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News Archive for Thursday News Archive for July 17th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of July 17th, 2003:

Comments on Retrospect 5.1 Update and DVD-RAM
" Hey Mike, know you have probably seen that Dantz has updated their Retrospect Backup software this week... here is a list of some of the changes/improvements.
After Apple released 10.2.2, support for DVD-RAM drives as backup devices in OS X was killed in Retrospect 5.0. That has finally been fixed (supposedly) with Retrospect 5.1. I say supposedly because I had limited success and have not had the time yet to test thoroughly.Previously, Retrospect would not do anything to a DVD-RAM cartridge except crash when trying to initiate the device.
I can now confirm that 5.1 can at least erase the device in the setup menu. However, on first try, when actually trying to attempt a backup to the disk, the application still quits. Now this may be an error on my part with the backup set I selected or something, but all I know is that the same method would have been successful under OS 9.2.2. I will let you know later in the week after I have done more testing and taken more time whether or not this is still an issue or just an error on my part.
Other notable improvements that Dantz states are as follows: Linux and Windows 6.5 client support, Retrospect builds a custom driver to load devices even when the app is not running, and fewer warning dialogs. It seems to be a little faster in the GUI as well and more intuitive than before.
Overall, if I can get my DVD-RAM drives to consistently be reliable backup devices then this will be a very worthy upgrade. And don't be fooled by the version number, this is a paid upgrade however. Luckily I just purchased Retropect 5.0 last month and they offered it to me free as a download.

Also, it appears Dantz has released firmware updates for certain Powerbook combo and Superdrive drives. Don't know the extent to which this applies, but here is the link:
http://www.dantz.com/index.php3?SCREEN=kbase&ACTION=KBASE&id=28020
-cs "

Unfortunately many didn't just buy the 5.0 version and aren't too happy about having to pay $$ for 5.1.

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PowerBook Combo Drive/Superdrive Firmware Updates
Dantz has posted firmware updates for certain Powerbook combo and Superdrive drives. Dantz here's a clip from the Dantz page:

" Dantz is making available firmware updates that allow certain older MKE (Matshita) PowerBook G4 Combo (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) Drives and SuperDrives (DVD-R/CD-RW) to be supported by Retrospect. Most PowerBook G4s shipped by Apple after January 2003 already have MKE optical drives with firmware that is supported by Retrospect. This update applies only to customers with earlier versions of the PowerBook G4. (Use Apple System Profiler to check your drive's firmware version - the drive 'revision' reported by ASP-Mike)

THE APPLE FIRMWARE UPDATES ONLY PROVIDE CHANGES NECESSARY FOR RETROSPECT SUPPORT AND ARE NOT NEEDED BY NON-RETROSPECT CUSTOMERS WITH OLDER DRIVE FIRMWARE.

Affected PowerBook G4 Optical Drives
PowerBook G4 Combo (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) Drive The MKE (MATSHITA) CW-8121 Combo Drive requires firmware revision AA21 or later and Retrospect 5.0 with Retrospect Driver Update 3.6.106 or later.

The Apple CW-8121 firmware updater is for customers with earlier versions of the PowerBook G4. It updates the CW-8121 pre -AA21 firmware to AA21. The Apple CW-8121 firmware update requires Mac OS 9 to update.

Although the Apple CW-8121 firmware updater is available for download from the Dantz Web site, it is provided "as is" by Dantz Development. Please contact Apple in the unlikely event that you encounter problems with the CW-8121 firmware updater or with non-Retrospect CD authoring software after applying the firmware update.
This update is available from:
ftp://ftp.dantz.com/pub/updates/fw_CW-8121.sit
(See danzt page and readme file in the download for install info - requires reboot to OS 9, not classic. Eject any media and quit any other apps running.)

PowerBook G4 SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
The MKE (MATSHITA) UJ-815 SuperDrive requires firmware revision D0CB or later and Retrospect 5.0 with Retrospect Driver Update 3.6.106 or later. The Apple UF-815 firmware updater is for customers with earlier versions of the PowerBook G4 with pre-D0CB firmware. It updates the UJ-815 firmware to D0CB. The Apple UJ-815 firmware update requires Mac OS X to update. (They repeat the warning in red above)
This update is available from:
ftp://ftp.dantz.com/pub/updates/fw_UJ-815.sit
(see Dantz page or readme file for install info, basically same as the combo drive update)"

I rebooted to OS 9 to apply the AA21 update to my PB G4/800 Combo drive (which had AA17 previously). At first I was concerned about the error messages in the command window but after some long pauses (where even the cursor seemed to freeze) it did finally apply the update successfully.

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Price Cuts on Giga Designs and IForce (iMac) G4 Upgrades
" PowerLogix iForce G4/500MHz with 1MB L2 Cache was $329.95, now $298.95
New Giga Designs prices:
G4/1.2GHz - $479.99
G4/1.4GHz - $559.99
Best Regards,
Lawrence O'Connor
Other World Computing "
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Americas Army Game for Mac now available
The mac version of America's Army is now available.

"This release gives Mac gamers a taste of what's to come in America's Army . This fall America's Army: Special Forces will debut, allowing gamers to experience new roles, including 18D (Medical Sergeant), 18B (Weapons Sergeant), 18C (Engineer Sergeant), 18E (Communications Sergeant) and 18F (Intelligence Sergeant). When America's Army: Special Forces is fully-deployed by the winter of 2003, gameplay will culminate with missions that span the capabilities of a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) to include combat search and rescue (CSAR, to be debuted at E3), direct action, surveillance and reconnaissance, and unconventional warfare.

The minimum Mac specs for Version 1.7 are a 700MHz G4 Processor, 256 Megs of RAM, 1 gigabyte of hard drive space, and a GeForce2 or Radeon 7500 card. The recommended specs are a 1.25GHz G4 Processor, 512 megs of RAM, a gigabyte of hard drive space and a GeForce4 or Radeon 8500 card."

The v1.7 download at their site costs $5.95. Although they may not be as fast as the paid download server, there's several mirrors of the full Mac 1.7 download (300+MB) for free at this 3Dgamers page. Macgamefiles also has two mirrors listed of the game.

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Hitachi 7200RPM/60GB Notebook Drives in Stock w/free shipping
(from an email from Site Sponsor OWC)

" Hitachi 7200RPM/60GB Notebook Drives in Stock
World's fastest Notebook drive w/Free shipping to USA.
More storage, processor, memory upgrade specials here.
Other World Computing"
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Mac Unreal Tournament 2003 Benchmark Utility
Lionel sent a note about a utility for benchmarking UT2003 that avoids having to use the terminal (method noted previously here for running flyby and botmatch tests)

"Hi Mike, i made a little software to make UT 2003 Benchmarks
Best regards
Lionel"
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Picture Gallery from MWNY Creative Pro Show
Settimio Perlini sent a note he's posted a picture gallery of Greg Josiak's keynote at MWNY Creative Pro.
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Beta Test of Novell GroupWise client
(from a recent reader mail)

"Mike, Don't recall you posting this in the news, but Novell is offering beta testing for a GroupWise client that is cross platform using the Java Virtual Machine. I don't have any Windows machines and I am affiliated with two educational institutions that use Novell's GroupWise. I always found it annoying that I had to use the Web simply because I was on a Mac. Those interested can sign up to be beta testers. Here's a link to the Novell Groupwise page:
http://www.novell.com/products/groupwise/
Regards, Anthony"
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports this morning (reader entries from yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,562. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Powerlogix G4 933MHz Dual in G4/AGP (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G4/800 in 8600/300 (rated 1)
    (problems noted)
    (My full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades are linked here.)
  • Apple B&W G3 400 OC report

(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 Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 6 new reports added (reader entries from yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). 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 10,919 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    Multi-Format card readers:
  • USB SIIG JU-PM6112 6-in-1 used w/iMac slot loading (OS X)

    DVD-ROM drives:
  • SCSI Pioneer 305S, 10x/40x used w/G4 AGP (OS X)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • IDE Toshiba SDR1312 (32x10x40x + 12x DVD-ROM) in Beige G3 (OS X)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Sony DW-U10A in (Yikes) G4 no AGP (OS X)

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Samsung SW-248F/RASF (48x24x48x) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (no iTunes/db burn support)
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) Sony CRX215E1 48x24x48x in Beige G3 (OS X) (using modified burn support plugin from FAQ)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD/DVD/CDRW drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs.)

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.)
(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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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles, guides and reviews you may have missed.
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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 off-site links may no longer work. Remember comments were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, pricing, etc.)

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