News Archive for: Friday February 9th, 2007 (later added items first)|
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|OWC has Mac Geforce 6800 Ultra AGP cards|
|Jamie of sponsor OWC sent a note they have some Mac Nvidia 6800 Ultra AGP cards for $339. I bought one of these from Apple back in 2004 (cost $599 then) for a review in my Dual 2GHz G5 tower. The 6800 Mac card can drive two 30in Cinema displays, for those lucky folks that can afford not just one - but two of them. I later compared performance in that system to an ATI X800 when it was first released in Jan 2005. (Neither card is made anymore as far as I know.) Granted there's been a lot of OS/driver updates since those reviews but just a FYI if you missed them when the cards were originally shipped. |
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|Problems with DasBoot utility (updated w/tips)|
|(Updated again- see below for some reader tips, although none help on my 10.3.9 system.)|
I didn't get to try the free Subrosasoft DasBoot utility posted in Wednesday's news until last night, but haven't been able to get it to complete. I used a Firewire iPod 20GB (17GB free) using my DiskWarrior 3.0x boot CD and a PB G4 running OS X 10.3.9. After repeated attempts, I could never get it to complete. It seemed to stall after selecting the target/source, apps/utils to install and pressing start. The progress dialog box would appear but after the "preparing XXXXX items count" (which completed), it would show a string of numbers and slashes (one attempt actually showed a sudo ditto command) but it never progressed beyond that as far as I could tell, just the Spinning "barber pole" and no changes after 2 hours. Every time I had to force quit as the cancel button didn't stop it.
No help file or detailed docs so I wrote Subrosasoft to ask if it requires OS X 10.4.x (nothing I could find there to note any OS requirement). I know some others got farther than I did though. I even tried wiping/restoring the iPod - same thing. Subrosasoft support replied back to my mail that they had some other similar reports and were looking into the problem.
Note - a reader replied he saw the same problems and that using an external optical drive helped:
I had the same problem with DasBoot that you did. After a couple of emails
to SubRosaSoft we were still unsuccessful. I then decided to try using my
external DVD drive to read the DiskWarrior CD rather than the internal drive
on my G4 AGP, and it worked. I installed the software on a 5 GB external
firewire drive and it boots and runs on my machine beautifully. Don't know
why using the external vs. the internal drive worked. It's not the original
internal drive as I've not had any problems with it before.
Hope this helps.
(I asked how long it took, as I'm still seeing the same behavior here even when using a FW DVD drive for my DW 3.0x disc and PB G4/10.3.9 system. Seems stalled again at the same (start) point.-Mike)
I have the DiskWarrior 4 CD. I am running 10.4.8 on my G4. Once it started,
it only took a few minutes, and it gives a running list of files installed.
I tested it also with my Drive Genius CD (OS 10.4.4) and it also worked.
I gave up after about 1/2 hour with no progress (didn't even start to read the CD, after the start button and counting up the items to process, although the CD was read initially in the opening setup). I had to force quit it (again). I'll try it later with a 10.4.x system. Subrosasoft's TS said they had tested w/DW 4, not v3.0x like mine and I suspect they used OS X Tiger, not 10.3.9. (I checked the console and system logs this time to see if they had any related information - nothing that I could see after the sudo command authentication. (But it did have an entry before that when DasBoot was called - "Warning: ATSUSetFontFallbacks has been deprecated. Use ATSUFontFallbacks objects instead.")
BTW - the last 4 times I tried DasBoot it was run from the PB's hard drive (utilities folder) - although the first time I ran it from the downloaded disk image. Neither way helped. I'm beginning to wonder if it requires OS X tiger (although so far no reply from srs tech support that tiger was required.)
Another reader mail on DasBoot with some tips:
"I ran into the same problems mentioned, but when I copied the app from the
disk image to my Application folder and re-ran, the problem went away. This
was on my work PowerBook G4 1.67GHz. (This did not help here - I ran it several times from the PB's hard drive, but again I'm using 10.3.9 - I suspect 10.4.x users might have better luck. I asked him what OS was he using.-Mike)
10.4.6 at work. 10.4.6 or 10.4.7 at home. Definitely NOT 10.4.8 on either.
(But may question is has anyone else running 10.3.x had it work?-Mike)
Strange thing, I had no such issue on my home Intel Mini. It ran fine from
the disk image.
Home attempt was to 30GB video iPod. Work attempt was to 20GB click wheel
iPod (b/w screen).
Both computers also had a problem where I couldn't eject the Diskwarrior CD
after running DasBoot. When I tried to restart, both computers froze
(spinning beachball on PowerBook, spinning clock hands on Mini). I had to
press and hold POWER to shut down.
Also, the applications you want to run have to be in the Applications folder
-- not in subfolders or in Utilities. DiskWarrior, for example, creates a
Utilities folder in the Apps. You can either alias to it or just pull it out
of the Utilities folder. (On my PB G4, Disk Warrior was installed in the Apps folder - not a subfolder, however DasBoot also shows Apple Disk Utility, Console, Terminal and System Profiler - all of which are by default in the Utilities folder. As a test I made an Alias of each of them in the Apps folder, but that didn't help here - it still stalls after the item count completes and it starts a sudo ditto. Same as before.-Mike)
Lastly, I've run into problems adding other disk utility apps to the iPod
drive. Drive Genius, for example, has to install a few files into Library >
Application Support, and it can't do so from the SubRosaSoft launcher. A
workaround was to install DG on PowerBook or Mini, and then copy the App
Support folder to the same location on iPod. (I didn't have DG installed although I did have TTool Pro 4.0x (not updated, not used in years.). I trashed the DasBoot prefs, then ran it again, unchecking the option to include TTPro - no help.-Mike)
My initial attempt to run Cocktail just by copying to Apps folder also
resulted in a freeze. I suspect I have to do the same Install and Copy App
With these learnings, I was able to produce two fast, usable repair iPods --
one USB for Intel Macs and one FW for PPC Macs. Cool, but more documentation
would have made it easier.
- Michael C.
He later mentioned he had restored the iPods after any failure (I tried that already, even though it never seemed to have touched the iPod here) and didn't have any other apps running by DasBoot (I also ran it alone w/o any other apps running.). I'm beginning to think that it requires OS X Tiger. If anyone has gotten DasBoot to work under OS X 10.3.x, let me know. (I suspect it was only tested under OS X Tiger.)
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|Transintl ClearLite Portable Drive Sale|
|(from site sponsor Transintl.com)
Transintl.com drops price on ClearLite Portable drives
Trans Intl Ultra Compact Portable FireWire F400 hard drives are now offered
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The product page shows these cases also have a USB interface in addition to Firewire.
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|More feedback from Airport Extreme 802.11n Base users (RAID USB drives, WDS, Performance)|
|(Updated with more notes - if anyone tries an external drive with hardware raid support on the AE 802.11n's USB port, let me know. ** Update ** - Hardware RAID drives worked, see notes/benchmarks on the Mac user reports on 802.11n page here.|
(Original news post follows)
A reader mentioned problems using a RAID'd drive (setup with Disk Utility) on the USB port:
Got the new Airport base station, pulled out the old one, factory
defaulted the three other Airport Express base stations, joined them
as WDS extenders. All is good. Won't be testing throughput yet all I am still all PPC.
Bought the new base station for the USB disk sharing as I have
computers all over the home and this was going to be great!
Before it arrived, I purchased a new USB eBOX-U Eight (8) drive
enclosure from Firewire Depot (as reviewed by AMUG).
Very nice box for $265. Loaded six new 400GB and a couple of old misc. drives. Formated top two as raid 0, next
two as raid 0 and then mirrored the two together. (I just went through
the worst hard disk crash I've ever had with a stripped 0 volume, I
never want to go through this again - 100% data loss.) Anyways, last 2 400GB drives as mirrored raid.
Fire the puppy up and for an overnight backup device, it's perfect.
I couldn't use it for encoding video but for going to bed and letting
my computer backup cheaply and safely, I am delighted!
So now I'm ready for the new Airport base station, I can share these
massive, safe drives over the wireless network and get all of my
computers backed-up. Nope.
The base station refuses to recognize the Macintosh-formated arrays,
it only sees one drive and that unusable.
I will be logging a Applecare support question and will post any
responses. Thanks for the best Mac coverage on the planet.
(Here's a link I posted awhile back to an apple kbase doc on AirPort Extreme (802.11n): USB storage device supported formats and protocols, although it doesn't mention RAID volumes specifically.
Note - I asked him if his case supported basic hardware RAID 0 or 1 for tests w/RAID not setup using Disk Utility. If anyone tries a case w/hardware RAID support with their Airport Extreme 802.11n USB port let me know. (They work.) He later said it supported Spanning and I asked if he'd test that mode.-Mike)
Just got off the phone, 90 minutes on hold
No Raid Support, Request was noted, they said it was at the driver
level and they don't know if they can get such a sophisticated driver
on this box.
No throughput advantage/disadvantage of using the 2.4Ghz freq vs.
5Ghz freq. Even in N only mode, no difference in throughput for 5Ghz vs.
2.4Ghz. I asked because I've made the investment long ago into
Uniden 5Ghz wireless phones to avoid interference with my Airport.
Only advantage would be reduced interference from nearby networks.
No support for external antenna.
No way to configure the "automatic" firewall "at this time". Support
will be provided in a future software update.
Regarding WDS, current gen. Airport Express and throughput. Should be
no additional penalty when the new Airport Express (802.11n) base station comes out
and you extend your network using 11n while continuing to support the
11g WDS repeaters. No more than any mixed mode use. (But performance drops with any sub-N device on the network) True, they said it would run slower than all N mode but the new N mode Airport Express WDS would be faster than the G WDS links.
BTW - I just noticed that Apple today revised their previous kbase doc on
Using the AirPort Admin Utility to create a WDS network with multiple base
stations. The bottom of the page has several notes including this one:
"When you use WDS, some of each base station's capacity is used as overhead for maintaining the network. This means that if you were to measure the maximum throughput speed of your network, it would be less than when using one base station by itself."
An earlier reader mail about WDS use with the original 802.11g Airport Express follows:
"Airport Extreme 802.11n WDS
I just wanted to shoot you a message with some info on the N Base
Station. When connecting the base station to a WDS network, the
highest data connection it will connect at is 54Mbps. I tried to set
the Base Station to N only, but it would not connect to the other
Base Station as it is not N compatible. I was really sad to find this
out. The Base Station does power a USB powered hard drive (2.5in)
with no problem though.
(Note - There's a note on the Apple N performance/range claims that performance is reduced if any sub-N device is on the network. Their "up to five times the performance and up to twice the range of networks created with the earlier 802.11g standard..." has a "1" footnote reference - referring to the footnote at the bottom of the Airport Extreme page and 802.11n page-Mike)
"1) Based on a comparison with Apple's 802.11g products. Comparison assumes AirPort Extreme network with 802.11n-enabled computer. Speed and range will
be less if an 802.11a/b/g product joins the network."
It's just sad that I cant use its raw speed until they have 802.11n Airport Expresses.
(he later wrote)
After rearranging the network, and making the N station the main one,
I am able to get 130Mbps to my core2 macbook, and 54Mbps to a 12in powerbook. I am able to transfer to and from the usb hard drive at 4MB/s. I was surprised that I could actually get that kind of speed
when it was configured as b/g/n.
Although I don't remember anyone else reporting any kernel panics with the new Airport Admin, this reader mentioned he has seen a couple:
Airport 802.11n KERNEL PANICS
I love my new Airport 802.11n base station. It's cute. But in less
than 24 hours of running it I've received 2 kernel panics. Both times
I was quitting the new Airport Utility. Wow. Haven't seen those in a
Using Mac OS X 10.4.8 on an Intel Core Duo iMac 20" 2GHz. It's not a Core 2 Duo N enable model. I love the interface of
the app. This N base station replaces two Airport Express units I was
using to extend throughout the house. Now this one is all I need.
Cool. The shared USB hard disk feature is awesome. :)
As a FYI, a reader that reported good performance with his new base and Core2 Duo MacBook Pro (w/N enabler) wrote back with more details on how he measured performance and mentioned he had the base set for N only (max performance):
(in reply to question on performance tests/measurements)
I just checked traffic statistics on my Linux server (it was idle
except for when I tested), but I'm sure the transfer rates are correct.
By the way, I set my AP to use the 5GHz frequency and 802.11n enabled
only. I think this improves speeds instead of being back-compatible
with the earlier networks, but I did not test this.
I added this into his previous comments on the Mac 802.11n Info/Reports page.
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|7300GT Firmware Update problem solved|
|Just a FYI - the reader that mentioned (uncommon) problems updating his Mac Pro's 7300GT card firmware (from 3004 to the new 3008 update) wrote a reinstall of OS X solved it:
Mike, I finally got it work after doing an Archive & Install. Something
must've gotten in the OS somewhere...
Thanks for all your help.
I updated the archived news page item to include this note.
Several other readers w/3004 firmware 7300GT cards didn't have this problem, but something must have gotten corrupted on Ken's original OS X boot drive.
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