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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 6/26/2002 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of June 26th, 2002:

Western Digital Announces 200GB IDE Hard Drive
Western Digital has a press release today on their 200GB Caviar hard drive to be available in July. (thanks Douglas Trachta) Here's a clip from the press release:

"WD Caviar® 60 GB-Per-Platter Family Satisfies Today's Need for Speed and Capacity
LAKE FOREST, Calif., Jun 25, 2002 - Continuing to lead the 7,200 RPM market with its WD Caviar® family, Western Digital Corp (NYSE: WDC) today introduced the industry's largest capacity hard drive - its WD Caviar 200 GB 7,200 RPM product. This milestone marks the fourth consecutive first-to-market 7,200 RPM hard drive delivered by Western Digital - which was first to deliver 7,200 RPM hard drives in 80, 100 and 120 GB capacities.

WD Caviar 60 GB-per-platter 7,200 RPM hard drives will be offered in capacities ranging from 120 to 200 GB and will be available this July. To ensure quiet operation in noise-sensitive desktop/work station environments, Western Digital offers hard drives equipped with optional fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) motors. "

It's not mentioned in the press release, but I assume that like the 160GB Maxtor drive, to fully address the 200GB you'll need an ATA/133 controller. (Intech's Speedtools v3.5 drivers are said to allow fully addressing >128GB hard drives also - but not under OS X.)

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Charismac Cuts Price of AudioScribe to $9.95
Charismac sent a note they have reduced the price of their OS 9 direct-to-disk recording utility AudioScribe to $9.95. See their press release for more info.
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Alternative OS X Drivers for Umax Scanners
Several readers wrote in reply to the Umax OS X scanner support email below with alternatives such as the popular VueScan software and a note on a beta OS X driver from a non-USA Umax site.

"I have also spoke with Umax support in the US, several times about this subject. Because I am located in the Dallas area the tech line is a local phone number. The support staff also told me that they were not supporting OS X.
But after doing some looking around on the Umax web site I found beta Drivers for a few of the models. They have the VistaScan and MagicScan software, that support a limited amount of scanners.
To download:
http://www.umax.co.uk/support/default.htm.
Then choose śAstra 6400” scanner model and śMacOS for the OS
Mike V. "

Update - one reader sent a warning about running the beta Umax drivers - not sure his problems are typical, but just a FYI. The last Umax Magicscan beta driver post here was in Jan 21st and the above is probably a later version.
Another reader sent a reminder on using VueScan:

"Please mention VueScan works GREAT using X and the 6400 - it's far better than Umax's software EVER was! :>)
Jamie "

Vuescan is popular - it costs $40 to register a single-user license. See their Supported scanners page and MacOS release notes for more info.
(Reader David Stein sent a note he's posted a Mac tutorial for VueScan. Hopefully the iTools bandwidth limit won't shut it down.)

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OS X Kernel Panics After Monitor Wake from Sleep in OpenGL Games with ATI Driver Update
After a reader reported kernel panics when he let the monitor go to sleep and then woke it while running Medal of Honor Allied Assault after installing the ATI June 2002 driver update, I ran a test here on my system with another game and saw the same thing.
Granted it's very unusual for someone to let a monitor sleep (no activity for 5 min or more ) during gameplay - but it's definitely a problem I can reproduce here.
I set the OS X Energy Saver to sleep the monitor (after 5min) and ran Return to Castle Wolfenstein v1.32 (I don't own MOHAA yet) - after the monitor sleeps, waking it causes a kernel panic.
    "Panic(CPU 1): Mapping_Remove: attempt to unmap a permanent mapping...."

My system details:

  • OS X 10.1.5, ATI June 2002 driver update
  • DP533, Radeon 8500 (retail w/latest firmware)
  • 1GB RAM
  • No 3rd party addons/tweaks to OS X.

I tested for the problem while running Internet Explorer (no errors on waking monitor from sleep). I then ran Maya PLE with a sample scene loaded and also saw no errors on wake from monitor sleep.
I wrote ATI about this and they say it will be fixed in the next driver update. (It should also not be a problem in Jaguar/OS X 10.2.)
Again most gamers will probably never let the monitor go to sleep while running a game - but just posting this as a FYI.

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Reader Copy of UMax Email on OS X Support of Scanners
(from a reader's email - see later news post above for alternative drivers/software for Umax scanners and OS X)

"See the following for some disheartening news from Umax. Guess I'll be putting my Astra 6400 on eBay tonight and buying an Epson or HP.
-Eric S.
DFW TX
-----Original Message-----
From: Umax Technical Support [support@umaxcare.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 11:52 AM
To: Eric S.
Subject: RE: Mac OS X Support?
Question's about OS X Support: Will my Umax scanner work with OS X? What Umax scanners will work with OS X?

Umax Technologies, Inc. will support its current professional-grade scanners under Apple's new OS 10.X operating environment. The models included are:
PowerLook III
PowerLook 2100XL
PowerLook 1100
PowerLook 3000
Umax currently has made no commitment to supporting older professional models under OS X at this time. Also, no consumer-level (Astra models, or older consumer-level) scanners will be targeted for support under OS X.
Drivers for the current line-up of professional scanners are currently in Beta-Development and are not currently available to the public. Please continue to check our web site for updates to this information as it becomes available."

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Apple Repair Privileges Utility for OS X 10.1.5
(from a reader email last night)
"Mike,
Has anyone pointed this out to you yet? It's Apple's utility to restore permissions back to their defaults:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106900
So far, I've heard good things about it, though I haven't personally used it yet. I'm waiting for more people to try it before I give it a try.
Derrick "

Since my OS X installs are running fine, I'm leaving well enough alone. I did get a report from one reader that the utility reset permissions on literally all the files installed by the ATI June 2002 driver update.
Here's a clip from the Apple page on the utility:

About the Repair Privileges Utility
The Repair Privileges utility restores the privileges of Mac OS X system files and Apple-installed software to their default configuration. All previous modifications to the privileges of these files and directories will be lost. While this utility does not change permissions of third-party software (if third-party software has changed Apple-set permissions), that software may not work as expected after using the utility.
Use the Repair Privileges utility to resolve any of the following issues:

  • "An error of type -192" alert message in Disk Copy when disk images fail to become available.
  • "An error of type -108" alert message in Print Center when spooling print jobs.
  • "You are running Classic without superuser (root) Privileges" alert message when trying to start up Classic and the System Folder is blessed.
  • An Admin user cannot drag files to a folder to which they should have write access, for example, the Applications folder.
  • Files are unexpectedly locked and cannot be unlocked in the Finder.
System Requirements
Mac OS X 10.1.5 only

Important: Read Before Using
1. An Admin user password is required to use the utility.
2. The utility only repairs Apple-installed software that is located on a Mac OS X startup volume. Apple software that was not installed from .pkg archives will not be changed. This includes files that are created after installation, including user home directories.
3. The utility requires that the expected software receipt .pkg files exist in /Library/Receipts/. If any or all of these files have been removed, the Repair Privileges utility may not work or only partially repair your system privileges.

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Grafboard Performance Monitor Utility for OS X
(from the email press releases - updated for v1.1)
(Some users had a problem with Grafboard 1.0 not starting up properly on their system. Graphboard 1.1 is now available from the web site and it addresses this issue.)

"We're pleased to announce a new application in our series of Mac OS X utilities. This one has been created as a result of user requests. Grafboard provides a readout of system performance data via a series of real-time graphs. Areas monitored include CPU load metrics, memory statistics, network bandwidth, and disk I/O operations. The user can select how many graphs to display, the color for each graph, and which metric each graph displays. Each graph automatically resizes itself as the size of the window is changed.

Grafboard is freeware.
Grafboard is available from http://www.pepsan.com/grafboard/ "

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Conflicting 1.80 Superdrive Firmware Update Report
Yesterday's news had a reader's report on the 1.80 Pioneer Firmware update for the DVR-A03/103 drives that said it worked with the OEM (shipped in Macs) Superdrive. Another reader replied to that post saying the update refused to work with his OEM drive that had the original firmware. (Same thing as seen in the past.)

" Mike -
Just wanted you to know I had fun trying to get a PC to flash my Dual G4/800 Quicksilver's drive up to 1.80... A WinNT and Win2000 box wouldn't run the Pioneer updater, complaining of a missing DLL file. Finally found a Win95 box that would run it, but it wouldn't flash the drive - it did complain of it being APPLE firmware. So I used the hacked 1.68 region-free updater on a Mac, first - then plugged the drive back into the Win95 machine and it flashed up to 1.80, no problems.
I'm not sure if the person from the news post yesterday had already used the unsupported firmware updater or not, but the Pioneer firmware updater WILL NOT flash a straight Apple firmware drive.

Will post a drive compatibility report later on the 1.80 firmware as I get a chance to test it out. Seems to be working great so far.
Matt"

This is the same issue seen typically with previous Pioneer firmware updaters. (Note - I again wrote the DP800 OEM Superdrive owner who still says he his original Superdrive (w/1.44 firmware) was updated with the 1.80 flasher. He sent screenshots from Toast and ASP showing v1.80 and he said he never updated the original firmware previously.) The 1.68 region-free firmware is linked in the DVD section of the FAQ here. (Note: as with any firmware update - if something goes wrong during the flash the drive could be rendered useless.)

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Reader Comments on Dispute over Amazon $50 PShop Rebate
(from a reader email, posted as a FYI to others)

"Just thought I would let you know that a while ago Amazon had a $50 off rebate on their site for the Windows Photoshop 7 upgrade. When I emailed Amazon at the time they said it was offered for the Mac version as well so I ordered it. I emailed Amazon yesterday about the status of the rebate and they directed me to RebateStatus.com and when I went there it said that they couldn't process my rebate because my UPC code is not a valid code. I am assuming this is because it is the Mac version. I wanted to suggest that you post this on your site so that other people who also took advantage of this promo can contact Amazon as I have to get them to straighten it out with their rebate department. When I wrote Amazon I pasted in the email I got from Amazon telling me that the Mac version would apply to the rebate program.
Anthony "

Update - within an hour of posting this two readers wrote to say they checked their Mac Photoshop 7 rebate status and it was shown as being processed. Here's one of the emails:

" hi - i just checked my Mac P7 Amazon.com rebate at the rebatestatus.com and found this:

"We have received and processed your submission. You should receive your rebate or premium item soon. Please check back again to receive the date your rebate or premium item was mailed."

everything looks ok...
Nathan "

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Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo Graphics Card Performance Tests
A reader (thanks Vlad) posted a link to an anandtech article that tests several (PC) graphics cards using the UT 2003 demo. It's interesting to note that the revolutionary Matrox Parhelia graphics card does poorly in these tests, often running about equal to a Radeon 8500LE card in those tests.
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 10 new reports added today. The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 7,739 reports. Here's a summary listing of today's new reports. (Does not include updates to previous entries)

    Combo DVD+CDR Drive Reports:
  • IDE LG GCC-4120B (32x12x8 + 8x DVD ROM) in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
  • IDE Plextor 20/10/40-12A (20x10x40x +12x DVD ROM?) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (problems noted - only burned w/Toast, no DVD player support)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Pacific Digital Mach 24 (24x10x40) in Beige G3 (OS 9.1)
    (listed under "other" brands)
  • Plextor PX-W2410A (24x10x40x) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (interface unstable errors w/toast)
  • Ricoh RW7120A 16x12x24 in Dual G4 (OS 9.2)
  • Samsung S232B 32x10x40x used w/iMac (OS 9.1)
  • Yamaha CRW8424EZ (8x4x24x) in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
    (no itunes support noted)
    (FYI illustrated CD drive install guide here covers 8600/9600/Beige G3/B&W G3/G4s thru Digital audio)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM 120GXP 120GB in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (FYI Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD in B&W G3 rev2 to G4 Towers.)

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM Travelstar 30GN in Momobay CX-1 case used w/G4 AGP (OS 9.2) [updated report noting more problems]
  • Lacie 80GB used w/9500 (OS 9)

You can find full owner reports (latest shown first) by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the IDE Articles page. The Firewire articles page also has guides on case kits, installing drives, etc.
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. [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.]

(Entries today will be added the following newsday. Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports. (Total to date: 7,197). [Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning. Incomplete entries, those with no comments, missing info, etc. are deleted]
Here are the new entries (does not include update/added comments to previous reports):

  • Powerlogix G4/550 in B&W G3 (rated 10)
  • PowerLogix G3/400 in 7300/180 (rated 9)
  • B&W G3/350 OC report

(Warning - Overclocking may not be reliable and could lead to hardware failure or corrupted data.) You can find the 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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Reader Game Reviews Database Updated:
The Rate Your Mac Games database updates today included more reviews of Medal of Honor Allied Assault (2), Marathon, and Starcraft 1. Total Reviews (all titles): 883. 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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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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