AccelerateYourMac logo
The Source for Performance News, Tips & Reviews


Mini Dual HD!



Reviews and Daily News with a  Difference!
Recent Updates  | Mac Upgrades/Mods  | CPU Upgrades  | Storage  | Video  | Audio/HT  | Apps/OS/Network  | Search
News, Tips, Reviews or Questions to News at Xlr8YourMac.com
News Archive for Tuesday, July 27th, 2004Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

Click for iPod Accessories

News stories of July 27th, 2004: (Later posted items first)
More comments on Sveasoft firmware, Firmware Recovery Info for Linksys Routers
This morning I posted a reader's note (below) about new firmware updates from Linksys for their WRT54G routers and also a note about Sveasoft's firmware. The first reader report today on the Sveasoft firmware wasn't good, but it wasn't clear if he had used the 'stable' or "Alchemy build' (pre-release/alpha, etc.) or exactly what went wrong with the update. Here's another reader's experience with the firmware that also includes some tips on applying it (i.e. wait for awhile even after the 'completed' message) and firmware recovery tips:

" I use the Sveasoft firmware on all my Linksys WRT54GS units and it's a great third-party firmware. The botched firmware upgrade (Fred's earlier report) is more likely a result of not following the instructions word for word than anything else.

When the web configuration utility alerts you that the process has completed, it has really only uploaded the firmware and not installed it. You must wait a moment for the firmware to be written to the flash memory before doing anything else. I originally did the same thing as Fred and rebooted my router by unplugging it too quickly. I thought my WRT54GS was dead too.

To fix it, plug your Mac into one of the LAN ports on the router and:

  1. Use the hardware reset button on the back of the access point.
  2. Download a copy of the "linksys-tftp" source code from http://redsand.net/code/linksys-tftp.tar.bz2
  3. Compile linksys-tftp for OS X
  4. Download a the official firmware for the WRT54GS from linksys.com: http://www.linksys.com/download/firmware.asp?fwid=207
    (Note: The link above is for the WRT54GS v1.0, today's earlier news item includes a link to the WRT54G v2 router (not GS) which was recently updated.-Mike)
  5. Unzip the firmware and rename the .bin file code.bin
  6. Go to System Preferences --> Network and assign yourself a 192.168.1.x address (or whatever range you set the router to previously)
  7. Run the linksys-tftp utility in Terminal
  8. Type "connect 192.168.1.1" ... If it's not 192.168.1.1, then it's whatever address you assigned previously.
  9. Type "put code.bin <linksys password>" the default password is "admin". If that doesn't work, try your previous password. DO NOT HIT ENTER.
  10. Power cycle the WRT54GS and wait until the first lights come on, then press ENTER.
  11. linksys-tftp should tell you if the transfer was completed. You should see the lights flashing on the WRT54GS. When the power light goes solid, the unit should be working again.

More info can be found these two links:
http://docs.sveasoft.com/SV-UpgradingFirmware.html
http://docs.sveasoft.com/SV-RecoveringFirmware.html

I'm recreating these steps purely from memory, so these specific instructions might not work. In all likelihood, though, Fred's WRT54GS is not dead.
For dead WRT54G units and not GS units, the recovery process might be easier since an "Auto-Upgrade Utility" is provided for Windows users. It's available on the same page as the new official Linksys firmware.
--Eugene "

I wrote Fred about Eugene's tips and he said he'd try this, but the LEDs indicate a corrupted firmware (per Linksys manual) and he's not confident he can even establish a connection to restore the firmware. (See his updated comments in the earlier news item below.)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Reader report on Belkin F5D7000 802.11g PCI Adapter (Airport compatible)
One of the readers that reported yesterday that Linksys' latest (version 4) WMP54G 802.11g PCI card was no longer Airport compatible (they changed the chipset apparently, it used to be Broadcom based) today wrote that he bought a Belkin model that uses the Broadcom chipset (Airport 3.1 and later compatible):

" Hi Mike, As a follow up to my email yesterday, I went out and got a Belkin F5D7000 card. (product page is here) I plugged it into the last available PCI slot in my Sawtooth (G4/AGP) Mac, and it is working flawlessly.
The nice thing about the Belkin card is that -unlike most other cards- you can see the Broadcom chip exposed on the board so you can tell immediately whether the card will work...
Thx, Iyad "

I've updated the FAQ's networking section item on Airport 3.1 and later compatible PCI/PC cards to include this info. If any other readers have used an 802.11G PCI adapter recently that's Airport compatible (i.e. broadcom chip based) - let me know for adding to the FAQ's listing. Thanks.
Lyad also wrote regarding the OrangeWare driver for Atheros chip based cards (see the linked page for a listing) that was mentioned here in January 2004 (also linked in the FAQ's networking section). Although there's a free trial download, it costs $15. (But worth it I guess if you already have an Atheros based card - I have not checked sourceforge for any open source (free) driver versions for those cards.)
Shortly after posting the above, a reader replied:

" Saw your post about the Atheros driver. Here's the most active open source project: http://sourceforge.net/projects/madwifi/
There's also a related project in FreeBSD. I understand that it's part of -current, and working well. NetBSD has had a driver for a little while, too.
HTH, Harry "
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Preview of ATI's new Mobility Radeon 9800
ATI has announced their latest notebook graphics chip, the Radeon 9800 Mobility which has pixel 8 pipelines and higher clock speeds than previous versions. See their features page for more details. Gamers's Depot has a first look at the Mobility 9800 today, with a few benchmarks results (supplied by ATI) of the 9800 Mobility but doesn't include any comparison scores of previous ATI/Nvidia mobile chips.
While on the subject - Nvidia today released their (PC) Unified Forceware drivers v61.77 that include better support for the 6800 series, support for DirectX 9.0c (released yesterday) and more. (I know some readers run Windows, so remember to create a system restore point before installing the DirectX update in case you see any backward compatibilty problems, since there's no going back otherwise.) (After seeing first-hand a (PC) 6800 GT card (which overclocked to Ultra speeds) running on an AMD 64 3400+ system, I can't wait until the Mac 6800 Ultra card ships in late August...)
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
OS X Flasher w/1.18 firmware (official and tweaked) for Pioneer DVR-107 Drives
Since posting the info on the 1.18 official firmware for the Pioneer DVR-107 series drives on July 12th here, the French site with the Pioneer OS X flashers (for 104-107 drives) has updated their downloads for the 107D model to include one with the official 1.18 firmware included (w/o any need to rename file extensions, etc.). See the download links at the bottom of the page at http://www.macetvideo.com/flashpioneerosx/flashpioneerosx.html
Scott also wrote there's a tweaked version of the 1.18 firmware (for higher DVD rip speeds, 8x burns on 4x media (not guaranteed) and region free):

" They have now released the "unofficial" (tweaked) 1.18 firmware for the DVR-107D & the DVR-107XL:

I have flashed my DVR-107D with the "unofficial" 1.18 FW with the new utility Flashit that I mentioned above with no problems. (Flashit is the script name in the download - the actual flasher is DVRFlash, also included in the french site download, but the ZIP file scott sent me had an older dated version of it from comparing the dates/file sizes.)
I have not had a chance to actually use it yet though.
-Scott "

He also sent a link to Hardware Monitor, a utility that reads/reports the various temperature sensors in modern macs. (As I mentioned earlier this year, I use the free XRG (X Resource Graph) which also includes that feature among others (including disk and networking monitoring). The G5's CPU temperature reporting is not really accurate though as XRG's author mentioned in past posts here - it reads sensors adjacent to the CPU, so the reported temps are lower than the actual CPU junction temperature.

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
G5 Owner report on different Optical Drive Standoffs for Sony vs Pioneer drives
Yesterday a G5 owner reported problems with his replacement (retail bought) Pioneer DVR-107 drive working properly with the G5's CD door/cover. I asked if he removed the drive tray front bezel (which is required before installing an optical drive in the G5 - otherwise the tray hangs on eject) and he said yes.
He mentioned that his system originally had a Sony OEM DW-U10A drive (early G5s with 4x rated drives shipped with either the DW-U10A or the Pioneer DVR-106 typically) and that the standoff/screws on the base of the drive are different for the Sony drive vs the Pioneer drives which was why his Pioneer drive swap had problems.
Although I had seen the Apple G5 CIP page guide for Optical Drive swaps (posted last fall in the G5 section of the FAQ here), I didn't notice the comment in that PDF doc about different screws (standoffs basically) between the Sony and Pioneer drives. (I'm guessing they're different heights, due to different drive tray heights).
He later wrote he's ordering the proper screws/standoffs for the Pioneer drive models from Apple. Just posting this as a FYI to anyone with a G5/OEM Sony drive that is planning on swapping in a faster drive. I've updated the FAQ's G5 section item ("I installed a new Optical drive in my G5 and the tray is jamming on the case") for this info also.
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Firmware updates for Linksys WRT54G
Scott also wrote today regarding firmware updates for Linksys WRT54G routers (don't own them personally):

" For the owners of the LinkSys WRT54G & WRT54GS, LinkSys has released new FW for it:
http://www.linksys.com/download/firmware.asp?fwid=201
(Note that linked page says it's for the WRT54G version 2, they have a different page for the WRT54GS w/speedbooster v1.0 firmware that was last updated in March 2004.-Mike)
More interesting however is the Firmware release that is going to occur today for these routers. I am not sure if you have heard about this guy, but he is writing some incredible FW for these routers. I will provide you with a link to his site so as to give you a sense of what this is all about. You may have already heard of him, I just thought that I would mention it.
See this Sveasoft forum thread (titled "Turbocharge your router".)
-Scott "

Here's the first reader report on the Sveasoft firmware Scott mentioned above - but not clear if he used a stable build or a beta:

" I used the Sveasoft firmware for my new WRT54gs (as mentioned in todays news) and the router is now shot. I was aware it was a use at your own risk ; always had no problems with Linksys firmware updates for other routers. $79.99 down the drain.
Fred
(I asked him for more details (system/OS used to flash, etc.) and what troubleshooting he had tried)
I used a PC (windows XP), and I received an upgrade completed message. Have tried reset multiple times to no avail; cannot even connect to it via LAN port ( cannot get through using the webconfiguration utility. Followed directions listed in the manual to directly connect so the cables are in the correct location, but no connection to internet to allow me to configure.
Still trying..
(he later wrote in reply to the question on what version he used and if he had an OS X system to try the recovery tips Eugene listed above)
Yes, I have a PB G4 and Powermac G5. so I'd appreciate receiving the Linksys FTP utility. I believe I used the only version available for the WRT54gs (speedbooster version) and I think it was ver. 4.0, but it was the only one avaiable for the specific model of router. According to the manual the fact that the power light keeps flashing indicates corrupted firmware; I cannot connect to the router (following directions in manual) so I can't configure the router (even after long resets). I doubt that there is a fix for this via software, since the router is essentially not able to receive any information.
I am sure that Sveasoft is high quality, but I wanted to mention what happened to me. As you said, if it isn't broken then don't fix it.
Thanks, Fred "

See the later reader comments/tips on what may have went wrong (you have to wait after the update for the firmware to be flashed) which also includes tips on recovery. Fred's original comment on no problems with linksys firmware reminds me of the golden rule - "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". If anyone else has used the Sveasoft firmware, let me know. (Please note if you've used the stable or beta/pre-release builds and what router/version you're using. Thanks)
Another user of the sveasoft firmware wrote with an opposite experience:

" You might consider asking him WHICH version of the Sveasoft firmware he tried to upgrade to ... one of the "Stable" releases, or the just-released, feature-laded "prerelease, unstable, alpha version" (also known as 'the Alchemy build')?

in either case, for me the stable versions ARE as stable as a rock ... and the 'risky, alpha' version -- despite an install blip this morning due to a bad build -- is one impressive bit of evolution/progress over the "stock: Linksys software.

also, the Sveasoft support forums are an amzing place to ask questions, and more often than not, get immediate answers. i wonder .. did 'Fred' go there for guidance first?
bottom line? Sveasoft's software seems to be just great for 1000's (!) of _other_ users. unfortunately, its always the 'squeaky wheel' that gets heard ... and a headline.
richard "

The headline was about the firmware release, but I always welcome reports - good and bad - on any update. (Since I do not own one of these routers to try the firmware personally.) I don't regret posting his experience in case there was some sort of common problem with a new version of the firmware. And also to show that not every update is a sure thing for everyone.

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Another Revolution 7.1 Audio PCI Card/Game Audio Problem (w/workaround)
I've updated the M-Audio Revolution 7.1 PCI Audio card feedback/tips page with another reader report on problems with a recent game (007 Nightfire). Switching to the onboard Audio in the System Sound prefs is a workaround (which should also work for the Tron2.0 owner that reported a problem yesterday.)
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
More info on Doom3 (Mods, image quality/audio/performance/drivers)
There's a forum thread at fpscentral that has a list of Doom3 Mods in the works. ID programmer Robert Duffy recently updated his Plan File that discusses the various image quality modes/settings in Doom3 and the memory (system and graphics card) requirements for each mode. Also includes notes on audio in the game. (I meant to post this yesterday but it got lost in the shuffle.)
While on the subject, in response to the ID Doom3 benchmarks (ATI vs Nvidia cards), Nvidia issue a press release yesterday that the "GeForce 6800 Ultra and GeForce 6800 GT Chips Proclaimed Best for Doom3". The PR links to the previous article with the initial Doom3 benchmarks comparing the 6800 Ultra/GT models to the ATI X800 Platinum/Pro cards.
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Version 1.2 of Mac Graphics card Overclocking Tool (ROM modifier)
A reader sent a note he's posted a page with v1.2 of the MB Toolkit. (Used to Modify the Mac graphics card ROM file for overclocking Nvidia and ATI cards - requires reflashing the card rom of course.) Like any OC'ing utility, YMMV.
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Alsoft comments on using PlusOptimizer on Panther Drives
(from a reader email)

" Mike, I read an article over the weekend that inspired me to contact Alsoft regarding their long awaited native OS X version of Plus Optimizer and using the present version correctly with Panther and this is what was sent back by Mike Rogers, with special attention to the last paragraph
-Matthew C.

" In order to use PlusOptimizer you will either need to start your computer under OS 9.x or start your computer in FireWire Target Disk Mode and connect it to another computer that is capable of running OS 9.x. To start a computer in Target Disk Mode you will need to hold the "T" key down at startup then connect it to another computer using a FireWire cable. Basically you are turning the computer into a FireWire drive.

Once you are started in Target Disk Mode you can connect your computer to another Mac running OS 9.x using a FireWire cable then run PlusOptimizer v1.3 from the other machine.

PlusOptimizer v2.0, our native X version, is currently in development. We have not set a release date for PlusOptimizer v2.0 but if you like you could add your name to our mailing list so you can be notified when the new version has been released. The mailing list is at http://www.alsoft.com/listmanagement.html.
Mike Rogers
Alsoft Technical Support
www.Alsoft.com "

Earlier this year I stopped running repair permissions after -every- OS X update (after the problem with 10.3.0's install script bug which didn't create some users resulted in broken printing if RP was run - see FAQ's OS X section for info on that and a fix for it), however Matthew is like a dog with a bone about it (RP has fixed some problems in the past and I still run it occasionally/when *troubleshooting* and often after driver updates like ATI's). While on the subject of OS X maintenance, although there are other GUI based utils (search VT or MU, some free) - I use Cocktail which does RP, runs Cron scripts, pre-binding/forced re-binding, cache clearing (system and internet) and much more. (My only feature wish list for it would be to add the ability to scan and detect/delete corrupted prefs files.) Matthew also wrote about a page with OS X troubleshooting and maintenance tips which of course lists RP as the first thing to run. Apple also has an excellent Troubleshooting guide for OS X startup problems linked in the FAQ's OS X section here (the FAQ also covers tips and solutions to many OS X problems over the years.)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Apple Knowledge Base Doc Updates
(from apple's mail list this morning, many duplicates from yesterday's list)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report this morning (entry from Monday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,476. Here's a summary of the report added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

(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.)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 5 new reports added this morning. (Reader entries from Monday, 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 13,363 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)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) LG GSA-4082B used w/PowerBook G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn II for Panther burn support and the tip for external drive burns in iDVD from the FAQ's DVD section.)
  • Firewire (cased) Pioneer DVR-107D used w/Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (native burn support in 10.3.3 and later, FAQ's DVD section has OS 9.x burn support file and tip/trick to burn from iDVD to external drives.)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE (using Serial ATA PCI card) Maxtor 250GB (x2) in (MDD) Single G4 DDR (OS X 10.3)
  • IDE (serial ATA onboard) Maxtor DiamondMax Plus II 250GB in G5 Tower (OS X 10.3) (Noted a wake from sleep problem with the drive, which he said caused data loss)
  • IDE Toshiba MK4025GAS 40GB in PowerBook G3 wallstreet2 (OS X 10.3)
    (PB G3 1998/wallstreet illustrated HD install guide here
    illustrated Pismo HD install guide here - lombard model is similar.)

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.)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top


OWC XYM SPECIALS!
(Ad/Sale items)

= UPGRADES by Mac =
Upgrades just for
YOUR Mac!

= Refurb Mac Pros =
(Click for List)

SSDs from under $50!
Fast SSDs for Most Macs/PCs

= ThunderBolt =
Drives, Docks & More

= HARD DRIVES =
Up to 12TB HDDs
HGST, WD, Seagate, Toshiba

= 2.5in HDs & SSDs =
Notebook Hard Drives and DIY drive/case kit bundles

= MEMORY =
Lifetime warranty RAM Upgrades!

= OPTICAL DRIVES =
Internal and External Superdrives/Blu-Ray drives

= VIDEO / DISPLAY =
Graphics cards, Displays, Adapters, Cables & more

= AUDIO ITEMS =
Interfaces, Cables, Software, Speakers, Headphones & more

= SOFTWARE =
Apps, Utilities, OS, VM, Games and more

= WIRELESS =
WiFi and Bluetooth Devices/Adapters/More

= Repair Service =
for iPhone, iPad, Macs

= iPad/iPhone/iPod =
Accessories, Cases, Repairs & More

NuGuard iPhone Case *Extreme* Drop Tested!


XLR8YourMac T-Shirts


 
= back to www.XLR8YOURMAC.com =


= Other Site Topic Areas =
Mac Mods/Upgrades | CPU Upgrades | Storage | Video | Audio/HT | OS Updates/Network | Recent


Copyright © 1997-2017. All Rights Reserved.
All brand or product names mentioned are properties of their respective companies.

Legal: Site Privacy and terms/conditions of use.