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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 2/14/2001 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of the day:

Nvidia's NV20 aka GeForce3 Appearing on Stock Lists:
The long awaited next-generation Nvidia NV20 chip based cards are started to show up in retail dealer databases according to this forum post here that notes CompUSA has it in their database. (SKU# 282126 for the Guillemot 3D Prophet III, assuming it's a 64MB card with DVI.)
The retail cards of course are PC only, and not cheap ($599 list), but since all future Nvidia graphics chips are to be Mac compatible (see Q&A and Interviews with Nvidia here on the Video articles page) let's hope the NV20 will appear by this summer as a BTO option at the Apple store. The NV20 chip/cards have far higher performance specs. than the GeForce2MX card currently offered on new Macs.
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Toast Tip for Que Firewire 12/10/32 Hangs w/Teac Drive:
For those owners of Teac drive equipped Que 12/10/32 firewire drives a reader sent a tip that he says solved the hangs during Toast Burns:

" Mike-
I wrote in on 2/8/01 regarding the QPS Firewire CDRW 12/10/32 (Teac Mechanism). I have also experienced the finalize hang. It happened on the first cd I burned. I was burning in TAO mode. I then switched it to DAO mode and checked the power/rebound box and it has not happened since. I can now multitask while burning as well.

I have been hearing about the finalize hang with the Teac drives on a couple of sites. Just wanted to share this possible work-around.
All the best, Sean Howard "

I've updated Sean's Drive Compatibility Database entry on the Que Firewire drive to include this tip.

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PowerBook G4s Trickling in to Some Virginia CompUSA's
Last night CompUSA's web site showed PowerBook G4/500's as shipping in 48-72 hours, but today they show it backordered again. However checking stock on the PowerBook G4/400 model shows "limited availability" at two Virginia CompUSA's:
  • Tyson's Corner Superstore
    Vienna, VA

  • Alexandria Superstore
    Alexandria, VA

Of course the quantity on hand is likely small and may be sold out quickly. I called one store and they had only 2 PB G4/400s. It's first come/first served, and I suspect they may already be sold out.

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Another Reader Tip on Installing OS X Beta on Unsupported Macs:
In reply to yesterday's news article on installing OS X beta on unsupported Macs and clones, another reader sent a tip on older Mac installs of OS X Beta using an external SCSI drive:

" Hiya
I was sure I had already emailed you this, but here goes:
Easiest way to get it to boot on a __stock__ 9600/200MP (only 1 cpu working so far..)

Install OS X on an external SCSI hard drive from a machine that IS supported. I used a Beige 266 Tower.

Reboot to normal OS 9.

Make visible the kernel files, delete them (or move them somehwre so you can alsway boot again from the installer machine) and replace them with the ones from

Put the disk on the 9600/200MP.

Start the machine, booting as normal.

Use the System Disk "control panel", version 2.7 or 3.1.1 (people are gonna have to dig for these; 3.3 may also work) so you can set the SCSI disk's X partition as the boot device/boot target.
Done. Booted first go.
Ben "

Remember if you have 3rd party PCI cards (SCSI cards, etc.) there is no support for most of them in OS X Beta. On my loaded Genesis for instance, even if the cache enablers like Ryan Rumpel's worked (see the FAQ's OS X beta section here), I'd still lose a lot of functionality I have with OS 9, so I've avoided installing OS X beta on most of my machines for this reason. I'd suggest having a complete backup of your drive/data before attempting OS X beta installs just in case.

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OS X Beta Install on PowerWave (Updated):
A reader replied with comments on getting OS X Beta installed on his PowerComputing PowerWave.

" Hey Mike,
I was able to install Mac OS X PB on a PowerWave 604/150 w/G3 upgrade 104MB of RAM after seeing the kernel edit posted in reader reports. Actually that was the only thing I needed in order to install the PB on that machine as I was getting a kernel trap error when booting from the CD or any darwin 1.2 compatible kernel. After editing the kernel install was a breeze, and I thought I should add that you don't need to mess with Darwin to get OS X installed.

All that's needed is to copy the Mac OS X PB CD to one of your drives or partitions and replace its kernel with the edited kernel. Conceivably considering the nature of System Disk, all you would actually need to do is create a folder on any drive with the contents of the CD and the edited kernel, and you should be able to boot from it. I edited System Disk 3.1 although an edited version of 2.6.2 works as well.
One note on that though, is to make sure to boot with 'V' held down so you can tell if there is a hang(usually after regency copyright info)...if there is one, all that is needed is for you to restart with the option key down, and select the drive again, in whichever version of System Disk you first ran.

Hope that makes it easier for everyone to install...pretty much a breeze considering all of the time and effort I put into trying to get it running in the past.
-Joseph Kennedy

(I asked for more details like HD/CD drivers used, etc. and he wrote)

I have 3 internal drives, and one external, all SCSI. The first is a Seagate 1GB with Apple HD Driver. The second is a 1GB IBM SCA to 50 pin unsupported drive with FWB drivers. The third is a 500MB Quantum, standard issue. The external is that hunk of junk Seagate 10.8 GB full profile 50 pin with Apple HD driver...I did not use the external drive in the installation nor did it matter if I attached the drive for the install to work.

CD-ROM is the standard 8x TEAC that comes with the PowerComputing Clones...Only problem I experience with it (its a bit damaged) is that it does not allow me to use a CD unless the CD is in the drive at boot time. I have used 4x standard Apple drives and there is no difference.

I have an ATI Mach64 based vid card, standard on the machine and two V2's in the adjoining slots.

I copied the Mac OS X PB CD to the unsupported IBM drive with the FWB drivers and booted off of it using System Disk 3.1(doesn't matter what version as long as its hacked correctly). Installed onto the 1GB Seagate, although it would not have mattered if I installed from the 1GB Seagate to the IBM (I have booted Darwin 1.0 on the drive with no problem).

I think the two most common problems people encounter when attempting to install OS X PB is:

1.They get a black screen when attempting to use System Disk even after hacking it Reason: Most likely reason is that System Disk is not hacked correctly...if you have a clone you are going to need it to boot from System Disk using the S900 startup script...that script is a part of David Clark's System Disk 2.6.2 patch and can be applied to any later version of System Disk. Happened to me a few times.

2. The kernel does not support the ???? Option for booting....prior to kernel 1.2 either the 1.0 kernel did not check System Disk's choice for a machine ID, or had an entry to include unsupported clones. As in my case a kernel hack changing the value of the corresponding Motherboard (8500) to ???? Allowed the machine to boot. The trap error that would occur for this problem is Unimplemented trap error, error reading Memory ( registernames here)...Memory Access Exception(1,0,0)"

Last last year I replaced the CDRom drives in my PowerTower Pro and PowerCenter Pro with Apple ROM OEM drives to avoid the issue of driver support in later OS versions. (The PowerCC clones shipped originally with Personal Editions of FWB's HD and CD toolkit drivers.)

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2001 G4 and M-Audio Delta Card Tip:
A reader sent a tip for the 2001 G4 owner with the M-Audio Delta Audio card problem noted in yesterday's news.

" mike,
have him use an old driver set...
judging from what people on the daw audio lists have been saying, the issue lies in 9.1 and downgrading the frivers seems to be the trick....
Jeff C. "
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Reader Suggestions for Low Cost Audio I/O on 2001 G4s:
Several readers sent mails suggestion USB products as a way to get Audio I/O on the new 2001 Digital Audio G4 towers which have no Audio input/Mic jack. Here's a sample:

" Hi Mike
There are 2 prime consumer level USB to Mac audio input solutions:

1. Roland UA-30

2. Griffin imic

I can vouch for the Roland unit. It is very professional and accepts both digital and analog inputs. I have used it extensively with my ibook. It is self powered from the USB bus. Price $150-$200. I have a brand new unused imic which arrived after 9 months wait...but I had already bought the Roland unit. It is a much lower cost solution ($35) having only one 1/8" input mini-jack, so may not suit a true audiophile. On the other hand it is perfectly sized for the mobile user.
I have not used either with the 2001 G4... but I would not anticipate any issue.
Hope this is useful Cheers
Gareth Richards "

I assume these products will work with OS 9.1 that is installed on the new G4s.

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Another Report of 2001 G4 Incorrect RAM Timing in ASP:
This is the 2nd report I've gotten that the 2001 G4s RAM timing (Apple System Profiler RAM CAS timing) is not reported correctly.

" Hi Mike,
I just dumped the apple standard RAM which registered as 3-2-2 and installed 3 256MB modules from which are supposed to be 2-2-2 but show up as 3-2-2 and my gauge pro memory reports 304MB/sec with the old memory and 331.5MB/sec with the new memory! And in fact I got a phone call from while I was writing this email telling me that the register actually missreads the memory and that it is really 2-2-2. I think, based on my gauge pro results, this must be true.
Don Barron
Macintosh Consultant"

If you noticed the RAM comments in the 2001 G4/533 Review here, Dave Linder also noted some odd ASP reporting also. GaugePro results can vary a bit, but the odd timing reporting by ASP makes me wonder if there is some sort of bug in the ROM or in the version of ASP on the new machines.

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More Comments on Getting Premiere 6.0 Cheap:
In reply to a post in Yesterday's News on how to get Premiere 6.0 at about 1/2 price (getting Premiere LE with Firewire Webcam and then the $149 upgrade), Tony Hall wrote with a reminder on two other lower cost products that include Premiere LE - The Formac ProTV card (appx $90) [Update: On 2/16/2001 a reader said his FormacProTV no longer included Premiere LE, even though it was listed on the Box. Also another reader noted that the Premiere 6.0 update from LE is $199 list, vs $149 for the update from a full version.] and the Western Digital Firewire PCI card (about $60). I had forgotten that the CD with my WD Firewire card had Premiere LE. That card uses an NEC controller chip (at least mine) and had lower write speeds than TI chip cards as noted in my portable firewire drive tests.
I assume the Premiere 6 Upgrade works with OEM LE versions and their Premiere upgrades page notes the $149 price is for USA/Canadian customers only, and only registered owners of Premiere or Premiere LE qualify.
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports (total to date: 5,244). [Entries from after midnight EST will be added the following day.]

  • Newer Tech G4/400 in Beige G3 (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G3/333 in PowerBook 1400 (Rated 9)
    (noted audio stuttering problems)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 9500 (rated 7)

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 11 new entries in the last 24 hours, including CDRWs, DVD ROM, removables and hard drives. (Current total 2,886 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:

  • Quake3 retail (800x600) from B&W G3 400 w/Voodoo5 (16bit, no FSAA)
  • Quake 3 Demo (640x480,800x600,1024x768) from Dual G4 533MHz w/Radeon AGP
  • ThroughPut from Dual G4 533MHz w/Radeon AGP
  • CineBench 2000 from Dual G4 533MHz w/Radeon AGP
  • UT Wicked400 benchmark results (1024x768) from Beige G3/341MHz w/Voodoo3

Total entries in the database to date: 2,449. 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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