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News Archive for: 6/05/2001 Tuesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 6/5/2001:

PowerBook G4 DVD ROM Firmware Update:
One of Barney's software update links tonight included a DVD ROM drive firmware update download link for the PowerBook G4. The file is listed here. (english-north america version, if that matters.) You can also get it using OS 9.1's Software Update. Some PowerBook G4s may already have the updated firmware (the installer will note this.)
Here's a clip from the readme file.

" PowerBook G4 Titanium DVD-ROM Update
The PowerBook G4 Titanium DVD-ROM Update improves support for the insertion and mounting of optical media. The DVD-ROM Update places new firmware on the Apple DVD-ROM drive installed in PowerBook G4 Titanium computers.

Installation Requirements
Installation requires a PowerBook G4 Titanium with an internal DVD-ROM drive and Mac OS 9.1 or later version installed. This update is not for computers using Mac OS X. You must startup your computer using Mac OS 9.1 to use this update. "

See the readme file included with the update for installation instructions and troubleshooting.

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Microsoft Word Security Update: Macro Vulnerability
Microsoft Word98/Word2001 users should get the Security Update for Macro Vulnerability from Microsoft. For Office 2001 users, it requires the previous service pack 1 update for Office2001.
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A Glimmer of Hope for more Epson Printer Drivers for OS X:
As noted here before, many of us with Epson printers that are currently not supported in OS X are frustrated at the lack of official comments on what models they will be supporting in a future update, or some official status on drivers in progress. A reader noted in a forums thread on Epson/OS X support that there's a comment posted to Apple's OS X support forum that (if accurate) that sounds promising:

" Sorry I can't post a link, but in the official Apple OS X Support discussion threads an Epson engineer has posted that Epson is indeed in the process of writing OS X drivers for all their printers. They will post them as they are finished, but the target date for finishing all of them is the end of this summer. He goes on to report that management/legal has so far decided not to OFFICIALLY (i.e. post it to their own web page or include it in response to support requests) go on record promising anything firm about future OS X support. Unfortuantely the current business reality is that most big companies do not like to promise a feature that they can't currently deliver since that promise really opens the doors for getting sued if they encounter any delay in delivering on it. ."

I don't think any of us Epson owners expected all printers to be supported right away, but the lack of any status updates, or listings of what models were having drivers worked on was (is) frustrating.

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PowerBook G4, Magma PCI Expansion and SoundBlaster Live:
DevRel (of Creative Labs) posted a note in the forums here that he's used a Soundblaster Live card in a Magma PCI Expansion chassis with a Powerbook G4.
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PowerBook G4 and Hammerfall DSP PCMCIA Digital Audio card:
" I thought I should let anyone know who doesn't about the Hammerfall DSP, a PCMCIA Digital Audio card, and its performance with the TiPB as listed by the companies own site, www.rme-audio.com. This card represents a breakthrough in what kind of quality a mobile multitracking (26 I/O) studio can have and what size it can be with absolutely no consessions in either.

The company, which if you have heard of Steinberg's Nuendo-RME manufactures all of their hardware exept the obvious Apoggee stuff, posted performance notes with many different PC Laptops and the Tibook (attatched). RME was always mainly a PC centered German company, kind of like Steinberg, whose product works equally well for the Mac.

I thought it funny that their benchmarks placed the Tibook above all PC laptops, achieving the best latency than the rest. They advertize a latency (extremely important especially for playing software instruments and monitoring and headphone mixes) of 1.5 ms. Actually, the Tibook is the only one to acheive this without dropouts or other problems. Others acheive a respectable 3ms and some are even as low as 23 ms.
Thanks to the TiPB, we can carry around a very small rack and the laptop and have quality multitracking that meets or beats all DAW offerings on the market... for desktops.
Yeah! , Chandler"

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$99.99 VST Portable 3GB Drives:
(Note - this sale price was valid the day posted, but prices/availability can change at any time and these will sell out fast I suspect.) A reader report in the Drive Database noted that MacZone has a special offering VST superslim 3GB Firewire drives for $99.99 plus shipping. The page shows they are "due 6/15/2001", so not sure if they're waiting for more stock. (It almost hurts to see that price - I paid $329 including shipping last year for a 3GB model which I later replaced the hard drive inside as shown in this warranty voiding procedure.
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RAM Installation Guides for Many Older PowerBooks, PowerMacs:
A reader sent a link to this viking support page that has PDF (Adobe Acrobat) detailed guides for installing RAM in many older Macs (early Powerbooks to PB G3 series, and PowerMacs like the 7200, 7500, 8500 and 9500 - up to the Beige G3 series). Their 8500 guide is much better than my old 1997 8500 cache upgrade guide here.
For recent Mac models (iMacs, iBooks, Cubes, G4 Towers, PB G3/G4), Apple has a series of guides (even QT movies) on Customer Installable Parts (CIP), noted here in the FAQ.
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 6 new reports (total to date: 5,751). [Entries after midnight last night are added the following day.]

  • Newer Tech G4/400 in 9500 (rated 8)
  • Powerlogix BlueChip G3/466 in PB G3 Wallstreet2 (rated 8)
  • Sonnet G3 L2 (no speed listed) in Powerbase MT (rated 1)
    (Did not fit he said)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 6400 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/OWC G3/500 ZIF in PowerCenter 7300 (rated 9)
  • B&W G3/300 OC report

You can find these 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 Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 7 new entries added this morning. The database has reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 3,930 reports. [BTW - the drive database is not a place to post questions, it's for reports on drives you've used. For guides to drive installs, see the IDE, SCI or Firewire articles linked above and/or the FAQ. 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.]
You can find full owner reports by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
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.
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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News

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