News Archive for: Thursday February 22nd, 2007     Goto Current News Page

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Final Cut Pro 5.1.4 Update released
The 2nd Final Cut Pro 5 update in a week.

Final Cut Pro 5.1.4 update
"What's New in this Version
Provides important bug fixes to resolve plugin issues. This update is recommended for all Final Cut Pro 5.1, 5.1.1, 5.1.2 and 5.1.3 customers.
For more detailed information, go to
http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/Final_Cut_Pro_5.0_lbn_z.pdf (which lists:)

Final Cut Pro 5.1.4 is a maintenance release that resolves the following issues.

FxPlug Plug-ins with Custom User Interface Elements
FxPlug plug-ins that have custom user interface elements now work as expected.

Importing XML Files
Importing XML files with missing <pathurl> elements now works as expected. "

Apple also updated a recent kbase doc today on Final Cut Pro: Codec error when exporting as H.264.

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More on Sources of Mac Pro 802.11n card, notes on later 'B' kit
(Updated with notes on kits at some CompUSA retail stores and Apple retail stores)
Although every time I post a link to stock they seem to sell out quickly a reader this morning wrote he ordered 2 of the Mac Pro Airport card kits from PowerMax this morning:

"Just ordered up two from http://www.powermax.com/.
(I searched and found their page for the Airport Extreme Wireless Upgrade Kit for Mac Pro (MA688Z/A) for $49. Link from Feb. 22nd 2007 to their "/A" kit removed after it was replaced with the "/B" kit, which includes the 802.11n enabler. (Update: The "Enabler" is not required for later OS versions/installs. Here's a link to (Sponsor) OWC's page for a later Mac Pro 802.11N Airport card (MB988Z/A), Broadcom 4322 based.) An earlier card model was used in MacBook Pro (core duo) Guide on swapping in Mac Pro 802.11n Wireless card.)
Talked to a sales rep named Brook. They still had some left (this morning).
I am upgrading a MacBook and a MacBrook Pro. I'll let you know how everything goes.
Best, Jerry "

One reader from Northern California said he has seen these kits at some retail CompUSA stores, although I could not find any listing for the kit at CompUSA.com today. (Worth a check if you have a CompUSA near you - he later wrote saying it was CompUSA #341368 for stores that sell Apple systems - but no hits on that at CompUSA.com.) See below for a reader in VA that also got a "B" kit at an Apple retail store.
More notes on the "/B" kit that a reader previously said was a later shipping pkg with the 802.11n enabler included:

" Thanks for all your coverage of how to upgrade CD Macbook (Pro)s to 11n. After reading this I walked into an Apple Service store here in Hong Kong today and boldly asked for the Airport Extreme card for the MacPro. They showed it to me, the price tag of HK$440 (=US$56) sounded like what you have been reporting and I thus took it.
Just thought I'd report that the Part Number says "MA688ZP/B" which is slightly different from what I read on your page ( "ZP/" vs "Z/" in the original kit number for /A kits - but a reader in the USA said his "B" kit was MA688Z/B (with same note on installation), so maybe the P is for non-US kits.). The description reads "Airport Extreme Wireless Upgrade Kit for Mac Pro for Apple Authorized Service Providers". Should be the right thing? (yes, that should be the correct kit.) I haven't opened the box yet (can't get hold of the base station anyway - seems to be sold out throughout HK plus I have no time to do the transplant work).
Hope this is of help to someone...
Best regards, Guido "

I don't know if US Apple Retail stores carry this kit (or will sell it to end users, the apple online store doesn't) - but it's worth a try if you have one nearby and can't find an online dealer with stock to order from. (BTW - as I mentioned earlier, the US Apple store searches for Mac Pro Airport Extreme will show an Airport Extreme card that is -not- for the Mac Pro (or later G5 towers) - I asked a reader that said he had ordered one from the (online) Apple store to confirm the part number and he later wrote it was the wrong model.)
Update - a reader from Virginia said he was able to buy a "B" kit at an Apple retail store: (Note: I'm omitting info on specific store locations by request as Apple retail dealers are requested to -not- sell these to end users. Sigh...)

" Hi Mike... at least some Apple retail stores DO have stock of the Mac Pro Wireless Kit--item # MA688Z/B--and they will (apparently) sell it to customers--just picked one up from a Northern VA store for $43.00 plus tax. I called ahead, they put one on "hold" for me.
(That's less than the $49 list price for the original /A kit.)
I was pleasantly surprised as well, but that's the price marked on the box--maybe that's the newer B price versus the older MA688Z/A price, maybe Apple sells certain things slightly below "list" within their retail stores to not-so-subtly bring business into the stores, I'm sure someone will let you know for sure.
(he later wrote)
On one sticker in large print it says "Airport Extreme Wireless Kit for Mac Pro" along with $43.00 and MA688Z/B
One a smaller sticker below it in very fine print it does say "for Apple Authorized Service Providers". The UPC is 8 85909 14888 2

When I called Expercom originally, (link in last night's news that had stock for awhile...) they said they were ordering as many of these kits as they could, from 4 different suppliers. they had a queue of 30 people who ordered the thing by 9AM EST and could only confirm that 6 kits were definitely coming in.
again, thanks for alerting so many people to this
-Steve "

Again if you live near a local Apple store (or CompUSA store) it's worth checking to see if they have any in stock. (Although there's a feeling that some Apple stores may not sell this kit to end users.)

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Anyone else running Mac Pro w/X1900 and Nvidia 7300GT cards?
Updated:
" I don't know if there has been a change since the release of the Mac Pro, but at the time Apple stated that if you used more than one GPU they had to be the same make - either ATI or nVidia but not both. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the source for this.
-Steven K. "

Although the reader (see below) was told it was ok, it would not be the first time a sales person was not aware of a problem. I went to the Apple online store today and looked at the CTO graphics card options - there was no option to order both the ATI X1900 and the Nvidia card. I called ATI's Chris Bentley (Mac 3D mgr) to ask about this and he said they would run some tests of mixed cards and report back.
(From a reader mail yesterday)

" i bought a mac pro 2x2ghz dual-core in nov and ordered an x1900xt in addition to the stock 7300 card, after having asked if there would be any conflicting driver issue. they claimed there were none.
now there seems to be conflicts, especially with motion, quartz composer and related sw that utilizes core video. these are sw i use a lot, and regular crashes and kernel panics are bothering me too much now.
(did the problems only happen after you installed the X1900 card?)
my question is: are these conflicts experienced by others?
should i return the 7300 and claim another x1900, with some $ to make up the difference? are there other compatible cards that uses only 8 lanes, or would an x1900 in slot 1 be speedy enough?
thank you for taking the time!
-nicolas h. ."

He later said he was running 10.4.8 with all updates (including updates to pro apps) and I assume the 7300GT firmware update from Feb 5th also (but asked to verify that). I had asked him some questions including:

    - Do you have any 3rd party memory installed?
    (if so remove it as a test. Has apple system profiler ever reported any ECC error corrections? After a restart it will clear any listings of errors that were seen previously however) He later said he had added 2x1GB large heatsink (transintl) ram but that it was ok (removing it and running only the OEM 512MB's (x2) only did not affect the problem)

    - Can you use Apple System Profiler and check the Logs to see if there are any related error messages in the console or system logs? (usually there will be, the logs are timestamped and often have error messages related to the problem) Those have been sent now.

    - Have you checked the drive for errors? (either with 3rd party utility or disk utility, although if running DU from the boot drive it will do a verify but not a repair.)

Removing one of the cards is another thing to try but If anyone else has run a Mac Pro with both X1900 and 7300GT cards let me know if you've seen any problems or not. Thanks.

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Tip for G5 Tower odd Fan speed behavior after updates
(from a recent reader mail, posting as a FYI in case anyone else sees this)

" Mike, After applying one of the latest apple software updates listed below on my Powermac G5 Dual 2.5 GHz My Radeon X800 XT (retail) AGP card is exhibiting whining noises produced by the fan accelerating and slowing down every 15 seconds. (FYI - often a card fan is blamed for noise when it's actually one of the case fans instead.)
(these were the updates released on Thursday February 15th)
- Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 5
- Security Update (2007-002)
- Daylight Saving Time

I am not sure which one of the updates did it but I have not found a work around to it yet....
My system configuration:
PM G5 dual 2.5 Ghz
Video: Radeon X800
Ram: 8-Gig
System 10.4.8 with all the latest software patches.
(I asked if he tried some old tips used in the past for this sort of thing - i.e. try toggling the Energy Saver performance options and reset the SMU - Shut down G5, disconnect power cord for several minutes.)
Resetting the SMU seems to have to worked.
-Francisco "

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MacBook Core Duo notes on Mac Pro N card swap, new Airport N base
(from a reader mail last night - he got his Mac Pro N card kit before they sold out at Provantage)

" ... FWIW, I swapped the stock card in my Black Macbook this PM and it works perfectly. In fact, I did not have to update the driver because I have had the N-Extreme Basestation (and software) for a week or so.
Booted up and Net Utility read it as a/b/g/n with a Link speed of 270 mbps. From start to finish the process took 25 minutes (and I was being extra careful).

(I asked if he had used Pacifist to install the 802.11n enabler, but he said it apparently was installed with the new Airport base software he'd previously installed on the Macbook.)
The card showed a/b/g/n as soon as I booted up following the Mac Pro Airport swap. (see apple doc on How to tell if 802.11n-enabling software is installed.) I was getting ready to install the "n" enabler when I noticed it looked to be already installed. I was able to connect to my Extreme-N station on the 5Ghz N-only band and Net Utility showed a 270 mbps link. I still have not used the pacifist method to install the enabler. My only guess is that the enabler is automatically installed with the Basestation Software that provides the new Airport Utility whether there is a compatible N Airport card or not.

What I did notice was that none of my Macs (Macbook with n-tweak, Powerbook G4 15", and Intel mini) would connect to my 802.11g router (D-Link 4100 gamer router with gigabit). I was running WEP with a 10-character hex password and had to switch to WPA in order to get the machines back online on the G-band. I noticed the issue with the Macbook first ("Problem Connecting" error pop-up) and disabled the WEP to test. All 3 machines worked fine with the security off. I then re-enabled the same WEP password and changed the SSID name and NONE of the machines would connect. Very odd.
-Chris "

That may be related to the previously reported problem with WEP being broken on some routers after the Airport Extreme 2007-001 update. (The N enabler requires the Airport Extreme 2007 be installed and I think it's installed along with it.) However there's been other WEP problems reported with Draft-N routers (performance problems, etc.) and some readers (but not all) mentioned performance problems in general after the Enabler install.

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Apple and Cisco settle iPhone trademark lawsuit
Cnet is reporting that Apple and Cisco have settled the iPhone trademark lawsuit, saying the agreement will allow Apple to also use the iPhone name. (The article also says they would "explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security and of consumer and business communications".)
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Other News/Misc. Software Updates

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