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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 3/29/2001 Thursday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 3/29/2001:

AOL Instant Messenger for OS X:
The first release of AIM for Mac OS X is just one of the items in tonight's Software Updates, Apple TIL and Other Net News listing updated at 8:30 PM. (See below for complete list)
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OS X and OS 9.1 Quake3 Tests w/GeForce2MX vs Radeon in Dual G4/533:
Reader Oliver ran a series of tests comparing OS X vs OS 9.1 Quake3 on this Dual G4/533 system with both a GeForce2MX (OEM) card and a retail Radeon AGP card. I've posted a page here with his results and graphs of performance at various resolutions and settings. (It's linked on the Video topics page for future reference with the other graphics card reviews/articles.)
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English PowerBook G4/400 to 500Mhz Mod Page
Last week there was a link here to a japanese site with info on modifying the bus/cpu ratio (and bus speed) for a PowerBook G4 - the first info on this posted anywhere (and likely the basis for other pages that will appear). A reader sent a note they have an english page with info on how they boosted a PB G4/400 to 500Mhz. (Changing the bus/cpu ratio from 4x to 5x.) Remember this voids your warranty and may not be reliable. The resistor that is moved is very tiny - smaller than a pin-head (much smaller than they appear in the photo on that page). This is not something the average user should attempt and remember results can vary by CPU chip, each can have its own tolerance for overclocking.
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More PB Wallstreet OS X Install Reports:
In reply to an earlier post from a Wallstreet owner with problems installing OS X, several readers with Wallstreet models wrote the install went fine. (One noted the SCSI port was not recognized however.) I've created a page with the latest Wallstreet owner comments on OS X installs.
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OS X 10.0.1 - Leaked Update or Suspect?
Late last night a forum thread here appeared on a (unofficial) OS 10.0.1 update (build 4L5). Someone claimed a 20% increase but most readers didn't see much if any gain. One DP/500 owner note it did not fix his PPP/modem problems. As I replied in that thread, remember OS X is unix under the Aqua skin, so I'd be wary of OS updates from other than Apple. (This 10.0.1 update may be a leaked version but I'm just suggesting caution.) A warning also appeared later in this thread. Several readers noted applying the update with some positive comments, but at least one negative report (modem problem). One reader commented on where the update first appeared:

"Mike, I did get a copy of that OS X 10.0.1 update, but I do agree with your words of caution, so I haven't ran it yet. If you would like to see a jpg of the Finder window showing all items in the "leaked" update, I have attached it to this email.

I doubt that this is a hoax for one reason, initailally, this was being distributed through people's iDisk public folders, (don't have a clue what those people were thinking!), but Apple quickly shut down access to those people's public folders. Since that was such a fast reaction by Apple, I suspect that the file is legit.

His screenshot was too large to post on a web page (100KB). The file might be legit, all I'm saying is to exercise caution. If it is legit, then it may be available via OS X Software Updates soon (and there may be other fixes or a reason why Apple has not released this already).

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Reposition the OS X Dock with this Free Addon:
"Accelerate your Mac,
Docking Maneuvers is a simple tool that empowers you to move the Dock to any edge of the screen, and anchor it in any corner. The software configures the Dock to activate this functionality, which is disabled by default in the shipping version of Mac OS X.

The home page for it is at:
Direct download link:
http://homepage.mac.com/isleep/docking.tar.gz [312 KB]

My software replaces the following process:
1) Enabling the root account in NetInfo Manager.
2) Opening Terminal.app and typing su, then your root password.
3) Entering a command to open the Dock package's internal property list as root in TextEdit
4) Searching the XML for a certain dictionary and changing the key of an object from "command" to "menu"
5) Saving the property list over the previous list and quitting Terminal and TextEdit.

÷with this:

1) Open Docking Maneuvers.
2) Click the options you want.
3) Click Make Changes and type in your password.

I think that this software is the kind that countless people will enjoy and find useful, so I appreciate any significant coverage that you give it. I am thrilled by the concept of making advanced functionality accessible to every user, and this utility is one further step in this direction.
Austin Shoemaker"

I like the dock where it is on my PB G4 (I have it set to auto-hide and magnify), but others may like to experiment with different dock positions.

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Reader Notes Firewire/SCSI Adapter Issues After Firmware Update:
(Updated with Ratoc and Belkin FW/SCSI adapter reports)
I've heard of some USB/hub issues after the firmware update, but this reader noted a Firewire to SCSI adapter problem.

"I just installed Apple's new Firmware on my Dual Processor 500mhz G4 after reading that both MacSolutions and Other World Computing's claim that their RAM would work with it. I have one 512 MB chip from each of these companies, so I was extremely worried when all the reports of lost RAM started flooding in. ....after the update, all my RAM is recognized. This is the good news. However, there is some bad news.
Just prior to running the firmware update, I had done some scanning. I have a UMAX Astra 2400S which is connected to the computer through Orange Micro's SCSI Converter. After running the update, my scanner no longer works with the Orange Converter. When I try to scan, it brings up the "Calibrating Bar Window" and the scanner light bar moves from the top of the scanner down to the base, but no image is scanned or previewed. All I get is that Calibrating Window and the cup of coffee icon. The only way out of Vista Scan is to force quit.

I turned off the computer and re-installed the OEM SCSI card that shipped with the Mac, and connected the scanner to this. When it is run through the SCSI card, Vista Scan works just fine- no scanning problems at all. The Orange Converter worked just hours before running the firmware update, but now no longer seems to function properly. I have no other SCSI devices to test with it, so I'm not sure if it affects other SCSI devices as well. I have tried connecting the Orange Converter to both the Mac's built in firewire ports, and the ones on a third party (not Orange Micro) Firewire Card. Can't get the scanner to work with the Orange Converter at all, and am 99.99% sure that this is a conflict between the firmware update and the Orange Converter. Maybe some of your readers have had a similar problem. I plan to call Orange Micro .... to see if there is some kind of fix for this.
George Choike"

An iBook owner with a Ratoc FW/SCSI adapter reported no problems after the Firmware update:

... I have a Ratoc FR1SX (formerly FireREX1) Firewire to SCSI converter. Tuesday night, I hooked it and my external SCSI Orb drive to my iBook and did a Retrospect Express backup of my hard drive. Everything went without a hitch, backing up and verifying 2.6 GB of files in about 45 minutes. That performance is consistent with my last backup, which was done before the firmware update.
Alan S."

A Belkin FW/SCSI adapter owner however also reported a problem after the firmware update:

" Mike,
I am having the same problem with my FW/SCSI converter from Belkin. Before the firmware update I had no problems scanning. After the update I would no longer see the SCSI bus listed in SCSI Probe. The only remedy would be to shutdown the scanner, wait 10 seconds, unplug the firewire cable from the G4 (while the computer is still on), wait 10 seconds, turn on the scanner back on, wait 10 seconds, and then plug it back into the computer. However, this only worked for a brief moment, after about 10 minutes I could no longer see the scanner. I have not called Belkin tech support as I would like to take the time to troubleshoot the problem. I will let you what I find.

If any other owners of their FW/SCSI adapters has applied the firmware update, or have a fix for the problems, let me know.

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Orange Micro USB 2.0 Card Available at Retail in April:
The OrangeUSB 2.0 Hi-Speed (480megabits/sec) PCI controller card will be available at major retail chain stores nationwide beginning in April according to this press release. Suggested list price of the OrangeUSB 2.0 Hi-Speed PCI Board is $89.00. USB 2.0 versions of a CardBus PC Card, Hub and a FireWire/USB 2.0 combination PCI Board will be available from Orange Micro within the next two months they say. I'm not sure what the status is of USB 2.0 devices as far as retail availability.
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More Feedback on OS X PPP Disable Echo Tip:
Although it's not a fix for those having internal model/PPP issues, the disable echo tip posted in Tuesday's news does seem to help performance based on reader comments.

"Hi Mike
My modem/PPP is working fine, now.
When I first ran OS 10, my dial-up connection was very slow, stopping completely sometimes. When I disabled echo packets, it performed like normal (OS 9). I tried enabling echo packets again, and the gagging returned. (requires a reboot)

My Mac is a G4 400 G-Enet, 512 MB ram (128 MB original Apple, 128&256 MB OWC) original AGP Rage Pro, PCI Radeon, Apple SCSI card, original WD HD, and IBM 45GB HD. Of course, I still have a lot of issues with OS 10, like where are my scsi drives and scanner, why doesn't my card reader or USB cable connection for my digi cam work, etc... Still, not bad for a first cut at an all new OS.
Hope that helps!
Mike Weems"

I'm using Airport with a Cable modem in OS X on my PB G4. There have been several reader reports of Adaptec SCSI card issues (not sure how many total since I can't read 1/10th of the email in the last week).

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Reader Reports OS X Install Problems on Wallstreet PB:
A reader with a PB G3/250 Wallstreet, (13.3" screen) reported he had openfirmware errors trying to install OS X. He removed his Bluechip G3 CPU upgrade (reviewed here in January) but said even with the original CPU module installed he still had errors. He noted he had 256 MB RAM installed (2-128 MB modules), MacOS 9.1 and an upgraded Toshiba 18 GB hard drive. I seem to remember at least one other Wallstreet owner problem report but I'm so buried in email that I can't find it now. (Note - many Wallstreet owners replied to this post - see the OS X installs on Wallstreets page for their experiences.)
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 6 new reports (total to date: 5,457). [Entries from after midnight EST will be added the following day.]

  • Metabox G4/400 in B&W G3 (rated 10)
  • Other World Computing G3/400 in Beige G3 desktop (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G3/400 in PowerCenter Pro 210 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3/466 ZIF in PowerTower Pro (rated 10)
  • XLR8 Dual G4/400 (MPe) in Beige G3 (rated 10)

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 12 new entries added this morning including Combo DVD-CDRWs, DVD-ROM, CDRWs, Removables and Hard Drives. (Current total 3,409 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 linked above 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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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News:
Reported By: Barney Buoy

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