News Archive for: Tuesday, June 6th, 2006
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Flashing OEM G5 Sony DWU21A to Liteon SOHW-1653S (w/DL support)
(Several readers in the past have reported on cross flashing drives, but not sure if any were this same model, so posting as a FYI. The linked page of LiteOn/Sony models is a good reference also for owners of other OEM Sony drives)

" my PM G5 Dual2 came with a Sony DWU21A a relabled Liteon. (Overview of LiteOn/Sony DVD-Writers)
With a help of a PC I flashed it to a LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1653S Firmware CS0P.
Now the drive supports double layer DVD up to 4x +DL.
http://www.liteonit.com/global/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=26&Itemid=67
I haven't tested 4x +DL dvd yet - only 2.4x +DL.
In 10.4.6 the Liteon works flawlessly in Finder and Disk Utility. No need to use Pachburn. (unlike previous OS's, Tiger has basic iApps burn support for most any drive w/o needing a patchburn profile-Mike)
iDVD5.01 needs a patch to enable DL support. (same patch linked in the FAQ's DVD section in spring 2005 - iDVD 6 reportedly supports most DL drives without any patches, unlike iDVD 5.0x which only showed the 8GB Project option for "Apple Supported" drives unless patched)
I'm using the Liteon drive for 6 months without any problems.
happy computing JF "
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IOGear's BOSS (Broadband Office Storage System)
(updated with reader comment/question on networked drive performance)

" This is a great site and has helped me on more than one occasion. I recently bought a bare (no drive) IOGear BOSS (Broadband Office Storage System) from Computer Geeks and stuck an 80GB Seagate drive in it.
The BOSS is a combination router (10/100) and hard drive case that you can configure as a network storage device. The documentation states that it works with Windows 98SE, ME and XP. It also says that it will work with OS X (10.2 or greater) and can be set up for "Unix-like Platforms". It's configured by using Explorer 6.0 for the Windows people and Explorer 5.2 for OS X for Mac.

What I've found out is that it will work with OS 9 (yes I still use it occasionally) and Explorer 5.1. In fact that's how I configured it using the built in software on the BOSS.

It supports up to a 200GB drive and has a bunch of nice features. Check out IOGear's web-site BOSS product page for more information.
-Michael J. "

I wonder why it's limited to a 200GB Drive. (If the drive interface didn't have 48bit addressing it would be limited to 137GB drives. Unless it's a power supply limitation, but then the difference in power usage between some 200GB and 300GB or more drives may be small - but I've not checked the specs lately.)
Update - a reader replied to this post with a note/question on networked drive performance:

" Hi Mike, Recent comments about this product (the BOSS) from "Michael J." and my experience with one owned by a friend, prompted me to ask if "Michael J." found its network speed acceptable?
The one I used via a 100Mbps connection into several PCs and a 2HGz G5 was slow as smoke, not much faster than a 3Mbps DSL connection. My friend didn't have any utilities that would allow checking the IOGear BOSS's speed, so I can only give you the 3Mbps DSL analogy.
What is the real world speed of this networked drive via 100Mbps connections? IOGear's web site didn't state any performance numbers.
-Rod
(Retired, founder and president of the ASTEC Company, Inc.)"

I wrote Michael to ask about that and he replied:

" Yes, I'd have to say it's a tad slow (1.380952 MB/s). That's just a rough calculation based on transferring 1.16GB in approximately 14 minutes. (Info taken from finder transfer dialog box.)
Then again I'm using it on a small home network consisting of 4 desktop computers and occasionally my PB3400. Speed isn't really an issue for me. I'm more of a hobbyist than a power user.
-Michael J. "
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More Feedback/Examples of Alum PowerBook G4 Finish Wear
I've updated the page on How's your Alum PowerBook G4 Finish Holding Up? with a photo and notes on finish worn through on the bottom from contact with surfaces due to the base's rubber feet missing.
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Other Net News/Misc. Software Updates

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CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 2 new reports added this morning. The database includes reports on DVD +/-R, CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 15,763 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Sony DWU21A (flashed with liteon firmware for DL support) in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4)
    (see copy of report in news above)

    DVD-ROM Drives:
  • IDE Matsushita SR-8174 in (clamshell) iBook (OS X 10.3)

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). If you've added a IDE, SCSI, Firewire or USB hard drive, CDRW, tape drive, etc. you can send me a report for adding to the database.

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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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