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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 3/2/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of the day:

PowerBook G4 Photoshop Performance Compared to Desktop G4s, 1GHz PC:
If you're curious about how a PowerBook G4/400 compares to the 500Mhz model in Photoshop, or how it compares to say a dual G4/450, single G4/500 or 1GHz Pentium III, I've ran the 21 filter PSBench tests comparing them. (Thanks to Charlie Ruggiero for the PowerBook G4/500 results.) I had several readers write concerned that the PB G4/500 would be no faster in Photoshop than the G4/400 model based on a review they had read, so the results should answer that question. Details.
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Ouch! PowerBook G4 Drop Test:
Don't try this at home, but a reader sent a link to a page with photos of what happened after a PowerBook G4 was dropped 3 feet onto a concrete surface but noted that according to a post in the TiPB list, the article doesn't mention that the PB was in a case when it was dropped. (Apparently not a very well padded one.) Note: After seeing the bottom side of the PB G4 with cover removed, if you ever severely dent the bottom surface, especially the back half, I strongly urge you to not power it up, since there are many circuit areas that are very close to the metal case (in some areas without any insulating material on the bottom cover). A deep dent in that area could cause the metal case to contact the circuit board, resulting in a possible short circuit.
For photos of the 'dropped' PB G4, see this page.
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DVD-R SuperDrive/iDVD Region Info:
I had several readers reply to recent posts on iDVD and the G4/733's superdrive ask if the DVD discs burned were Region locked. I wasn't sure if Regions applied only to DVD movie discs so I asked Jeremy Hansen (who wrote the G4/733 review here).

" According to iDVD help, and I quote:
"iDVD creates DVD discs that work in all DVD regions."

Oh yes, and iDVD can create NTSC or PAL format, but it must be selected prior to doing any work. You can't simply convert from one to the other. If you've done everything in NTSC for example and you want to do a PAL version for a buddy in Europe, you have to export all the moview from iMovie or whatever your tool is in PAL format and recreate it in iDVD.
-Jeremy "

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New Portable Firewire Case looks like Perfect Match for TiPB:
As noted on the Firewire articles here, current portable Firewire drives are limited to about 13MB/sec max rates and other than the VST drives (expensive) are less than impressive in appearance. Although most portable drives themselves (despite the ide/firewire bridge) are limited to less than 17MB/sec sustained rates (see my IBM Travelstar 32GB/5400 RPM drive tests page), the performance noted in a Japanese dealer's page on a very attractive 2.5" (notebook size) sliver metal case Portable Firwire/USB drive case makes it something I'd love to have. They note impressive Macbench disk test scores and also a very nice looking enclosure that looks to be a great match for the TiPB, as well as the unique ability to wrap the cable around the drive during storage. If any Japanese readers can buy one of these let me know as I'd love to have one to own/test here. Check out the photos and benchmark tests here.
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24x CDR, First Plextor 7mm high portable 8x8 CDRW w/Burnproof
Readers noted that CDRinfo's news items recently include comments on a 24x/10x/40x CDRW drive from Waitec (?) and news of Plextor's (Japan) OEM PX-S88T slim notebook CDRW drive with Burn-Proof, 2MB buffer and 8x8x24x speeds. (I know what you're thinking but it's not a slotted drive, so the TiPB case would need a design change to use it.).
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Reader Comments on GeeThree ADB to PS/2 Compatibility:
A reader that asked not to be named noted some compatibility issues with the adapter.

I saw you mentioned the GeeThree PS/2-to-ADB mouse adapter in your webpage. Actually I ordered one a couple of months ago. It basically does its job but there are two major problems with it:

1) Hardware compatibility issues (especially with Logitech mice)

While I ordered the adapter, the GeeThree web page mentioned that the adapter "works with virtually any PS/2 input device except the Logitech First Mouse Wheel"

However, I tried to use this with Logitech WheelMouse Optical and the adapter did not work *at all*! The mouse was lit up but that was it. Next I tried it with the normal Logitech Wheel mouse (newer version) and found that the adapter worked after cold boot but not after restart or warm boot. The next step was to try the 5-button MS Intellimouse Optical which finally worked as it should.

After all I doubt whether this adapter works with any Logitech products. Now I checked the GeeThree web page today and it stated that "The PS/2 to ADB mouse adapter works with virtually any PS/2 input device with the following exceptions: Logitech First Mouse Wheel, Logitech optical mouse and some Kensington 4-button mice."

In my opinion I believe that hey have not tested the adapter well enough and as customers are reporting incompabilities they may then update the compability information.

I can live with the fact that I had to sold my Logitech optical mouse and buy a Microsoft mouse instead but I really think that GeeThree should test the adapter with the common PC mice and make a clear list which reports which mice they have actually tested with the adapter and which mice work and which don't.

2) The GeeThree control panel is not compatible with Input Sprockets

While I finally got the right mouse which works with the adapter I tried to play some game demos including the Rogue Spear Demo and the Rune Demo. I found out that the mouse again did not work with these games. This time I realized that the games relied on InputSprocket mouse functionality. However, the InputSprocket does *not* find the mouse at all when the GeeThree driver (control panel) is enabled.

You can use the mouse with these games if you disable the PS/2 to ADB control panel. In this case the right mouse button emulates ctrl-click and the wheel emulates pgup/pgdn buttons. However, this is an unsatisfactory solution for games since you configure use your multi-button mouse in any way, and above all many games like Rune would benefit from real right-button support (attack/defend).

In addition to this, the PS/2 to ADB control panel is of type 'cdev' so I am not sure whether Mac OS 9.1 supports it at all (I am still using Mac OS 8.6 with GameSrockets 1.7.5)

I think they should really write a new control panel which would support the InputSprocket if they want to have happy customers. Right know I prefer using my MS mouse through the USB card because that allows me to configure my mouse like I want also in games.

I would have returned the adapter to GeeThree because of the control panel issue but because I live in Europe I thought that returning of the adpater would be too difficult and expensive for me so I kept the adapter for possible future use.
[reader name withheld by request]"

This is the only report I have received on this adapter to date.

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Unreal Tournament/GeForce2MX OpenGL Settings Tip:
For those with new G4 Macs with GeForce2MX cards that can't get OpenGL Unreal Tournament to run, a reader sent the INI file settings you can cut and paste which should help.

" Wanted to let you know that the error Jeff experienced trying to run UT in OpenGL was most likely due to an improperly setup ini file...as of v436 there are certain lines that need to be added to the class section OpenGL.OpenGLRenderDevice in the UnrealTournament.ini file.

The full class config is as follows and should replace whatever is there.

[OpenGLDrv.OpenGLRenderDevice]
Translucency=True
VolumetricLighting=True
ShinySurfaces=True
Coronas=True
HighDetailActors=True
MinLogTextureSize=0
MaxLogTextureSize=10
MaxLogUOverV=10
MaxLogVOverU=10
UseMultiTexture=1
Texture32Bit=0
DoPrecache=0
DescFlags=0
Description=

If you do not use this config when UT starts there will be a Mac.cpp error due to an error setting minlog and maxlog texture size. OpenGL performance should be better than RAVE with the Geforce 2MX so Jeff might want to give it a try:)
Regards,
Joseph Kennedy"

Jeremy noted it helped wiht his initial OpenGL UT error, but his G4/733 w/GeForce2MX, still errors out with a Type2 he said.

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Plextor IDE Mac CDRW Flash Rom Updater Feedback:
Several readers have written to say they've used the IDE Plextor Flash ROM updater noted in yesterday's news fine with IDE drives. As noted in the page yesterday, it does not work for Firewire drives. (Removing the IDE drive from the firewire case and connecting it to the onboard IDE interface is the only option I know of at the moment.) A reboot is recommended after updating the drive's firmware.
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 7 new reports (total to date: 5,327). [Entries from after midnight EST will be added the following day.]

  • Metabox G3/320 in Starmax 4000 (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in PowerTower Pro 250 (no rating)
    [noted the card didn't work in that system]
  • Sonnet G3/333 in 9500/120 (rated 9)
  • XLR8 G3/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)

  • G4/350 OC report
  • Two G4/400 AGP OC reports

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/HD Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 13 new entries added this morning including CDRWs, DVD ROM and Hard Drives. (Current total 3,095 reports). Entries from after midnight are added the following day. [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 here and/or the FAQ. 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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Video Card/System Benchmark Performance Database Updated:
Updates to the Mac Game/Video Card Performance database included:

  • Quake3 1.27beta (512x384, 640x480, 800x600 ) results from G4/400 AGP w/Radeon AGP card
  • Cinebench 2000 results from 73-7500 w/G4 450 CPU upgrade and Radeon PCI card

Total entries in the database to date: 2,526. If you haven't already, enter your results with any of the game titles or benchmarks listed on the entry page (details on how to test are there). If you're curious how a CPU upgrade or new Video card would help game performance, the search page options can help you find similar system/configurations to get an idea before you buy.

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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News:
Reported By: Barney Buoy

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Recent Reviews and Articles:
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