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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 1/15/2001 Monday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of Jan 15th, 2001:

Reader Review of Acard SCSI to IDE Adapter:
Rick Pepper has posted a review and install guide on the ACard ARS-2000FW IDE to SCSI Adapter. He also commented that this may be the only way to use IDE drives with Nubus Macs, a good point.
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Jobs "Tells It Like It Is" to Dealers:
An article today at Wired titled "Jobs Tells It Like It Is" contained some surprising comments from the man but I suspect the point he was trying to make was not mentioned in the article - that retail salespeople don't do a very good job of promoting the Mac or demonstrating its advantages. The article also has some notes on subtle features on the new PowerBook G4, such as the latch mechanisms and the fact (noted previously) that it can auto-sense if an Ethernet connection is to a hub/switch or another computer, eliminating the need for a crossover cable when running peer-to-peer connections.
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More PowerBook G4 Reviews and Articles:
Tonight's Software Updates, TILs, Other Net News listing contains several PowerBook G4 related articles including SFGate's Titanium Lust (I can relate 100% ;-) and Macuser UK's 'review' (no hard test data however).
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New iMacs at Tokyo Expo?
There's also some rumors/speculation on the iMac line after recent rebate offers and reports of retail store closeouts. The register has an article today titled "Apple retires current iMac line" on the subject. Everyone seems to expect new iMacs to be announced at the Tokyo Expo next month, especially after the comment in one recent Apple doc about Disk Burn requiring an iMac or later mac with builtin CDRW drive.
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More on Dual G4 CPU Module Swaps and OS 9.1:
I'm curious if this issue only affects non-Gigabit G4 models that had the dual module swap. I've just gotten one G4/400 owner who did a dual G4 swap reporting no problems, but his system may have been a Gigabit G4, rather than the earlier models. One of the G4 owners reporting OS 9.1 problems with a Dual G4 upgraded system sent the Apple system profiler report showing the rom revision which noted it had the 2.4 G4 firmware update

    Production information
    ROM revision: $77D.45F6
    Boot ROM version: $0003.24f1
    [denotes 2.4 G4 firmware update applied-Mike]
    Mac OS ROM file version: 3.7
    [This is v3.8 if the Ethernet 1.0 Update was applied-Mike]

There was a CPU Plugins update for dual G4s [gigabit models, since prev. G4s didn't have a dual G4 option] released in December 2000, but I have no idea if that would help, since OS 9.1 should update any plugins or ROM files needed. It may not install on a pre-Gigabit G4 system, but Tome Viewer could be used to extract the files. It would be nice to have a report from someone with a dual G4 conversion that had not updated the G4 firmware to v2.4 to see if that is a factor in these problems.

These reports made me wonder if dual G4 upgrades such as Sonnet's recently announced Duet will run OS 9.1 reliably. I've written them to ask if it is being tested with OS 9.1.

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2 Reports of OS 9.1 Problems with Single G4 Converted to Dual G4 CPUs:
(Updated with 2nd reader report below.) A reader that converted a single G4 to a dual G4 (see our Illustrated Guide to Dual G4 CPU Module Swap posted last year) noted problems after updating to OS 9.1. This may not be related to the dual processor swap, but if any other readers have swapped in a dual G4 CPU in a single G4 system and ran OS 9.1 let me know.

" I have a G4-500 Dual. It was originally a G4-500 single CPU unit, but I managed to trade some consulting work for the dual CPU module.

System as follows - the above-mentioned dual G4-500 CPU unit, 512 MB RAM, a 2930 SCSI card, 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000, and - what I think is the problem - 3 9GB LVD SCSI drives connected to the Apple-supplied 2940.

Update to OS 9.1, and the system hangs on boot - sometimes in extension load, sometimes after OS loads, and I am at the finder. I boot from a OS9 or TTPro CD, and the machine still hangs once I get to the finder. Upon installing OS 9 - which replaces the disk drivers - I can boot just fine. Tried to install OS 9.1 again, and same problem.
Patrick"

I asked for more details on the SCSI disk drivers and card/firmware. I also asked him what firmware version is in G4 but not sure if that matters. (There was a 2.4 G4/AGP firmware update last summer.) This may just be a prefs or drivers issue, etc. but I welcome other reader reports from anyone that has swapped in a dual G4 and is running OS 9.1.

(2nd report of problems)

" I too have the same exact problem. I swapped my single g4 450 processor [non-Gigabit G4 system] card with a dual 450 card. When I installed 9.1 upgrade the computer crashs at random spots during boot up. Sometime it gets as far as Finder only to freeze with 15 seconds after drwaing the desktop. I have swapped memory and reforemated hard drives, both master and slave, installed clean OS 9.0.4 and then [installed] the OS 9.1 update with no luck. I think it has something to do with firmware/single/dual processor upgrade.
Greg Saulsbury
TXKNet Internet Service "

I asked what firmware version he was running on the G4.

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OS 9.1 Lost Resolutions: Reader Tip on Resetting DDC on Apple Monitors
A reader replied to the earlier post with another tip for owners of Apple's displays:

" What i did to solve the problem with lost resolution in OS 9.1 was simply to reset DDC on my monitor (Studio Display 17') and then reset the pram.

1. Enter Studio Displays menu, choose ETC/DDC turn DDC off.
2. Turn off monitor, then on and set DDC to on.
3. Reboot computer and reset pram.
[boot w/Command+Option+P+R keys down, hold until you hear a repeat of the startup chime 3 times. check date and time and other pram stored control panel settings-Mike]

Voila, it worked perfectly for me.

My computer specs:
G4 450
512 Mb RAM
AGP Radeon (retail)
DVD-RAM
Victor Nilsson"

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Tips for Restoring Lost Resolutions After OS 9.1 Update:
One of the more common tips here to restore lost resolutions after updates, video card changes, using adapters, etc. is to use Griffin's free SuperRes utility. A reader also wrote to say after the OS 9.1 update resulted in losing 1152x870 mode, he used the Griffin "Force DDC" extension which restored that mode in the Apple Monitors control panel. Both SuperRes and ForceDDC are available at Griffin's Software downloads page.
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Reader's Mac/Toast Hybrid CD Extension
A reader sent a note he used Resedit to make a hybrid CD extension that also works as a replacement for the Toast reader extension. (I've not tried this extension personally.)
" Hi Mike,
here is the result of a little experiment with ResEdit that turned out to be THE tool. Feel free to post it wherever you want or send it to whoever you know. Oh and before I forget thanks for putting up this great website of yours. I pasted the description for that thing in here so you can read about it right away.
Thanks
Adrian

Mac/Toast Hybrid CD-Driver
Remove your Apple CD/DVD Driver and the Toast Reader from your Extensions and pop in this extension. Don't forget to restart. In the future you're just going to need this one extension to drive your regular Apple CD/DVD Drive may it be SCSI or ATAPI and your CD Recorder. For a list of supported drives consult the Toast documentation since it will be the same for this extension. In the future Toast won't say that an unknown driver is installed for your CD Recorder. When you burn a bootable Mac CD-ROM you will be able to start from it of any of the two kinds of drives Apple CD/DVD ROM and Non-Apple CD Recorders. Make sure that you select the CD mounted from a CD Recorder in the Startup Disk Control Panel or press the key combination Alt - Cmd - Shift - Backspace and the number for the SCSI ID of your CD Recorder right after you switched on/restarted your Mac. Have fun with it and email me your comments.
Adrian (adrian@homecamp.de)
You can also check out my lame AppleScripts:
http://www.homecamp.de"

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More OS 9.1/Kensington Mouse Tips:
In the last week there have been several tips on using kensington mice with OS 9.1. Two readers noted additional tips, one from an older mac using a USB PCI card who noted he as able to use the Kensington software fine under OS 9.1, after installing OS 9.1 first, then the PCI USB card, then the Kensington software.
" Mike,
I just wanted to drop you a quick note regarding the 9.1/Kensington issue. I actually just installed a USB card in my Umax J700, and connected a Kensington Mouse*In*A*Box Optical Pro to it, without any problems at all. In fact, after removing my existing Mouseworks software (used with my ADB Thinking Mouse), I installed the Mouseworks off the CD that came with the new mouse (version 5.41), and a problem that I'd been having the the preferences resetting themselves after a restart went away.

The thing that might be of note here is that I had 9.1 on my machine -before- I installed the USB card and MouseWorks.
Eric Webster
a.k.a. Mac Man "


" Hi Mike Again, Sorry for all the mail I have been sending you but I think I have found a temporary fix for the Kensington Mouse problems.

I just downloaded the usb ddk for usb 1.4.7f2 and removed all of the usb extensions and shim libs installed by os 9.1.And left all of the other usb shims for iTunes and my kensington Optical mouse pro and my palm in and on. When I restarted its like magic my mouse now works in games and works on everything else!!!!

I wonder if apple new they had a problem....Hmmmmm? Upon reading the usb ddk readme it says that they are migrating all the usb extensions to a final mac os 9 rom so usb extensions won't be needed when that happens at all. They will be in the rom.
Hope this helps all the other mouse problems out there. Funny the file that makes it all work is the usb support extension which if you read the use explanation in the extensinon manager says that it is only needed in macs with usb pci cards. It says that built in ones do not need it but when I turn it off my mouse in games quits working.
Shawn Freebairn "

Previous Kensington owner tips/comments are on the OS 9.1 feedback page.

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Reader notes Crashes Running OS 9.1/iTunes and 3rd Party CD Drivers:
One of the recent Drive Compatibility Database entries noted crashes when running iTunes with his Plextor SCSI CD-ROM drive but he didn't note what 3rd party driver he was using. He noted using OS 9.1, so I wonder if the 3rd party driver was compatible with that OS version.

(SCSI Toshiba 40x CDROM drive, OS 9.1, 7x00 Mac)
"Curious things happening with the Plextor CD ROM and MacOS9.1/iTunes and Startup Disk.

Everything seemed initially to be fine but the Control panel Startup Disk quits out with a type 1 or 2 error each time it is launched.

Also earlier today I was using iTunes to play MP3's and stopped it to play a CD. Inserted a CD and the Computer froze. Restarting would not allow the HardDrive to mount so I had to recover everything with Disk Warrior.

BE WARNED!!!! iTunes and Startup Disk do not seem to be at all happy with third-party CD ROM players. You could end up with a hosed Hard Drive.
Regards,
Neal"

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PCI Radeon/Team Arena Performance Tests:
Updates to the Mac Game/Video Card Performance database included:

  • Quake 3 Team Arena (320x240 to 1600x1200 res.) results w/PCI Radeon card in B&W G3/350
    (note - used the workaround for the PCI Radeon noted in Friday's news, which affects performance)
  • Quake3 (1024x768) results w/BTO Radeon AGP in G4/450 Cube

Total entries in the database to date: 2,325. If you haven't already, enter your results with any of the game titles or benchmarks listed on the entry page (details on how to test are there). If you're curious how a CPU upgrade or new Video card would help game performance, the search page options can help you find similar system/configurations to get an idea before you buy.
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Mac Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 47 new entries added (current total 2,504). 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 CDRW/DVD-ROM Drives:
  • IDE Toshiba SD-R1002 in B&W G3

    DVD ROM Drives:
  • IDE Hi-Val HDVD12A-16E in B&W G3
    (not bootable - listed under "other brands")

    CDROM Drives:
  • SCSI Plextor UltraPlex 40max in 7300/7500
    (noted iTunes w/3rd party CD drivers caused crashes )
  • SCSI Plextor PX-40TS in Umax J700

    CDRW Drives:
  • Firewire Formac ProWrite 8x8x24 w/B&W G3
    (listed under "other brands")
  • Firewire Que 12/10/32 w/8500 (using Firewire PCI card)
  • Firewire Que 8x4x32 w/G4 AGP
  • Firewire Sony CRX145E/XI (10/4/32) w/Beige G3
    (included iTunes/Disk Burner test comments)
  • Firewire Yamaha CDRW8824E w/G4/AGP
    (IDE drive in ADS Firewire case)
  • IDE Acer 10x4x32 in Firewire case w/Dual G4
    (listed under Firewire interface, drive wasn't usable with toast )
  • IDE HP 9350i (10x/4x/32x) in Beige G3
  • IDE Iomega Zip CDR 12x10x32 in G4 no AGP (Yikes PCI G4)
    (notes lack of support in Toast)
  • IDE Iomega Zip CD 8x4x32 in B&W G3
  • IDE Matshita CW-7586 8x/4x/32x in G4/AGP
    (noted tray often opens w/o CD inserted, suggested trying the old tip of using 8.5/8.6 CD extension)
  • IDE Plextor PX1210A (12x10x32x) in Starmax
    (not compatible w/iTunes, noted extension version tips)
  • IDE TDK 12/10/32 in Beige G3
  • IDE Yamaha 2100EZ in Firewire case w/Dual G4
    (listed under Firewire interface)
  • IDE Yamaha 2100EZ (16/10/40) in PowerCenter/Pro using IDE PCI Card
  • IDE Yamaha 2100EZ (16/10/40) in Beige G3
  • SCSI HP 9210e (8x4x32 ) Ext. w/PowerCenter Pro
  • SCSI Lacie 12/4/32 Ext. w/Umax J700
  • SCSI Sony CRX140S in 95/9600
  • SCSI Yamaha 8424S Ext. w/B&W G3 w/2906 SCSI card
    (noted iTunes burned CDs fine)
  • SCSI Yamaha 8424S in PowerCenter/Pro
    (noted iTunes worked w/o the CD Master ATA/SCSI Driver)
  • SCSI Yamaha 2100EZ (16/10/40) in ext. case with 73/7500

    Removable Media Drives:
  • IDE Imation LS-120 Superdisk in G4/AGP
    (using Intech drivers)

    Hard Drives: (22 new entries - too many to list as tired as I was at 2:30 AM )

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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CPU Upgrade Reader Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 20 new reports (total to date: 5,082). [Entries from after midnight will be added the following day.]

  • Formac G3/450 in 7600/120 (rated 9)
  • MetaBox G4/400 2MB cache in 8500/132 (rated 8)
    (Noted problems were fixed after getting a patch from Metabox tech support)
  • MetaBox G3/260 in Starmax 3000 (rated 10)
  • MetaBox G3/350 in 9500/132 (rated 10)
  • Newer Tech G4/400 in Beige G3 (rated 9)
  • Newer Tech G4/450 in B&W G3 (rated 9)
  • Newer Tech G3/400 in 9500 (rated 9)
  • Newer Tech G3/500 in 7600/132 (rated 10)
  • Newer Tech G3/500 in PowerCenter Pro 180 (rated 10)
  • Newer Tech G3/500 in 9600/350 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G3/375 in PowerTower Pro 225 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix BlueChip G3/500 in PB G3 wallstreet1 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 9500/150 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/300 in 6100/60AV (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/OWC G3/450 ZIF in PowerCenter Pro 180 (rated 9)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/OWC G3/366 ZIF in PowerCenter Pro 210 (rated 8)

  • 2 B&W G3/350 OC reports
  • B&W G3/300 OC report
  • G4/350 AGP OC report (update after 6 months)

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 Quake3 (retail). Total reviews including all titles is 702. 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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