News Archive for: Tuesday, Feb. 21st, 2006 (Later posted items first)
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Photos of MacBook Pro Disassembled
Jamie of sponsor OWC sent a link to their page of photos of a MacBook Pro taken apart.
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Mac Doom3 Univ. Binary Timedemo FPS results
(in reply to an earlier post/request today)

" 2.1GHz G5 iMac 20in (Old version) - 48.2fps
2.0GHz Intel Core Duo 20in iMac - NATIVE (New version) - 65.3fps
1.83GHz Intel Core Duo 17in iMac - ROSETTA (Old version) - 19.3fps
1.83GHz Intel Core Duo 17in iMac - NATIVE (New version) - 61.8fps
Quad scored 74fps (old version) for comparison.
(I asked what game settings were used and if shadows were enabled.-Mike)
Standard tests we perform in our benchmark section. Doom 3 is the most graphically complex game to date. Even the fastest PowerMac G5 systems have difficulty running this game with all detail levels set to high without slowing down too much. These tests were performed at 640x480 resolution, low quality, with the following options turned OFF in the advanced settings section: Shadows and Vertical Synch.
Sincerely,
Jamie Dresser
Product Manager & New Product Development
Other World Computing, Inc. "

I'm assuming OS X 10.4.5 was on all systems (since graphics/drivers are updated in later OS's include the OS version used just for the record).
A couple of readers with PowerPC macs compared the latest update to previous versions on their systems:

" Hey Mike, Not results for an Intel Mac, but for my PowerMac G4 Dual 1.5GHz (overclocked 1.42GHz) with 128MB ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. The Doom 3 v1.3 Rev A installer said that there were improvements for Macs with ATI cards, and I was interested in seeing if there were any detrimental effects on PPC Macs with these Universal binaries.
The answer seems to be that no, there aren't any detrimental effects - the pre and post upgrade results are as follows.
(Resolution was 1344x840 (widescreen for my 20" cinema display), shadows were disabled, medium quality - no FSAA, and Vsync was turned off by the ATI Utilities system preference pane. Everything else was turned on.)

Doom 3 v1.3 (PPC), 1344x840
Run 1: 26.0 fps
Run 2: 30.9 fps
Run 3: 30.9 fps
Run 4: 30.7 fps

Doom 3 v1.3 Rev. A (Universal), 1344x840
Run 1: 27.5 fps
Run 2: 31.9 fps
Run 3: 31.8 fps
Run 4: 31.8 fps

Just a quick-and-easy test with 'timedemo demo1', and a small improvement overall. No problems with it in any way, so I'm a happy camper. ;o)
Cheers, Andy. "

" Hey Mike, Running Doom 3 1.3 on a PM 2.5 with a 9800Pro SE (overclocked Processor: 15%, Memory: 8%) running 10.4.5.

Res 1024x768 / High Quality
AA 4x
Enable Shadows & Vsync off - all other settings on.

Ver 1.1 (not the 1.3 PPC update from last summer)
1st Run 34.2 fps
2nd Run 35.4 fps

Ver 1.3 Rev A (Univ.)
1st Run 33.7 fps
2nd Run 35.1 fps

No good news to report. Don't know if its my combination of settings, my overclocking or my card, but sadly i'm seeing no improvements :(
-David K "

I'll add these to the FPS db later.

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Mac Doom3 Universal Binary Update
Missed this last night but there's a Doom 3 v1.3 Rev A Universal Binary patch available now. (There's also mirrors at 3dgamers.com Doom3 downloads page.)
If any Intel CPU Mac owners have the game and try this, let me know what your framerates for the timedemo are. Please include notes on game settings (incl. shadows on or off) and OS version used also - thanks!
(To run a timedemo in Doom3, open the console (on the Mac press control+option+ tilde ~ key) then type
timedemo demo1 1
The trailing 1 is to preload the timedemo to avoid the first run stuttering issue although a 2nd run often gets slightly higher FPS rates (by 1-2 FPS usually, depending on settings). Then lower the console again to read the FPS rate.)
See above post for the first test results with this update on Intel CPU and PowerPC Macs.
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More Reports 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.)

" Heya. I've loaded Q and played around with it a bit. Here is my system specs:
Dual 800 G4 Quicksilver, 1.25 Gb RAM
OS X 10.3

I'd say it runs about as fast as Win98 did when it first came out. It boots up in under a minute, and the menus are usually fairly responsive. Playing Heretic (an old 3-D FPS) is painful, though. VPC 5 definitely has the edge as far as that goes. The SB16 produces really distorted sound, probably a half-octave lower and twice as long as the original sound; the other sound cards don't work. The Cirrus VGA emulation works fine.

It took about 1.5 hours to install, which isn't bad.
I installed it by creating an ISO disk image (Disk Utility -> Damage Isolation) of a Win98 boot CD, and using an ISO boot floppy image from the Net somewhere. To load other CDs into the running Win98 system, I just created ISO disk images of them, too. It took me a bit of playing around to figure that out, but once I did, no problem.
If they could increase the speed 10-20%, they would kill VPC dead, at least on older G4s, in my opinion. Great site!
-Mike T. "

" I tried installing Windows 2000 using Q on a 12" Powerbook G4 1.33Ghz, and it seemed to go pretty well up until the point where I had to enter registration information. The keyboard mapping got all screwed up, so I would hit the "q" key and it would type a "/" and other such nonsense. I wasn't able to enter my name or my registration key because of this, so I aborted the mission.
The only anomaly in my process was that I had to suspend the virtual machine once during install because it was taking so long. I brought it back up and it continued on accessing the CD and installing with no complaint. However, perhaps I activated some weirdness by doing this.
-Mark E. "

Update - reader replied to Mark's post:

" To Mark E
The problem with the keyboard is most probably that it was recognized as a french AZERTY keyboard instead of a QWERTY US keeyboard.
Then the mapping is changed.
You have:
a instead of q, z instead of w, m instead of ;
-Patrick D. "

" I'm using Q.app to run Windows XP. My experience is that it works about as well as Virtual PC as far as compatibility, but is a little clumsier (for example, you have to manually mount CDs) and quite a bit slower.
PowerMac G5 Quad, 2.5 GB RAM, Windows XP Pro, Mac OS X 10.4.5.
(he later wrote)
I wrote to you yesterday about running Q.app on my PowerMac G5 Quad. I reported that Q was much slower than VPC but seemed to have similar compatibility.
Just after sending that email, I spent some more time with Q.
Unfortunately, I hit a major bug. I was running Windows XP Pro and tried to install SP2 from the Microsoft update CD. The system took over an hour to unpack everything, write the files, save the backups, etc, and then gave an error message saying that it couldn't finish. VPC 7.0.1 had no problems with installing SP2.
I'll stick with VPC at least until Q goes through another revision or two.
Regards, Joe R. "
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Intel CPU iMac user report on running Multiple Adobe CS2 apps
Yesterday's news had a reader request for feedback on running multiple CS2 apps on an Intel Mac. I added a couple of replies to that post but none mentioned running more than one CS2 app at a time - but this reader does:

" Hi Mike, This Intel iMac seems to add to my popularity. ;)
Concerning Adobe CS2: It's exactly like the reader said that responded first. It's about as fast as it was on my TiBook (667Mhz, 1GB Ram), and you really do need as much Ram as possible. I've got 2GB, and I wish I had 4. I've been running Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator at the same time, but there was almost no free memory left (swapping in OS X is good, but still). I didn't experience any crashes at all.

Conclusion: It's fine for basic stuff, but working with large files feels MUCH better on a G5.
Best Regards,
Andreas L. "

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Reader comments on sources for Optical Audio Cables
(in reply to a recent posts from Intel CPU iMac owners)

" People are paying too much for the toslink cable and mini plug adapter, and only for 7 feet!
Toslink Female to Toslink Mini Male Adapter - $1.74
50ft toslink optical cable $8.13 to $11.37
They have smaller cables, but this is just to show how cheap the largest size it.
Shipping is cheap too. I was reffered to this place from www.avsforum.com , a popular audio/video guru message board.
I got my 50 ft and mini plug adapter from there, and the shipped it fast.
hope you post this up before people pay $30 for a monster cable thats only 7 feet long.
-Jawad R. "

" The Monster iCable Fiber Optic Kit mentioned from the link provided by Pete (Intel iMac owner) is part of the AirPort Express Stereo Connection Kit for USD$39:
"The AirPort Express Stereo Connection Kit with Monster Cables includes everything you need to get the most from AirPort Express: a Monster mini-to-RCA left/right audio cable, a Monster mini-to-optical digital Toslink audio cable and an AirPort Express power extension cord."
-Norton C. "

" A reader wrote in commenting on the need for the proper adapter necessary to use a standard TOSLINK optical audio cable on the iMac's (G5 and Intel, as well as the MacBook Pro, and last revision of the PowerBook G4) audio in and out jacks. He specifically referenced Monster Cable. (an earlier report mentioned buying a cable at a Target store - but not sure what brand that cable was-Mike) Monster's business practices or their over priced wares so another solution was needed. In steps CableWholesale.com and their TOSLINK adapters. I ordered four to have spares and can of course use them with any standard (read, inexpensive) TOSLINK cable.
-Ed "
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G5 owner report on problems w/Seagate 500GB after wake from sleep
(from one of the latest drive db reports - posting to see if anyone else has seen this problem with this drive. See below for another reader reply on this.)

" I have a Dual 2GHz G5 (2003), running MacOS 10.4.(0,3,5) (I tried a lot of variables this weekend). I purchased a Seagate Barracuda 500GB (ST3500641AS) from OWC. It arrived February 16th. I installed it, and initially thought everything was fine, but then discovered that my system becomes unresponsive for 90 to 110 seconds after waking up from a sleep. This happens regardless of whether or not the Barracuda is the boot drive, as long as it is connected/mounted it happens. Initially the system seems fine on wakeup, but as soon as you try to do anything (e.g. load a webpage, check email, open an app) it gives the spinning beachball, and at times the menubar clock even stops for the last 60 seconds.

My thought to fix this is get a SATA controller card, but I haven't investigated to decide which one yet.

I spoke with Seagate about the drive, and they'd never heard of this problem before and suggested that I uncheck "put drive to sleep" in the Energy Saver control panel. I tried that and it didn't help. They offered to swap the drive, but it is my feeling that the drive is not defective, this is intentional behavior on the drives part, it's just not working with my G5 properly. So, the solution is either a controller card (hopefully would help) or new firmware for the drive (they don't have one that would help).

I don't know if it has problems with large files, the largest I tried was a 7.75GB disk image with no problems. I did copy about 200GB worth of files onto it when setting the drive up, and there were no problems their either.
(I asked if there were any 3rd party addons/hardware/devices connected to the system that could affect this and if it was a clean install of the OS on the new drive.-Mike)
I don't have any 3rd party add-ons. I had initially worried about that and so uninstalled Kensington MouseWorks, but that didn't make any difference. It wasn't a totally clean install. I installed the original software install disk on the drive (10.2.7?), and then Tiger on top of that. However, that's a similar path to the install on the original drive, and it causes no problems when the Barracuda is disconnected.
-Donovan "

Originally Barracuda 7200.9 drives had SSC enabled which is not compatible with the onboard Mac SATA but OWC normally disables SSC on these drives for Mac use. (And a reader report said Seagate may be doing that now also.)
I don't remember anyone else reporting this problem with this drive before (unless they didn't try sleep/wake)
If any other reader is running a Barracuda 7200.9 drive on the onboard SATA, let me know if you've seen this.
Update - another 7200.9/500GB owner replied:

" I have that exact drive. It had SSC enabled when I purchased it about 2 months ago. My 2.0GHz G5 would not even recognized the drive. I was lucky and found an article about SSC and the G% internal SATA. (it's been mentioned here several times since last fall, including reader posts on using the PC disable utility from Seagate.-Mike)
I contacted Seagate who sent me the exe (required a PC of course) to turn SSC off. As soon as I did that my G5 recognized it.
The behavior is a bit odd though. When I wake the computer from sleep that drive takes a minute or more to wake up. And when I delete files off that drive the finder does not move the files to the trash can but instead asks me if I want to delete them immediately. However, other than the wake from sleep issue the performance has been fine.
(I asked Kevin if after waiting for the drive to full wake/spin up, if he saw any of the beachballing cursor/system freezes Donovan mentioned.-Mike)
Not at all... I can deal with the slow wake up, but I couldn't deal with what he seems to be dealing with. :-P
-Kevin "

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Notes on EyeTV2/TitanTV Subscription term
(in reply to yesterday's news item on EyeTV 2.0.1 update)

" Hi Mike, Just noticed something interesting in the ReadMe file for the EyeTV update. It states:

    "In the USA, the EPG is supplied by TitanTV and the subscription runs until the end of 2008."

That is the first mention I've ever seen of TitanTV possibly ending their free subscription service. Don't know if EyeTV or TitanTV is just trying to legally cover themselves or if there is something in the works a few years down the road.
I have read a few press releases and blog postings from their "Chief Titan" Jack Perry, and he always seem to indicate that the consumer side of their company (online TV Guide) would always be a free offering. I've sent a note off to Mr. Perrry to see if there is anything I need to worry about here. I'll let you know if I hear a reply. (see below)
Regarding EyeTV, but on a different topic, the latest update seems to be taking care of an undocumented bug that I sent in to them a couple weeks ago. When doing recording, exporting, editing, or any of those things that required a modification of the saved video file, there was an increased CPU usage if you had the EyeTV Programs window open and set to the "Recordings" category. In fact it would exactly double your processor usage to have this particular window open. The release of EyeTV 2.01 appears to dramatically improved this if not eliminating it all together. I have only run a couple tests, but it looks good so far.
Best Regards
Michael T
Visual Cafe Inc. "

He later sent a copy of the reply from Jack Perry:

" Subject: RE: EyeTV & TitanTV only till 2008?
Integration with TitanTV is free so I can't imagine any reason any of the 40+ companies that use it would ever discontinue.
Thanks for your support and feel free to email me anytime.
Best Regards,
Jack Perry
Chief Titan
President & CEO
Decisionmark Corporation "
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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 - 15,578 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-K06 in PowerBook G4 (OS X 10.4)
    (included notes on DVD-RAM support)
  • Firewire Sony DRX-810UL used with G5 tower (OS X 10.4)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Hitachi Travelstar 80GN 80GB in (Pismo) PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X 10.3)
    (PB G3 Pismo illustrated HD install guide here)
  • IDE (SerialATA onboard) Seagate ST3500641AS 500GB in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4)
    (mentioned pausing/BBOD problems after wake from sleep)
  • IDE (SerialATA onboard) Western Digital WD4000KD 400GB in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4)
    (problems noted.)
  • IDE Western Digital WD3200JB 320GB in eMac (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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