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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 2/16/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of the day:

Firewire Depot Warns of Virus in USB/Firewire Case Drivers:
This just in from Jeff Chasic of Firewire Depot:

" We have discovered a non-destructive virus (MBDF-A) in the USB drivers for the combo 2.5" and 3.5" FireWire/USB enclosures.
We recommend that you download the following free software to eradicate it from your system. (Disinfectant-371.hqx)

We have notified the manufacturer and the developer of the software and will receive new replacement CD's.
Replacement, clean, disinfected drivers can be found at:
http://www.fwdepot.com/USBDrivers.sit

We apologize for this.
FireWire Depot"

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Info on OS X Version of Virtual PC:
Reader Matthew Culmore wrote:

" Mike,
According to Julio at Connectix Sales Support, all sales staff now has a memo for all customers inquiring about their product for OS X, indicating VPC 4 for Mac OS X to be released ASAP after OS X Release. There will be a fee, so it is my belief VPC 3 users wanting to go to VPC 4 under OS X should wait if you don't want to pay extra. It is supposed to be quite an improvement, as one would expect.

I wonder how many people out there are like myself, not buying any software not mission critical until we get OS X. I mean none. I'll bet we see quite a surge of pent up demand when all the vendors are OS X compliant. Any thoughts on this?
Matthew"

I've also put off buying upgrades for major apps until I see what develops for OS X. I don't personally have a good feel for how many will be jumping on OS X right away. For those that are, I suspect they may also be waiting, except for cases where an upgrade now provides an immediate benefit (time/cost saving).
It would be nice if there was either a free or reduced cost upgrade to OS X versions for those that bought programs or upgrades within a certain time period before the OS X version was released.

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PowerBook G4 ColorSync/Screen Comments:
I received several replies to my post in yesterday's news on the blue cast of a sample PB G4 screen. Most said they didn't see the problem and one reader said his PB G4 had the best screen of any powerbook he's owned:

" Hi,
I have a PowerBook G4 ... I've found the display to be the best of any PowerBook I've ever had (and I've had most). I made this [profile] by using the Colorsync calibration, entering expert mode using 1.8 gamma and telling it to not do white point calibration.
Brian Caslis "

Brain also has a review of the PB G4 and links to some great photos.
Several other owners noted the Profiles posted here for the Pismo last year did work. (I had one report previously that it didn't.)

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2001 G4 Owner Report on Digidesign 001 Audio System/Protools LE 5:
David Linder sent a report of his experience using a Digidesign 001 audio system (w/PCI interface card) with ProTools LE 5.0.1 on his 2001 G4/533. See this article for details.
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Reader Report on MacAlly USB iVoice Microphone:
Mike Kramer just got his iVoice and sent his impressions from using it on an iBook running OS 9.1.

" Ordered late last night, and still, the iVoice came today! Outpost free delivery is pretty good, and I am in LA while they ship from Ohio. No tax, no shipping charge over $100 (I got an 8 port 10/100 hub too).

Let me just say that the only true Plug and Play OS is the MacOS. There are no drivers for this unit. Plug it in, and it is immediately recognized. The box contains the iVoice. No manual, no disk. The box itself tells what to do. I didn't have to read it. The Sound control panel warns that some apps that had already been running might need to be restarted for the iVoice to be recognized in the app, but that's it. I am using this with an iBook SE 366 with OS9.1 and 320MB of memory.

Anyway, first ten minutes worth of impressions are that the sound control panel has a problem with the speakers area with the iVoice attached. The speakers flash, but otherwise, I think that part is okay. Test and volume controls still work. Sound out works fine, but be careful not to set your stereo to Dolby pro-logic. I don't know if it has to do with the 3D sound (though the iBook has only one speaker), but this caused the sound to come out of the rear channel only, with buzzing, popping, and dropping. Switching to stereo mode got decent fidelity, with no artifacts or cutting off of any sounds. The mic unit is a standard cheap mic, but it works. I was able to record alerts from the mic, and I was able to take my voice into the mic and pass it back out through the sound out of the unit to the stereo.

But the sound input jack is pretty sensitive. The sound input port seams to be WAY over boosted in the gain department. Checking signal level in the input area of sound control panel showed complete overdriving taking in the sound of "who's line is it anyway," even at the almost lowest setting. Anything lower, and there is no signal. This gain issue isn't there when using the iVoice as a mic, but shows up when it is a breakout box. Better software might fix this, as you could set the gain low in the control panel, then adjust it even lower from within the audio or video program you are using. I don't have any of that software on my iBook, so I couldn't tell you.

My cousin will help me test the Talk feature of instant messenger tonight. Having an iBook, I was never able to use it, but hopefully, now I can. I doubt that this unit is ViaVoice compatible, but who knows? Anyway, until IBM can allow direct input into software including forms as well as OS navigation, I'm not that concerned with ViaVoice.

Hope this helps people out there. I moved, and don't have my G4 hooked up. But when I do, I can test the iVoice there, with OS9.0.4 and Final Cut Pro, Premiere, etc.

Cheers
Mike Kramer
Kramer/Collette Entertainment"

For more info on the iVoice, see MacAlly's product page.

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Mac Rainbow 6/Rogue Spear Mods Site:
I got an email noting that there's a Mac Rainbow 6 site with some mods for Mac Rogue Spear like Counterstrike 2, Firepower and more. See their Rogue Spear Mods page and Rainbow Six mods page for download links and info. (Note - the site is not viewable in iCab here, or Netscape 4.7x. They note it requires flash and IE 5.)

BTW: I was sorry to see Simon be unable to continue it, but we had a Mac Rainbow 6 Column here last year with tips, guides, etc.. 6 issues are at www.xlr8yourmac.com/games/R6/
.

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Rogue Spear Problem Report from GeForce2MX Owner:

"It appears that the Mac Version of Rogue spear has some SEROIUS issues with either OS 9.1 or the nVidia card.

I have a 2001 G4 and after purchasing Rogue spear I loaded it and tried to play. The results left much to be desired. In the interface screen the cursor leaves 'trails'-- images of the where the cursor used to be. Most noticeable at UI at the bottom. Moving from one screen to another leaves Residual elements of the previous screen on the next screen. If some time is spent in this section of the game it will eventually crash or fail to show a key UI element.

I tried the usual suspects, changing resolutions, color depth, extensions etc with no luck.

The tech support at info grammes has been less than helpful as following email shows. It appears not only did they not read my email but the "solution" they propose is not viable as the nVidia site has no Mac drivers

I will let you know if a solution is found
Andrew Remuzzi"

(I didn't post the TS email since it had no useful info.) If any other 2001 G4/GeForce2MX owners are running Rogue Spear, let me know if you're having similar problems or have a tip.

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More Comments on Teac Based Que 12/10/32 Drives:
Today's Drive Compatibility Database entries had several more Que 12/10/32 Firewire CDRW reports, some with the Teac mechanism (instead of the Plextor). One reader noted using a PC to flash the drive with a Teac firmware update appears to have solved the problem. I've also received email indicating some owners are returning the drives to have this issue solved.
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 4 new reports (total to date: 5,252). [Entries from after midnight EST will be added the following day.]

  • Newer Tech 117mhz upgrade in PowerBook 540c (rated 8)
  • Sonnet G4/400 in 7600/132 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3/450 ZIF in 7600 (rated 10)

  • B&W G3/350 OC report

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). For detailed reviews with performance tests and install tips, see the CPU Upgrades page.)

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CDRW/CD/DVD/HD Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 10 new entries in the last 24 hours. (Current total 2,911 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.]

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE HP 9510i (8x4x32) in Beige G3
  • IDE Sony CRX160E-A1 (12x8x32x) in Beige G3
  • Firewire Que 12/10/32 (Plextor drive) w/G4 AGP
  • Firewire Que 12/10/32 (Teac drive) w/Dual G4
    (problems noted)
  • Firewire Que 12/10/32 (Teac drive) w/G4 AGP
    (problems noted - used PC to update firmware which helped)
  • Firewire Que 12/10/32 w/PB Lombard

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE IBM 75GXP 46GB in iMac
  • IDE Maxtor 80GB in Beige G3
  • Firewire (unknown brand case) w/IDE Maxtor 10GB (drive from iMac 1999)
    (drive never recognized)
  • SCSI Seagate 9GB in 73-7500

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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More Reader Game Reviews:
Today's Reader's Rate Their Mac Games database updates included another review of Master of Orion II . Total Reviews (all titles): 728.

Game Title: Master of Orion II

Reviewer's Name: Adam Harding
Date Submitted: 2/15/2001
Processor (CPU) Type: G4
Processor (CPU) Speed: 400Mhz to 499Mhz
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon AGP
MacOS Version: OS 9.1
RAM Configuration: More than 128MB

Value Ratings (On a scale of 1 to 5):
Gameplay: 5   Graphics: 3   Sound: 4   Controls: 5   Value: 5

Best Features: This game is vast. It has a huge number of options, and you can vary the difficulty a lot through several means. It is very addictive!

Worst Features: Maybe a little too addictive... The level of detail/complexity might be daunting for first-time players. There also seems to be an issue with ATI hardware (maybe software): the game is drawn full-screen 640x480 without accounting for the menu bar, causing the game to be drawn underneath where the menu bar would have been. The gui targets do not change however, so they are not where they appear.

I have seen this problem only on a Radeon AGP and a Rage128 PCI. A workaround I have found is to just command-tab out of the game, then back in to fix the problem whenever it happens.

Overall Summary: I have loved this game ever since it came out for the Mac a while back. It's still the best strategy game of its kind in my opinion. Highly recommended for any fan of the genre, and even for those only mildly familiar with strategy games.

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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Recent Reviews and Articles:
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