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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 2/25/2002 Monday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of Feb. 25th, 2002:

Review of Dual 1GHz G4

Dave Linder sent a review of the Dual 1GHz PowerMac G4. He covers the new system's features, software included and comments on using Final Cut Pro 3.0, iDVD and iPhoto.
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Dual G4 1GHz Overclocked to 1.2 GHz
Marc Schrier sent a note he's posted an article on his dual G4 1GHz overclocked to 1.2GHz. The article includes photos of the module showing the PLL resistors area and a table of settings. (The page also asks about temperature reading utils, but I told Marc as far as I know, all G4 CPUs after the 2.1 rev 7450 had that feature removed.)
Note: I've proven that the 7455 also has the temp feature removed - both Thermograph and gaugepro show no support for temperature reporting with the new CPU.
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80GB Firewire Drive for $199.99
    " OWC Mercury 80GB FireWire now on special for $199.99
    This is a limited time special price. Also listed on the XLR8YOURMAC Specials page.
    Best Regards,
    Larry O'Connor
    Other World Computing, Inc. "
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Wallstreet Owner Notes Better PCMCIA Support in 10.1.3
    " Mike,
    I wanted to let you know that, at least with my Wallstreet 250, OS X 10.1.3 seems to have fixed some PCMCIA issues as well. My Macally USB card would never work after the system went to sleep--that is now resolved. Also, I have had a Bullet Drive Express PCMCIA expansion card for an external hard drive for some time. Under OS 9, it was plug and play, no drivers ever needed. When I went to OS X, it would not work at all. Well, 10.1.3 has resolved that problem--it works great. I can now finally use my old 10gb drive.

    If anybody is interested in these (they are an inexpensive way to salvage an old drive), you can go to www.igo.com to find them.
    Mark "

My wallstreet PCcard slots failed about a year ago, but I prefer putting 2.5" drives in portable Firewire cases so they can be used with any Mac with a Firewire port (desktops or notebooks). Of course with a Wallstreet or Lombard, that means you have to have a Firewire interface PCcard. (The firewire articles page here has some build guides for installing drives in firewire cases, and the IDE articles page has an article on putting one in an MCE expansion bay kit.)

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Reader Comments on SuperDrive Failures
In reply to the earlier post from a reader that had two _retail_ Pioneer Superdrives fail within a week or so, two readers noted they had OEM Superdrive problems with new Macs. (Considering the number sold, I doubt this is significant, but just posting this as a FYI. Also note the 2002 Quicksilvers ship with a DVR-104, the retail Superdrives are the previous DVR-103 model.)

    " In mid February I bought a new Dual 1 Gig G4 from a catalog reseller. After setting it up I was able to burn only 1 CD and then the Superdrive failed. It did not recognize the CD under native OS 9.2.2 or under OS-X.1.2 (or in Classic).

    It would sit and occasionally click several times (in an odd way) and eventually would auto-eject the disk. I tried blank CDs, audio CDs, software CDs - nothing worked. (I did not try DVDs).

    I called Apple Support who walked me through several attempted software fixes, all of which failed. They concluded that I had a hardware problem so my new G4 went into the shop last week (February 18th) and it has not seen the light of day since. They are telling me that Superdrives are on back order. Sheesh - my new Mac !!!
    With any luck, I will get it out of the shop sometime this week - MAYBE!!
    Will let you know if it fails again once I get it out.
    Perry"

    " Hi Mike..
    The Superdrive in my Dual 800 Mac was defective and it took a couple of weeks to figure it out and have it replaced. It simply failed to write CDs about 9 out of 10 times. All kinds of alert boxes and error messages. Finally convinced the retailer that it was defective and they replaced it. The new one has been fine.
    Kevan "
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Reader's Tips for Getting Radeon 7000 to work in OS X w/Beige G3
    " Mike, I haven't seen this solution posted on your site...
    I bought a Radeon 7000 PCI for a client who needed to run OS X on a Beige G3 and wanted accelerated graphics. Well I didn't discover until after the installation that ATI had retracted their statement on the box saying that it would work with the Beige G3. [Noted some time back here on the main news page and 7000 owner reports page. The Beige G3/OS X issue with the Radeon 7000 was first noted here on January 16th.-Mike]
    Anyway, I was determined so I spent way too much time working on the issue and finally got it to work!

    I had to do the following:
    --install the card and the ATI software
    --boot from the internal video and enable root access if you haven't already
    --log in as root
    [or boot to OS 9 to remove files without permissions issues-Mike]
    --go to system/Library/extensions
    --remove all the extensions beginning with ATI and not including 'Radeon' in the name (sorry I've forgotten the exact names) this will be about 6 to 7 extensions with rage128 and ragepro in the names
    --log out and back in with your usual user account.
    --make sure that "Show displays in menu bar" is checked in the Displays
    system preference panel (if you don't do this step, then when you try to change the monitors resolution in "Displays", system prefs will crash.
    --shut down, attach your monitor to the Radeon card and start up.

    This worked for me. I didn't try to use two monitors on the Radeon 7000 card, nor did I try to use the video out, but it works to operate a single monitor under MacOS X with accelerated video. Steve J."

There's still some hope this issue will be fixed in a future OS X/driver update but there's no guarantee of this. I've added Steve's comments to the Radeon 7000 owner reports page. (Which has also been updated with a report of dual VGA monitor issues with the card from a Beige G3 owner. Past reports noted running a VGA+DVI monitor ok, but I can't remember any other dual VGA monitor reports using the DVI-I adapter to run a 2nd VGA monitor.)

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$25 SyJet 1.5GB Cartridges
    " we are blowing out our remaining inventory of Syjet [1.5GB discs] for $25.00 each. These are brand new. I know these are hard to find.

    Best Regards,
    Larry O'Connor
    Other World Computing, Inc."
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Reader has Two Recent Retail Superdrives Fail
(Note - see other reader reports on failures above, in reply to this post.)

    " Second Superdrive (retail) dead...
    I am starting to have questions about the "super" nature of the superdrive. I have had two in the last 10 days, both retail, both with newer firmware. The first was 1.55, and was broken out of the box. Problem? Errors recognizing disks. Read CDs, but wanted to FORMAT DVDs, CDROMs, and couldn't write to any media.

    Returned to retailer, who checked it, confirmed problem (wouldn't boot at all in PC) and replaced with new drive, this one updated to 1.65 firmware.

    This one worked, until today (never had a chance to test DVD burning). It burned CDs, ripped CDs, and also read all formats I had.

    But today, it doesn't recognize any disk but a DVD. Anything put in will just flash green light (reading disk) then after 1 minute, flash orange light (meaning disk not readable, according to pioneer). This happens on PC and Mac CDROMs, and music CDs, but DVDs work fine. When connected to the computer, it will spit out the disk. So, to eliminate the mac as the problem, I unplugged the bus and only gave it power. Same results: only DVDs are given the green light (after a 15 to 30 second spin up time), all other disks are looked over for about a minute, then rejected with flashing orange.

    Is there a problem with the superdrives? I've heard plenty of problems, but there are far more out there that work than don't. Is it possible for the Mac to destroy a removable drive like this? With two failures, I am wondering if the drive is becoming corrupted by my G4 AGP, or if the drives are just clunky...
    Thanks
    Mike Kramer"

    If any readers have had failures of Pioneer DVR-A03 Superdrives, let me know the details. (I don't remember a trend of this in the drive database reports over the last year.)

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Reader Report on ATI ROM Extender 1.09/OS X 10.1.3 Issue (Updated)
[Updated for two other reader reports saying they have not had this issue.]
The first news update (1AM) had a reader report on conficts with the ATI ROM extender file and OS X 10.1.3. I asked for other PCI Radeon owner comments on using the 1.09 ROM xtender file (manually installed in OS X) and have received two replies so far noting they had no problems with the combination of the v1.09 ROM xtender file and 10.1.3.

(see below this original post for two reader replies to it -noting no problems.)

    " Mike,
    I've been using my beige G3 (with PCI Radeon card, Formac 17 Gallery 1740) under OS X 10.1.2 with the ATI ROM-Xtender 1.0.9 extension manually installed. No problems. But since upgrading to 10.1.3 I have major incompatibilities that have required removal of the extension.

    I've noticed two problems which I am convinced are due to incompatibilities with the ATI extension. I'm convinced that both problems are related to the ATI extension since both problems resolve with removal of the extension from OS X.

    #1) Immediately upon booting up, Console opens with a continuously scrolling error message. The far right end of the apple menu begins to blink on and off. The console message is lengthly, but in part it refers to the "UI server". (Go to this page to see a screen shot).

    #2) When I try to open the "Displays" pane the System Preferences application immediately quits. This did not occur until immediately after install of the 10.1.3 update.

    I removed the "com.apple.systemuiserver.plist" from my users preferences. This prevents the problem with the Console error messages on restart. But it does nothing to solve the crashing System Preferences ap .

    After hours of troubleshooting (including a complete reinstall of my OS) I found that the problem is due to the ATI ROM Xtender file. If I remove this extension and restart, all problems are resolved. If I manually replace the extension, the problems return. John "

Here are two reader replies received so far noting they've had no problems.

    " I installed that extension and have upgraded to 10.1.3 and don't notice those errors. I did notice some bad graphics in Alien vs Predator game but it was running in 16 bit color. I have not tried 32 bit color yet so I do not know if this is related to the ROM Extender
    Tom K. "

And another

    " I've installed the ATI ROM Extender 1.09 and Mac OS X 10.1.3 on my Rev A Beige G3, with PCI Radeon, and all seems fine.

    The DVD Player (3.0.1) still works flawlessly too. I use it with a Pioneer DVD-ROM (Model DVD-116, I think).
    Hope this helps,
    Ben D. "

I wanted to make sure that the extension was not just installed in OS 9, but manually copied to the OS X Library/Extensions/AppleNDRV folder. (Noted in this past article.)

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Reader's Black and Sliver B&W G3
    " Hi Mike,
    Well, I know it's been done before, but I thought your readers might enjoy seeing the special paint job I did on my upgraded Blue & White G3. I originally considered making it all silver, akin to a Quicksilver G4, but I think the "Silver & Black" theme is just as nice. Anyway, it was a lot easier than I thought to paint -- spray paint adheres quite well to the plastic. Prying the two plastic Apple logos off each side before painting was by far the biggest challenge. I actually broke one, but I snagged another one off a server at work :-)

    Here's where I've posted some photos:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kevinpoole/PhotoAlbum3.html
    Take Care,
    Kevin Poole
    IT Manager
    ] The specs on the Silver & Black G3/G4 are as follows:
    -450MHz OWC G4 CPU w/1MB cache
    -512MB RAM
    -20GB 7200rpm HD
    -ATI Radeon 7000 PCI Video
    -Sonnet Tempo ATA/100 Card
    -External FireWire 20GB HD & CD-R
    -Original 24x internal CD
    -Runs 10.1.3 like a champ!"

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 8 new reports. (Total to date: 6,793). [Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning.]

  • OWC G4/450 in B&W G3 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G4/350 in 7600 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G3/400 in PowerCurve (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G3/400 in 8500 (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in PowerBook G3 wallstreet2 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF Mpe w/G4 450 ZIF [SSE version] in 9600 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)

(Warning - Overclocking may not be reliable and could lead to hardware failure or corrupted data.) You can find the 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/Hard Drive /Cardreader Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 24 new reports added today. [entries today will be added the following newsday.] The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 6,656 reports. Here's an itemized summary of today's additions:

    CompactFlash Reader Reports:
  • USB Sandisk ImageMate SDDR-31 used w/B&W G3 (OS X)
    (noted problems mounting an IBM Microdrive in OS X)

    DVD-R DVD Recoder Drive Reports:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-A03 in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)

    DVD-RAM Drive Reports:
  • IDE Matshita LF-D110 [2.6GB/side] in G4/AGP (OS X)

    IDE CDROM Drive Reports
  • EPO 52X in Beige G3 (OS 9)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports
  • Lite-On LTR24102B (24x10x40x) in G4/AGP (OS 9.1)
    (used illustrated CD installation guide here)
  • Sony CRX160E 12x8x32x used w/iMac (OS X)
    (running cable mods/outside the case)
  • Yamaha crw2200ez 20x/10x/40x in B&W G3 (OS X)

    SCSI CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Yamaha 4416S 4x4x16x used w/Dual G4 (OS X)
    (problems noted with burns in 10.1.3)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports
  • Lacie U+I 8x4x32 used w/B&W G3 (OS 8.6)
  • Mitsumi 24x12x40 in Firewire case used w/9500/9600 (OS X)
    [didn't note specific mac model]

    PCMCIA Interface Slot Hard Drive Reports:
  • Toshiba 4GB/18GB used w/PowerBook G3 wallstreet1 (OS X)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports
  • IBM Travelstar 48GB in PowerBook G4 (didn't note OS version)
    (used illustrated HD install guide here)
  • IBM 60GXP 60GB in 9500/9600 using IDE PCI Card (OS X)
    [didn't note specific mac model]
  • Maxtor 40GB in Dual G4 (OS X)
    (used Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here)
  • Maxtor 120GB in G4 Cube (OS X)
    (last year I posted a review of the 100GB Maxtor HD in my G4 Cube.)
  • Maxtor D740X 20GB in APS PowerTools clone (OS 8.6)
    (APS clone listed under "other mac models")
  • Maxtor D740X 40GB in Beige G3 (OS 9)
  • Seagate ST35120A 5GB in Beige G3 (OS 9.1)
    (used Beige G3 MT illustrated HD upgrade guide here)
  • Western Digital 60GB in G4 no AGP [yikes] using IDE PCI Card (OS X)
  • Western Digital 120GB in G4/AGP (OS X)

    SCSI Hard Drive Reports
  • IBM 36GB in Beige G3 (OS 9.1)
  • Seagate ST318436LW 18GB in 9600 (OS 8.6)

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports
  • IBM Travelstar 20GB in FW case used w/PB G3 lombard (OS X)
    (noted file copy issues in OS X but not OS 9.x - using OM FW PCcard)

You can find full owner reports by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the IDE Articles page. The Firewire articles page also has guides on case kits, installing drives, etc.
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. [If you post an updated entry - make sure you use the same name, etc. as you did before so I can find your past entry. Thanks.]

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Reader Game Reviews Database Updated:
The Reader's Rate their Mac Games database updates today included another another review of Civilization III and Alice. Total Reviews (all titles): 835. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. (If your game title is not in the long listing, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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Software Updates and Other Net News Links

    Gaming Related:
  • Lineage (lineage.com)
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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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