News Archive for: Wednesday March 7th, 2007 (later added items first)
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Anyone running an Asus WL-167G (Ralink 2500 chip) USB 802.11g adapter with 10.4.8?
An iMac G3/450 user running OS X 10.4.8 said he's not been able to get an Asus WL-167G (USB 802.11g adapter based on Ralink 2500 chip) working properly with his Airport Extreme base. He said it never gets an IP address. He said he's tried several Ralink 2500 USB drivers for 10.4.x with no success. (Official and hacked versions - FAQ's networking section has links to their USA drivers page and others.) I had asked about some common problems (including if he had MAC address filtering on and didn't remember to enter the adapter's address) but so far nothing seems to help. (I asked if he'd check the logs for any related messages.)
Update: the reader that had problems later wrote that "Resetting NVRAM and changing the network name to all lowercase did the trick. I'm online and I have a DHCP IP and can surf the net." I guess the network name he was using at the Mac didn't match (case) originally - but if so then I would have expected it to not have actually joined the network, which he said it had before. He later said he had matched case before but had mixed lower/upper case letters and that changing to all lower case worked. (I had originally suggested he try resetting the nvram via OF, just as a common tip for stange problems.)
FYI - See Wednesday's news for other USB 802.11g/OS X 10.4.8 user reports.
(Although more expensive, a better option than a USB adapter in cases like this (no PCI slot, no PCcard slot, etc.) would be an Ethernet to Wireless adapter. They used to be over $100 a few years ago but not checked current pricing. They typically are browser configured with no drivers needed.
*BTW*: A reader later wrote that he hasn't found one of these that supports WPA however, only WEP. I'm surprised at that since even many earlier wireless adapters were updated to support WPA after it became a standard. Even the original Airport 802.11b cards (which only supported 40bit WEP originally) were updated for WPA support.) Several Ethernet/Wireless adapters I found in a web search noted only WEP support but I spent another minute checking and found an ethernet/wireless adapter that does list WPA/WPA2 support - the RoamAbout® Wireless Adapter (802.11a/b/g), although it's quite a bit more expensive than other models like D-Link, Linksys, etc.
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Workaround for Apps problems with QT 7.1.5 in 10.3.9
I've updated the earlier post on Turbotax 2006 problems with QT 7.1.5 in 10.3.9 (which also affected some other apps/games) with a reader's note on a workaround - reinstalling QT 7.1.3 using Pacifist. (UPDATE: On March 12th Intuit released a patch to fix this issue - use the program's update check feature to download it.)
BTW - although dozens of TurboTax 2006 users running OS X 10.4.8 w/QT 7.1.5 didn't note any problems, a Mac Pro user running CS2 apps (under rosetta) said he's had lots of 'unexpected quits' in 10.4.8 with it after the QT 7.1.5 update and said he's going to try the QT 7.1.3 reinstall - However later reports from Tiger users mentioned several problems after doing that. (QT crashing on open, spotlight menu problems..) and had to reinstall the 10.4.8 combo update and QT 7.1.5 update again.
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Bootcamp/Win XP Drivers for Broadcom chip 802.11n cards
" Hi there, I just wanted to add another success story to the batch. I'm using a MacBook Intel Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo) 1.83Ghz. Installed the N enabler beforehand, did surgery on the MacBook, (swapped in a Dell 1500 N mini PCI-e card), turned it on and voila, N capability reported in Network Utility. (If it's not reported as N, remember to install the Airport Extreme 2007-001 update from Jan 07)
Everyone is right about the better performance of this card in comparison to the original (better reception, etc).

I can also confirm this card working under Windows XP. I downloaded the supplied drivers from Dell's support website although it involved a little trickery. Select something like the Insprion 9400 as your model and download the network drivers. When I installed, it unzipped everything into a folder and then tried to run an installer which failed saying "Unsupported hardware" because I wasn't really using a Dell laptop. All you have to do is install the drivers manually as they are already unzipped for you. Easy.

Just wanted to let everyone know, as I haven't seen any reports of Windows XP stories with these cards in a MacBook.
Cheers, Mike "

I had forgotten to post it but another reader that did the swap had previously sent a note/link to WinXP 802.11n drivers for the Mac Pro (and Dell 1500) broadcom chip based card. (Frederic last month mentioned these were broadcom 4321 aka bcm94321)

" I solved the problem. All the (Windows) drivers for the bcm94321 are b/g only. If you download from a third party site you can find the driver for bcm943xx it will work and gives you Broadcom's wireless connect utility which is much nicer that Windows utility. Windows update did nothing, all it would do is enable a/b/g. Thanks for responding (He originally asked what was the broadcom chip ID for these cards.
I asked if he'd send a link to the drivers he used-Mike
)
I believe this is the one that I used. (this X-drivers.com page) Hope it helps others.
-Chad H. "
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Transintl announces the Pro Sled (Mac Pro hard disk drive sled)
(from site sponsor Transintl)

"Trans International today announced the availability of The Pro Sled - Mac Pro hard disk drive sled - is a must have accessory in any high volume production setup. Power users need drives ready for easy exchange and replacement. The Pro Sled gives you the capability of unlimited swappable drives for your Mac Pro. Drives can be assigned and labeled for different clients, projects or backup. In a high volume, professional setting it is easier to avoid misplaced data and over written files when each client or project is assigned their own hard drive. Once mounted on the Pro Sled you can swap them, store them or take them with you - they will plug directly into the Mac Pro main logic board. No power or data cables required. A true convenience and improvement for the power user.
Each Pro Sled kit includes drive screws and sells for $29 (one sled), $49 (two sleds) and $89 (four sleds). "
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Turbotax 2006 problems with Quicktime 7.1.5 update in 10.3.9
UPDATE: On March 12th Intuit released a patch to fix this issue - use the program's update check feature to download it. (Their email included a link to a patch download but the program's update check may download a later update with more than just a fix for this issue.)
Here's a reader mail on a workaround (reinstalling Quicktime 7.1.3 using Pacifist.) (NOTE: 10.4.8 users noted Major Problems after doing this and had to reinstall the 10.4.8 Combo update/QT 7.1.5 to return to normal.)

"After installing the QuickTime 7.1.5 update on a G4/500 Server running OS 10.3.9, TurboTax 2006, which relies on QuickTime, would not run.
(Note it's interesting that the TurboTax 2006 box I saw did not even mention Quicktime at all in the requirements - it did have a note that Adobe Flash 7.0 or later was required however.-Mike)
The splash screen would pop up and then the program would quit. The same thing happened with DxO Optics Pro Elite, a superb digital raw image processor which also relies on QuickTime. Graphics in web pages which rely on QuickTime wouldn't work in SeaMonkey or Firefox but would in Safari.

The QT 7.1.3 installer which I archived wouldn't work, saying I already had a newer version. However, Pacifist, which can open installer packages, can also force an installation of the package components in their default locations. I tried that (a very slow process) and it worked. Both programs mentioned above started working again. However, the web browsers still couldn't handle QuickTime graphics. But the Pacifist installation also tricked the QT 7.1.3 installer into running again and after it did, the web browsers functioned properly too."

I'd say that makes it pretty clear that there's something wrong with the QT 7.1.5 update but it looks like that's only true if it's installed over 10.3.9.

I've also read that there was a QT 7.1.4 security update embedded in Apple's most recent general security up date so by retreating to 7.1.3 I've lost that. (If that's true maybe reapply the 2007-002 security update? However Apple's details doc About Security Update 2007-002 does not mention any QT changes/updates.-Mike) But it's better than having my most important applications broken. Still, that kind of tinkering could conceivably disable a Mac altogether so I wouldn't recommend it.
-Jedi "

Another reader had mentioned he was going to reinstall the 10.3.9 combo update and then QT 7.1.3, but that's even more work. I'm hoping that Intuit (or Apple if it's a bug) posts a fix soon to avoid having to do this. (Note: an OS X tiger user later said he had various QT related problems after doing a Pacifist reinstall of QT 7.1.3.)
(earlier posts on the problem follow.)
From a reader mail - updated with 2nd report on problems from 10.3.9 users, but many OS X tiger users reported no problems in reply to this post. So far no 10.4.8 user has written they've seen the problem. FYI - Paris sent a note that Intuit now has a support page note on this problem but doesn't mention OS versions. Users affected can sign up there for email notification of an update/fix. (I hope they have a 10.3.9 system to test with.)

"TurboTax fails to launch (Mac)
We have recently become aware of an issue that is preventing TurboTax for Mac from launching. We believe this may be due to a recent QuickTime update and are currently investigating the issue.
We know your time is valuable. An accurate, timely response is our highest priority. To be notified as soon as we have an answer, click here to sign up. (popup to enter email address)"

So far I've gotten a LOT of mails from OS X Tiger/10.4.8 users that did NOT see this problem. It may only be an issue with 10.3.9 users.

" The QT 7.1.5 update killed TurboTax 2006. (Running OS X 10.3.9 I assume?-Mike)
That is correct..... 10.3.9
This is bad news as it is tax time and I have not filed yet.
Intuit says remove the update and I have not seen anything yet from Apple about the problem.
It will not run. The splash screen comes up and then it quits.
Their reply to my email was to remove the QT update. I also asked if they would issue a fix but they did not answer that question. (see intuit page link above-Mike) There is a post on this in the Apple discussions forums in the 10.3.9 and later section.
This is the error I see in the console log after trying to launch TurboTax.
    Error locating symbol - dlcompat: Symbol "_JVTDecoOpen" not found

(That "JVT" error makes me wonder if it's Java related (there's a "Java Vision Toolkit (JVT)" at sourceforge.) And there was a Java update for Panther and Tiger last month (in Feb. 15th news, same day as Security Update 2007-002 was released, but he later said the problem only appeared after the QT update.-Mike)
It has worked fine till the QT 7.1.5 update. I did the Java and security updates when they came out in february and encountered no issues at all.
(He later wrote)
I installed TT2006 on my Tiger drive with all Mac and TT updates and sure enough it works fine.
-Dan "

I also had a reader reply to this post saying he's seen similar problem/same error message with Age of Empires III on his updated 10.3.9 system - see workaround in Thursday's news.
I called a friend that runs a home office that I knew used Turbotax on his (10.3.9) Mac. He replied:

" I had bought but not yet installed TurboTax 2006 Home and Business edition and just installed it this morning after your call. (OS 10.3.9 system, no 3rd party haxies/addons, but I had applied all the latest updates - QT 7.1.5 (I have Pro key), DST update, Java update, etc.)
After copying over the folder from the CD Turbotax (home/business) launched and asked to check for updates - it downloaded 5 updates and then restarted with another prompt to check for updates - it found another one and applied it.
Trying to actually use the program however fails - after checking again for updates (or selecting to not check and just use the program) - it just quits. (repeatedly).
I don't know if it was the QT 7.1.5 update alone that is the problem but will test it later today on another mac that hasn't been updated with any of the updates released in the last few weeks. But regardless, I really hope Intuit has a fix for this soon.
BTW - Turbotax 2005 still runs on this system...
(he later wrote)
On a whim I also tried trashing the TT prefs and re-installing the latest Flash player for PPC macs - it did not help.
-Ed "

If anyone finds a workaround or spots an update to address this or *doesn't* have the problem on a 10.3.9 system w/all updates applied, let me know. Thanks.
Update: Several OS X Tiger (10.4.8) users reported they *have not* seen this problem. (I've gotten more than a dozen mails from Tiger users that are *not seeing this problem* - so it may only be seen with 10.3.9.)

" Just another data point - TT 06 Deluxe is working fine on my My Mac Pro is fully patched w/10.4.8 and every other patch, including the QT update. It (TurboTax 2006) was installed before the update.
-Jack "

" Mike, My initial experience with TT2006 was nearly the same as Ed's (earlier 10.3.9 user report above)
EXCEPT:
After the final update was applied, it relaunched and ran normally with NO errors. Allowed me to transfer my previous year's data and download my state forms, relaunched once more and I began the entry process. This is on a Quicksilver DP G4, running Tiger with all updates applied, INCLUDING the latest QT 7.1.5 w/Pro key. Could this be a Rosetta problem, as it runs fine on my PPC Mac?
(Rosetta isn't a factor, as the reader above was running a PB G4 but I'm beginning to think 10.3.9 may be a factor-Mike)
-Rick "

Another OS X tiger user said he's not seen the problem.

" FYI, I'm running Turbotax and QT 7.1.5 with NO PROBLEMS after the update. I just tried one of their streaming media movies and everything seems OK.
(What OS Version used?-Mike)
Running Tiger 10.4.8 with ALL released updates.
TurboTax Premier Version 06-47 with all the updates as of today.
My guess would be it's a Panther system problem, but let's see...
-Ken "

Yes, so far only 10.3.9 users have reported this problem and I'd say more than 2 dozen mails from 10.4.8 users that have not.

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First feedback on Buffalo 802.11n PCcard/Cardbus Adapter in a PowerBook
Update: There's now a low cost ($59 as of summer 2007) 802.11n PCMCIA, PCI, and USB adapters with mac drivers for OS X 10.4.x and 10.3.x.

(original posts from Mar. 7th, 2007 follow)
Monday's news had a reader request if anyone had tried a Buffalo 802.11n wireless PCcard adapter in a Powerbook with Apple's 802.11n enabler. (As I mentioned then, Buffalo lists both a Wireless-N Nfiniti(tm) Dual Band Notebook Adapter (802.11n/g/b/a) and Wireless-N Nfiniti(tm) Notebook Adapter (802.11n/g/b - not 802.11a) model. Neither are listed as OS X compatible however. I didn't know what chipset these adapters were based on but the Apple OEM mini P PCI-3 cards (N compatible) in intel-CPU Macs are either broadcom and Atheros chip based. Since those Mac cards are also 802.11a compatible, I thought the 'dual band' Buffalo card might be the better choice of the two but again not sure if either would work. (As I mentioned Monday, it's best to buy something like this from a store with a liberal return policy.) A reader said he tried the Wireless-N Nfiniti(tm) Notebook Adapter (802.11n/g/b - not 802.11a) model and had no luck with it in his Powerbook G4:

" Hi Mike, here's my experience with the Buffalo Wireless-N Nfiniti PCcard (802.11n/g/b no a compatibility):
My system: PowerBook G4 1GHz 17" : 2GB RAM : 100GB Seagate 5400RPM HD : Pioneer DVR-K05 : MacOS X 10.4.8 with all Software Updates applied... (I asked if he had removed any original Airport card in the PB, which should be done even when using an airport compatible 802.11g PCcard.-Mike)

I purchased the Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n Enabler and wanted to use it with my Netgear WNR854T Rangemax NEXT Wireless-N router. I repaired permissions, cleared Cache using Onyx, used Pacifist to install the enabler, (note apple says the enabler 'requires' the Airport Extreme 2007-001 update (released for Intel-cpu Macs in January). Core Duo mac owners that swapped in a N compatible card said it worked but wasn't listed as N compatible if that update was not applied also.-Mike) and rebooted the PowerBook. The PCcard appears in the Menu Bar as an Unknown Vendor / Ethernet Adapter. The card never shows up in the Network Port Configuration under the Network Pane in System Preferences. The card does not receive power, as none of the led lights illuminate. After nearly 20 minutes of failed configuration attempts, I conclude that this card will not work with this setup. Perhaps someone will have better fortune that I. Thanks for the many years of producing a wonderfully informative site!
Kindest regards,
-Roland "

If anyone tries one of the Wireless-N Nfiniti(tm) Dual Band Notebook Adapter (802.11n/g/b/a) in a PowerBook (using either Pacifist to install the 802.11n enabler or owns a new Airport Extreme 802.11n base and installed the new Airport Software on the Powerbook) let me know if the Apple N enabler supports the card. (The Apple N enabler supports the broadcom chip based Mac Pro card and Atheros AR5008 based cards found in the C2D MacBook/Pros - it also worked with the Dell 1500 notebook (mini PCI-e) wireless card.)
Apple has a kbase doc on how to use Network Utility to tell if 802.11n-enabling software is installed. (i.e. see if the network adapter is reported as N compatible.) BTW - if you have an internal Airport card installed, remove it before using the PCcard. (Also removed when using 802.11g natively compatible cards.)

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Other News/Updated Apple Support Docs
(Updated again at 5PM eastern)

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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