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News Archive for Friday, July 16th, 2004Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of July 16th, 2004: (Later posted items first)
Feral posts Enemy Engaged Demo Download
Feral Interactive's news page today mentions they've posted an 86MB demo of Enemy Engaged for the Mac.

"This demo lets you experience the thrill of flying either a RAH-66 Comanche or KA-52 Hokum helicopters over the dangerous terrain of the Lebanon. We suggest that to begin with you cruise around in a passive environment until you get your head around the controls. Then, when you are ready to get serious ... switch the demo to hostile environment mode..."

The minimum requirements for the full version is a G3/600 or better (G4/800 or faster recommended), 10.2 or later and 3D graphics card.

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More Airport Express/AirTunes User Feedback
The Airport Express and AirTunes reports page has been updated again today (3rd time) with more feedback from users. The latest updates includes a reader report on not being able to stream music from this MDD system via ethernet/router (he had no wireless card in that Mac and was connected to the LAN via a router, which connected to a Graphite Airport base hoping that it could then stream to the Express base.)
The latest updates also included a reply to an earlier report today with an explanation on why there's no WPA support in WDS mode (only in client mode).
(And to answer a reader's recent question on compatibilty, an earlier report today mentioned adding it to his existing network that has a Linksys RT54G combo WLAN/switch/router.) The related links at the bottom of the page include more Apple kbase docs on the Airport Express (setup, modes, etc.)
I welcome other Airport Express owner feedback, especially those using the "AirTunes" feature and how range and signal strength compare to previous bases. Thanks.

Also I've updated the earlier post on a reader's problem with Excel 2004 customized toolbar with what is probably the cause of the problem.

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Powerlogix CPU Director 1.5f6 Update
Not sure when it was actually posted (app date is July 6th), but MU lists the CPU Director 1.5f6 update today, but no info there or at Powerlogix's CPU Director page as I'm typing this on the changes. The download's readme file however includes this version history note on changes from 1.5f5:

"Version History
1.5f6 (6 July 2004) - Allow 750GX PLL options up to 1133 MHz on desktop machines. Be careful not to overclock your processor."

If you're unfamiliar with CPU Director (which some use as a cache control/enabler for other upgrades), see the Powerlogix page which has screenshots, usage and uninstall info for both OS 9 and OS X.

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Powerlogix G3 750FX/GX CPU Boot Conflict with OS 9 Firewire Extension (if set to higher than 8x ratio)
A reader (John) sent a note about a boot conflict (hang) with OS 9's Firewire enabler extension if the Powerlogix G3 750FX/GX ZIF Upgrade was set to a jumper/switch setting higher than 8:1 ratio. (I.E. If the ZIF's bus/cpu multiplier setting in hardware was set to higher than 8x ratio.) He had one of the first 750GX 1GHz models in his B&W G3 and had hangs when booting to OS 9.x if the Firewire extensions were enabled. John sent a reply from PL support to his problem:

" Tech Support Inquiry PowerPC 750GX

John,
We have traced the OS 9 problem to the Firewire enabler extension.
The Firewire enabler extension is confused by the additional bus ratios of the 750FX. (Typo, as John wrote about his 1GHz 750GX, which is the later 1MB L2 cache version. However the problem may also affect the 750FX as well as GX models.) This can be worked around by using a bus ratio that the original CPU has, and then use CPU Director to increase the clock speed after booting.

For now, set the CPU to run at 800MHz on the switch, and use CPU Director to ramp up the speed to 900. (1GHz I assume he meant, since John said he has a 1GHz 750GX) This should solve the OS9 problem you are seeing.
The switch settings will be: 1 = off; 2, 3, 4, 5 = on, 6 = off
Let us know either way."

The problem (boot hang) reportedly happens only when the ZIF is set (jumpered) at over 8:1 ratio (800MHz) - not when CPU Director is used to set higher CPU speeds (i.e. a warm reboot at higher speeds shouldn't hang). I asked Nate if he saw a problem like this during his testing for the review of the PL G3 1.1GHz and 1GHz 750GX ZIFs vs G4 1GHz ZIF and other upgrades, and he later replied he left the ZIF at 8x ratio (hardware settings) and just used CPU Director to set the higher CPU speeds (for the 1GHz and 1.1GHz ZIF upgrades).
I used a very early CPU Director version in a 2003 review/comparion tests here of the PL G3/800 750FX upgrade and didn't have any problem booting to OS 9.2.2 with all Firewire extensions enabled in my rev 2 B&W G3 - including warm starts at 850MHz (it was not 100% reliable at 850MHz in stress tests though - and the ZIF settings were left at 8x, with CPU Director used to test higher speeds.)

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OWC's Macworld 'Not at the Show' Specials Extended, Clearance Page Updated
(email from sponsor OWC)

" Our 'Not at the Show' specials have been expanded with additional memory offerings, iPod cases, and a Griffin iMate + Apple Extended KB II bundle deal that gets you the Griffin iMate ADB to USB adapter and the KBII for less than the normal iMate price alone! Those specials will be available on the Macworld page through Sunday, July 18th 2004. We've been able to extend our vendor agreements to carry that forward for some extra time. :)
2nd Day Air Delivery to any US Destination is only $5 for any order (up to 10lbs in weight). Free UPS Ground delivery is available to any US Continental Destination for orders up to 25 LBs that are for $149.00 or more.

Also just added a bunch of new goodies to our OWC Clearance/Garage Sale Specials page. Including G4 Processors, G3 Processors, FireWire products, some used memory, and hard drives too. As always, first come - first served.
Best Regards,
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Other World Computing"

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First report of Apple/Trimedia PCI card Firewire ports actually functional
I've updated the page on the Apple/Trimedia PCI card (never officially released) to include a report from an 8600 owner (running 9.2.2) that said a Firewire CDRW drive connected to the card was recognized. (Although there's no support or software that I know of that uses the Tri-Media chips or other features of the card.).
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Reader report on MS Excel 2004 Customized Toolbar Problem (and Tip)
Natasha B. (of Microsoft apparently) sent a note with screenshots about what is probably the reason for the reader's problem with customized (added) toolbar insert columns/rows buttons being grayed out:

"Re: Excel 2004-Customized toolbar problem
I read your comments about the problems (that Ryan had) with the Insert/Delete buttons and wanted to let you know what was going on.

The problem is that there are two sets of Insert/Delete buttons that have the same icons. The set that works can be placed on the toobar using the Insert category of the Customize Toolbars/Commands dialog, and the command names are "Rows" and "Columns":

The buttons that don't work on a toolbar are those from the Edit category. These buttons are associated with the List Manager and have the word "Insert" prepended to the command names.


-Natasha B. "

I wrote Ryan with the above info to confirm that is the cause.
(original post from a reader mail - I don't own office/excel 2004 to test this)

" Mike, ... I tried using Microsoft's support site, but, I keep getting access denied messages. I think I have found a bug in MS Excel 2004.
When I customize the standard toolbar by adding the "insert row" and "insert column" buttons, they remain grayed-out and not functional. Although, the commands work from the menu bar and the "delete row" and the "delete column" buttons on the standard toolbar work and are not grayed out. This is the case regardless if a row or column is selected or not. I have attached two pics demonstrating this.
I'm wondering if any other readers of the site are experiencing this problem, or is it just my installation.
Take care, Ryan "

Another Excel 2004 user wrote that he didn't have the problem (the tip/note from Microsoft above is probably why Ryan did.)

" I just added "insert row" and "insert column" buttons to my menu bar and they work fine. I also then added them to the "edit" pull down menu bar and they work from there also.
(he later wrote)
I did just notice that if a row is selected and you click the "insert column" button it adds a row instead, and if a column is selected and you click the "insert row" button a column is inserted. So if a row is selected "insert column" or "insert row" will insert a row, and if a column is selected "insert row" or "insert column" will insert a column.
G4 733Mhz digital audio upgraded to G4 1.2 Ghz. 1.5 MB ram. OSX 10.3.4. Microsoft Office 2004 Standard Edition.
Lonnie R. "
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Interview 3.0 (USB Video Capture software/hardware bundle)
Daystar sent a press release on Interview 3.0 USB capture software/hardware bundle ($89) which includes Video Impression editing/capture software as well as EchoFX's USB Vision 1.1.1 and other utilities.
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Apple Knowledge Base Doc Updates
(from apple's mail list)

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 2 new reports this morning (entries from the last 24hrs, entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,463. Here's a summary of the report(s) added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Newer Tech G4/500 in PowerBook G3 Lombard (rated 1)
  • Powerlogix 7457 G4 1.4GHz (1.35GHz rated chip) in G4 Cube (rated 5)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades w/apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked on the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

(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 Database had 6 new reports added this morning. (Reader entries from Thursday, entries today are added the next newsday morning. Entries with no comments, missing info etc. are not posted). The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, 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, USB, adapters). Current total 13,314 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports)

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Philips PCRW1208 (12x8x32x) in (Yikes) G4 no AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (no native burn support, tried patchburn II but still had errors burning in iTunes and finder. )
  • IDE Samsung sw-248F (48x16x48x) in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
    (using modified OS 9 authoring support file)
    (Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers B&W G3 and G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, as well as Beige G3 MT Macs)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) Pioneer DVR-107D used w/iBook G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (using iDVD ext. drive burn trick noted in the FAQ's DVD section)
  • IDE Matshita UJ-825S in Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn II for Panther burn support.)
  • IDE Pioneer A07 (aka DVR-107D) in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)
    (using OS 9.x burn support file from FAQ's DVD section here. Native burn support in 10.3.3 and later. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE (serial ATA) Hitachi HIT13G0252 80GB in 73-7600 (OS X)
    (Xpostfacto required to install OS X on legacy macs, said he still had to partition the drive with a 1st partition under 8GB for OS X to install.)

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 and reviews you may have missed.
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