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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 3/27/2002 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of March 27th, 2002:

OS X Patches for Diablo II and L.O.D Available
Reader posts tonight note that the long-awaited OS X update for Diablo II is available from Blizzard's FTP site. (It's also linked on this versiontracker page now.) Here's another mirror of the Diablo II had Lord Of Destruction Patches at Extremesims.com. (Links corrected per his 2nd email)

(Thanks to Patrick Scott of Extremesims.com for the mirrors.) Note that if you have the L.O.D. Expansion pack installed you must use the L.O.D. update.
Here's one reader's comments on the update:

    " Runs pretty good. Load times are sooo short!! And what's really cool is that even if you quit the game, and then start it up, there's none of the lag that there usually is when loading stuff for the first time. I guess OS X caches like mad if you have a gig of RAM?? Anyway, very nice port!
    Lord Vader "

Some of the posts at VT noted a few users saw some glitches, but not sure how common these are. I wonder if it offers higher resolution support.

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ATI's 'Entertain Your Mac' Combo (Radeon 7000+USB TV Tuner)
ATI has a press release today titled Limited Edition "Entertain Your Mac" Combo Delivers A Party To Your Desktop. Here's a clip:

    " The "Entertain Your Mac" Combo consists of ATI's RADEON 7000 MAC EDITION, a mainstream graphics solution for Apple users featuring dual display support, and ATI's XCLAIM(tm) TV USB EDITION, an external TV tuner offering a host of great TV features. With a manufacturers' suggested retail price of (US) $199, the "Entertain Your Mac" Combo offers more features and value than any other multimedia offering in its price range. It will begin shipping today to distributors and retailers and will be on shelves next week."

See the press release for the full details.
For previous reader reports on the Radeon 7000 PCI card, see our Radeon 7000 feedback/reports article. (Linked on the Video topics, Graphics card section for future reference.) Remember currently OS X will not run with the 7000 card in Beige G3 and older Macs.
(Note: Two owners of the USB TV tuner wrote in reply to this saying they were not happy with the performance, in general attributing the problems seen to the (slow) USB bus.)

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Reader notes his Radeon 8500 shipped from Gateway store
A reader that got in on the special (limited time) $50 discount noted here last month at the Gateway store (appx $207 plus shipping) noted his Mac Edition Radeon 8500 has shipped:

    " Mike:
    I was one of the lucky ones who was able to order the 8500 from Gateway for $200. [actually $206.9x after the $50 discount. -Mike]
    I just talked to them and my order has shipped via UPS ground, so other should start receiving theirs soon!
    Take care,
    Dan "

(Another reader later today said he's gotten his 8500 Radeon from the same source.) At first these orders were cancelled by Gateway due to no definite ship date as noted in a past news item, where we noted calling them got the orders restored. For those that took advantage of the offer - they got a great price (below dealer cost).

Another reader said he received his 8500 from a UK dealer, but it was the PC version. (Which won't output video without mac firmware.) He's going to have to return it. A third reader noted he was told his card shipped from Sparco - hopefully it will be the mac version. (Note - a 2nd reader ordering from a UK dealer said his 8500 was also a PC version.)

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Motorola Errata Doc for PowerPC 7455/7445 CPUs
    " Hi Mike,
    Heres a link to a PDF released recently on Motorola's semiconductor site. The release date was 03/20/02 and details all known silicon errata for the MPC7455 and MPC7445 processors.
    http://e-www.motorola.com/brdata/PDFDB/docs/MPC7455CE.pdf
    Some of your tech savvy readers might find this useful.
    Paul Apostolou Sydney, Australia "

The above doc currently covers revision 2.1 of the CPU and notes various errata with that revision. Included is a note on the Thermal Assist Unit that is "not supported" as a feature. The errata table notes temperatures reported are from 35 to 55 degrees lower than actual. This errata will not be fixed in future revs (ditto for the 7450 CPU ).

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Reader Tip for OS X with Legacy Mac Onboard Video and PCI Graphics Card
(Note: a 2nd reader later wrote that this tip worked well/improved performance on his OS X/Legacy Mac system also.)

    " Just wanted to put this out. I've come across a way to disable the onboard video on my 8500 (works on 8600 too) for use with a rage 128 card and osx using xpostfacto. What my friend did was pull the video ram all out, but still attached the adapter. When osx starts up, it's the same as it was before, but there is no other monitor besides the rage. I don't know why it works this way but it does. There's no conflicts with this set up in os9 on the same machines. I know this is a little late, but it just came up. I'll post the two machines it's worked on so far:

    8500
    powerlogix g3 400mhz
    448 meg ram
    os 10.1.3 + 9.1
    vst ata card
    seagate 40gig ata drive.
    rage 128 oem card from b&w

    8600
    xlr8 g3 400
    52x (??) meg ram
    os 10.1.3 + os9.1
    vst ata card
    seagate 40gig drive
    ati radeon

    I didn't know if i should put this on the forums or send it to you. I hope this was the right place. This might be a fix for others that are willing to try. Getting rid of that other screen has had signifcant improvements on my machine. i probably won't have actual numbers since the 8500 is mine and i don't want to put the video ram back in just to benchmark it. I will say that the forest (etc. ) screen savers are now fluid. they weren't before, dropped frames like crazy. ...
    Thanks for a rockin site. I couldn't be without it.
    Andrew V."

The Mac/VGA adapter on the onboard video normally makes the mac think a monitor is attached (even if one isn't) - it's an old trick for running a 'headless' server for instance. However adapters on unused ports in the past have been a problem (noted in the past when people added a Voodoo3 PCI card to a Beige G3 and left a Mac/VGA adapter on the onboard video port - of course that was with vram populated - the 2MB vram on the motherboard is not removable in the Beige G3.)

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Nvidia Looking to Hire Mac Software Engineers
    " Mike,
    I noticed the the following job listings for NVIDIA on HotJobs.com. I suspect that this might explain the recent Mac driver delays...

    ----------
    Macintosh Software Engineer Job ID: 250 Location: Santa Clara, CA
    Date Posted: 03/26/2002
    Write and debug code to test the latest NVIDIA graphics drivers on Mac OS X. The individual will be expected to become familiar with the features and capabilities of NVIDIA hardware and software on OS X, and the ways in which graphics drivers typically fail.
    ----------

    Macintosh FCode Software Engineer Job ID: 249 Location: Santa Clara, CA
    Date Posted: 03/26/2002
    Code and debug FCode graphics drivers for use in the hottest graphics cards and chips for Mac OS 9 & X. The individual will be expected to become familiar with NVIDIA's current FCode architecture, algorithms, drivers, products, and development methodologies. ----------
    -Ruben"

I had heard rumors for a long time that Apple was doing most of the Nivida Mac drivers - but maybe that's not true...

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Businessweek article on new iMac attracting PC users
David Dickinson sent a link to a Businessweek story today titled Apple's hot new market: PC Converts that says "The new iMac is luring crossover buyers like never before, and that should help Jobs & Co. do well despite the industry's suffering". (Hopefully the reported increases in iMac production now will have them in stock at retailers and address the huge backlog of orders.)
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive /Cardreader Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 15 new reports added today. 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 6,961 reports. Here's a summary listing of today's new reports:

    Multi-Format Card Reader Reports:
  • USB Dazzle 6 in 1 used w/Beige G3 (OS X)
    (Dazzle listed under "other" brands)

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drive Reports:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-A03 in B&W G3 (OS X)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports:
  • ARTEC 24x12x40x in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (Artec listed under "other" brands)
  • Lite-On LTR32123S 32x12x40 in B&W G3 (OS X)
  • Lite-On LTR32123S 32x12x40 in Umax S900 using IDE PCI Card (OS 9.1)
    (Noted the $49.95 VST ATA/66 card worked with the drive, where a Tempo card didn't)
  • TDK VeloCD321040 (32x10x40) in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (no itunes support, noted it was not bootable)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Plextor PX-W4012TA 40x12x40x (IDE drive in FW case) used w/Dual G4 (OS X)

    SCSI CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Yamaha 2100S-VK (16/10/40) in 73-7600 (OS 9.1)
    (didn't note specific mac model)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Fujitsu MHL2300AT 30GB in 20th Anniv. Mac (OS 8.6)
  • IBM TravelStar 40GN 20GB in PowerBook G4 (OS X)
    (used illustrated HD install guide here)
  • IBM Travelstar 30GN 30GB in PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X)
    (FYI: illustrated HD install guide here)
  • IBM TravelStar 40 GN 30GB in PowerBook G3 wallstreet2 (OS 9.2)
    (noted drive didn't startup - either the sleep sensor issue or screws too tight perhaps. I suggested tips in the Wallstreet illustrated HD install guide here)
  • Maxtor Diamond Max+ D540X 40GB in G4 Cube (OS 9.2)
  • Seagate Barracuda IV 80GB in iMac slot loading (OS X)
  • Western Digital WD1200JB (8MB cache) 120GB in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (used Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here)

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).
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.]

(Entries today will be added the following newsday. Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 2 new reports. (Total to date: 6,915). [Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning. Incomplete entries, those with not comments, missing info, etc. are deleted]

  • Powerlogix Bluechip G4/500 in Powerbook G3 wallstreet1 (rated 9)
    (some problems noted booting between OS 9 and OS X)
  • Powerlogix G3/500 in 9600/233 (rated 10)

(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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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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