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.
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.
(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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