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News Archive for: 7/27/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 7/27/2001:

UtilityX Updated (OS X Install Util for pre-G3 Macs)
There's a 1.0b10 update to Ryan Rempel's OS X utility for installing OS X on "unsupported" Macs (pre-G3 models) at OWC's OS X on Legacy Macs page. See the linked page for a revision history and download links.

    Unsupported UtilityX is a Mac OS 9 utility which helps to install and boot Mac OS X on certain systems which Mac OS X does not ordinarily support. With this utility, you can install Mac OS X using an unmodified Mac OS X Install CD. The only difference from a supported installation is 3 extra clicks of your mouse! Unlike my previous instructions for installing Mac OS X, Unsupported UtilityX does not require the use of multiple partitions. (However, there are advantages in having separate partitions for Mac OS 9, the Classic environment, and Mac OS X).

Many readers have used Ryan's software and instructions in the past and I wanted to say thanks again for his efforts.

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OT: First Impressions, Screens of Max Payne (PC) Game:
It's a bit off-topic but since MacSoft says they are going to port the game to the Mac and it's one of the most eagerly awaited games of the year, it might be of interest to some readers. Max Payne is now in stores and there's a 1.01 patch to fix some issues in the first release. A friend that's as addicted to PC hardware as I am to Macs bought the game and I've gotten a chance to see it running on a high end PC w/Geforce3 and a notebook with a GeForce2GO graphics chip. Included are comments on gameplay, a few screenshots (including one showing "Bullet-Time" effects) and related links. Details.
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OS X MP3 Software for Samsung Cell Phones:
" I have been interested in getting some software to download MP3s to my Samsung SPH-M100 cell phone under Mac OS X. Unfortunately the only software released by Samsung or SprintPCS for the phone is for Windows. Not No More! Software for the phone and the process by which it was made can be found at http://kasima.org/creations/uproar/uproar.html
jon"

The web page has a link to the OS X software and more info on "Uproar".

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Comments on Gigabit Ethernet PCI Cards, OS X Performance w/Gigabit onboard Macs:
In reply to an earlier question today about experiences with Gigabit Ethernet PCI cards, two readers sent their experiences with Asante cards (in an ASIP server and a client). Another reader commented on OS X networking performance with an onboard Gigabit Ethernet G4 system.

" Mike
I've used an Asante PCI card in non-GigaBit Mac (beige G3). As well as several GigaBit ethernet in G4's. All are connected via Asante GigaBit switches. All are running OS 9.1, Timbuktu 5.2.4

The performance is first limited by disk speed and also by Apple's ethernet packets size.

We are seeing a max file exchange speed of 20MB per second with Timbuktu Pro.

If Apple were to implement "big packets" we believe we would only be limited by disk speed.
--
Fred C. - General Manager
TheTroupe Modern Media Design & Production "


" We have one of the older Asante PCI 1064sx cards in our ASIP server. It has been very stable for us. The obvious advantage is the speed. I can't give exact figure since we don't have a gigabit switch to allow a one-to-one computer test, but I would guess the current limiting factor on our server is more related to the elderly SCSI drives than the network at this point.

The only disadvantage I would note to a 3rd party ethernet card such as this is that you are at the mercy of the vendor to test/upgrade their driver software before you can upgrade your server to the lastest/greatest system and ASIP server combo. And of course, you can't go to OS X Server until Asante finishes the OS X driver, which they so far only list for the 100BT and the 1000BT cards, not the fiber one.
HTH,
Eric. "


" Not sure this is exactly what you are looking for, but.
We have 2 dual 500's 256 MB RAM, both have Apple's gigabit cards (on mother board?). In our last test, just the two machines and a cat 5 cable, we saw speeds around 400 MBytes/min in OS 9.1 but closer to 1.1 GByte/min in OS X.0.4. If the PCI bus can handle that I would expect you would see similar results with a PCI card. Our tests were with a 6 GB final cut pro file. Needless to say, we were duly impressed with the OS X networking speed increase.
Elliot "
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Strange Conflicting Reports on RAM Dimm Timing (CL2 vs CL3):
[Update - I tested these dimms with previous versions of Apple System Profiler (ASP) v2.4.4 and v2.4.8 which reported "PC100-322" for the Samsung PC133 (333 timing marked) dimm. Although ASP v2.4.4/2.4.8 doesn't correctly report the memory type (says PC100 when the system requires PC133), at least it reported the CAS timing of CL3 dimm more accurately than the version of ASP that shipped with the machine. See original info below.]

Two threads in the forum noted that some recent 512MB PC133 222/CL2 dimms bought from Transintl were reported as "CL2" in Apple System Profiler, but reported as "333" by DimmFirstAid. (CL2 vs CL3 refers to the number of clock cycles for Column Address Strobe, used for initial RAM access or bank switching.)
Normally I'd trust Apple System Profiler's timing report since that should reflect the timing being using by the Uni-N memory controller. However after testing two different brands of PC133 dimms, and verifying the chip timing on them (part numbers) - I'm not sure what to believe as far as software reporting.

I ran a test of two PC133 Dimms here (one original equipment PC133 256MB dimm from a Digital Audio system) and one PC133 256MB dimm from Crucial (micron).
Both Dimms were reported by ASP (Apple System Profiler) v2.5.8, part of OS 9.1 installed on this machine from the factory, as "PC133 CL2"

Running Dimmcheck (actually dimm first aid now - the old dimmcheck link downloads dimmfirstaid instead), one dimm was reported by Dimmfirstaid as:

    "7.5ns PC133 322"
    (OEM dimm from apple, Samsung chips, marked as PC133U-333-542)

    the other as

    "7.0 ns PC133 233" [yes, reported as 233] (Micron CL2/PC133)
    (Crucial/Micron dimm marked as "PC133U - 222-542" )

What's really confusing is the Samsung dimm is marked "333" on the label, (I checked the RAM chip part numbers at Samsung's web site which lists them as CL3.) So why is Apple's ASP (v2.5.8) reporting it as CL2? And DimmfirstAid says it's 322? (Neither of these agree with the dimm's marking.)

If Apple System Profiler (v2.5.8) is noting CL2 timing, you'd think that is the timing of the dimm and the timing being used by the Apple Uni-N, but after checking the dimm chips I don't see how that's true. Memory benchmarks can vary a bit from run to run from what I have seen, but if ASP is saying it's a CL2 dimm that should be the timing that the Uni-N chip (memory controller) is using. (Older ASP versions used in OS 9 noted 222, 322, etc. but current versions just say CL2, CL3 apparently. ASP will only report dimm timing on modern Macs such as the iMac slot loading, PB G3 firewire, iBooks, and G4/AGP systems.)

As a FYI, in past tests in Photoshop I've seen a 2% gain (reduction in a 21 filter test total time to complete) from using 222 vs 322 dimms. Some readers have reported some benefit in 3d games also. (Apps/games that move a lot of data or are memory intensive would be more likely to show a measureable gain.) Transintl has a page on RAM timing codes that might of interest to those that are not familiar with the terms.) DimmFirstAid is linked on our previous page on Firmware Updates/Lost RAM reports. A direct download link is here.

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More Reader OS X Java Performance Tips/Tweaks:
" I noticed that you posted some tips to get Java Swing apps performing better on MacOS X [Wednesday]. (Specific example was limewire). I just thought I would pass along some more info. At WWDC this year they did a demo where they "turned on" Hardware graphics acceleration for swing apps using a MRJ property in Mac OS X. Specifically:

From the command line:
java -Dcom.apple.hwaccel=true MyMainClass
In an MRJApp.properties file:
com.apple.hwaccel=true

I am not sure if this ability exists in the current VM or only in the updated development version (1.3.1). (You can get the dev one by signing up for a free ADC online account). But the performance gain in the demo appeared to be significant. Its good to see Java performance enhancements coming down the pipe. "

If you missed Wednesday's news, here's the link to the Limeware Tweaks for OS X article. (Linked in the Software section of the Misc. articles page for future reference.)

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PowerBook ColorSync Profiles and OS X:
Although I have never thought to add the custom profile to OS X, a reader reported that he had startup problems that seemed to be related to trying to use the custom profiles linked here in articles such as the PowerBook Firewire review, Pismo comments page, etc. I've used them under previous OS versions with no problems, but would not suggest using them with OS X based on his experience. I've added a note about OS X use to the PB G3/500 review, Pismo comments page, PB G4 comments page and PB G4 first impressions pages here next to the link/comments on the profiles. (Update - one reader replied to this post with a tip:)
" I found that when I set OS 9 ColorSync profiles to have the same privileges and ownership as the other files in the Profiles folder they work fine.
Richard K.
Information Systems Manager "
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Reader notes DAT Audio Problem:
" my 450AGP is having major problems with audio from a DAT. The DAT audio (48k stereo) was transferred to a DVCAM tape at a post house, and imported into FCP. Well on my machine (FCP2.0 and QT5.0.2), I am constantly getting the app to quit with errors IF I get to a part of the audio that isn't continuous. Even between tracks in the audio, where the signal drops out, it will cause freezing or quitting. I've worked around it, but it is really annoying. The same project with the same files works fine on a 533 with QT 5.0.1. And my machine works fine for all other audio (48k DV audio from a DVCAM camera, 44.1 from a CD, etc.).
Can't figure out the DAT problem. Will have to look for help.
Mike K."

I asked him if QT 5.02 could be a factor (no idea really) since the other machine had QT 5.01. If any readers have any suggestions let me know.

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More Reader Reports/Tips on iDVD/Toast 5 with Retail SuperDrive:
" Hi Mike,
It's been a while since I dropped you a line. I'm sending you some feedback on what I experienced with DVD burning.

Machine is a dual CPU 450 MHz G4 bought September 2000 (AGP) with 750 mb of RAM. Swap DVD-ROM with Pioneer A03 DVD-RW.

Tried iDVD/Toast 5.02/DVD Studio Pro 1.1 over the weekend.

1. iDVD - made 3 coasters and completely no success with iDVD. Each time when files are ready for burning, iDVD starts and then reports "error in an illegal address for write (0x21, 0x02)" and the DVD blank becomes unusable thereafter.

2. Toast 5 - so far has been able to burn good DVDs and VCDs but must relaunch Toast to workaround the same buffer underrun error codes as above. Made VCD directly from iMovie 2.03 export without hiccups.

3. DVD Studio Pro - Very happy with results. Sent the encoded files to Toast 5 for burning without problems.

Thus far seems iDVD and Pioneer A03 is not fully insync. Perhaps could ask readers who are successful with iDVD to report their Pioneer firmware version. mine is version 1.44 which is not the latest but don't seem to have a Mac executable program to update the firmware. Only Windows program on Pioneer site. Any other readers found a Mac version yet?
Cheers Mike and best regards to Kay.
Henry G.
Singapore"

I have not heard of any Mac flashers for the Superdrive so far. I remembered one past report of burn problems from a reader that noted trimmed extensions helped. His comments were in this June 8th news post. Another reader in the June 13th news reported disabling any Energy Saver settings helped with a problem burning coasters.

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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 6 new reports tonight (total to date: 5,969). [Entries after midnight eastern time are added the following day.]

  • Other World Computing G3/333 in Beige G3 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix BlueChip G3/500 in PB G3 wallstreet2 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix BlueChip G3/466 in PB G3 wallstreet1 (rated 1)
    (updated report after 4 months)
  • Powerlogix G4/350 in 7600 (rated 8)
  • Powerlogix G3/366 in 8600/200 (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in 8500/120 (rated 10)

(Warning - Overclocking may not be reliable and could lead to hardware failure or corrupted data.) You can find the 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). For detailed reviews with performance tests and install tips, see the CPU Upgrades page.)

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
Drive Compatibility searchable database had 7 new reports added this morning. The database has reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 4,292 reports. [If you post an updated entry - make sure you use the same name, etc. as you did before so I can find your past entry. Thanks.]
You can find full owner reports by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (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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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News


[Related Story: On July 2nd I asked Joy Hsu of Sonnet if the Duet would work in a Cube:

    the Cube uses the same CPU module as the G4/AGP models (100mhz bus) - but of course the heatsink design was not for a dual module...
    has sonnet ever tried a Duet in a Cube?
    it would open up a new market for the upgrade.
    -Mike"
I also asked about any potential power issues, but I doubt that another 20W or so would matter supply wise. The reply I received on July 5th:

    It won't fit, and it wouldn't be cooled properly if it did. Due to this we never even looked into the power supply issues.

I'd still write to ask Sonnet to consider a Cube upgrade since the Cube-Zone talked to other Sonnet contacts at a later date. And it can't hurt to let them know your interest. Check out the Cube-Zone for the email link.
I've always wondered if someone would try a dual G4 Apple module in a Cube, with a modified heatsink.
-Mike]

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