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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 3/15/2002 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

Top stories of March 15th, 2002:

Region-Free Superdrive (DVR-103) 1.68 Firmware Update
I've not tried this personally but forum posts and the update to the news item below both link to a 1.68 firmware update for the Pioneer Superdrive DVR-103 model (not the new DVR-104 model that ships in new G4s and iMac G4s) that is reported to be region free. As with any firmware update - apply at your own risk as if something goes wrong the drive will be rendered unusable. (Also note the past tip from 1.6x Superdrive owners in OS X - setting the Energy Saver to never sleep drives.)
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Reader's Patch to Run OS X DVD Player 1.3.1 without internal DVD Drive
Note: The later released OS X 10.1.5 Update reportedly breaks this patch. (I don't know if reinstalling it helps or not but just a FYI.)
(original March 15th, 2002 news post follows)

    " Hi Mike,
    I made a patch to force DVD Player 3.1.1 to lauch without internal DVD. It's a good thing to see Video TS or to use an external Firewire DVD drive (or Superdrive)
    Best regards
    [ Since the page is in French, and the download has no instructions/readme file, I asked Lionel how it was applied and he wrote
    Here is how it works :
    - Get DVDPLayer 3.1.1 no DVD.sit
    - with OS 9, duplicate, and open the DVD package (with the control click command)
    - move the file DVDPlayback in the folder
    to desktop.
    - Use the patch on DVDPlayback on the desktop
    - The original file will be renamed Original DVDPlayback
    - Put back patched DVDPlayback in
    - Close the package and reboot on Mac OS X
    PS if you want a region-free firmware for the DVR-103 SuperDrive, it's here:
    [For english users that may miss the download link there - it's the "ICI" download link on that page. A forum post here on March 3rd also noted region-free superdrive firmware at two other sites. The FAQ's DVD section here has another great site with tons of Mac DVD drive firmware by mac model/drive brand, DVD utilities, etc. (which should have the mac flasher now for the region-free DVR-103 superdrive also.)-Mike] "

I don't have an external DVD drive to test this personally but posting it as a FYI for readers that do and don't have an internal DVD drive. (A few past drive database reports noted for OS 9, if you had the Toast Firewire extension enabled they could use ext. FW DVD ROM drives in OS 9.)

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Why there's no PowerBook G3 Pismo CPU Upgrades (my opinion)
[Update: In summer 2002 Powerlogix and Newer Tech started offering a G4/500 CPU Upgrade for the Pismo/PowerBook G3 2000. Due to the issues I noted originally here (coments below) - they require you to send your PB in to them for the upgrade since they re-use the existing CPU module (replacing the CPU chip, etc.). See the CPU upgrades page, G4 reviews tab and search the database here of CPU upgrade owner reports for more info on the two G4 upgrades for the Pismo.]
This is a common question asked from time to time. I posted in the forum why I think there are no PowerBook G3 2000 [aka "Pismo"] CPU upgrades.
One major reason for no Pismo CPU upgrades is that the CPU module has the Apple Uni-N (ASIC) chip on it - which Apple does not sell to others.
The Lombard/Wallstreets have the MPC/XPC106 memory/pci controller which is available to anyone (pre-Uni-N design system). There are G3/G4 upgrades for those models as noted here in the past. The PB 1400 model has CPU upgrades and apparently requires no apple proprietary chips to make. (You can search the "Rate Your CPU Upgrade database here for owner reports on the Wallstreet, Lombard and PB 1400 upgrades.)

For the Pismo, they'd have to either buy a batch of new/used modules to modify or do a trade-in deal to modify existing modules or remove the Uni-N ASIC for use on a new module. The G4 CPU has more pins than the G3, so that's another issue for anyone trying to modify the original G3 CPU module.

The Pismo's expansion bays, onboard Firewire ports, etc. have many owners hanging on to them, so I think there is a market - if the price was right, speeds/performance gain was significant and it was reliable.

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OS X Quake II v1.04 Update
Changes in v1.04:

  • Fixed the invisible cursor bug at the "baseq2" folder selection dialog [was introduced with v1.0.3]
  • Improved sound playback if sound quality is set to "low"

(Note: in the past setting audio to low quality fixed pops I had in the game audio with my PB G4.) Get the update at this versiontracker page or visit the author's website.

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Black and White 1.1.3 Update Adds Features/Fixes Bugs
Here's the changes/fixes in v1.1.3:
  • Support for additional screen resolutions
  • Additional Creatures
  • Support for Custom Player symbols/tattoos
  • Support for ATI's FSAA (Full Screen Anti Aliasing)*
  • System checks
  • Bugs Fixed:
    Creature Home Page
    Tattooing the cow
    Path separators in volume name
    Game Saving

* ATI FSAA support requires drivers that have FSAA support (not released yet for the original Radeon card. The 8500 will ship with FSAA drivers as noted in that card's review here).
Get the update at this VersionTracker page. (That page also links to a "Villager Banter patch" download.)

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Latest Reports on OS X Firmware Update for w/VST ATA/66 Card
As mentioned in Wednesday's news, OWC has made available a firmware update for the VST ATA/66 card to add OS X compatibility (see this OWC page for more info and download link.) This flasher will not work with PC promise IDE cards, only the VST models with Mac firmware already in the card. I've received several reader reports on the update noting it worked well.

(latest reports first)

    " Mike,
    Tried the new patch for the VST card. Worked fine, but required several reboots to get it to run reliably under 0s10.1.3. However, this is on a 9600 with g3 upgrade and xpostfacto to run OS10! This machine now runs very stably, and allows the monitor to go to sleep, without having the drive go to sleep.

    " Mike,
    Thanks for the heads up on the VST UltraTek 66 firmware update. The update worked flawlessly. I was able to update the firmware under 9, change Startup Drive in the control panel to OS X and reboot into X "while" being tied to the UltraTek. I had installed OS X on my B&W's built in IDE buss but had left the SoftRaid disk driver installed on 9 to take advantage of the software raid "and" did not have enough media to back up 22Gigs of "stuff" onto. The drive wasn't recognized under X if I left it on the UltraTek 66.

    My hats off to OWC and the effort put into a rather simple (?) update that another company "completely" (never replied to my polite emails) dropped the ball on. OWC has done and continues to do a thorough job and helped their customers continue using an otherwise solid piece of third party hardware to keep there expensive equipment up to speed. I hope that OWC has enough of the cards to make a fortune off of, they deserve it for their effort.
    By the way, Larry has mentioned that SoftRaid will be issuing an update as well for OS X. Now we can have our pudding. If anyone uses the shareware I urge them to pay for it and post to the OWC/VST UltraTek forum, it is a good source for new info and updates.
    xlr8yourmac is my home page, I'm paying gratuitous homage.

(previous reports from yesterday follow)

    " Hi Mike
    I have a dual 533, 896 RAM, the VST card has two 60 gig Maxtors attached which I use mostly for Final Cut Pro. Applied the update and now I can finally use FCP 3 in X. I was fixing to buy a new controller card, looks like it will only be a $10 shareware fee instead!
    Sean "

Another reader wrote:

    " Voila! it works great. It must run under OS9 to do the update. But after one restart6 the card shows. Thanks to OWC
    Avi "

The only problem report so far but it turned out he had a card bought off Ebay (not a retail VST card).

    " Hey,
    regarding the firmware update; it will not work on those Ultratek cards based on Promise Technology! Very disappointing indeed as both ASP and the update program recognize the card as such in the slot. But when you click on update, the message "Error!! !Unlicensed adapter!" appears.

    Andy "

I asked Andy if his cards were actually Mac VST models and he later wrote he bought it on Ebay and think's its a PC version. (I asked him if it ever worked in a Mac before.) All VST IDE cards were based on Ultratek firmware and Promise controller chips - however the flasher will not update a card that does not already have the Ultratek Mac firmware in the card (i.e. the card must be the VST Mac ATA/66 model.)

The VST ATA/66 card is currently $49.95 at OWC, the lowest priced PCI IDE controller I know of for the Mac. (Includes SoftRAID software for OS 9 also.)
If you try the firmware update with OS X, let me know.

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Impasse OS X Firewall Update v1.1
(from the press release)
    "Glucose Introduces Impasse version 1.1
    Pacifica, Calif., Mar. 15 -- Glucose ( today introduced Impasse version 1.1, a major upgrade to the easy-to-use firewall utility for Mac OS X.

    Since its initial release on February 26, Impasse has been downloaded over 10,000 times and we have received hundreds of emails requesting features and complimenting Impasse's usefulness. This tremendous response is truly a testament to Mac OS X's rapidly growing and devoted user base.

    Glucose Impasse version 1.1 delivers the user community's two most requested features: automatic firewall startup on boot and interactive packet deny/allow logging tools.

    But this is only the beginning. We're doing the best we can to build a tool with an interface that embodies the spirit and style of Mac OS X, providing non-technical users with the most powerful tools within the most logical interface.

    Our goal is to deliver the finest firewall available for Mac OS X for the best price. So our request is that the user community keep on sending their comments, questions, and complaints to because this communication between developer and user is truly the lifeblood of the Impasse product.

    For a limited time, Impasse can be registered for the value price of US$10.00. Impasse is available for purchase now at A free 30-day demo is also available for download."

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Lava Software's PC-Mac-Net FileShare Utility
(from the email press release)
    " Lava Software is now shipping PC-Mac-Net FileShare v1.0, a product which allows users to transfer files easily and securely between any type of Windows PC and Macintosh over a Local Area Network (LAN) or the Internet. File transfers can be paused and resumed at any time, ensuring that even very large files can be reliabily transferred.

    PC-Mac-Net FileShare is perfect for simple cross-platform file sharing on home or small office networks. It provides a bridge between different computer types without requiring complex installation and set up procedures, since it uses standard Internet protocols for all operations (ie. TCP/IP) . Just drop the files you want to transfer into the 'Shared' folder on one computer and they can be requested by and transferred to another computer on the network.

    Friends can now easily, safely and conveniently transfer files of any size via the Internet, irrespective of what type of connection is used (eg. dialup modem, ADSL, cable, etc). File access is protected by highly secure 448-bit encryption, ensuring your files are never exposed to anonymous users. In addition, connection information (ie. your external IP address and password) must be sent via email to your friend operating the remote computer, so their identity is validated via their email address every time you share files with them.

    PC-Mac-Net FileShare was designed from the ground up with security in mind. All operations are protected by highly secure 448-bit encryption and no passwords are ever sent across the network or the Internet in clear text (unlike FTP). If the user trying to get access to your shared files doesn't know the password you have set, they cannot access anything, including the list of files you are sharing.

    PC-Mac-Net FileShare is fully Macintosh aware, correctly transferring flat files from Windows PCs and files with resource forks and custom types/creators from other Macintoshes. Files transferred from Windows PCs have their type/creator set automatically, based on the Windows PC file extension. In addition, the software supports native Mac-to-Mac and Windows-to-Windows transfers, which can be useful in some circumstances.

    The free demo software is fully functional and allows users to evaluate PC-Mac-Net FileShare for an unlimited time, though only files less than 1mb in size can be transferred. The full version, priced at USD24.95, can transfer files of any size.

    Versions are available for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/ME/XP, MacOS Classic (from System 7.6.1 upwards, with PPC processor), and MacOS X. "

See for more details and demo download.

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 9 new reports. (Total to date: 6,875). [Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning. Incomplete entries missing cpu card info are deleted]

  • Newer Tech G3/466 in Beige G3 (rated 8)
  • Newer Tech G3/400 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Newer Tech G4/400 in 9500 (rated 6)
  • Other World Computing G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix BlueChip G4/500 in Powerbook G3 Lombard (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 7200/75 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 G3/466 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • iMac 266 OC report
  • G4/350 (AGP) OC report

(Warning - Overclocking may not be reliable and could lead to hardware failure or corrupted data.) You can find the 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/Hard Drive /Cardreader Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 16 new reports added today. [entries today will be added the following newsday.] The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 6,843 reports. Here's an itemized summary of today's additions:

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drive Reports
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-103 in Dual G4 (OS 9.2)
    (report on replacement drive for original that failed)

    DVD-ROM Drive Reports
  • IDE Hitachi GD 3000 (OEM) in G4/AGP (OS 9)
    (noted not able to read DVD-R media)
  • Lite-On LTD-163 (16x/48x) in B&W G3 (OS X)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drive Reports
  • IDE LG GCC-4120B (12x/8x/32x + 8x DVD ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (LG listed under 'other' brands. FAQ here has modified itunes support file)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports
  • HP CD16ri (16X10X40) in G4/AGP (OS X)
  • Lite-On LTR-32123S 32x12x40 in Beige G3 (OS 9.1)
    (problems noted - 2nd drive tested in his Beige G3)
  • Lite-On 16102B (16x10x40x) in Beige G3 (OS 8.6)
  • Samsung SW-224 24x10x40x in G4 no AGP [yikes] (OS X)
  • Sony CRX175A1 24x10x40 in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (modified support file for itunes in FAQ here, discburner errors noted)
  • Sony CRX 175 A1 24x/10x/40x in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (discburner problems noted)
  • Yamaha 24x10x40x in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (problems noted)

    SCSI CDRW Drive Reports
  • Matshita CW-7502 4x/8x in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (problems noted)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports
  • Lite-On LTR-40125S 40x 12x 48x (in FW case) used w/G4 AGP (OS X)
    (no itunes support)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports
  • IBM 120GXP 80GB in B&W G3 using IDE PCI Card (OS X)

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports
  • Lacie 60GB used w/G4 AGP (OS X)
  • Maxtor 3000XT 160GB used w/4400 PowerMac (OS 9.2)
    (problems noted)

You can find full owner reports by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the IDE Articles page. The Firewire articles page also has guides on case kits, installing drives, etc.
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. [If you post an updated entry - make sure you use the same name, etc. as you did before so I can find your past entry. Thanks.]

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Software Updates and Other Net News Links

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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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