News Archive for: Thursday, June 8th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Newer Tech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter (for IDE/ATAPI/SATA drives)
(from the email PR)

"Newer Technology Inc is proud to introduce the NewerTech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter, a single-source solution to allow any 2.5", 3.5", or 5.25" hard drive or optical drive mechanism with standard IDE/ATA/ATAPI 40 pin or any Serial-ATA interface to be plug-and-play accessible via USB.

Available for the introductory price of $24.95, the NewerTech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter provides USB 2.0 transfer speed up to 480Mbps.... the Universal Drive Adapter also is backwards compatible for operation via USB 1.1. ... Popular uses include file transfer after the upgrade of an internal hard drive, accessing data from stored backup drives, and interfacing with as-needed stored drives.

Each NewerTech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter includes all hardware necessary for the plug-and-play of supported 2.5"/3.5"/5.25" storage devices to any Apple/Mac or PC with an available USB port. No software is required for the use of the Adapter on any Apple/Mac computer with OS 8.6 or higher (including any version of OS X); a CD is included with the drivers required to use this product on Windows based systems. The NewerTech USB Adapter has been tested to work with all hard drive brands including Maxtor, Seagate, IBM, Hitachi, Samsung, Western Digital, and Fujitsu; optical drive brands including LG, Lite-On, Panasonic, Pioneer, Plextor, Sony, Teac, and Toshiba; and removable media drives such as Iomega Zip.

Customers can take advantage of introductory pricing of $24.95 through www.NewerTech.com, source distributor Other World Computing (www.MacSales.com), or through other fine retailers. For sales or further information contact www.NewerTech.com or call toll free (800) 275-4576."

Note: Since posting this I've had 2 readers say that Disk Utility would not successfully format a new drive using this adapter. The adapter worked for read/write of already formatted drives, but both readers reported failures to initialize/format a drive with the USB adapter. (They used a Firewire case to reformat the drive after the USB adapter attempt failed.) I wrote OWC to ask if they had tested for this problem.

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Core2 Duo 2.16GHz (Merom?) CPU swap in Mac Mini
Tony C. sent a link (translated) to a forum post on 2.16GHz Core Duo CPU swap in a Mini. Includes some benchmark comparisons to G5 towers.
At first I thought this was just another T2600 (2.16GHz) swap, but some comments in the post mention a Merom T7400 (aka Core2, 4MB L2), I didn't think they were shipping yet (until August?) and down the translated page it mentions a "T2600" and the Apple System Profiler screenshot shows 2MB L2 cache, but in some of the text down the page (benchmark section) it says "Mac Mini/Merom 2.16GHz" (original Core Duo 2.16GHz is T2600).
I asked if any readers fluent in Chinese could clarify this from the untranslated page, and a couple replied the article did mention using a Merom CPU.

" i'm a native speaker of chinese. This Web site shows the new Merom in mac mini, it says the CPU is too new to be recognized by the latest osx 10.4.6, so it shows Genuine Intel CPU, and what follows is the comparison with G5 Duo 2.5Ghz 250GB HD and 6.5GB Ram/ G5 duo 1.8Ghz with 160GB HD and 4GB ram. By the way Mac mini/Merom Core 2 Duo2.16G/5400rpm 80G HD/2GB Ram.
Hope this helps....
-'Elvis' "

I'm not sure what the Merom 2.16GHz (T7400) will sell for, but as mentioned in previous posts, the 2.16GHz T2600 CPU cost about as much as a Mac Mini, but prices should drop over time. The May 5th news page here has a guide to swapping the Mac Mini's CPU. (The Intel based iMac also has a socketed CPU, unless Apple changed that.)

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New WarBirds 2006 (online WWII Combat Sim) with Intel Mac Support
Eddie wrote that yahoo has a press release on WarBirds 2006 Ready for Download from iEntertainment Network. The new version of the massively multiplayer online sim is available at www.TotalSims.com and "boasts a brand new role-playing system, a new user interface, more than 35 new features and functions, and now operates on the new Mac Intel Chip computers". (Not sure if it runs on the onboard GMA950 based Macs, but Totalsims.com notes you can sign up for a free 2 week account.)
I don't own an Intel CPU Mac, but if any readers that do try Warbirds 2006, let me know what you think of it.
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MacBook Pro 17in Superdrive Model Info
(in reply to some questions on the brand/model used in the MacBook Pro 17in. Apple sometimes uses more than one OEM source/brand so this could vary by build)

(Apple System Profiler report)
MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-846:
Firmware Revision: FQ3T
Interconnect: ATAPI
Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipped/Supported)
Cache: 2048 KB
Reads DVD: Yes
CD-Write: -R, -RW
DVD-Write: -R, -RW, +R, +RW, +R DL
Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes
Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, DVD-DAO"

Thanks to William R. for the info from his MBP.

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Developing Games on Mac OS X using 3rd Party Game Engines
The latest Apple game dev. list included a link to a recent Apple page on Developing Games on Mac OS X using Third-Party Game Engines such as Torque Game Engine, Torque Game Builder, Unity and PTK. Includes screenshots, product links and a comparison summary table of features. (posted June 5th.)
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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 3 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 - 15,766 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 NEC 3540A in iMac G4 (OS X 10.4)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Seagate (Momentus) ST9160821A 160GB in (12in) PowerBook G4 (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE (SerialATA onboard) Maxtor L01S300 300GB in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4)

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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