News Archive for Tuesday March 17, 2009     Goto Current News Page

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Feedback on Apple Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter Firmware Update
Eddie sent a note this morning on this (see below for links to later posted Apple Doc/DL pages.) Reportedly to have the update appear in Software Update you must have the adapter connected/in use. Here's a clip from the Software Update window on the changes/fixes:

"This firmware update addresses intermittent flickering and compatibility issues such as no video when using the Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter on your Mini DisplayPort enabled Mac....The Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter must be plugged into your Mac and a compatible VGA display. The Mac power adapter must be plugged into a power outlet..."

I wonder if they'll issue a firmware update for the dual-link DVI adapter also as many readers with that adapter (used w/30in display) have reported jerky mouse tracking in the past.
Update: - Apple now has a kbase doc About the Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter firmware update and a Firmware Update Download Page. 3 readers replied they've seen this update with their systems - two updated OK, the other not. (BTW - per screenshots readers sent, the original firmware was v1.01, new firmware is v1.03)

"I've been having a heck of a time with a Samsung TV and new Macbook via the MiniDisplayPort VGA adaptor... Well, I can now say that it works and fixed the inability for the Samsung to display VGA from both the Aluminum MacBook and the later 2008 MacBook Pro.

However, you NEED to have the adapter plugged in for the Software Update to recognize it. (mentioned in the original post above) Then it downloads a firmware update which will install after a reboot. You'll have the normal firmware "BEEP" code, then a grey screen with a progress bar. When done, it will restart and you'll eventually get a window telling you if successful and that it upgraded from Version 1.01 to 1.03 of the VGA adapter.
Now, to get my hands on a MiniDisplayPort HDMI adapter from Monoprice...
-Ed S."

"I've got a 15" MBP, a 17" LCD, and a Mini-DP to VGA adapter. I plugged everything in, including the laptop power, and was presented with the option of installing a firmware update after running Software Update. Attached are a few screen captures of what was presented. (confirming above info)
After downloading and extracting, then exiting SU, the updated rebooted my Mac, made the long beep associated with a firmware update, which was then followed by the usual progress bar for such things. A dialog box asking if I wanted to update other adapters came up after the subsequent reboot.

I hope this fixes the blanking screen issues I've had with an external display.
(he later wrote)
I've had the MBP connected to the LCD for several hours after the update and didn't see it flick out while working on the main LCD.
-Dave"

A 2009 Mini owner wrote he had problems applying it:

"I attached two dialogs of my recent attempt at upgrading the firmware of my displayport. The upgrade showed in the Software Upgrade once I plugged in the monitor. I did the install and my Mac mini rebooted. After the bong, my mini froze at the grey screen.

After about 10 minutes, I nervously turned off the power and rebooted. The mini booted back and I got the error dialog I attached. I apologize for the pdf format. I just reinstalled SnapZ Pro and I have not changed any of the preferences so far.

    (text from the error dialog screenshot)
    An unexpected error occurred. Your Mini
    DisplayPort to VGA Adapter firmware can not be updated.

    Internal error 0x800000007: 0x0,0,0,5.

Cheers, David"

I asked a David if he had any unnecessary other devices connected. (He later said yes - a FW Drobo, EyeTV 200, iPod Touch, printer, PowerMate, Contour Shuttle and UPS.) It may not have mattered, but IMHO it's best to disconnect anything not necessary when applying an update like this. But he said he's not going to try again as he never had any problems with the adapter anyway. (Citing the golden rule "If it ain't broke, don't fix it") But glad to see it's helped some others have had seen problems previously.

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Apple releases iPhone 3.0 Developer Beta, previews iPhone OS 3.0 software
From Apple's news page:
"Apple today announced that iPhone OS 3.0 software, coming this summer, will deliver 100 new features, including cut, copy and paste; MMS; landscape view for Mail, Text and Notes; stereo Bluetooth; Notes syncing; shake to shuffle; parental controls for TV shows, movies and App Store apps; and a new Voice Memo app. Apple also released an updated SDK, with more than 1,000 new Application Programming Interfaces, to registered developers."

FYI: Apple now has a QT webcast of the iPhone 3.0 Event Keynote online.

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Anyone else tried to update Seagate HD firmware in a 2009 Mac Pro?
First mail from a 2009 Mac Pro owner on trying to update the firmware - although a 2008 Mac Pro owner updated his Seagate HD firmware OK (PATA optical drive mac pro), this (SATA optical drive) 2009 Mac Pro owner noted problems. (I've also added this to the previous page here on Seagate SATA drive firmware updates from earlier this year.)

"Tried to apply the Seagate firmware update using a new Nehalem Mac Pro 8 core. The utility ran but could not find the drive to patch. I did remove all other hard drives and did put the drive in the first bay. The drive is still working but I am not looking forward to it failing unexpectedly, even with a Time Machine back up on a different brand drive. Drive info below (per S/N check is an "affected" drive):
    Capacity: 931.51 GB (1TB model)
    Model: ST31000340AS
    Revision: SD15 (firmware version)
    Serial Number: 9QJ0VZ1P
    Native Command Queuing: Yes
    Queue Depth: 32
    Bay Name: "Bay 1"
    Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified

I believe the previous Mac Pros machines had PATA for optical drives but there's only SATA in the new Mac Pro. (2009's use SATA even for optical drives) I didn't look thoroughly to see if there was a PATA connection hiding anywhere, but other than not being able to salvage the burner from my dead G5, it's not a big deal.
-Tom A."

The 2009 Mac Pros have a new motherboard/chipset and wonder if the SATA optical drive/interface is factor (i.e. does the boot CD have driver support for it). I'd be curious if Seagate support has any useful comments on this (I'd report it to them also) but I doubt they've tested with any new machines like this. If any other reader with a 2009 Mac Pro tries updating their Seagate HD firmware, let me know (news at xlr8yourmac) if you have better luck or not. (And let me know if you have a bootcamp/windows partition on the drive. (FYI - See the Macs/systems page here for later articles on the 2009 Mac Pro, including my first impressions article on my 8-core 2.66GHz 2009 Mac Pro w/4870 card.)

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My First Impressions of 2009 Mac Pro (8 core 2.66GHz/ATI 4870)
I've posted a page with some notes, pix and observations from setting up a 2009 Mac Pro (Dual 2.66GHz/ATI 4870/6GB RAM/640GB HD) yesterday - it's not a comparison to previous Mac Pros as I don't have one to test. (And it couldn't have arrived at a worse time, I've had a never-ending headache for 4 days now and it's driving me insane.) Includes some notes on the OEM 640GB hard drive (WD), 18x superdrive (LG), comments on (lack of) noise, software updates since the included OS X build, example core usage during iMovie 09 exports and Quicktime playback, results of Cinebench R10 and Quickbench/Zonebench benchmarks of the OEM drive.
The bottom of the page has links to Intel docs on Nehalem Microarchitecture, Intel Turbo Boost and QuickPath Technology and intel's page on Nehalem DDR3 DIMM System-level Validation Results.
(Later updated with COD4/4870 benchmarks, links to Apple's 2009 Mac Pro DIY component upgrade/replacement guides (PDFs) and links to 2009 Mac Pro reviews.)
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Other News/Articles, Apple support/TS doc updates
(updated during the day)

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