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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 1/5/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of Jan 5th, 2001:

Creative Labs Mac SBLive Giveaway Contest
Lucian Fong sent a link to a Creative Labs Mac SBLive Contest page [link expired] where you can enter to win a Mac Soundblaster Live card and also subscribe to their Mac products newsletter. The rules on the entry page noted the contest is limited to USA and Canadian residents only. All entries must be received by 11:59PM PDT on January 31, 2001. Creative will also be taking pre-orders for the Mac SBLive card at their Macworld SF booth (#2339) next week. [Update: For later reader feedback on the SBlive - see the previous article links at the bottom of the current Audio page.]
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OS 9 Multiple Users Control Panel Password Vulnerability
Included in tonight's other net news listing is a Nohapsis Bugtraq page with a warning on OS 9 Multiple Users Control Panel Password Vulnerability.
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Radeon PCI card Due Soon, Confusion on Mac All-In-One Version:
Update: A reader just sent the following info to add to the confusion/speculation:

" I called ClubMac and they are saying they have a SKU for a Mac PCI AIW Radeon due 2/2001. You can call them and check it out yourself at 800-258-2622. Thought you might be interested....
Mike C."

Deanna Perkins, Mac product manager at ATI commented that these reports must be referring to the PCI Mac Radeon, as did another company contact noted below. Anything is possible I guess, but I still think there will be no AIO Radeon anytime soon. With the standard PCI Radeon not even shipped yet, to cannabilize that market with another version so soon would surprise me. (The previous post follows.)

There's two posts in my forums about a Mac PCI All-in-One Radeon card (like the PC version which has video capture, etc.). One even mentioned seeing info at Ingram's dealer (login required) site. Since ATI had commented last fall that there were no plans for an AIO Radeon Mac card, I asked a contact at the company and was again told that there are no plans for an All-In-One Mac Radeon card (at least to date). I suspect the sources are confusing the Mac PCI Radeon which has Video out like the AGP version, but no capture or TV tuner. The PCI Radeon is due to ship any day now last I heard and will be demoed at MWSF I believe.

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Facts on the G4+/G4e CPU Chip:
Michiro Isobe (author of PPCchecker and articles here on G4/AGP overclocking) posted a thread in our forums yesterday saying there is a lot of misinformation going around about the latest G4 cpu design and noted links to sources of information.

" Hi all,
It seems that many inaccurate information is spreading about Motorola's new G4 chip. If you are interested in G4+/G4e, please read this slide set [PDF file]
(he later wrote)

One more thing...
If you want to see the difference between new and current G4, please compare the block diagrams (page 9 of mpf_99.pdf and page 3 of MPC7400 technical summary.) "

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OWC G3/400 ZIF and CarrierZIF Bundle Sale:
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Apple TIL on Optimizing Video Capture Rates:
Tonight's Apple TIL updates listing includes one on Optimizing Video Capture Rates with the Beige G3 (A/V personality card equipped models).
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Update from Toshiba SCSI DVD ROM Owner on Drivers/DVD Performance:
A reader that posted a Drive Compatibility Database report on a Toshiba SM-1201 SCSI DVD ROM drive sent an update noting he's still not found a driver that works well with DVD playback. Click here for Details
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More Voodoo3 ROM/Driver/OpenGL Version Performance Tests:
In reply to a previous page here on B9-B13 ROM/Driver tests in Quake3 another reader sent results of tests with B11-B13 ROM/Drivers with OpenGL 1.1.2 vs OpenGL 1.2.1. I've be added the new comments/test results to Voodoo3 B9-B13 ROM/Driver tests page.
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Reader Tests PB G3/400 vs IBM Thinkpad 750MHz in Quake3
"I had been curious about how the latest IBM Thinkpads with the 16MB ATi Rage Mobility cards stacked up against our year old Firewire Powerbooks with the 8MB ATi Rage Mobility so I did a direct comparison recently using the same Quake 3 config file used for the above tests. The IBM was a 750MHz Pentium with more RAM than my 400MHz Powerbook's 384MB. While I was able to get about 50.5 FPS average from my Powerbook (50.9 on one test), the IBM with almost double the CPU speed and twice the VRAM was able to only get 59.0 FPS average. So we can conclude that the latest and greatest IBM Thinkpads are probably only about as fast as last year's 500MHz Powerbook.
-Paul Woodford "

Those PB G3/400 Quake3 scores are much higher than I saw during my review of the PB G3/500, but that was with a earlier game version and OpenGL version. I suspect Paul may have a different config file as well. See the apps/game tests page of that revivew for my results.
[Update - see the Systems page, Powerbooks section for info/performance tests on the fall 2001 PowerBook G4/667 with Radeon Mobility chip w/16MB DDR video ram.]

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ATTO SCSI Card Firmware 1.6.3 Update - Listing of Changes
Bart sent a note that ATTO had updated the firmware of their PCI SCSI cards, but didn't have any info on what was changed. I went through the download form several times, getting the latest (1.6.3U) updater for both their Ultra2SCSI and UW controller cards (both reviewed here in the past on the SCSI articles page). The downloads are nothing but a flash updater - no readme/text file on what was changed. Each of the updaters had a last modified date of 12/18/2000.
I always like to know what has changed before updating firmware on any card. Sometimes there are changes only to address specific systems. I've written ATTO Tech Support to ask what the changes are in 1.6.3U.

While there I also downloaded the latest ATTO Tools 2.50. It had a readme file with it, but not any revision history or information on what's new/changed/fixed in v2.50.

I later received a reply from ATTO tech support on what was changed in the recent 1.6.3 firmware update (see earlier news story below). I clipped out the first 12 items since they applied to the PC firmware/cards only.

13. Added generic support for low-level timeouts.

14. Changed logic of Ultra3 determination so that a device must report itself (via inquiry data) as an ANSI 3 device for it to be possibly be eligible for PPR/DT negotiations. Previously a device only had to report itself as an ANSI 2 device to possibly qualify for PPR/DT negotiations.

15. Changed logic in firmware to force SCSI negotiations to be narrow or asynchronous if the respective NVRAM parameters indicate such regardless of the 'force wide' and 'force synchronous' bits that can be sent to the firmware from a SCSI I/O Execute packet. This was done to accommodate certain hardware enclosures that house wide drives but have narrow cabling.

16. Modified upper-level SIM firmware to accommodate changes to low-level firmware in its determination of whether HBA is a single-channel or dual-channel HBA.

Comments: General release for PSC, PSCd, DC, DCd, UL2S, UL2D, UL3S and UL3D host adapters"

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Reader Comments on Japan Apple Store Price Cuts - Incl. Cinema Display
An assistant professor at a Japanese college sent details on price drops at the Japan Apple store, which surprisingly included a 70,000 yen price drop on the Cinema Display. (Perhaps related to currency exchange rates?).
" Dear Mike,
I just checked the Apple Japan Store. and prices have dropped on two items. The basic Cube configuration has gone from 198,000 Yen to 168,000 Yen (savings of 30,000 Yen). [Note - the Cube was discontinued in 2001 - see the Systems page here for Cube articles including mods to add a Dual G4 CPU module.-Mike]

http://store.apple.com/0120-APPLE-1/WebObjects/japanstore
Page is visible in non-Japanese browser

My Mac-specialist shopowner friend and I were predicting that it would go down to about 150,000 Yen, so that was a little disappoointing, but compared to the US$1499.00 price of a Cube in the states, the Japanese Cube is actually about a couple of thousand Yen cheaper if you consider currency exchange

Then also, the Cinema Display went from 499,000 yen to 428,000 (savings of over 70,000 Yen)
[Note - the link he sent on this item contained a session ID which timed out-Mike]

this means that after today's currency exchange the current Cinema Display. like the Cube, is also cheaper in Japan but this time by a whopping 28,000 Yen.

Drool, drool
Jose Domingo Cruz
Assistant Professor
Tkai University Fukuoka Junior College"

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Creative Has Another Contest to Give Away a Nomad Jukebox
This just in from Creative Labs:

" We would like to thank all participants who took part in the NOMADWorld.com Jukebox Contest from 20 Nov to 31 Dec 2000. All winners have been drawn and notified by e-mail. The results have been posted on NOMADWorld.com.

For those who want another shot at winning the NOMAD Jukebox, here's the chance in our Holiday Snapshot Contest!
Join our holiday snapshot contest at Creative's WebCam website and you stand to win a NOMAD Jukebox and other prizes like the Creative CD-RW Blaster 121032 and Video Blaster MovieMaker! The top prize winner will walk away with a NOMAD Jukebox and a CD-RW Blaster 121032!

Find out how you can win at
http://webcam.creative.com/scripts/mailgo.asp?add=77
[Link expired]
Hurry! Contest closes: Jan 18, 2001."

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Orange Micro Announces USB 2.0 PCCard for Macs/PCs
They're expanding their line of USB 2.0 (480Mb/sec interface ) products to include PCMCIA controller cards for Mac and PC notebooks. See their press release for more details. For more info on USB 2.0, see the USB section of the FAQ.
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Mac Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 12 new entries added (current total 2,390). Entries from after midnight are added the following day. Note: I've added "Firewire to SCSI Adapter" as an interface type. I welcome reports on drives used with adapters. (Please note the adapter brand/model and if the drive was bootable in your comments.)

    Combo DVD ROM/CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Toshiba SD-R1002 in ADS Firewire case used w/iMac DV 400
    (listed under Firewire interface)

    DVD ROM Drives:
  • IDE Creative Labs DVD124xE in Umax S900 w/PCI IDE card
    (didn't work with Turbomax ATA/33 card - suggested trying VST card. Filed under "other brands")

    CDROM Drives:
  • IDE Matshita cr-593 48x in Beige G3
  • SCSI Plextor PX-40TSi in Umax S900

    CDRW Drives:
  • USB Iomega ZIPCD650 w/PB G3 Lombard
  • USB Iomega ZIPCD 650 w/8600 (using PCI USB card)
    (noted can't get this combo to work)
  • Firewire Que 12/10/32 w/G4 AGP

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE IBM Travelstar 20GB in PB G3 Lombard
    (used my PB G3 Firewire HD Upgrade guide)
  • IDE Maxtor 40GB in G4/AGP
    (noted after 7 months he had to switch to Intech drivers)
  • IDE Western Digital 40GB in Beige G3
    (notes it didn't work with any other drive on the cable - but I suspect this is due to the WD having 'single drive" and "master" settings - the master setting is for when there is a slave drive present on the cable)
  • Firewire Maxtor 80GB w/B&W G3 rev 1
    (removed the 80GB drive to use inside, then moving a IDE drive to the FW case)
  • SCSI Quantum Atlas III 9GB in 7600
  • SCSI Seagate 18GB (RAID) w/Beige G3

You can find these full reports by searching the database with the drive/brand/mac models listed above selected (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
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.

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Database Updates:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 6 new reports (total to date: 5,028). [Entries from after midnight will be added the following day.]

  • Metabox G3/300 in 7600/120 (rated 7)
  • Newer Tech G3/500 in 7300/200 (rated 10)
  • Newer Tech G4/400 in 9600/350 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in PowerBook 1400 (rated 10)
    (noted first card would not fit due to too much ckt board material at one end.)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in Beige G3 (rated 5)
    (noted ZIF runs at 334mhz, not 500. Assumed to be bad ZIF)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 7500 (rated 10)

You can find these 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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Rate Your Mac Games (Reader Reviews Database) Updated:
Today's Reader's Rate Their Mac Games database updates included another review of Diablo II. Total reviews including all titles is 689. Since each review entry also notes system details like CPU type/speed, RAM and Video card type, these reviews are also good to see how well games play on various Mac models and video cards (important to know before you buy). If you've not already done so enter a game review.
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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News:
Reported By: Barney Buoy

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