News Archive for: Monday, Feb. 20th, 2006 (late posted items first)
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EyeTV 2 Update (v2.0.1)
Eddie sent a note that ElGato has posted EyeTV 2.0.1. Still not a Universal binary yet but they say there will be one soon as a free update. The Read Me file lists several "usability enhancements" (Recording/Schedule Status information, Shortcut Menus, "Now" line, Preview image in Details View, Missing Recordings identified in Playlists, Open Guide Preferences and Support for iDVD 6) and a list of 10 bug fixes:

    Bug Fixes
  • The TerraTec Cinergy T2 and the EyeTV for DTT now operate reliably after waking the Macintosh.
  • EyeTV no longer continues to capture when the live window is closed with the Plextor PX-TV402U and Miglia EvolutionTV.
  • The audio volume on the tuner input of the Plextor PX-TV402U has been increased.
  • TitanTV: selecting a different channel lineup now updates channel names properly.
  • EyeTV works around a FireWire problem in the Rosetta environment that caused problems with EyeTV 200.
  • A crash when starting recordings with very long episode titles (prevalent in Finland) has been resolved.
  • EyeTV no longer checks for network availability using methods that may force dial-up networking to initiate a connection.
  • Instead of truncating information after three days, the DVB guide now displays all available schedule information.
  • A problem with tvtv schedules in the Netherlands being off by 40 minutes has been resolved.
  • A cosmetic issue with long episode titles in the EPG search results has been resolved.

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Western Digital note on WD4000KD/YR and Raptor Drive problems with onboard G5 SATA
UPDATE Western Digital has now updated the Tech note to include other Raptor drive models - not just the 150GB Raptor. (They may have updated the smaller capacity raptor's with the same drive firmware/controller board as the 150GB Raptor model that originally had the problem.) The earlier production Raptors (original 36/74GB models) were generally OK with onboard G5 SATA per drive database reports IIRC, but I'm guessing they've changed either the drive board or firmware to the same as the 150GB model which has been a problem with onboard Mac SATA (although -some- Quad G5 owners said they were ok, I'd still not choose one for use in my G5 personally but YMMV.)
Note: A reader with an earlier model 74GB Raptor (OK w/G5) said it's a model "WD740GD" - the newer 74GB Model (which is not recommended for Mac onboard SATA) is a "WD7400ADFD". (They are probably no longer making the earlier model drive, unless some dealer had some old stock.)

As of Nov. 2006 - here's what the Western Digital Tech note says (but check the WD Tech note for any changes they may make over time)

"Is my Apple G5 Tower compatible with the WD4000YR, WD4000KD, WD740ADFD, WD360ADFD, WD1500AHFD, and WD1500ADFD hard drives?

Answer:

Problem:
After installing a WD4000YR, WD4000KD, WD360ADFD, WD7400ADFD, WD1500AHFD, or WD1500ADFD, the computer system will hang (lock up), necessitating a system re-boot.

Cause:
The Apple G5 tower does not support certain standard Serial ATA interface protocols used by the WD4000YR, WD4000KD, WD360ADFD, WD7400ADFD, WD1500AHFD, and WD1500ADFD hard drives resulting in an interface lock-up. This causes the computer system to hang.

Resolution:
The only work-around we have identified at this time is installing a SATA Host Bus Adapter (controller card), effectively circumventing the on-board interface."

(original info from Feb. 20th, 2006 follows including a copy of the first WD tech note that did not mention the 36/74GB Raptors (it does now))

Since last fall there's been reports here on problems with G5's onboard SATA and the WD 4000 series drive (and one report from an Intel CPU iMac owner also) and some reports of similar problems with the WD 150GB Raptor drive (although not everyone reported a problem with that drive, several did.) Peter sent a link to a Western Digital tech note from their website:

" Is my Apple G5 Tower compatible with the WD4000YR, WD4000KD, WD1500AHFD, and WD1500ADFD hard drives?

Problem:
After installing a WD4000YR, WD4000KD, WD1500AHFD, or WD1500ADFD, the computer system will hang (lock up), necessitating a system re-boot.

Cause:
The Apple G5 tower does not support certain standard Serial ATA interface protocols used by the WD4000YR, WD4000KD, WD1500AHFD, and WD1500ADFD hard drives resulting in an interface lock-up. This causes the computer system to hang. (some didn't notice the problem until doing large file I/O-Mike)

Resolution:
The only work-around we have identified at this time is installing a SATA Host Bus Adapter (controller card), effectively circumventing the on-board interface. "

(Update - In March an Intel Core Duo iMac owner also mentioned problems with this drive on the onboard SATA.) The previous page here on WD4000KD/Onboard G5 SATA problems and a note about a jumper setting to limit it to SATA1, but not everyone said that helped. (Using a PCI SATA controller card was the first 'fix' for this noted there.) Peter also sent a separate mail on problems he's seen with 2 of the Raptor 150GB drives:

" I have 2 of the raptor 150's. I started using them in a two drive hardware raid enclosure attached to a pci hba in a g5 2x 2.7. In raid 0 the speeds seemed slow to me so I started to test them internally on the main host connections. I have had nothing but problems since. Any attempts at using any drive utility always ends with sbbod and a hard shut down. A drag to say the least. Hope this info helps somehow. I'll be reading for any updates and will supply the same if I have any.
peter "

In the last month or so I've posted a couple other Raptor 150GB/Onboard G5 SATA problem reports and there's a some others in the drive database, although after posting the first problem report about 1/2 dozen G5 owners wrote they've not seen any problems (yet at least) - but there's been several mails on this problem from Raptor 150GB owners in the last week or two.
One of the readers that recently posted a problem report (in Feb. 15th news page) sent a follow-up:

" I'll fill out a drive compat. report for these when I have a free minute. I have been bombarding the apple discussion boards about this issue and apple is officially ignoring this. Tech support and genius bars continue to say the issue is with WD and apple is once again flawless. Good news is that WD is aware of the issue and have done tests of their own. Please post this is the news. (same WD note as above)
http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1415
My suspicions were right. Apple's sata controller is one of those 'just get by' drivers and doesn't conform to the full sata spec. This has nothing to do with Spread Spectrum Clocking. (SSC - as noted last year here also not compatible with onboard G5 SATA, but the WD problems are not SSC related as mentioned in the previous page on WD4000 problem reports-Mike) That is able to be disabled, but WD are using other features that aren't implemented by apple resulting in the freezes.
My biggest fear is that, according to WD, pretty much every new drive coming out from them, and most likely all other manufacturers will have this 'feature' onboard. A gentlemen I spoke with at WD said it was an issue with the backwards compatibility from SATA II to SATA I, and that sometime in the near future, EVERY new SATA drive that comes out either from them, or from maxtor, hitachi, seagate, and the few other manufacturers won't work at all with any of the power mac G5's.
Those individuals that are running happily with their raptors, or 400gb drives intact and haven't had any problems with the drives are seriously playing with a loaded gun. They most likely havn't run into the issue, but it may come about at ANY time. Just like the huge 75GXP fiasco, with drives randomly failing all over the place, a user could run into this new issue at any time. Whether it be a month down the road, or three months when you are trying to load that important business document.
Any suggestions on how I can get a hold of an apple engineer? This is terrible.
-Matt "

I really don't have any direct contact with an engineer at Apple but if you talk to another Apple Genius I'd show them the WD doc on this issue - maybe he can send that up the chain. (Oliver suggested using their OS X Feedback also. There used to be a PowerMac feedback form IIRC but I've not checked for it lately.)
I'm not sure if this could be fixed by a driver/patch and I doubt anything will be done about it at this point but I could be wrong. (So far most other drives don't have this problem - although some drives ship with SSC enabled, although recent reports say that Seagate's 7200.9's recently are shipping with it disabled now, where it was enabled previously.)

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Another Report on using free 'Q' Emulator to run Windows on Macs
(Note: Link to "Q" emulator removed as site/page no longer online. The following is the original post from Feb 2006, however I cannot provide support for Q personally nor do I know any current links for it.)

" PowerBook G4Ti 667 MHz 1 GB RAM OSX 10.4.5
Running "Q" as a 128 MB x86 PC with Windows95.
Took me a little while to get this going as I didn't have an already "working" VPC disk image. So had to do it from scratch.

It was a little "chicken and egg" scenario ... I couldn't access the CD until I'd loaded Windows, and I couldn't install Windows until I could access the CD ...

In the end I used "Winimage" on a PC to generate a 1.44 MB Win95 boot floppy image. Onto that I loaded "cdgod" software so I could choose the "generic ATAPI" CD driver after booting from the floppy. That allowed me to then load a CD image of the Windows95 CD, and install onto a suitably formatted hard disk image.

As described in the Q documentation, Windows95 doesn't discover the network card or soundcard. But the documented installation does work. I found that Win95 on its reboot after install tried unsuccessfully to load the Cirrus drivers for the video ... probably because it tried to do it prior to the CD driver being loaded. After cancelling the "Find file" dialogues, it carried on booting fine, then I could tell it manually (right click on desktop, Properties etc etc) to go find the drivers from the now available CD.

Things I haven't sussed yet ...

1. Having booted into Windows95, I can't now access the A: drive ... even booting with a floppy image loaded, it refuses to acknowledge it's there.

2. Similar to #1 I can't access a physical CD ... Q is set to "use Real CDROM" which I thought means that it will see the Mac's CDROM drive, but it doesn't. It does though see my Win95 CD image as E: when told to load that in the Q setup. So maybe I have to image any CD I want to use.

3. Can't access the "Q Shared Files" apparently intended for the Q: drive. I see a brief error message flash up and immediately disappear in a DOS window when running the Q.bat script. No chance to read what it says though.
-Mark "

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Reader Request for feedback from Intel CPU Mac user on Adobe CS2 Apps
(Updated with a couple of reader replies - see below)

" I was wondering if you could post a request to find out if there are any stability issues running CS2 on the new intel macs. I have read everything Adobe and Apple has to offer, but I am particularly worried about concurrent running of all the apps (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat).
I have to make a purchase for the company I work for and was hoping to get some real user info before making the plunge.
Thanks, Chris "

If any readers have used CS2 apps on an Intel CPU Mac, let me know above the above.
Update - here's the first replies today - although they don't mention running more than one CS2 app concurrently. (See Tuesday's news for a report on running multiple CS2 apps.)

" I am running CS2 (Photoshop CS2 and Image ready he later said) on an Intel iMac (1.83GHz) with 1 GB ram. You need the ram. 2GB is better to run this app.
I initially had the stock 512MB, but anything Rosetta is a killer. With 1GB ram, it runs about as fast as my old G4 iMac 700 Mhz with 1GB ram. Everything seems to work, including the contextual menus to resize images.
It is absolutely usable, and is actually the first app I reinstalled. My site will be doing a review of Lightroom from Adobe and LightZone by LightCrafts (both Universal).
Initially both apps run very fast, and are good, viable editing alternatives. GraphicConvertor (Universal) is also an excellent alternative.
-Peter "

" I tested an iMac 20" core duo and I wasn't impressed. It had only 512MB ram and I opened CS2 Photoshop. It crashed twice before opening. The 3rd time it took 3 times as long to open as my powerbook dl 1.5GB ram. Everything was so sluggish, I decided to walk away without purchasing anything. :(
-Rossi "
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Apple forum thread on Audio Pops from some Intel CPU Mac owners
(from a reader mail this weekend)

" Hi, it seems several people are having audio popping issues on new 20" iMacs. I can confirm this problem on my own machine too.
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=1763198#1763198
Best regards, George "
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Apple Knowledge Base Doc Updates
(from apple's weekly list)

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CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 3 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 - 15,572 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:
  • Exp. Bay NEC ND-6650A in (Pismo) PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X 10.4)
    (although Tiger has basic iApps burn support for most drives without it, he noted using Patchburn 4.)
  • IDE NEC ND-3550A in (Digital Audio) 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)

    DVD-R + DVD-RAM Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) Panasonic SW-9574-C used w/G5 Tower (OS X 10.3)
    (noted using Toast 7, but for 10.3.x iApps burn support, install a Patchburn 3 profile.)

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 4 new reports (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,197. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • FastMac G4 1.5GHz in G4/AGP tower (rated 10)
    (listed under "Other Brand")
  • Giga Designs G4/1.8GHZ (7447A) in (Quicksilver) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/1GHz in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Apple Powerbook G4 1.5GHz OC report (at 2GHz)

    (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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