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News Archive for: 6/08/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!


Top stories of 6/8/2001:

Shockwave 3D Exporter Beta for Lightwave 3D 6.5B:
" I just wanted to let you know that we have public beta version of our new ShockWave 3d exporter available for download. It will work with LightWave 6.5b and is available for Mac and PC. Most of our demonstrations were designed and done on a Mac.
Here is a link to the page, along with info about a discussion forum we set up for feedback.
Thanks and have a great weekend!
David Tracy
LightWave 3rd Party Manager"
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Reader Tip on iDVD/SuperDrive Burn Errors:

In reply to a post in yesterday's news about DVD-R burn errors in iDVD, a reader noted trimming extensions seems to have helped:

" Hi Mike, I had this same error the first two times I tried burning a DVD in iDVD. After checking around different sites to see what might cause it, I came to the conclusion that the processor needs iDVDĚS full attention so using Peek-a Boo, I checked what was consuming the processor cycles and found several things that I normally have running and I turned them all off and made a new extension set based on this. I also gave iDVD 256mb of memory.
After tuning off these extensions, I have never had any more problems burning DVD'S.
Hope this helps, Mark.
1.5gb ram
4-75GB IBM Ultra 100 ATA drives on a TempoRaid66 controller card"

I asked Mark what extensions were shown as using the most CPU cycles. (As a general rule, I always disable Multiple Users and any other extensions I don't need/use, such as Palm, USB device extensions I don't use/printer sharing, etc.)

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TechTV Report on Yamaha 20X IDE CDRW Notes No Mac IDE Support:
Today on TechTV they reviewed the new Yamaha Lightspeed 2200 (20/10/40) IDE CDRW drive. The reviewer commented that Yamaha does not offer Mac support for this drive as an internal IDE drive, although hinted that any future external models may be supported. (Yamaha's CDW2200 product page only lists Windows support.) The list price is to be the same as the previous 16/10/40 model ($249.95 according to TechTV). TechTV noted about a 10% reduction in burn times on a PC compared to the previous 16/10/40 model. What they did not mention is if the drive is like the previous 16x model - where the max write speed is only on the outer 1/3 of the disc. (The Yamaha press release on the CRW2200 seems to indicate that.)
For reader reports on the previous Yamaha models or other brands, search our Drive Compatibility Database.
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Another iDVD/Retail SuperDrive Report - DVDs work in Playstation2:
Wednesday and Thursday's news had reports/comments on using a retail Superdrive in a G4 tower. Another reader wrote about burning DVD discs with the retail drive and iDVD:

I got a chance to try and burn a DVD through iDVD last night with my retail SuperDrive in my DP G4 500. It was a very time consuming process. I started at about 6 pm working on preparing the movie files. The DVD that I was wanted to make had a bunch of QuickTime movie trailers, some music videos, and some of my own creations.

What I did this time was I exported the trailers into a DV stream and then imported them into iMovie. With iMovie 2.03 there is a new export feature that is for export to iDVD. I did that with everyone of my files. I came upon one movie file that would not allow me to export it to a DV stream, which may be why my first DVD burning attempt did not work because it had the copy protection embedded into it.
I finally got my DVD all set up through iDVD around 12:30 am and I started the rendering and burning process. I was so tired that I went to bed instead of watching how the progress was going.

At about 2:00 am it hear my DVD drive try spit open, I thought oh crap I ruined a DVD, instead it said that your DVD is ready. I was in shock, I really didn't think that it would work. Then came the first test, I inserted the DVD back into my drive and it saw that it was a DVD and opened my Apple DVD player, good sign. I then saw my menu that I created and I was able to view everything.
Now the real test came, I took the DVD to my Playstation 2 to see if it would work. Lo and behold it did. I was so excited that I danced a jig of joy, it was 2 am I wasn't thinking too clearly :-). So the moral of the story is that iDVD will work with the retail SuperDrive, at least it did for me. Too bad I am here at work or else would go back to sleep...
-Steve "

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Reader Report - Quicktime 5.01/FCPro Capture to Firewire Drives:
" Mike,
I wanted to update my earlier report of dropped frames during batch capture using FCP 2.0 and FW drives (both the OWC 20GB portable and their cheap 80GB model). I have even noticed a distorted frame here or there under capture now, but now KNOW it is a problem with QT5, and not FCP or the drives.

In my opinion, QT5 is a beta2 product, even under 5.01. Whenever an "update" breaks features that worked before, it can't be considered finished in my book. I don't know why Apple didn't wait to release it. FCP professionals have told me that QT5 is buggy, and this is a symptom. It can work fine, but then, things go wrong. Other oddities besides batch capture problems and poor control of the Canon XL1 are losing sound in FCP, having to reset settings to get it back, and sever loss of sync between picture and sound. This isn't a timebase issue like it used to be. This is just the sound decoder getting behind the picture. It doesn't happen all the time, and the same clip can exhibit it once, then be fine if you close and reopen it. None of these things happened under FCP1.2.5 and QT4, and all but the DV control are directly related to QT tools.

I still thought the dropped frames could be my drive speed and not QT5 because with QT5.01, the dropped frames don't occur to internal IDE drives, but then, today, I tried something I thought would surely fail. I capture directly from a FUSE card to the FW drive with my G4(AGP) 450. This is noted by many places as not the best of ideas, with dropped frames likely. Yet, it worked flawlessly. I have 5.5MB per sec clips, some 2GB large, with no dropped frames. I can play and capture to either FW drive at this rate. The busy light doesn't even stay fully lit! I am shocked and happy this works. That rate is 66% higher than DVs 3.4MB/sec, yet DV capture reports dropped frames and Fuse capture works fine.

Since this kind of capture doesn't use QT5 in the same way DV capture does (the card compresses the stream and then just writes to disk like any program, only using Quicktime as an interface), it is obvious to me that the FW to FW DV coding has some sort of error in it that Apple needs to fix.

So, I stand behind my full recomendation for both OWC FW drives, and hope Apple gets this issue straightened out. They are working on it based on the FAQ re: QT5.01, but they aren't there yet.
Mike Kramer "

(Note: Mike Kramer uses Desktop G4s for his DV work as noted in his previous comments on these drives. Powerbooks have lower Firewire rates than desktop G4s, but still adequate bandwidth for DV as noted in my previous FW article.) Apple has a TIL on Final Cut Pro: Dropped Frames Warning With Batch Capture that says QT 5.01 is supposed to solve the batch capture dropped frames issue with previous QT versions on PowerBooks and iBooks (using internal drives). It's interesting Mike Kramer could capture Analog video from the Fuse card to the FW drive fine, even with a portable drive. Mike Kramer's previous report on the OWC portable FW drive and his DV systems/hardware is here.
(For tests of the OWC Elite AC powered case kit tested on 4 Macs (two powerbooks, a G4/AGP system and a 9600/350 with PCI Firewire card) and compared to other drives, see this article.)

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More Comments on OS X Compatible CompactFlash Readers:

Yesterday's news answered a reader request for CF readers for OS X based on an Apple TIL titled Mac OS X Image Capture: Device Compatibility that lists the USB SanDisk reader as compatible. A few readers replied to that post with their experiences:

" Hi Mike. RATOC Systems' CF03 USB CF Reader works fine in OSX. Don't know if they're available in the US, though. Japanese Brand.
Satoru Murata"

" The SanDisk Imagemate model SDDR-31 works with OSX. It is listed on Apple's compatiblilty page they have another listed as well. I use the SanDisk and it works well with the exception of having to immediate pull the card out when you eject. If you don't it will remount. Supposedly, Apple and SanDisk are working on this problem.
-- Mark Neal "

" I use the SanDisk ImageMate (model SDDR-31) and it works beautifully in both Mac OS 9.1 and OS X.
Eric Westby
Director of Web Design & Technology
The Atlantic Monthly "

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Rumors of Ex-3Dfx Employees starting Graphics Card Company:

There was a post in the forums here about a (rumored) new company called 3Dpower formed by ex-3dfx employees (Nvidia hired some of them, but apparently not all.) Ray Swartz (ex-3dfx programmer, formerly of ATI) posted in the forums here that:

" I've been in touch with half-a-dozen former 3dfx employees. No one has heard anything about this. I am skeptical about the whole thing.
(Ray Swartz) "

Reader Peter Lederer sent a note that has a related story but with a correction noted regarding former 3dfx CTO Scott Sellers not being a part of any such company, so that's another indication this rumor is likely false, at least as far as any 3dfx tie-in. (A later post in the forums noted a company called 3Dpower may be selling GeForce3 cards. One reader made references to, but that site had so much flash content (over 200K download on one page) I almost gave up trying to view it with a slow connection.. Their site noted 3Dpower LTD was founded in February 2000 - long before 3dfx went RIP, and listed several nvidia chip based cards.)

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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:

The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports today (total to date: 5,773). [Entries after midnight last night are added the following day.]

  • Other World Computing G3/500 in B&W G3 (rated 10)
  • PowerLogix G3/400 in iMac (rated 10)
  • PowerLogix BlueChip PB G3/466 in PB G3 Wallstreet2 (rated 10)

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 13 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 3,958 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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More Reader Game Reviews:

Today's Reader's Rate their Mac Games updates included another review of Baldur's Gate. Total Reviews (all titles): 773. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review.
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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News

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