News Archive for: Thursday January 25th, 2007 (later added items first)
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AirPort Extreme Update 2007-001 (for intel-cpu macs)
Apple has released AirPort Extreme Update 2007-001 with this note:

" This update is recommended for all Intel-based Macintosh computers and provides compatibility with AirPort Extreme base stations and networks.
System Requirements
Mac OS X 10.4.8
Intel-based Macintosh"

(BTW - this update also fixes a security issue - see About the security content of AirPort Extreme Update 2007-001.) I wonder if they mean the new Airport Extreme base (which is 802.11n/g/b/a compatible but not shipping yet) or improves performance with previous Airport bases. (It may include other improvements than just new base support, as an iMac core2 duo owner said it solved a problem he had with his airport network.)
I welcome other feedback on this update. (I don't currently own an Intel-based Mac.)

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500GB Maxtor SATA Hard Drives (7200rpm/16MB cache, 5 yr warranty) for $133.99
(from site sponsor OWC)

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More Moto Firewire Audio Interface Problem notes/tips, Notes/Warnings on FW Hubs
(Updated)

"This is a reply to your news item about problems with MOTU's 828 interface.
I was the guy who was using a MDD Dual 1.25GHz and was having the same issues as everyone else.
Regarding the item posted today (earlier Mac Pro user note below), my interface is NOT connected though a hub.
Just plugged in directly to the back of the machine. I have also tried different cables to no effect. I really think this is some kind of software glitch that has come up in recent OS updates. (I had many people write about problems like this and none mentioned a hub was used. Some may have but didn' t mention it but I doubted it was a common factor for all those that wrote in the past.-Mike)
It had never occured before until a couple months ago.
I have discovered since then that instead of powering my unit on and off, that if I open up the MOTU control panel and toggle the clock source from "internal" to "built-in audio" and back again, the audio will return. Sometimes I have to do it two or three times but it works eventually.

The strange thing is that the entire time it will not play any audio, according to the computer it is still connected and working properly... just no audio passes to the unit.

I have tried to contact MOTU about this but since Im not the original registered owner of the unit they wont even really talk to me. I dont get that at all. Its like a car dealership refusing to look under your hood because you didnt buy it new. I like MOTU products but their support leaves a lot to be desired. Thanks again for having such an awesome resourceful website! I check it every day!
-Henry R "

(An earlier mail from a Mac Pro owner with notes on FW hub follow.)

" Regarding prior reports of problems with MOTU firewire interfaces and the Mac Pro.
(Nov. 24th, 2006 news had several Mac Pro owner notes on problems with Motu 828. None mentioned using a FW hub however.-Mike)
I have a MOTU Ultralite firewire audio interface. When connected to the system via hub, the unit was recognized and the control software appeared functional. However, I could not get any audio in or out the Mac. The unit functioned properly ONLY when it was DIRECTLY connected to the Mac without a HUB or other device in the chain.
I would suggest that anyone experiencing problems with MOTU firewire interfaces should try connecting it directly into their Mac without a hub or other device in the chain.
(Just for the record I asked about his FW hub (if it was powered, etc.))
I originally had the MOTU unit on a hub with a power supply and then attached to a free port on a firewire hard drive enclosure. The Mac Pro only has a single 800 and a 400 port on the back, which would require using a hub or enclosure with extra ports necessary if using several firewire devices. I just installed a Mac Pro compatible PCI-express firewire card from OWC to get the extra ports. I did put the MOTU unit on the native system port. Things seem to be OK so far.
-Michael K. "

None of the previous Mac Pro owners mentioned using a hub, but they could have been using one I guess. (After that post I received a lot of other mac owners (not just Mac Pro users) that also mentioned problems.) If anyone else finds that a FW Hub was a factor in problems (or not), let me know. Thanks.
While on the subject of Firewire Hubs, I don't know the voltage on the Mac Pro FW bus, but some FW hubs are not rated for the voltage level of the G5 Tower (and some other macs) Firewire bus. (At least 3 Hub models have had failure reports - one MacAlly FW+USB hub, an IOGear FW/USB Hub and a Dlink model - mentioned on the G5 FW/USB page here in the past which has more info on this.)
And one reader recently said a Firewire "Meritline iPod Cradle, Item code 209-117-00" also went up in smoke after being used with his G5 Tower. (And unlike some others - he said the G5's FW ports and his 3G iPod were damaged. He's using a PCI FW400 card now.)
The voltages on the G5 tower was around 25V IIRC (FW spec max is 30V IIRC), and it's about that on some other towers (in fact the Sawtooth tower spec mentioned 30V), although some other macs have lower voltages. After those reports I'm a bit leery of some FW hubs with my G5 Tower.

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Price cuts on OWC Mercury On-the-Go Portable Hard Drives
(from site sponsor OWC)

" The OWC Mercury On-The-Go line offers up to 200GB of data capacity in a reliable, performance solution that weighs less than 12 ounces. All FireWire models utilize the latest Oxford based bridge solutions and the best qualified drive mechanisms to provide the best performance and reliability for demanding audio/video, backup, music, photo, and more!
All models are bootable via FireWire and/or USB2 interfaces (system must support such boot option), bus power with no external power required, are EMC/Dantz Retrospect Backup Certified, and include: All connecting cables, Intech HD Speedtools utility suite, Carrying Case, and a 1 Year OWC Warranty.

**NEW** ALL OWC Mercury On-The-Go Solutions now include the award willing Prosoft DataBackup II for OS X(a $59.95 retail value) and the award wining NovaStor NovaBACKUP for Windows (a $49.95 retail value). Further - these aren't just limited OEM versions, these are the full retail versions with full retail support including the same technical support and version update support provided to customers who purchase the retail stand alone version. Great software we're pleased to be bundling with our great solutions!
OWC Mercury On-The-Go 2.5" FireWire 400+USB2 Pricing:
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60GB 5400RPM w/ 8MB Buffer was $129.99, now $124.99 $5 Drop
60GB 7200RPM w/ 8MB Buffer was $159.99, now $149.99 $10 Drop
80GB 5400RPM w/ 8MB Buffer was $139.99, now $129.99 $10 Drop
80GB 7200RPM w/ 8MB Buffer was $179.99, now $169.99 $10 Drop
100GB 5400RPM w/ 8MB Buffer was $159.99, now $147.99 $12 Drop
100GB 7200RPM w/ 8MB Buffer was $209.99, now $199.99 $10 Drop
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160GB 5400RPM w/ 8MB Buffer was $237.99, now $219.99 $18 Drop

If the USB2 interface is not needed, the FireWire only model of the above On-The-Go capacities is also available and priced $5-10 less than the combo FW+USB2 version. UPS Ground Delivery from only $2.95; 2nd Day Air within the US $7.95 or less."

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The iBoy (Nintendo GameBoy iPod Mod)
A reader sent a link to a How To on the "iBoy" GameBoy/iPod hybrid.
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Garmin Training Center Software for Mac OS X released
(from a reader mail last night)

" Here's the download site where you can grab the disk image containing the much awaited Training Center for Mac OS X, just released today (yesterday) by Garmin.
I'm getting like 27KB/sec download, so it's not even installed yet, but I'll post a review on my site (www.rudis.net) once it's up and running. All I can tell you so far is that it requires: Intel-based or PowerPC G3 or later Mac.
OS 10.4 or later
256 MB RAM
1024x768 display
150 MB free disk space
USB port
and a Garmin Forerunner 301, Forerunner 205, Forerunner 305, Edge 205 or Edge 305.
-Bob "

For more info on what GTC is, see their Training Center product page.

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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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