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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 6/29/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!


Top stories of 6/29/2001:

Review of Apple's 17 Inch LCD Display:
Dieder Bylsma sent a review of Apple's 17" LCD Display.
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Reader Notes Improved Firewire Speeds after Firmware Update:
Several months ago there were many reports of "lost" RAM after applying the Apple firmware update (for G4/AGP, G4 Cubes, PB Firewire and iMac slotted drive models). The firmware update was said to provide "improvements to Firewire target disk mode, network booting, gigabit networking (on systems with gigabit hardware), and system stability". Reader Mike Kramer just applied the update to his G4/450 AGP system and noted improved firewire performance:

" After all the warnings, etc., I broke down and FINALLY updated my G4 firmware. I have a 450AGP. I checked RAM before and after (1.5GB from OWC), and it's all there. I was interested in seeing if FW performance improved, since the newer G4 533s achieve higher FW speeds with the same drive when I use it in the DV editting suite.
In a word, WOW.

I was getting writes of about 5.5-6MB/sec on both my OWC (compucable) portable 20GB (hitachi 4200rpm) and my OWC (macally) standard sized 80GB (Maxtor 5400rpm). I was getting slightly better reads with the large case drive, of 7MB sec, while the portable had reads at or below 6MB.

After the firmware update (4.1.8f5):
Portable (20GB): read 8.7MB/sec, write 7.6MB/sec
Larger (80GB): read 8.7MB/sec, write 7.1MB/sec

That's an AMAZING improvement, and on par with the speeds (for the portable) I was getting with the G4 533s. As always with me, these are real world speeds copying very large files and folders of DV files. I take the file or folder size (380MB for the file, 1.8GB for the folder) and divide it by the number of seconds it takes. Then I average the two numbers, though they were all within .2MB/sec this time. Before the update, the speed fluctuated within .5, so looks like FW is faster AND more consistent.

I have even achieved speeds of 5.5MB/sec copying from the portable 20GB to the larger 80GB, which is pretty damn good I think, compared to before.

And none of these drives have been optimized, defragged, whatever. They are both 75% to 80% full, as was the internal ATA/66 7200rpm Maxtor drive I was using. I would imagine that if the drives were clean, the speed might even go up more.

I will see if this combined with the QT5.0.2 fixes the batch capture FW issues I was having when capturing from the DV deck to a FW drive.
Mike Kramer"

Note that Mike's rates will seem low compared to ATTO's pure benchmark rates, which are always many times higher than you'll see in timed real world file copy tests. (This was shown in a previous Firewire review of the OWC elite case tested with 4 Macs in benchmarks and real-world file copy tests.)
If you've not applied the firmware update, I suggest you run DimmCheck or DimmFirstAid first to check your installed RAM. These utils are linked on our previous Firmware Updates Feedback page.

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PB G4 Owner Comments Final Cut Pro 2 Improved Performance w/QT 5.03:
One of my questions about the Quicktime 5.02 update was if it solved the previous issues some readers noted with Final Cut Pro 2.0 and Quicktime 5.01:

" Final Cut Pro 2.0 and QuickTime 5.0.2
After reading your article on the new QT update, I decided to upgrade my main FCP 2.0 machine (PowerBook G4/500/512MB/30GB) and finish a 5 minute program. The video import and print to tape worked flawlessly. Previously, I had dropped frames and would have to re-try the print to tape 3-4 times to get it to work. No problems today. Everything seems to work without a hitch. Logging tapes is now very smooth.
Lee Givens
Manager, Webcast Engineering "
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Sorenson 3 Codec QT Update for OS X:
" Mike,
I read about this elsewhere on, but thought I pass it along. There is an update for QT on OS X, but it's hidden. The instructions in the above link aren't quite complete, so here's what you do:
1. Select 'Quick Time' in 'System Prefs'
2. Select 'Update' tab
3. Select 'Install new 3rd-party QuickTime software'
4. Click 'Update Now'
5. The alert box will tell you no update is necessary, but...
6. Click 'Custom'
7. In the new window you'll see 'QuickTime Update' -- once selected, the description tells you it's the Sorenson 3 codec
8. Click 'Update Now'

The usual, no need to use my name.
(name withheld by request)"

I verified this on the PB G4/400 here and the update was there and installed following the above procedure.

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Reader Notes Beta OS X OrangeMicro Firewire Card Drivers Work Well:
" I have been anxiously waiting for these drivers, in fact, I was about to go and buy another firewire card. If you don't already know, OS X does not support Firewire on the Orangemicro product Orangelink. However, a new beta version was sent to me and so far works flawlessly. It sounds like it will be awhile for a full release of new drivers, mainly due to the enormity of other issues Apple is dealing with for OS X.
.. [you] Simply expand them, log in as the root user. back up the original files inside the extensions folder of the system folder and place the two new files inside the extension folder. After a logout you should have access to all of your dust-laden firewire peripherals. "

I've asked the reader how to get the drivers since I didn't see it listed on their OrangeLink Firewire Software updates page today and he replied:

" I had called Orangemicro for a while, but today when i called one of the service reps offered to send me the beta over e-mail. So i think if other readers have similar problems with OS X and the Orangelink card they should be able to call customer service and receive the drivers over e-mail."
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I Like this iMac 2 Concept Design:
A reader sent a link to acorncreative's idea of what the iMac 2 would look like. I really liked the looks of their mockup with a clear housing and wide-screen LCD. Check it out...
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Authoring Support 1.1.2 Update Comments on Toshiba Combo Drive Support:
Yesterday's news noted the Authoring Support 1.1.2 update listed at Apple's recent software downloads page. In addition to the readme file's notes on added support for Que! Fire 16x10x40x drives with Teac or Plextor drive mechanisms, the VST 8x Bus Powered FireWire CD-RW drives w/Teac drive and the Logitec12x10x32 LCW-P1210BF, a reader sent a note that the recent Toshiba IDE 8x8x Combo DVD/CDRW drive is now supported also.
" The recently released Apple Authoring Support 1.1.2 has added support for the Toshiba SD-R1102 drive as well as the SD-R2002 supported in the previous update (just look in the data fork of the "ToshibaCDR" file). Users with the SD-R1002 (4x4x24x4x combo drive) will still have to edit the data fork to support their drive, however. Not sure what other drives are now supported with this update, but hasn't been updated to reflect the support for the SD-R1102 yet.

The SD-1002 is the original IDE Toshiba 4x4 combo drive. For owner reports on this drive and others, you can search our Mac Drive Compatibility Database. (I've updated the FAQ's CDR section info on Toshiba support file mods to include the above comments.)

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B&W G3 Owner Report with TDK 24x/10x/40x IDE CDRW:
From one of today's Drive Compatibility Database reports.

IDE TDK VeloCD 24x/10x/40x
B&W G3 running OS 9.1
" I just bought this CD since I was desperate to burn a lot of CDs very fast. In theory, it seemed like a good idea, but after installation, I found that I couldn't get it to work due to lack of driver support. I assumed (never assume) it would work with Toast since other VeloCD mechanisms work.

Long story short, I can't get it to work internally or in my firewire case. Reads great, won't write. Are there any hacked or beta drivers out there?

(he later wrote)

I've tried it with iTunes (OS 9 and OSX), DiscBurner, Discribe, Retrospect, and Toast 4.1.3 (I haven't purchased 5/Titanium because it doesn't list anything from TDK as supported that toast 4.x doesn't support as well). All are the most current versions, but nothing works thus far.

The mac I'm using is a B&W G3 350 overclocked to 400Mhz, 1GB of ram. The burner doesn't work when put internally replacing the existing apple drive, or in an ADS Pyro Firewire case. In either setup, it reads discs perfectly well (very fast).

Incidentally, TDK wrote me back and said they plan to offer no Mac support for this drive. Do I have to wait for Roxio or Apple to write new software, or is there some way to get this thing working that I haven't thought of?
Evan R. "

The only other options you have not tried that I can think of is Toast 5.01+iTunes helper. (If Discribe v4.0 didn't support the drive.)

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Quicktime 5.02/Sorensen 3 Feedback:
Yesterday's news had a note that QT 5.02 was available. I've asked Mike Kramer to run some tests in Final Cut Pro 2 to see if it addressed the issues he noted here previously with QT 5.01 and am awaiting his results for posting here. Another reader however wrote with comments on the update:

" This isn't so about FCP and QT 5 issues, but Sorenson 3 is awesome!!!!
In a quick and dirty test of a QT compression I do here many times a week, Sorenson 3 is about 4 times faster when the settings are the identical. I specify a max data rate. The quality difference, especially at double size is amazing. The caveat is that Sorenson 3 needs more processor/video card horsepower. On my 8600/200 my 10 fps clips were only playing at about 5fps, but Sorenson 2 played at 10 fps. I have QT 4.0.1 still loaded on another machine, and it appears that it is not backwards compatible with QT4

Several readers wrote to repeat some past complaints about QT 4 pro keys not working in QT 5 depending on when the Key was purchased. As noted here previously and in this Apple TIL, QT 4 pro keys purchased before October 12, 2000 don't work as Pro keys for QT 5. (I also had to buy another key for QT 5, my 2nd Key purchase in about a year.)

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Reader Comments on USB PCI Cards and Deep Sleep:
Yesterday's news had a reader request asking if there were any PCI USB cards that supported deep sleep. Two readers replied to that post - one noting mixed results.

" Well, for sure the Belkin 4-port (Model F5U006-UNV) and the ADS 2-port (Model USBX-500) don't; I'll assume that since most other 4-port cards use the same Lucent chipset as the Belkin, they won't either.

I've been on this quest since I got my G4, and have emailed every manfacturer for this information. MOST have not responded, including Keyspan, Orange Micro, etc. A few have said "Huh? What's that?" and only ADS has actually given me an answer - NO.

Please let ME know if one is found. The manufacturer will be rewarded with purchases from every consulting customer I have.
--Scott S. "

Another reader noted mixed results with an ADS 4 port card:

" Mike,
I have found one card the supports the deep sleep function. It is made by ADS Technologies and is called the "Quad Turbo". It's a four port card that has four seperate USB channels (12mb each) and uses a Lucent chip. It supported deep sleep in my G4/400 (gigabit ethernet), but gave me a few problems........system would occasionally crash when waking up from sleep. It worked about 95% of the time. I eventually returned it to Circuit City and got a refund (it was $49.95) last week. I think I'll hold out for USB 2.0. Does not come with software - just requires OS 8.6 or higher and uses the built in USB drivers. Perhaps someone else would have better luck with it?
Thanks, Adam D. "

If anyone else has tried this card and can comment on it, let me know.

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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: 5,886). [Entries after midnight eastern time are added the following day.]

  • Powerlogix Bluechip G3/466 in PB G3 Wallstreet2 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G3/500 in 7500/100 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G3/350 in 9500/132 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF MPe w/OWC G3/333 ZIF in 8500 (rated 7)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/OWC G3/500 ZIF in 8500/180 (rated 10)
  • Beige G3/233 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 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 4,111 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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Today's Active Forum Topics:
Click here to see a list of today's active topics on the forums.
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