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News Archive for: 6/28/2001 Thursday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

Top stories of 6/28/2001:

Quicktime 5.02 Update Available:
John Fowler wrote that there's a QT 5.02 update available now:

" Mike:
Haven't seen this posted yet, but the 5.0.2 update is available. As expected, the most important feature is the much-anticipated return of the Sorensen 3 codec.
John "

If any Final Cut Pro 2 users can comment if this update helps with some of the previously reported issues like Firewire batch capture, etc. (past reader reports here) please let me know.

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Authoring Support 1.1.2 Update:
This may be old news, but I just noticed there's an Authoring Support 1.1.2 update listed at Apple's recent software downloads page (North American English version dated 6/26, Intl. English version dated 6/27). With Apple's new software update web site changes, you're required to log-in to access the download page. (Or use the Software Updates control panel if you have the previous version of software installed). Here's a copy of the readme file for the 1.1.2 update:

" About the Mac OS 9 Authoring Support Plug-in Update v1.1.2
Important: The update requires that Authoring Support Update 1.1 be installed

This document contains important late-breaking information about the Authoring Support Plug-in Update which supports burning CDs when running iTunes and Disc Burner in Mac OS 9.

This update adds compatibility for the Que! Fire 16x10x40x drives which use the Teac or Plextor drive mechanism, the VST 8x Bus Powered FireWire CD-RW drives which use the Teac drive mechanism as well as the Logitec12x10x32 LCW-P1210BF. CD-R drive manufacturers often use several different mechanisms in the same CD-R product. The above drive models and mechanisms are the only new combinations tested by Apple. For more information about identifying the firmware and mechanisms of your CD-R drive, see the Apple Technical Information Library article at: http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n60849.
For the complete list of supported external FireWire and USB CD-R drives, go to the Apple CD-R Compatibility Web site at http://www.apple.com/itunes/compatibility/. "

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Diablo II Expansion Pack Hits Retail Stores:
" Hey Mike, I haven't seen this on your site, so I thought I'd send a note. [Diablo II] Lord of Destruction actually started showing up on store shelves last night. I picked one up at Fry's Electronics here in California.
I installed it on a B&W G3 550MHz with an ATI Radeon PCI and it works great.. -Dave"

(It's a dual platform CD that works for both Macs and PCs.)

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Notes/Warnings/Tips on Dedicated OS X Swap File Partition:
Yesterday's news had a reader report on improved performance with a dedicated swap file partition in OS X. Two readers replied to that post with a note about an issue to be aware of based on a post in the darwin mail list. One reader also noted a workaround to address this issue. See this page for details.
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First Mac ATA/100 PCI IDE Card Spotted:
A reader sent a note that Miglia has a product page listing a Mac Alchemy ATA/100 PCI IDE controller. There have been rumors that Acard has one planned but this is the first product page I've seen for a Mac ATA/100 card. Their where to buy page doesn't list any USA sources/distributors however.
Remember that currently no single IDE drive (even ATA/100 models) sustains near the ATA/66 (66.6MB/sec) limits, but it's still good to see a Mac ATA/100 card making it to market and it might show better performance perhaps in RAID configurations (requires Softraid software however since the card is not a hardware RAID card).
If any readers get their hands on one of these cards please let me know how it performs and if there are any compatibility issues. (Miglia notes OS X compatibility as well as OS 8.6-OS 9.x on the product page as well as a listing of compatible mac models.) A photo of the Alchemy ATA/100 card is here.)
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Airport Base Station Ventilation Mods Article:
One of last night's Other Net News links from Barney included a link to a site we've noted before in the news and still in the FAQ's networking section. The author originally noted how he repaired an Airport Base station's capacitors that failed and he's now added more info such has how he modified the Airport Base's housing for better ventilation to reduce heat, which might extend the life of the internal components (esp. if the unit is left powered 24/7). I had previously drilled a vent hole in the top center at the "peak" point of my base housing as well as adding some ventilation holes to the bottom and adding taller "feet" to improve airflow. He went a lot farther however and added many more in his illustrated article.

Of course any mods to the Airport base voids the Apple warranty.

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PowerLogix Bluechip PowerBook Upgrade Notes on Drive/ROM Flashing:
There have been some reports of problems in the past noted in the Rate Your CPU Upgrade database from Bluechip owners that had replaced the PB's hard drive. Not all owners reported a problem but some did. A Bluechip owner sent an email with comments from Powerlogix on the issue:

" Here is the response from Powerlogix support on the problem a few computers have installing the upgrade:

    David,
    since we last exchanged email, our engineers and software people have discovered that the problem you (and a very few others ) experienced is due to a quirk of some ( but not all) of the PowerBook G3 computers. Your solution addresses the issue exactly: to install the BlueChip, the HD must be 6GB or smaller, or there must be a 1st partition on the drive smaller than 6 GB, with the startup OS on that first partition.
    We are currently devising a new ROM flash application which will eliminate the problem.
    As with any new hardware upgrade, there have been unanticipated detours, and reports from our always clever and savvy customers are very valuable to us in resolving such issues.
    Thanks for the update, and if we can be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us.
    Regards
    John Landis
    Tech Support

Now if they could define how much thermal grease is needed, everyone would be happy.
David "

As noted in my Bluechip G3/500 review install page (step 7), don't apply a lot of thermal compound, as it's only for filling in any imperfections in the two mating surfaces (the CPU core and the heatsink). you don't want a thick layer. I applied a small amount and then pressed down on the "disc" heatsink and moved it in a circular motion to make sure there was no excess buildup of compound between the heatsink and CPU chip.
Some Bluechip owner reports in the database here noted that they had no problems with larger/replacement drives, but some did. I can only guess there are different revs of the hardware or firmware that might be a factor. (David later sent an email noting that Powerlogix has updated their Bluechip downloadable PDF file manual to add the above info in the "troubleshooting" section.)

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More Reader Comments on Legality of Open Source DVD Players:
Yesterday's news had another note on a open source DVD player that had a OS X version in progress. Later that day another reader wrote noting some legal issues with these freeware players. Today I received another reader mail with comments on the legal issues:

" Hi Mike, Satoru again.
I have great reservations regarding the reader comment on the legality of open source DVD players...

Perhaps the MPAA and DVD CCA want CSS decryption to be completely and unequivocally illegal, the issue is certainly, very equivocal. If I remember correctly, I don't even think the DeCSS trial has been fully resolved (let alone any other CSS decryption schemes).

some great sources to read about the issue:
www.lemuria.org/DeCSS/
www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/DeCSS/
www.opendvd.org/journalists.php3

And even if it does (God forbid) become completely and unequivocally illegal in the US, will that apply to any and all other countries?? (videolan.org is a French site). "

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Reader Request - Any PCI USB Cards That Support Deep Sleep?
I've not used any PCI USB cards in G4/AGP macs that support deep sleep mode. (Many/Most PCI cards of any variety don't support deep sleep). I suggested he contact the mfrs of USB PCI cards to ask if they support deep sleep, but if any reader has a G4/AGP system and knows of a USB card that supports it let me know.
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Apple Software Updates to Knowledge Base Migration Tips, Helpful Articles, keyword searching :
Apple's Manager of AppleCare Web Publishing sent another email with more details and tips on the recent migration of Apple Software Updates to the Knowledge Base.

"Apple Software Updates to Knowledge Base Migration Tips, Helpful Articles, keyword searching

1) Apple ID is required for the knowledge base as it has been for discussions and the new My Info area (access to change profile, products registration, agreements, support cases history and check repair status) Login is only required the first time as a cookie (named Apple ID) is stored in your browser. After that, as long as the cookie remains, no login is required. Discussions and later Knowledge Base have required cookies and Apple ID for nearly a year.

Apple abides by a privacy policy: http://www.apple.com/legal/privacy/ and you can easily control email and postal mail from Apple and third parties.

For browser, JavaScript and Cookie requirements, check our Support Help page at: http://www.info.apple.com/support/support_help.html

2) In terms of searching for software downloads, we provide a couple of general pages and a a few keywords.

- For recent software downloads, go to:
http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n75150
(asu.info.apple.com redirects to a static version of this article for now.)

- for a general overview of Apple Software Downloads, check this article:
http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n60858

- The keyword for searching for all software downloads is kbdload - Use the Expert search to quickly obtain a list of software downloads or combine the keyword with other text (mac os, imac, firmware, etc.)

The expert search page is at:
http://kbase.info.apple.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/kbase.woa/wa/expert

- the keyword for searching for Mac OS related updates is ksysupdate

Further information on constructing searches in the Expert Search Page, along with a complete list of all keywords is available at:
http://www.info.apple.com/help/knowledgebase/advanced_help.html or by clicking on the Help button in the Knowledge Base.

3) A list of updated articles by date may be obtained in the knowledge base by searching by a given date on the Expert Search Page. For example, searching by 6/27/01 will present a listing of all articles created or updated on that day."

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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 7 new reports today (total to date: 5,880). [Entries after midnight eastern time are added the following day.]

  • Daystar 604e/200 in 7500/100 (rated 8)
  • Metabox G3/320 in APS PowerTools Clone (rated 9)
    (listed under "Other Mac Models")
  • Newer Tech G3/366 in Beige G3 (rated 2)
    (another report of the L2 cache not working)
  • Powerlogix G3/366 in Umax S900 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 9500/180MP (rated 6)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3 466 ZIF in PowerTower Pro 200 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3 500 ZIF in PowerTower Pro 225 (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 6 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 4,101 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 database updates included reviews of Heavy Metal FAKK2 and Myst III Exile. Total Reviews (all titles): 781. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. (If your game title is not in the long listing, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News

    Apple TIL Updates: (none today)

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