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News Archive for: 7/17/2002 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of July 17th, 2002:

Online Petiton About .Mac Pricing Concerns
Although make sure you send Apple your comments via their .MAC feedback form (see links below) - there's also a .Mac Services Overpriced Concerns online petition that has 1000+ members as of about 4 PM Eastern Time today and over 13,185 by the 11PM July 18th. There was also a petition created to complain about the 'whiners' - it shows only 368 signitures as of 11PM on the 18th.

Note - A reader sent a note about the "Convert to Email Only Account" option mentioned in .Mac online help, but that's only an option for paid users apparently (for adding another email account for a reduced fee). I never saw the "Email Management button" noted in the help instuctions and several readers noted why. Here's one example mail:

    " You only see this if you login as a paid account. A paid user can add email-only addressed for $10/yr each.
    In other words, if you have 2 mac.com email addresses, you can upgrade one to a paid account ($49.95) and add the other as email-only ($10).
    Larry R. "

This is noted in another area of the help file (emphasis mine):

    " Adding an email-only account
    .Mac members can purchase up to 10 additional email accounts for $10.00 each per year. Email-only accounts include 5 megabytes (MB) of storage space, which can't be increased. You can't add photo signatures to messages if you have an email-only account; and other .Mac services, such as iDisk, HomePage, Backup, and Virex, are not accessible to email-only accounts."
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iDVD 2.1 Update and Applescripts/Tools for iDVD
Apple has posted an iDVD 2.1 update at http://www.apple.com/idvd/download/.
Changes listed are:

    " iDVD 2.1 updater adds DVD-ROM data support, AppleScript support, enhancements to the burning process, and general performance improvements. "

After several errors (server error at first and then a "file not found" error), the download finally started.
Apple also has an Applescripts and iDVD (v2.1) page with downloads of Applescripts and tools. (But the iDVD Companion download link there wasn't working there as of 2:40 PM eastern time.)

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Apple's .MAC Feedback Page
Several readers sent a link to Apple's .MAC feedback page at http://www.apple.com/feedback/mac/gtm.html and http://www.apple.com/feedback/mac.html (both seem to be the same form) asking that I post the link for mac.com users to let Apple know how they feel about the pricing changes and the lack of an email-only mac.com option. (For those of us that don't need/want to pay for disk space and features we don't need or use.)
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Backlash on .MAC Fees, Jaguar Cost for Existing OS X Owners
From what I have seen so far, there's a lot of very upset Mac owners about the .MAC fees (with no option for just a low-cost mac.com email address only) and the fact there seems to be no stated policy on OS X 10.2/Jaguar upgrades for anyone that bought OS X or a new Mac before today. Based on the keynote comments and the info currently at Apple's OS X Jaguar page, the upgrade page and Up-to-Date page, the $19.95 upgrade option is only for those that buy a new Mac from today on. I know Microsoft charges $100 or so for their major OS releases, but then you can buy a very fast PC to run Windows for a fraction of the cost of a Mac. (I won't get into the pros and cons of each here... I know you often get what you pay for.) And many consider the full price they paid for OS X 10.0 to have been a beta literally - although the updates so far have fixed a lot of bugs and added support for more devices, the one-two punch over .MAC and OS X 10.2 costs did not go over well today.

I personally think there should be a reduced price 10.2 upgrade (rather than full $129 list) for current OS X users, and some sort of low-cost option to just retain a mac.com email address (even if limited to 5MB or less) for those that don't want/need any other features of .MAC.
I'm sure there are some that will disagree with me, but from what I have seen a huge number of people are upset over this. (I've used Macs since the first 128K model, and I have never seen as many complaints so quickly as I have about the costs of these two announcements.)

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iMac 17 inch LCD model w/GeForce4MX, Price Cut on 15 inch LCD model
During the keynote Jobs noted that 50% of iMacs were sold with the Superdrive (DVD-R/-RW) and announced (as predicted by the rumor stories at Cnet, etc.) a 17 inch LCD display (1440x900 widescreen format) and GeForce4MX graphics chip with 32MB of DDR Video ram. The 17" LCD model (800MHz G4) with 80GB Hard Drive, 256MB memory and Superdrive will sell for $1999 and will be in stores in about 2 weeks.
The 15 inch iMac gets a price cut to $1799 and retains the same graphics chip as before (Geforce2MX). At only $200 difference - I'd much rather have the 17" model with better graphics chip since you can't upgrade the graphics chip (or display) later.

No new G4 towers but that's been predicted for some time now... hopefully we'll see those in the next month or two.

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iTunes 3, iPod Improvements/Price Cuts/PC Model, iSync, .MAC (Goodbye free mac.com email)
Watching the keynote via QT6 MPEG4 stream which has stalled a few times (sometimes for several minutes) and lip sync isn't good, even using a cable modem. [For the first time in years, I didn't attend the keynote personally.] Here's a summary of things mentioned so far in reverse order. (The NY Mac store and switch campaign comments omitted since they've been covered before.)

  • iSync - "Mac to Mobile" synch for cellphone, Palm, iPod. Can use .Mac iDisk to sync computers (home/work). Available in Sept. (requires Jaguar) - free download.

  • iPod 10GB now $399, made slimmer and now has a solid state scroll wheel, protective door over the Firewire port, a remote control and a carry case. The earphones have also been redesigned and are now smaller. iPod 20GB announced for $499 (w/case, remote, etc.) iPod 5GB is now $299. New iPod software/menu structure/features/calendar/clock. The carry Case and Wired Remote (w/new earphones) are available separately for $39 each. (Ouch to early iPod buyers - nearly $80 for what ships free with 10GB iPods now at the same price as the early iPod buyers paid for a 5GB. That's life for early buyers of most anything though... but it still stings.)
    iPod for Windows announced also (using Musicmatch software, auto-syncing - same prices as Mac versions). In stores in late August.

  • iTunes 3 (OS X only, free update ) - launched today includes ratings, playcount, audible.com support, and "Smart Playlists" that are automatically created. (i.e. Most played, by ratings, date, band, etc.)

  • iCal demo (calendar you can share/subscribe/publish to .mac) Ships in September (free download).

  • iTools goes away Sept. 30th - .mac replaces it and ups iDisk size to 100MB w/password protection, backup software (to iDisk, CD or DVD), and Virex for Mac. Available today in 'one box' for $99.95 per year ($49.95 for existing users for the first year if they sign up within 60 days). No free mac.com mail account anymore... I personally don't care to pay for disk space, etc. I don't use and I already have an anti-virus utility. I wish there was an option to just retain your mac.com email address only for either free or a small fee. See this .mac FAQ for more info.

  • OS X Jaguar will cost $129 - on shelf by August 24th. Upgrades for new Mac buyers from July 17th on will be $19.xx. (I had assumed existing OS X owners would be offered a $19 upgrade also - but no word on that yet. a LOT of existing OS X users are going to be upset over no mention of a $19 upgrade for them.)
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More Info from iBook 2002 Owner on Mods for Dual Display Use
The reader that sent the info posted earlier here on tricks to try and run dual monitors (extended desktop, not mirror) mode on a 2002 iBook (w/Radeon mobility chip) sent an email that he's updated his web page with more info.

    " Hi Mike,
    I updated the instructions for screen spanning with the Radeon iBook at http://macparts.de/ibook
    It's (as you suggested) the Mac OS ROM file that makes the difference
    (though it's just the file from the 9.2.2 update and not specifically from the PB G4). However, when I tried it before I couldn't boot with the exchanged Rom file. Now I found that you also need the Apple CPU Plugins file from the 9.2.1 update. With this method you can get all the resolutions you want (well, at least almost ;) and keep hardware acceleration.
    The only downside is that you cannot use sleep mode and the brightness controls are inverted (the internal screen also isn't as bright as usually).
    Now you can play DVDs with an external screen or projector connected (didn't work in OS 9 before - DVD Player wouldn't open and saying it doesn't support the hardware). Please also read the detailed instructions at my website.
    Thanks
    -Klaus"

In a related note, Phil Lefebvre sent some links to Linux info on using dual monitor mode with iBooks:

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Sonnet Announces G4/AGP 800MHz/1GHz and Cube 800MHz CPU Upgrades
As expected (from the early ADs in magazines), Sonnet has now officially announced their G4/800 and G4/1GHz CPU upgrades for AGP slot G4 Towers and Cubes. One interesting difference in the Sonnet upgrade vs. the Powerlogix is the 2MB L3 cache size - vs. 1MB on the PL upgrades. (Sonnet notes the L3 is DDR as it is on the Apple G4 systems w/L3 cache - I assume PL's is also using DDR L3 but have written to verify this.) Note: It appears that Sonnet lists only the 800MHz model for the Cube based on the "*" note on the product page. Sonnet must have some reservations about the 1GHz model in the Cube. I'll ask them for reasons why they don't offer a 1GHz Cube version, as does Powerlogix. I'll bet they cite heat issues as a potential problem, but let's see what they say.
Here's a clip from the press release email.

    " NEW YORK July 17, 2002. ...These 800 MHz and 1 GHz processor upgrades for Power Mac® G4 machines utilize the new 7455 series of Motorola G4 chips and have 2MB DDR (Double Data Rate) L3 backside cache, delivering processor performance of up to three times that of the original systems. The Encore/ST is compatible with the following G4 systems that employ AGP graphics:

    - Power Mac G4 AGP Graphics
    - Power Mac G4 Gigabit Ethernet
    - Power Mac G4 Digital Audio
    - Power Mac G4 Servers
    - Power Mac G4 Cube * (Requires Cube Installation Kit and professional installation.)
    [* product page notes Cube 800MHz model only]

    In order to work in both 100 MHz and 133 MHz bus speed machines, the new Encore/ST will automatically detect the bus speeds of its host machine and run at the specified performance of its processor. The card integrates seamlessly with all software applications and supports all operating systems from Mac* OS 8.6 through OS X with no additional software required.

    Availability and Pricing
    Encore/ST G4 800 MHz and Encore/ST G4 1 GHz will be available in August with estimated street prices of $499.95 and $699.95, respectively. The Cube Dealer Installation Kit has an estimated street price of $29.95."

See their Encore/ST G4 product page for more info.

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PowerLogix adds G4 700/733 Upgrades in Addition to 800MHz/1GHz, Trade-Up Program
In addition to their G4/800 and G4/1GHz upgrades announced last month for AGP G4 towers (Sawtooth, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio and Quicksilvers) and Cubes, Powerlogix has a press release today noting they've added G4/700MHz and G4/733MHz models to the line. The press release also mentions a Trade-Up program where a buyer of say a G4/700 could later upgrade to a 1GHz model for instance. (No pricing was mentioned for the Trade-Up yet.)
The Press release notes prices from $449 to $799, with production "ramping up" on the 100MHz bus models (Cube, Sawtooth and Gigabit Ethernet models) and August availability of the 133MHz bus models (for Digital Audio and Quicksilver towers). (I don't know if it's totally accurate - but OWC today shows the 1GHz G4 Cube upgrade as due in 3 days. The other 100MHz bus speed models are shown as 17 days.)
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Sonnet Announces G4/800 CPU Card Upgrade for Older PCI Macs - Including PowerCenter/Pros
The G4/800 CPU card upgrade for 7300-9600 Macs (and comparable clones) shown in recent magazine ads has been officially announced by Sonnet. Note that this is the first G4 upgrade claimed to work with the Catalyst based Macs such as the PowerCenter/Pro. Here's a clip from the press release:

    " New York July 17, 2002. Sonnet Technologies...accomplishes tremendous technological breakthroughs with the announcement of the Crescendo/PCI G4 800 MHz processor upgrade for PCI Power Mac® machines. This highly-anticipated product is made possible by Sonnet's superior design, which utilizes a new 7455 AltiVec-enabled G4 chip, and 1MB of L3 backside cache.

    While previous generations of the G4 were limited to operation at nine times the speed of the bus in the host system, these new chips allow for a much higher multiple, raising the theoretical maximum on a 50 MHz PCI platform bus from 450 MHz to 800 MHz and beyond. Through arduous testing and development, Sonnet engineers have fully addressed several challenges unique to this new generation of processors, including entirely new voltage requirements, signal compatibility and heat dissipation issues. As a result, the Crescendo/PCI G4 800 not only performs reliably at very high processor speeds, but also fully supports applications that leverage the AltiVec/Velocity Engine in both OS 9 and OS X (if the customer chooses to utilize Sonnet's PCI X Installer).

    Additional design innovations have resolved G4 compatibility issues with heavily loaded six-slot machines, providing a reliable and powerful solution for the music and video professionals who rely on these systems. ..
    The Crescendo/PCI G4 800 is also the first G4 processor upgrade to be compatible with certain Power Computing Macintosh clone models. Until now, some of these systems could only support G3 processor upgrades. [Note: actually the G4 issue with clones was related to the Catalyst based Macs like the PowerCenter/Pro - G4 upgrades have been available for Clones based on other motherboard designs with a CPU card slot like the Umax S900, PowerTower Pro, etc..-Mike]
    The complete list of compatible Macintosh models is:

    - Power Mac 7300, 7500, 7600, 85xx, 8600, 95xx, 9600
    - Workgroup Server 7350, 8550, 9650
    - Daystar Genesis
    - PowerCenter, PowerCenter Pro, PowerCurve, PowerTower, PowerTower Pro, PowerWave
    - UMAX J700/S900

    OS X Compatibility
    In June 2001, Sonnet offered owners of Crescendo/PCI G3 and G4 cards the option of downloading a Sonnet installer to run Mac® OS X on the PCI models mentioned above (Sonnet's OS X Installer is not compatible with PowerCenter, PowerCenter Pro, PowerCurve, PowerTower). Mac OS X's compatibility in these machines will match that in Power Macintosh G3 computers. This breakthrough solution is accessible from the Sonnet web site for a download fee of $29.95. For Sonnet's complete Mac OS X Statement as well as information on Sonnet PCI X Installer Updater please refer to the Sonnet web page at http://www.sonnettech.com/news/macosx_update.html.

    Pricing and Availability
    The Crescendo/PCI G4 800 will be available in August and will have an estimated street price of $399.95. "

Note - as many of you know, an alternative OS X utility for legacy Macs is Ryan Rempel's XPostFacto which is shareware.

Sonnet also announced a G3/500 CPU upgrade (PCI slot based) for the 7200 priced at $269.95

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Sonnet Announces G4/500 PowerBook Wallstreet Upgrade:
(from their email press release)

    "NEW YORK July 17, 2002. Sonnet Technologies... announces the Crescendo/WS G4 500, the latest addition to its line of Crescendo/WS processor upgrades for PowerBook® G3 Series "Wallstreet" computers. This upgrade offers a powerful Motorola G4 processor running at 500 MHz, with 1MB Level 2 backside cache, which more than doubles the performance of a stock 233MHz machine. The Crescendo/WS G4 500 also corrects a Mac® OS "sleep mode" issue that can prevent these machines from waking up from sleep mode under OS 9 and earlier operating systems. ...This product supports a total RAM capacity of 512MB and accommodates from 32MB to 256MB SO-DIMMs. It integrates with your system software, supporting Mac OS 8.1 and higher, and the latest innovations of OS X without any additional software or plug-ins.

    Compatible Macintosh Models:
    - Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series 233
    - Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series 250
    - Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series 266
    - Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series 292
    - Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series 300

    Availability and Pricing
    Crescendo/WS G4 500 is available now and has an estimated street price: $ 399.95."

I've added a "Sonnet Cresendo/WS G4" as an option to the Rate Your CPU Upgrade database so that owners of this upgrade can post reports in the future. (There are past reports on upgrades for PowerBook 1400, Wallstreets, Lombards and 2000 (aka Pismo) models there now from various Powerlogix, Newer Tech and Sonnet.)

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Sonnet Announces Trio 3-in-1 PCI Card with ATA/133, Firewire and USB2.0
In what seems like a never-ending series of press releases today, Sonnet has also announced a PCI controller with ATA/133, Firewire and USB 2.0 interfaces all on one card. They say the Tempo Trio is compatible with OS 9.x and OS X and includes a Tempo AV Tool (previously available for their ATA/100 card) which can address the stuttering audio issue seen with IDE cards in some older Macs. (At the expense of performance as noted in past articles here on the IDE topics page.)
Tempo Trio features two USB 2.0 ports (USB 1.1 compatible) and under OS 9, the press release notes USB will operate at 1.1 speeds (12Mbit/sec vs 480Mbit sec. USB 2.0 speeds), two FireWire ports and a dual channel ATA/133 interface (4 drive total support). See their Tempo Trio page for a list of compatible Mac models (includes most PCI slot Macs and clones). They say the Tempo Trio is available now at an estimated street price of $179.95.
Sonnet also announced a non-RAID Tempo ATA/133 card, which per the press release is Promise chip based. (The Sonnet ATA/100 card was Promise chip based, but the Tempo ATA/66 and ATA/133 RAID cards were Acard based, as are the SIIG cards.)
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PB Pismo Owner Report on Powerlogix Bluechip G4/500 Upgrade
One of the latest updates to the Rate Your CPU Upgrade database included a detailed report from a PowerBook G3 2000 (aka Pismo) G3/400 owner on his BlueChip G4/500 CPU upgrade. He comments on battery life, heat, and includes some before/after OS X performance tests.
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Sonnet's Tempo HD - Notebook Hard Drive on a PCI Controller Card
Sonnet has announced the Tempo HD PCI card today combining an ATA/133 (single channel) controller card with a notebook (2.5") hard drive. I saw a similar card (PCI controller w/notebook hard drive attached) last year at Acard's booth at Macworld NY but the Sonnet press release notes it's based on a Promise/Firmtek partnership. See Sonnet's product page for more info and listing of compatible PCI based Macs. Prices range from $219.95 (20GB drive) to $319.95 (40GB drive). The card alone (w/o HD) lists for $99.95 without a drive per the press release which notes availablity in August 2002.
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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated today with 2 new reports. (Total to date: 7,260). [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):

  • Powerlogix Bluechip G4/500 in PowerBook G3 2000 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/300 in 6400/180 (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/Cardreader Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 10 new reports added since yesterday. 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 7,909 reports. Here's a summary listing of today's new reports. (Does not include updates to previous entries)

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drive Reports:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-104 in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (kernel panics noted)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports:
  • LG 32x12x40x in Dual G4 (OS X)
  • Sony CRX-175A1 24x10x40x in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (FYI illustrated CD drive install guide here covers 8600/9600/Beige G3 MT/B&W G3/G4s thru Digital audio)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Lacie 40x12x48 used w/G4 Cube (OS X)
    (no itunes support - didn't note actual drive mechanism used in case)
  • Sony CRX-120 (in FW case) used w/iMac slot-loading (OS X)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Maxtor D740X 80GB in Beige G3 using IDE PCI card (OS 9.2)
  • Seagate Barracuda IV 80GB in 9600 using IDE PCI Card (OS X)
    (problems noted)

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports:
  • EZquest Cobra 80GB used w/B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
    (includes comments on driver issues and more)

    SCSI Hard Drive Reports:
  • Seagate ST318275LW 36GB in 9600 (OS 9.1)
    (included comments on problems booting with latest firmware version for ATTO UL2D SCSI card - she wrote ATTO to get an older version of the firmware that solved the problem.)

    Removable Media Drive Reports:
  • IDE Iomega 100MB ZIP drive in B&W G3 (OS 9.1)
    (problems using mac ZIP disks noted)

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 2 more reviews of Warcraft III (from iBook and G4/733 owner) . Total Reviews (all titles): 929. 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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