News Archive for: Tuesday, Feb. 14th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Revolution 5.1 Card user reports on 10.4.5 with 1.1.1 beta driver
(Updated - beta driver 1.1.1 is working - I don't own this card but posting as a FYI.) Here's the first report from a Rev 5.1 user, who originally said 10.4.5 broke the 1.1.1 driver but later wrote it's working now on another install:

" Installed OS X 10.4.5 update (used combo) on G5 Dual 1.8GHz Rev A. This update has "broken" the (M-Audio Revolution 5.1 card) beta 1.1.1 driver.
Audio Midi Setup doesn't recognize the presence of the card. Uninstalled the beta and reverted to the 1.0.0_0e from the provided disc and things are back as they were.

Can't verify any quality differences as I have used this card for a only a week at this point.
(He later wrote)
I have since applied the OS X 10.4.5 update (used combo) on my second internal drive which I would call my "work" drive as it doesn't contain any applications that I don't need for my basic video, graphics and audio editing. The other drive, in my first report, houses a hodge podge of applications and utilities, most of which I've since forgotten why I installed in the first place. A truly messy drive, but well maintained non the less.

The OS X update on the "work" drive still with the Revolution 5.1 and 1.1.1 beta driver went smoothly and wouldn't you know, the beta driver survived and all was as it was before the OS update. Head scratch, time out. Booted back to the messy drive and reinstalled the beta 1.1.1 driver. Reboot, and Audio Midi Setup is happy again.
What "fixed" it? Who knows.
Just to reiterate. Applied OS X 10.4.5 update with beta 1.1.1 driver in place. Not good. Used Revo 5.1 Uninstaller on provided M-audio disc. Reinstall 1.0.0_0e driver, OK. Reinstall 1.1.1 beta driver, OK.
-James "

I wish I had $1 for every OS X update problem that wasn't repeatable (I could retire rich I think.) Another Revolution 5.1 owner replied to the original post here that he didn't see a problem after the 10.4.5 update:

" (Revolution 5.1 Card 1.1.1 beta driver)
Working fine for me with the new system update.
Best regards, Peter "

As I mentioned earlier tonight in the post on 10.4.5, if you're using 3rd party drivers it might be best to check with the developer about compatibility before applying the update. However if any reader finds 10.4.5 breaks (or fixes) anything - let me know.

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Report on 10.4.5 breaking PL CPU Director 2.3b2
As with every OS X Tiger update so far, A reader said OS X 10.4.5 breaks the current version (2.3b2) of Powerlogix's CPU Director. (Thanks for the note Mike A.)
I've written PL to ask they let me know when an update is posted at their downloads page. (They replied they are waiting for an update to Darwin to be released.)
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OS X 10.4.5 Update released
Several readers sent a note 10.4.5 is available now via software update (see below for download links including the combo update, Intel CPU version update and server update)

" The 10.4.5 Update is recommended for all users and includes general operating system fixes, as well as specific fixes for the following applications and technologies:
-iChat video conferencing
-Safari rendering of web pages
-usability of Dashboard and widgets
-viewing of QuickTime streaming media behind a firewall
-printing to some Epson printer models
-iDisk and Portable Home Directory syncing
-time zone and daylight savings for 2006 and 2007
-VPN connections to Cisco servers when using NAT
-using and mounting Windows formatted storage devices
-compatibility with third party applications and devices
-previous standalone security updates
For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website:
http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n303179 "

I've not updated the one Mac here with Tiger on it yet, but if you find 10.4.5 fixes, improves or breaks anything, let me know the details. Thanks. (As with most OS X updates, if you're running any 3rd party haxies, drivers, or PL's CPU Director you might want to check with the developer for 10.4.5 compatibility info or an update before updating. Every OS X tiger update to date has broken CPU Director.)

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NewerTech MiniStack version 2
(Clip from PR email from site sponsor OWC)

" NewerTech Unleashes Upgraded New miniStack V2 to Consumers
After previewing the exciting 2006 upgrades to the award-winning miniStack storage solution and FireWire/USB port expansion hub at Macworld and the Consumer Electronics Show, NewerTech makes the high demand accessory accessible to the public with its "Immediate Availability Launch."

The newly upgraded NewerTech miniStack V2 is engineered to increase drive capacity 80- to 500GB while adding integrated 2-Port FireWire and 3-Port USB 2.0/1.1 powered hubs that are ergonomically divided between rear and side configurations. Although designed to maximize the Apple Mac mini, the NewerTech miniStack works with any Apple or PC computer with an available FireWire or USB port including any iMac, iMac Intel, mini PC, desktop PC, or portable MacBook Pro (Intel), iBook, notebook, or PowerBook.
The NewerTech miniStack was named Accessory of the Year by 123Macmini, Editors' Choice by MacAddict, and Top Product by Macworld in 2005. OWC and NewerTech premiered the new 2006 sleek upgraded miniStack V2 design at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco and the Showstoppers media event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas....
The NewerTech miniStack V2 retails for only $135.99 for an 80 Gigabyte (GB) version and is available in capacities up to 500GB at 7200RPM. An economical 'add your own hard drive' kit is available for $79.95. The advantageous dimensions of the NewerTech miniStack are 6.5 inches x 6.5 inches x 1.5 inches. NewerTech also offers a full line of accessories and professional installation services. More information on the full NewerTech miniStack line can be viewed at www.newertech.com/ministack. The NewerTech miniStack V2 is available through Other World Computing (www.MacSales.com) and other fine retailers. "

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First report on Quake3 Universal App FPS w/Intel Core Duo iMac
(Updated with more info/test results)
Here's the first Intel Core Duo iMac owner reply on FPS using the Quake 3 Univ. App update mentioned earlier today. (If you have an Intel CPU Mac and this update, let me know what framerates you get in the timedemo. Please include info on CPU speed and vram in reports and also what game quality settings were used.- thanks)

" Mike,
I tried the UB of Quake 3 and it is VERY impressive. (He didn't note it in this email but based on his earlier performance tests he has a 1.8GHz Core Duo iMac w/128MB VRAM-Mike) I just ran a quick timedemo on the out of box settings. (I asked him for more info on the settings used - i.e. "High Quality", etc. he replied-Mike)
I used high quality settings and default bit depths, with lightmap lighting. I only made a change to the s_chunksize (4096) and increased the resolution to 1024x768. I also tried r_smp 1 and r_smp 0 (enable and disable multiple CPU support - you have to restart the game (or 'vid_restart' ) after changing this mode to have it take effect.-Mike)

With r_smp 1: 257.7FPS
r_smp 0: 237.7 FPS
Very impressive numbers from what I've seen on Macs.
Best regards, John W. "

His results show not as much gain from MP enabled as seen with (separate) Dual CPU Macs/CPU Upgrades I've tested in the past which usually show a big gain in Quake3 with r_smp=1.
As a FYI - last January I posted a review of the ATI X800 XT in my Dual 2GHz G5 (running 10.3.7 back then) - it delivered over 320 FPS at 1600x1200 in the timedemo using both CPUs and High Quality settings.
John later wrote with results of tests with low quality settings:

" Mike, I take it you found the specs for my computer I submitted perviously. Sorry about that. I did restart the game after switching SMP modes. I previously used high quality settings and default bit depths, with lightmap lighting. (for above FPS results)
I was able to tweak the settings to produce a score of 537.5fps. I changed the following:
16 bit depth (vs 32bit)
Vertex lighting
cg_gibs 0
r_picmip 5

The music was still on during that test. I will give turning off the music a shot to see if anything happens.
~ John "

Here's links to some previous Core Duo iMac user reports on Univ. App Game performance:

BTW - one reader with an Intel CPU mac wrote he had no in-game sound in UT2004 unless running under Rosetta so I asked one of the readers that sent UT2004 Univ. App FPS results if he saw this problem - he said no:

" Nope; sound is absolutely fine here. I couldn't get multichannel (5.1) to work in UT2004 (Apple DVD Player works fine) tough, but I didn't really try that hard. Stereo is working exactly like it's supposed to be.
Best Regards,
Andreas "
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Apple adds 2.16GHz BTO option for MacBook Pro, bumps base models to 1.83GHz and 2GHz
Several readers sent word the Apple store now shows a 2.16GHz BTO option for MacBook Pro. The 2.16GHz option adds $300 to the base $2499 (US) 2GHz MacBook Pro standard configuration. The original 1.6xGHz base model is now a 1.83GHz model (that was the original top speed model.)
(Note - a reader that had pre-ordered a MacBook Pro 1.83GHz said he got an email from Apple on a shipping delay that noted "We have upgraded your MacBook Pro from a 1.83GHz processor to a 2.0GHz processor at no additional cost! " and mentioned an estimated ship date of Marc 4th. Those that pre-ordered a 1.6GHz model should get upgraded to a 1.8GHz model as that's now the low-end speed.)
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Reader Workaround (USB Switch) For USB 2.0 Card Sleep/Device Issues
" Hi Mike, I have an MDD and was looking for option to add a USB 2.0 PCI card. I tried a Iogear 4+1 port card which worked well but when hooking up an Iogear USB 2.0 hub/card reader to it, the machine would not go to deep sleep (i.e. screen goes black but fans keep going, only a power button restart will recover the machine). If nothing is attached to the card, the machine works and sleeps fine. I know the Iogear had this issue, so instead of a NEC-based card, I got a cheap PC/Mac compatible VIA 6212 chipset card. They even have drivers for G4s with OS10.2 up to 10.4 at this site.
The Good news:
The VIA card installed fine and I did not actually need the drivers in 10.4.4, but installed them anyway. USB 2.0 works fine, no problems whatsoever.

The Bad news:
The sleep issue persists. The Iogear USB 2.0 hub/reader connected to this card still locks up the system when going to deep sleep. I hooked up a USB 2.0 laptop HD and unmounted it, but still keeping power to it from the VIA card. Tried deep sleep but it locked up again. I think it is an OS problem and Apple is the one to fix it...

In any case, and with a substantial investment in all these USB 2.0 gear, I decided not to give up and found a simple solution. A USB 2.0 switch that would, at a touch of a button, disable/enable all the USB 2.0 peripherals attached to the Iogear hub/reader to be seen from the MDD. Basically, everytime I need to use the laptop HD, or the media reader or a USB pen drive I have, I simply press a button and they are enabled, when I am done, I press another button and they are disabled.
Problem solved.
The switch is a simple device that is primarily used to connect and share one USB 2.0 peripheral with more than one Mac. I found a realy cheap one that does everything I want it to do here: http://cablewholesale.com/catalog/usbswitchboxes.htm - Part number 40121A. $15 +shipping , total $24....

Just to let the readers know there is a way to deal with the sleep issues without going into the hassle of disconnecting their devices. Simply attach a powered USB 2.0 hub to the switch and all the peripherals to this hub. Of course, you'll still have to unmount each storage device prior to disabling the hub itself to prevent possible data corruption.
All the best,
Paris "

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Zoo Tycoon 2 1.1.0 Universal Binary Update
Eddie sent a note that MacSoft has posted a Zoo Tycoon 2 1.1.0 Universal Binary Update (down the page there).
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Apple Logic Pro 7.2 update (Univ. Binary)
Apple's released Logic Pro 7.2 which is a Universal binary/app.
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Universal Binary patch for Quake 3 Arena
MU today has a Quake III 1.3.2 Universal Binary patch for owners of Intel CPU Macs. If any readers own the game and try this update, let me know what framerates you get in the timedemo. Please Include system/vram info and game settings used. (See above for first report from Intel Core Duo 1.8GHz iMac user.)
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PC Nivida 7800 Flashed for Mac, Notes on Apple OEM Nvidia 7800GT Costs
" Over at the strangedogs.com forum someone has been successful in flashing a PC Geforce 7800 over to Mac. They will be trying a 7800GTX soon.
http://strangedogs.proboards40.com/index.cgi?board=experiments
On other news..
I had to get my flaky Apple G5 Geforce 7800 replaced under warranty, I noticed that the Apple MSRP for the 7800 is $843. No wonder they don't offer them separate!
-John H. "

I asked him what problems he saw with his Apple/OEM Nvidia 7800GT:

"My Dell 20" LCD monitor running at 1600x1200 resolution would shut-off/reset for a few seconds (similar to when a user is switching resolutions) when I was moving or rotating a high-poly mesh. This would usually happen when quickly moving the mesh or when it is filling the screen. The monitor would also shut off sometimes in photoshop, when manipulating a large image. This effect would not happen at lower resolutions or at the same or higher resolutions when connected to a CRT monitor. I also have a 6600 that has no problems at all. The Apple Hardware test did not detect any problems, but I was able to easily demonstrate the issue at a local Apple store.
BTW Maya hardware CG settings work great.
-John H. "
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Other Net News/Misc Software Updates
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CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 6 new reports added this morning. (Entries later today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 15,559 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE NEC ND-3550 in G4/AGP (OS X 10.4)
    (although Tiger has basic iApps burn support for most drives without it, he noted using Patchburn 4.
    Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model)

    Combo DVD(ROM)-CDR Drives:
  • IDE Liteon SOHC-5236V in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for OS X 10.3.x iApps burn support.
    Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers B&W G3 Model)
  • IDE Samsung SM-308B in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (Problems noted - replaced drive with Liteon SOHC-5236. )

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE (SerialATA onboard) Western Digital WD4000KD 400GB in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4)
    (followup from one of the readers that previously reported problems w/WD4000KD and onboard G5 SATA. Said it seems to be fine now after weeks of use.)
  • Firewire (cased) Western Digital WD800JB 80GB used w/iBook 14in (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Western Digital WD800JB 80GB in (MDD) Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.4)

You can find full owner reports (latest shown first) 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.)
(Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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