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News Archive for: 6/22/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

Top stories of 6/22/2001:

GeForce3 Tests w/Quake 3 1.29f-2 OS X Beta and Classic 1.29 Beta:

Oliver's previous page of performance tests results with the Quake3 beta update has been revised to include results with the F-2 (sound fix) OS X beta and the Classic 1.29 beta released yesterday.
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Comments on ATI Rage128/Radeon Firmware Update included w/17 inch LCD Displays:

Yesterday's news had a note that the Apple ADC 17" LCD display includes firmware flashers for both the GeForce2MX card and the ATI Rage128/Radeon (OEM cards). I had one report from a Cube owner with Radeon OEM card that the flasher appeared to do nothing (clicked on it, but never saw it run or display any info). He was not running an Apple LCD display however, but not sure that would have mattered.
Another reader sent comments on the updater:

I saw the report on your page. We found at our store that our 17" display was unable to interpolate resolutions until we flashed the card. A Rage128 in a cube. When we would try to switch resolutions before running the updater, we got nothing but garbage video. I'd bet a dollar to a donut that that's all the updater is doing. Just my two cents.
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Quake3 1.29 Beta Classic Tests w/Voodoo 5 PCI:

Reader Ben Boffey sent results of his tests of the 1.29 beta Classic Quake3 update on his Voodoo5 equipped Beige G3 w/466MHz CPU upgrade.
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Sonnet Duet Dual G4 - Check Your G4/AGP Uni-N ASIC Chip Revision For Compatibility:
Sonnet's dual G4 CPU upgrade for G4/AGP Macs is listed as compatible with 3 PCI slot models (not the 2001 G4s with 4 PCI slots). They also note in an errata page that some early G4/AGP systems have revision 3 of the Uni-North ASIC chip which is not compatible with the Duet upgrade. See the errata page for how to use Apple System Profiler to check the ASCI revision. (Requires OS 9.1's Apple System Profiler.)
I wonder if those reporting problems running OS 9.1 after swapping in a Dual G4 Apple CPU module were related to the same issue (if they had a rev 3 or earlier Uni-N chip). To run OS 9.1's Apple System Profiler to check this, they'd may have to swap back in the single CPU module if the dual will not run OS 9.1 reliably.)
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OS X 10.0.4 Update Reader Feedback (Updated):
I've gotten some reader comments on the OS X 10.0.4 update released yesterday. Two Beige G3 owner noted the audio issue with internal/external speakers was fixed (another noted there's still a problem but the previous user fix solved it). Some users noted improved performance (one reader timed some tests including Quicktime movie playback). One reader noted he's no longer able to connect to a Sun box after the update however. [Updated to include reader tip for this issue.]
Also included is a reader tip on how to list all the changed files and links to Apple TILs on OS X 10.0.4. DETAILS
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Reader Report on HP DVD/CDRW Combo Drive:
Ever since HP released a combination DVD/CDRW drive a few months back (athough pricey at $349 list), I've wondered how the drive would work in a Mac. One of today's drive database updates included a report:

HP cd-writer dvd combo 9900ci (IDE)
B&W G3 running OS 9.1
" I bought this internal HP drive a few weeks ago, not knowing how compatible it would be with my B&W G3/450. So far, it works great. The drive is an internal IDE CDR/CD-RW/CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive (12x10x32x8). I use it with Toast 5 Titanium to burn audio and data CDs. Not a coaster yet! And it burns very quickly.

Using a patched version of Apple DVD Player, the DVD playback quality is excellent with this drive. Audio playback is fine as well.

The downside:
So far, it's not compatible with iTunes for burning. iTunes sees the drive as a DVD-ROM, so it plays from it fine. I haven't tried Disc Burner yet, but I expect the results would be the same.

Also, although it will boot from a Mac OS X CD, it will NOT boot from a Mac OS 9 CD (can't figure this one out!).

One last niggle.
The Eject button on this drive protrudes ever so slightly too much. The effect is that, after placing a dsic in the drive and pressing the tray to insert, the blue latch door hits the button while closing, which causes the player to immediately eject the disc. The work-around is to hold the latch open, and let it close gently once the tray has receeded into the drive. I suspect that I could adjust the drive's position in the bay with a little fiddling, which might fix this problem. But I haven't tried yet.

Otherwise, I LOVE this drive. I wish Apple would simply add support for all MMC-compliant drives. The vast majority of today's drives, including HP's, conform to this standard. This is why the drive works perfectly with Toast. With a one-time effort, compatibility issues would be a thing of the past.
I paid $299 at With a current HP $50 rebate promotion, the total cost is $249 - a great deal IMO.
Sam Weiss "

It may not help but since Sam owns Toast 5 - I sugggested he try using iTunesHelper (available at ) to see if that will help iTunes work with the drive. As far as other combo drives, the Toshiba R1002 (4x4) drive seems the most Mac friendly based on past reports. (The faster R1102 8x8 model had a few recent reports also). There are also some reports on the 12/10/32+8x DVD speed Ricoh 9120A in the database, but it's not bootable in a Mac at least with pre-OS X CDs as I remember. The Samsung SM308 (8x4x32+8x DVD) is generally reported as bootable and cheap (under $200 generally) but somewhat hard to find. There are some database reports on this drive also.
[Update - a reader sent a note that has the HP 9900 drive today for $169. I seached and found the item listed for $168.95 today (June 22,2001) at *BUT* strangely as of July 8th 2001, the price there was over $350! (???). Check for their latest prices, since I've seen this happen before there. Details on the $50 rebate that expires 8/31/2001 is here.]

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Quake3 1.29 Beta Classic Update Feedback/Tips on Net Play:
Yesterday's news noted the Classic (non-OS X) beta 1.29 update to Quake3 was available. A few readers have commented on the update. A reader noted network problems were solved by increasing the ram allocated to the game as well as increasing the "com_hunkmegs" size. The details page has the comments and links to download the update. DETAILS.
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FirewireDirect FW/USB card/PowerMac 4400 Problem Report:
The Firewire/USB card owner comments page has an update from a PowerMac 4400 owner on problems experienced with a FirewireDirect FW/USB card.
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Reader Report on OS X Java DP1:
" JAVA and OSX
I found that the JAVA DP1 on fixes a problem w/ certain JAVA problems. In fact, one glaring problem was that JAVA in OS X had a bug in the Swing calls. That is, without this bug 'fix' JAVA graphic calls in Swing would give you a blank screen. After applying the DP1 release, my Java calls worked without a hitch.
Just a head's up...
Benson" is the Apple Developers site and requires a login/membership. (It's free to join however.)

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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 4 new report today (total to date: 5,847). [Entries after midnight last night are added the following day.]

  • Powerlogix Bluechip G3/466 in PB G3 Wallstreet2 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 7300/132 (rated 8)
  • Sonnet G4/400 in PowerTower Pro 225 (rated 5)

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 10 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 4,071 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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