News Archive for: Wednesday, Feb. 15th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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iTunes 6.0.3, iDVD 6.0.1, iMovie HD 6.0.1, iPhoto 6.0.1, iWeb 1.0.1 Updates released
I don't own iLife 06 (yet) but a reader (thanks Torben) sent a note there's updates for all the included Apps available now via software update. I had iTunes 6.0.2 installed and the 6.0.3 update appears in software update. Here's info on the changes and links to Apple's download pages for them:

"iTunes 6.0.3
iTunes 6.0.3 includes stability and performance improvements over iTunes 6.0.2. "

"iDVD 6.0.1
This update to iDVD 6 resolves issues with integration with the other iLife applications, importing of legacy projects and some theme related issues. "

"iMovie HD 6.0.1
iMovie HD 6.0.1 update addresses issues with Ken Burns rendering performance, Scrubber Bar editing performance, and theme image quality. "

"iPhoto 6.0.1
Resolves issues with photocasting, viewing thumbnails in large libraries, and ordering cards, calendars and books. It also addresses a number of other minor issues. "

"iWeb 1.0.1
iWeb 1.0.1 update addresses issues related to publishing, blogs and other issues. "
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World of Warcraft 1.9.4 Patch
" hi mike, there is a new wow patch/update version 1.9.4.
it's for general problems but for macs with intel processor it fixes problems with the timing and with the framerate.
best regards, Torben "

Here's the info from Blizzard's patch notes page:

    " World of Warcraft Client Patch 1.9.4 (2006-02-14)
    General
  • A new Guild Recruitment channel has been added. This channel will be off by default.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause players to appear to be porting around in a small area.
    Mac
  • Addresses a timing accuracy issue on Intel-Mac systems that affected the perceived speed and/or progress of transports and other moving objects in the world; PowerPC-Mac systems were not affected.

I've added this to the Mac WoW performance/reports page which has previous reports from PowerPC and Intel CPU Mac users.

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Daystar notes G4 1.92 and 2.0 GHz CPU Upgrades for AL PowerBooks now available
Daystar sent an email copy of a press release that their previously announced 7447a/b based CPU upgrades for Alum. PowerBook are now available. (You send them your powerbook for the chip swap.) Here's a clip from the PR on the models:

" The base price of $499 includes all parts and labor.
  • PowerBook G4 15": 1.0, 1.25, 1.33 upgraded to 1.92 GHz
  • PowerBook G4 15": 1.5 is upgraded to 2.0 GHz
  • PowerBook G4 17": 1.33 upgraded to 1.92 GHz
  • PowerBook G4 17": 1.5 is upgraded to 2.0 GHz "
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    MacBook Pro Pre-Orders upgraded to Current Faster Models
    (from a reader mail yesterday - I didn't spot it then due to no subject line)

    " Just got this from apple (yesterday)...my MacBook was ordered on Jan 26, and was slated to ship the 24 and arrive by the 1st. Not anymore...:-)
    -Richard C.

    "To Our Valued Apple Customer:
    Today we announced that this week Apple will begin shipping the new 15.4-inch MacBook Pro featuring the Intel Core Duo processor, a built-in iSight, Front Row with Apple Remote and more. The reception of the MacBook Pro has been tremendous and we are working hard to ship as many units as fast as possible.

    Better still, prior to shipment we've improved the entire MacBook Pro family with configurations starting at 1.83Ghz up to 2.16GHz. We have upgraded your MacBook Pro from a 1.83GHz processor to a 2.0GHz processor at no additional cost! (emphasis mine) We anticipate shipping your upgraded order by March 4, 2006.

    To learn more about the most recent upgrades to the MacBook Pro family, please visit http://www.apple.com/macbookpro. You might be interested to know that Apple is offering an even faster processor - the 2.16GHz. This is a custom configured option and is available for an additional charge.
    If you decide you'd like to make a change to your upgraded MacBook Pro order,we're happy to help. You may reach us at at 1-800-676-2775, Mon-Fri 7 am-10 pm and 9 am-6 pm Sat-Sun (Central). Some change requests may extend your shipment date slightly. If we do not hear from you by February 18th, we will ship the MacBook Pro 2.0Ghz Intel Core Duo.

    Our systems will reflect the change to your order by February 15. Please visit http://www.apple.com/orderstatus for the most up-to-date information on your upgraded order. A shipment notification,with tracking information, will be emailed to you as soon as your order is shipped.
    Thank you very much for shopping at the Apple Store!
    Sincerely,
    The Apple Store Team "

    Pre-orders for 1.6GHz models should get a 1.8GHz upgrade also since that is now the low-end model. (This is really a given as otherwise people would cancel pre-orders.)

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    More reader reports on 10.4.5 Update
    (Updated again at 5PM)

    " 7.3fps gain in Doom3 with 10.4.5 on a Quad G5 w/7800GT card, 3GB Ram with same graphics settings from before. thats 50.1 v. 58.4fps
    doom3 was run at 1900x1200 with 2nd highest graphics options on.
    (name withheld by request) "

    " I updated to 10.4.5 on my G5 Dual 2.5GHz using the combo updater but unfortunately the bug previously reported by others that causes applications to stop responding when DTS or Dolby digital are output over optical using DVD Player is still present. This one gets annoying quick as you have to make a conscious effort to quit most applications before playing a DVD. I often browse the web with a DVD playing but can't really do this now. The applications that stop responding (shown in Activity Monitor) have included Quicktime player, Safari, AppleWorks, Finder and Camino. It does seem that switching video size in DVD play is related. (the initial report mentioned playing DVDs at full screen then switching size)
    This was never a problem until 10.4.4.
    Regards, Matthew "

    " I applied the 10.4.5 update to my 1.08GHz dual MDD "Quadnostril" (167MHz bus FW400 model) Powermac last night (Mac flashed PC 256MB Radeon 9800XT, and 1.5GB of DDR RAM), repaired permissions, rebooted, etc. I then performed three reboots, and the times have reduced roughly by five seconds.
    However, I am noticing a new problem with the Dock when dragging icons to it (or dragging files to the trashcan), where the dock will just lock up, with the zoomed icon zoomed into, and the thing becomes unresponsive. It was late last night when I encountered the problem (which I was only able to reproduce once more) so I didn't have a chance to try re-launching the dock. Of course, rebooting the computer fixed the problem.
    I wonder if I am the only one who has this problem. I would suspect the graphics card, since Apple would consider it "unsupported" since it is a Mac-flashed (ROM file enabling full functionality of the card - came from a trusted strangedogs member) PC card, but I cannot single it out for sure since I did not have this problem before the update from 10.4.4 to 10.4.5.
    Thanks, Leo "

    I've still not updated to 10.4.5 on the one tiger system here but if anyone else sees what Leo mentions let me know.

    "The 10.4.5 update has not broken anything per se, but I noticed two unwelcome changes.
    1. All the fonts on my screen look worse. It is like the anti- aliasing is not as smooth as before.
    2. Dashboard widgets get a big black box border when you turn them around to view widget options. This happens to Apple supplied and 3rd party widgets.
    -Howard
    (For the record I asked for more info on his system/graphics card, etc. and if he'd done any of the usual OS X voodoo (clear caches/RP/reinstall combo update, check for corrupted prefs, etc.)-Mike)
    Powerbook G4 12" 1.33 (768MB RAM, Superdrive), nVidia GeForce FX Go5200 (64 MB), No 3rd party fonts/haxies. The fonts are just not as crisp as they used to be, but I think I am getting used to them after staring at it all day. :)
    The widget thing strange. I wish I could take a video of the black box thing and send it to you. "

    " I'm writing this at the close of a long night. I installed 10.4.5 on my QS 2002, which has an Alchemy TV card, Sonnet SATA card, and Sonnet 1.4ghz upgrade. In the four years or so of using OS X I've never had a problem with system updates, though as my machine becomes older, and loses more stock parts, I should expect more complications. After rebooting I couldn't login to any account without a kernel panic, even in safe mode.

    I tried a number of things (Applejack, Disk Warrior) and ended up doing an archive and install (which was complicated by an installation failure first time around -- causing me to manually move system and user files), followed by applying the 10.4.5 combo update (previous I used software update). All seems well now. I'm assuming this is just one of those flukes that inevitably happen to everyone at one time or another; there were no complications with my 12" 1.5ghz Powerbook.
    -Haroon "

    " As of feb 14 2006 my dual G4 450 Mhz continues to be utterly responsive. 1 gig ram and this 10.4.5 is Snappy for me, it's insane how fluid the scrolling experience has become since 10.0! Radeon 9000 AGP 64MB only, but still I keep being amazed with my brave old dual - the smallest dual you could buy at apple like 6 years ago and still a pleasure to do some FCP After Effects Combustion and Photoshop on it...I'm confident there are new kernel tricks in this 10.4.5 and I also saw a new NVram extension which should explain the snappy graphics on my old brave dual.
    -Patrick "

    " Mike,
    After installing 10.4.5 on G5 quad, Bit Torrent is disabled and no more down nor uploads, although the program starts up.
    (he later wrote)
    This report was incorrect. It got fixed after reinstalling. (I asked if he meant re-installing Bittorrent or reinstalling the 10.4.5 update-Mike) Sorry about this wrong info.
    After throwing away Home/library/preference/ com.BitTorrent.BitTorrent.plist, and throwing the app to trash and reinstalling fixed my problem. The application is working fine now.
    -Tom S. "

    " Mac OS X 10.4.5 breaks Transparent Dock 2.3.6 on my PB G4 DLSD.
    The good news, though, is that it is reported to fix the audio stuttering/looping problems these machines have had (see http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302978). I've been using 10.4.5 for a couple of hours now and haven't noticed any audio problems. Keep up the good work!
    -Mark "

    The 10.4.5 info I saw from Apple didn't mention that but I asked Mark to report back if he saw the problem after more use in 10.4.5.

    " Now my boot time went from 1min10 sec to just over 2 mins!! I tested it 3 times!!! (often initial reboots are slower after an update - but improve over time. Kext cache related IIRC - the FAQ's OS X section has an old tip for this from years ago.)-Mike) Hope that the defect on powerbook audio is fixed!!!! (see above report/link to apple kbase doc mentioned here a few weeks back-Mike) .... If the sound isnt fixed I will return my machine.
    -rossi
    17" powerbook 1.67 SD 1.5gb ram 120gb 5400rpm
    (he later wrote)
    Follow up on update. I fixed the long startup time. I know that the first start up is always slow after an update. Today I did sudo update daily weekly monthly and force prebinding and with finished fcsk -f. The boot is back to normal: about 1min12sec. Safari is a bit slow as usual when I have lots of tabs open. Everything is normal. Didnt have any echo on audio :) looks like its a keaper.... "

    " Subject: 10.4.5 breaks Audiophile 2496 drivers
    Yet again a point upgrade from Apple breaks the M-Audio Audiophile series drivers (2.05 dmg). Got an instant KP on restart and KP solved immediately by uninstalling 2.05 drivers. This happens with such regularity since 10.4.1 that I am beginning to think Apple hates M-Audio and just want to make them update their drivers every 2 months.
    -Robert H. "

    I asked if he tried re-installing the drivers. (BTW - the report last night from a Revolution 5.1 card owner that beta 1.1.1 drivers were broken by 10.4.5 was updated to note they worked on another 10.4.5 install - and another 5.1 card owner said he saw no problems.)
    But as I mentioned last night in the post on 10.4.5 being released, if you're using 3rd party drivers, utilities, addons, etc. 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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    Another WD Raptor 150GB/Onboard G5 SATA Problem report
    In the Jan 25th news page, there was a follow-up report from a WD Raptor 150GB drive owner on problems he saw with the drive on the onboard SATA. About 1/2 dozen other G5/Raptor 150GB owners replied to that post saying they'd not seen any problems however. I'm not sure what the issue is but one of today's drive db reports noted onboard G5 SATA problems with a Raptor 150GB and earlier this week I received this mail from a G5 owner on problems with the drive:

    "Subject: SEVERE Raptor 150 problems in a various array of PM G5's
    Mike, Please bring this to your users attention. I made the mistake of investing $1400 in Raptors that apparently "just don't work" in any G5 we have. So very angry about this.
    I just finished a weekend of testing, and the bad news is that the Raptor 150 DOES NOT WORK with the Power Mac G5. I tried two Quad G5's, two Dual 2.7's, a single 1.8, and an original dual 2.0. I tried five different Raptor 150's.

    To make a long story short, ALL of these machines locked up with a spinning beachball during copying some amount of data. Sometimes it worked through a full 135GB copy, other times it locked up after 1.5GB of a 80GB transfer. (a similar problem was noted with WD4000KD owners on the onboard SATA last fall here - some used a PCI SATA card as a fix, although a recent report mentioned he's been using the drive OK for weeks.-Mike) We could not pin down any sort of rhyme or reason. The crashes were completely random.

    Changing jumper settings didnt affect a thing and the drives still locked up. It is almost as if the drive just stops responding. We also tried switching bays from A to B and B to A. Nothing. Booting from the drive works, but we also got several blue screen freezes halfway through the boot process. Tried various versions of 10.3 and 10.4. Nothing seemed to fix the random freezing.

    This is total and utter you know what and completely Apple's fault. Using any of the above configurations with the Sonnet SATA or SIIG SATA offering worked perfectly. We saw no spinning beachballs of death, or any other freezes. Clearly there is something wrong with Apple's onboard SATA implementation. To gimp a high-performance hard drive like this is ridiculous and small oversights like these ones make Apple look oh so childish.

    We also noticed that the new WD SATA 400GB drives exhibit the same problems as the Raptor 150's. Be advised that you WILL lose data. Do not use these drives in a G5 under any circumstances. Come on apple, where is your response to this? I drop 1.5 grand on high performance sata hard drives that dont work in your systems and we cant seem to get ANY response at all in the apple discussion groups. I am really gonna be mad if this turns into another one of apples "just ignore it" issues. -Matt "

    I know some G5 owners have reported no problems with this drive but just posting this as a FYI since this is the 2nd report like this I've gotten this week.

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    CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
    The Drive Compatibility Database had 4 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 - 15,563 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 Pioneer DVR-110D in (MDD) Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.4)

      Combo DVD(ROM)-CDR Drives:
    • IDE Sony CRX320AE in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
      (Using Patchburn 3 for OS X 10.3.x iApps burn support.
      Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio model and B&W G3 and Beige G3 MT Models)

      Hard Drives:
    • IDE (SerialATA onboard) Western Digital WD1500ADFD 150GB in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4)
      (Problems noted with onboard G5 SATA)
    • Firewire Lacie d2 Extreme (triple interface) 160GB used with (MDD) Single 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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    Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
    The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 2 new reports (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,191. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

    • Fastmac G4 550MHz in (Pismo) PowerBook G3 2000 (rated 8)
      (listed under "Other Brand". Includes notes on using a replacement thermal pad.)
    • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1.6GHz (7447A) in G4 Cube (rated 10)

      (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

    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).

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