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News Archive for: 7/16/2002 Tuesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

Click for Data Doubler kits!
Click for Data Doubler kits!

News stories of July 20th, 2002:

Firmware Update for OWC Oxford 911 based Firewire Cases for 160GB Drive Support
I didn't know they had released this until seeing it today, but OWC has posted a firmware update for their Oxford911 bridge based Firewire cases to support 160GB IDE drives. They note however that once flashed with this update, the bridge will not support drives that don't use 40bit addressing. (Maxtor's 160GB ATA/133 drive for instance uses 40bit addressing to allow full use of the drive capacity.) I'm not sure if this update will work on other (generic, etc.) Oxford911 based firewire cases and I've not applied it since I have no >128GB drives.
Like all firmware updates - if you've not having problems (i.e. don't need to install a >128GB drive in the case), it's best to leave well enough alone.
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Info on Updating Bundled Version of GraphicConverter (and other titles)
I've received an email from regarding updates to the bundled version of GraphicConverted included with new Macs.

" Hello,
sorry, there is no upgrade path, yet. I will offer an option for the 4.5.
Thorsten lemke
(Lemke Software) "

I had commented again about the bundled version of SnapzPro X, which can't be upgraded to later versions for free. (Ambrosia does offer a reduced cost upgrade option for bundle owners however.) Other readers replied to this post with some comments on upgrading some of the other bundled titles.

" Mike,
I don't believe that Lemke offer any upgrades for the Apple bundled version of Graphic Converter. However, I must admit that I didn't mind paying for it on the basis that it is a very useful piece of software.

On the other hand with shareware such as Code Line's Art Director's Toolkit where they do allow you to upgrade to later 2.x versions, I bought the upgrade to version 3 because I like the company's attitude and felt that they deserved some support (even if I didn't need the extra functionality). I was also very impressed with Smith Micro who have made upgrades to FaxSTF X available to Apple bundle owners.
Karen "

" ...OmniGraffle updates are registered. Art Director's Toolkit 3 is not, and I haven't written them about the subject yet..
~ Kiran "
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No TechTV Broadcast of MWNY Keynote
I've just received another email regarding TechTV airing the MWNY Expo Keynote - it appears they are not going to be allowed to broadcast it after all. I wrote Cindy Wakeman (TechTV feedback) to verify that the latest email is the final word and she verified that it won't be shown on TechTV. (I've updated the news item from yesterday's news to include the latest email on the subject.)
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More Info on EyeTV TIVO for Mac (resolution, channels above 125, reviews)
Yesterday's news had a note/link about El Gato's new "EyeTV" personal (TV) video recorder (PVR) for Macs. Being USB based I suspect resolution was 320x240 but asked a contact at El Gato about this and some other questions.

Q: I was wondering about the actual resolution (non-scaled) - I'm guessing 320x240?

A: Correct.

Q: As I noted yesterday, the EyeTV FAQ notes no monthly fees. However a reader called me last night saying he thought he had read in some review/comment that there was a fee. He didn't seem to believe me that the FAQ is correct, so can you settle this?

A: No monthly fees.

Q: What about channels above 125? (like HBO, showtime, etc. on many cable services). I know the cable box can downconvert to channel 3/4 but then you'd not have any control over it from the EyeTV as far as being able to program it to record a higher channel than the EyeTV supports.

A: [EyeTV supports] Up to cable 125. We're investigating the possibility of coming out with a USB IR remote that controls the cable box.

Sorry I'm so brief but we're setting up the booth. Talk to you later,
Adam Steinberg,
El Gato"

A TIVO owner also sent comments about EyeTV.

According to this article at
EyeTV uses MPEG1 compression for storing its video, which also explains its easy transfer to VideoCD:

So anyway, at 650 MB/hour, that's a 1.5 Mbps bitrate for the MPEG1 stream (well within the limits of USB). So you're going to get a 320x240 image that will look all right, but not great, especially when scaled to full-screen.

Compare this to TiVo which records full resolution MPEG2 video at bitrates ranging from 1.5-6 Mbps, providing a broadcast quality picture to your TV. Also, although it mimics many of TiVo's features, I could not find anywhere on EyeTV's webpages that it has a Season Pass features (that is, it will automatically record every episode of a show that you like). Without that, it would be a pain to have to manually enter in recordings for every show that I watch every week. A standalone TiVo can also operate with most video sources: antenna, analog cable with or without cable box, digital cable, satellite. EyeTV doesn't seem to indicate it has any method to control external boxes needed to tune channels, such as a digital cable box or satellite receiver.
Thanks, but I'll stick with my TiVo. Best $400 I ever spent.
Todd "

Reviews of EyeTV: See The Digital Hub Gets a New Spoke: Television and El Gato's site notes a feature in MacAddict Magazine (but no online review there).

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Notes on Quicktime 6 Streaming Configuration
Yesterday's news had notes on Quicktime6. A reader sent a note about configuring QT6 video streaming:

    Dear Mike,
    In Mac OS 9 there is no manual configuration change necessary if you already use http port 80 for video streaming. Also instant on actually works in Classic somewhat well with broadband.
    However in Quicktime 6 the default transport settings are UDP-even if you had changed them in an earlier version on my install (Quicktime 5 or 6 beta) which just dosen't work, at least on warner or reprise's streams, and I suspect dosen't work ANYwhere yet. [see below for a rebuttal-Mike]
    To make the Quicktime 6 player work properly in OS X for streaming (Hey Steve WILL be streamed from MacWorld this Wednesday at 9AM!!) one needs to set their Quicktime settings manually to http port 80 and NOT choose instant on-as there is little benefit there except on an internal network where it should be pretty good I suppose.

    Also quicktime 6 has a hang after a stream starts where either the video or audio dosen't do anything. One needs to hit the pause button then hit the play button for the stream to hook up reliably. These are just a minor annoyance to be sure, but I have found streams to hang in both Classic AND OS X 10.1.5-and on separate machines. A smooth product otherwise, and I'd recommend it for the mpeg-4 if for no other reason.
    Christopher Smith

A reader replied to Christopher's comments:

    " This isn't true. His firewall might require port 80, but mine is set to allow udp streaming. Warner and Reprise don't work, but others such as the Weather Channel work fine via udp. Warner/Reprise probably have outdated server software.
    This guy should do a little more homework before posting misinformation.
    Mark Edwards "

Bottom line - if you have any streaming problems with QT6 set to UDP, try Chris' suggestion to change to port 80. It's a moot point if a problem is due to some server's software being outdated, but Mark makes some good points also.

As mentioned in yesterday's news - although the beta/preview of QT6 worked with QT5 Pro keys, the official release requires a QT6 Pro key to enable all features. (For QT5, there was sort of a "grace period" for QT4 Pro key purchases within a certain period of time before the QT5 release, but I do not see any evidence of this for QT6. A clip from Apple's requirements page noting QT4/5 Pro keys do not enable Pro features in QT6 was noted in the news here yesterday - taken from their requirements page.)

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Samsung IDE 32x/12x/40x Combo CDRW/DVD Drive (appx $131)
Andrew Choi sent a link to an online dealer's page for the Samsung SM-332 Combo CDRW/DVD drive (32x/12x/40x + 12x DVD ROM) priced at appx $131 (plus shipping). No reports on that drive model yet in the database, so I don't know if it's bootable, etc. in most Macs. (I doubt there's any iTunes support either, although someone may mod the samsung plugin file in the future.)
If any readers try this drive in a Mac, post a drive database report.
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Tip for SCSI CDRW Owners with problems after OS X 10.1.5 Update
Last fall when El Gato released their OS X SCSI CDRW Helper it was noted here and in drive database reports it helped add support for some SCSI CDRW drives that didn't work in OS X otherwise. (A common tip noted back then was to reinstall iTunes2 afterwards also.) With the OS X 10.1.3 update, it was said that CDRW helper was not needed anymore, but I've had a few reports that the OS X 10.1.5 broke support for some SCSI CDRW drives. A reader posted a report in the drive database that reinstalling El Gato's CDRW Helper fixed this problem with his SCSI Yamaha drive after the 10.1.5 update.

Drive: SCSI Yamaha CRW2100SX (16x10x40)
Beige G3 running OS X
" Upgraded to 10.1.5. Drive no longer working with iTunes or Toast Titanium. Drive is not seen. I had removed El Gato SCSI CD-RW helper when I upgraded to 10.1.3, as it was no longer necessary.

Reinstalled El Gato SCSI CD-RW helper and now everything is working fine again. No problems burning from iTunes or Toast. "

El Gato's OS X SCSI CDRW Helper is available at

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report for Tuesday. (Total to date: 7,258). [Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning. Incomplete entries, those with no comments, missing info, etc. are deleted]
Here's a summary of the update (does not include update/added comments to previous reports):

  • Sonnet G4/500 in B&W G3 (rated 1)

(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/Cardreader Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 10 new reports over the weekend. The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 7,899 reports. Here's a summary listing of today's new reports. (Does not include updates to previous entries)

    DVD-ROM Drive Reports:
  • Firewire Lite-On LTD-163D (16x/48x) [IDE drive in FW case] used w/Beige G3 (OS 9.2)

    DVD+RW Drive Reports:
  • Firewire HP DVD200xe used w/PowerBook G4 (OS X)
    (no iDVD support, but Toast 5 supports it. FW/USB2 drive)

    Combo DVD+CDR Drive Reports:
  • IDE LG GCC-4120B (12x8x32x + 8x DVD ROM) in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
  • IDE LG GCC-4120 (12x8x32x + 8x DVD ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Acer CD-R 32x10 (32x10x40) in B&W G3 (OS 9.1)
    (FYI illustrated CD drive install guide here covers 8600/9600/Beige G3 MT/B&W G3/G4s thru Digital audio)
  • Plextor 40/12/40A (40x12x40x) in Umax S900 using IDE PCI card (OS 9.1)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports:
  • TDK CDRW-401248B (40x12x48x) in FW case used w/G4 AGP 2001 (OS X)
    (no itunes support, he notes firmware mods made)

    USB CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Archos slim cdrw (Torisan 4x4x24 CDW-U4424) used w/iMac slot-loading (OS 9)

    SCSI CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Yamaha CRW2100SX (16x10x40) in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (noted OS X 10.1.5 broke support, reinstalling ElGato CDRW helper restored function.)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM Travelstar 20GB in PowerBook G3 Wallstreet 1 (OS 8.6)
    (illustrated HD install guide here)

You can find full owner reports (latest shown first) by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the IDE Articles page. The Firewire articles page also has guides on case kits, installing drives, etc.
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. [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.]

(Entries today will be added the following newsday. Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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Reader Game Reviews Database Updated:
The Rate Your Mac Games database updates today included another review of Warcraft III and Unreal. Total Reviews (all titles): 927. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. (If your game title is not in the long listing, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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