in S900 w/IDE Card), DVD ROMs, Hard drives and removables.(Current total 2,857 reports).
Entries from after midnight are added the following day. [BTW - the drive database is not a place to post questions, it's for reports on drives you've used. For guides to drive installs, see the IDE, SCI or Firewire articles here and/or the FAQ. Thanks.]
You can find full owner reports by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
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.
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Video Card/System Benchmark Performance Database Updated:
Updates to the Mac Game/Video Card Performance database included Unreal Tournament (full version) results at 640x480 and 800x600 with a dual G4/533 with GeForce2MX card. (Some entries were not posted due to missing info, rates to high to be real and/or with no email address which means I can't contact the authors to ask for details. For game entries, please make sure Demo1 tests at least are run, not just Demo2.).
Total entries in the database to date: 2,420. If you haven't already, enter your results with any of the game titles or benchmarks listed on the entry page (details on how to test are there). If you're curious how a CPU upgrade or new Video card would help game performance, the search page options can help you find similar system/configurations to get an idea before you buy.
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Game Reviews Database Updated for Oni Review:
Today's Reader's Rate Their Mac Games database updates included a review of Oni.

Game Title: ONI

Reviewer's Name: Mike DeSavoy
Date Submitted: 2/11/2001
Processor (CPU) Type: G3
Processor (CPU) Speed: 300Mhz to 399Mhz
Graphics Card: 3dfx Voodoo5 PCI 32Bit 2xFSAA
MacOS Version: OS 9
RAM Configuration: More than 128MB

Value Ratings (On a scale of 1 to 5):
Gameplay: 5   Graphics: 5   Sound: 5   Controls: 2   Value: 5

Best Features: Oni has a compelling storyline that is highly engaging. The accumulation of skills as you progress through the game also makes for an enjoyable experience (especially if you like challenges). Last but not least the use of the anime genre gives those of us who love manga a reason to laugh maniacally.

Worst Features: The save points are managed totally by the game; which often makes for monotonous game play. Especially at those levels which require extreme precision to win. However this often rewards players with an opportunity to get the skills necessary to move on to higher levels.

Overall Summary: I initially played the demo on my system using a Rage Orion, it sold me on buying the game easily enough. Having acquired a VooDoo 5 5500 I am completely satisfied with the game play. Beta 1.1.3 drivers aren't perfect, especially with OpenGL ; however I did manage to get the correct resolution set and have experienced the reason this card is still considered a good value. Nvidia made a smart choice in a acquiring 3Dfx. Oni rocks ! If you like intense action you will not be disappointed.


If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review.

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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News:
Reported By: Barney Buoy

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