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News Archive for: 5/4/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 5/4/2001:

PowerBook G4 Improved Battery Just Arrived:
Within minutes of posting a comment on the PB G4 "improved" battery (below), my replacement just arrived from Apple. (I'd ordered it about a month ago.) This is in response to some reports of the battery popping out during flexing the PB G4 case. (I had applied the heat shrink sleeving workaround noted on the PB G4 comments page here previously.) Unlike the reader comments below, I was not told to send my PB G4 to Apple for the update. The new battery appears identical (same module number) but has a later serial number. I expected a larger diameter or different location retaining tab, but the only difference I can see when comparing the two batteries side by side is a very thin black shim between the connector contacts block and the pastic case on the new one. The photo below shows the area comparing the two batteries. I've drawn a thin white line around the shim above the connector w/contacts on the new battery.

PB G4 batteries

However I thought the retaining post protrusions that secure the battery were the main issue before (for those that had the problem). If the battery retaining posts are in the same place (and size), then those that had problems with the battery "popping loose" before may have it again with this battery if the locking posts are in the same position. Not everyone had the problem however. Originally I noted I had not seen the problem on mine, but later I did have it happen once, where the battery dropped completely out of the PB. Applying the shrink sleeving to the retaining post worked better than other tricks I'd tried (like putting a small spacer in the opposite corner of the PB case).

The new battery when installed has the same higher edge near the contacts (slightly above the bottom surface of the PB G4) as the old one did in my PB. After seeing this, I think I'll apply the shrink sleeving on the post closest to the contacts on the new battery like I did on the original one. For more info on the Battery issue see the PB G4 comments page. The shimmed location of the contacts in the new battery may help in some cases, but if you have had problems with the battery coming completely out of the PB (while lifting it for instance), then the contact position will not help that issue in my opinion. Apple does not recommend moving the PB G4 while it's on BTW, although of course many do this.

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More Info/Link to Sony Firewire CDRW Bridge Board ROM Update:
A reader replied to the earlier post on an update to the bridge board firmware in a Sony 1600 CDRW drive:

Just read the paragraph the reader submitted on the Sony 1600 series CDRW. I have one of these (12x8x32) and checked Sony's site (Would have been nice if the reader posted the URL):
(click on Storage Solutions...)
[Links would be nice but are often not included in reader reports-Mike]

This Firmware Upgrade can be installed under Windows 98, ME, and 2000 Operating Systems. The upgrade resolves multiple CDRW drive functionality, Retrospect software functionality, and Mac G-4 detection issues. Some drives were shipped with this version of Firmware installed. Those users will be notified during the upgrade that it is not neccessary to continue. Important: Please read the readme.txt file before performing the upgrade.
CRX 1600L-A2 Firmware Upgrade vBC0828"

I ordered a Firewire card for my PC. I'll flash it and let folks now how it I need to use my drives with BOTH a PC and Powerbook. (I sent my G4 Titanium back to Apple for repair. They would not send me a battery "fix" kit. It had to be installed by them...)
Ed Sikorski"

(see my above post for info on my replacement PB G4 battery that just arrive today.)

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Feedback on Authoring Support 1.1 Update:
(Note: as with the 5.01 update, simply disabling the new Apple authoring extensions should allow Toast 5.01 to work since iTunes itself was not revised.)

The update did break compatibility with Toast Titanium 5.01. In order to regain compatibility, I had to disable all of the Authoring Support extensions. I have a Matshita CW-7585 CD-RW, which was supplied to me by EZQuest in their FireWire case.

I asked and he said the extensions were all v1.1 (my iTunes 1.1 authoring extension was v1.02.)

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XLR8 Press Release on Cache Control v2.02:
I just received a press release email from XLR8 on v2.02 (a non-beta I assumed) version of their Cache control. Their web site does not have the press release and only notes the previous beta version in the sidebar there. Here's the press release text:

" XLR8 releases MACh Speed Control Panel 2.0.2
total rewrite prepares for OS X Multiprocessing.

Atlanta, Georgia. May 3, 2001: XLR8, the award winning leader of Macintosh upgrade and expansion products today released the latest version of its award winning processor control software - MACh Speed Control 2.0.2. This release works with Mac OS 7.5.5 to 9.1. The new version includes improved layout and usability features, improved "architecturally accurate" graphics, multiprocessing support, thermal monitoring, accurate memory interleaving displays, and enhanced AltiVec support for G4 processors.

" This is the latest version of the most compatible, and therefore the best, software available for controlling PowerPC processors on the Mac. No other upgrade manufacturer comes close to the overall features of the MACh Speed Control software, but the new enhanced AltiVec support is the killer. Our implementation of the 'Velocity Engine' or AltiVec support for both single and dual processors is without equal. This software guarantees you'll get the best performance today, and still have the option to use your MACh Speed G4 ZIF MPe processors to upgrade to multiprocessing tomorrow," said Jack Kolk, VP and General Manager of XLR8.

For Mac OS X users it should be noted that this version of software does not yet support OS X. Users wanting OS X support should use XLR8 MACh Speed Control X software which is also available as a free download from our website at By using this software, the backside cache on all G3's and G4's in Beige Power Macintosh G3 and later machines will be enabled at a processor to cache ratio of 2:1 with write through off. For additional information and compatibility notes for pre-beige G3 machines visit our website."

Update - XLR8 replied that they have revised the link at their main page to include a note/download link for the 2.02 (non-beta) version.

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Authoring Support 1.1 Update:
Edmond Lai wrote to say that OS 9's Software Update shows an "Authoring Support 1.1" update available now. I thought that was a part of iTunes 1.1, but when I checked the version of the Authoring Support extension on my PB HD it was 1.02. [A reader later noted the 1.1 update has version 1.1 on all extensions, so it is new. He also reported it broke Toast 5.01 compatibility as I feared.] I have installed Toast 5.01 on my PB G4 which disabled the iTunes support files (5.01 is compatible with iTunes 1.1, but may not be in future iTunes updates rumors say) so I'm a bit leery of installing this yet. If anyone has any info on the Authoring Support 1.1 update (what drives it added support for such as SCSI yamaha drives, or Combo DVD/CDRW drives, etc.) please let me know. Thanks!
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$267.95 G3/500 ZIF and $369.95 CarrierZIF + G3/500 ZIF Bundle:
This just in from site sponsor OWC:

"Hi Mike,
We've got 2 great specials going on with the OWC Mercury G3/500 ZIFS- thought the readers would like to know about.
First, the OWC Mercury G3/500MHz IBM 10x Copper ZIF w/1024k 2:1, Adjustable, 1yr Warranty (Z500MA) $267.95

Second, the XLR8 ZIF Carrier w/OWC Mercury 500MHz 10x G3 Processor 1MB Cache 2yr Warranty (XGZM500) $369.95

Both are available on the XLR8YourMac specials page. Excellent price for a G3/500 upgrade! Also, the ZIF by itself does NOT require any cache enabling software, so it's plug & play ready for OSX!
Thanks! Jamie
Other World Computing"

The CPU ratings database and CPU Upgrades page here has owner reports and reviews/articles on the XLR8 CarrierZIF cards (and other upgrades, ZIFs to CPU cards).

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Reader Tip on List of OS X iTunes 1.1.1 CDRW Drive Support:
"Hi there!
If you want to find out what burners are supported by iTunes in OS X, take a look in the folder


There are files for each brand of drive supported and if you take a look in each file you'll find out which models of each brand that is supported. I own a Sanyo CD-RW1 and that's not supported I'm afraid. ...
Peter Vendlegard"

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Reader Reports Sony Firewire CRX1600L Bridge Board Firmware Update:
From a recent drive database entry for a Sony 12/8/32 Firewire drive owner noted there was a bridge board (Firewire/IDE board inside the case) firmware update:

"I just discovered there's a new Sony firmware update for CRX1600L i.Link/Firewire CDRW.

My drive contains firmware "1.0e" and this new package is dated 2001 "IEEE1394 Bridge board ROM Updater b0828up.exe"

2. System Requirements

Windows 98 Second Edition/ Windows ME/Windows 2000
1394 OHCI Host Adapter Card
1394 CDRW CRX1600L

As you can see, it's not possible to upgrade the firmware unless you have a PC and fireware card installed. This is really irritating because I'd like to take advantage of the latest firmware!"

BTW - From your description, this isn't a CDRW drive firmware update, it's a update for the case's Firewire/IDE bridge board. Perhaps if enough owners wrote Sony support they'd offer a Mac version, but I sort of doubt that. (The Bridge board is not made by Sony in my 10/4/32 model - it was made by Initio, so I suspect Sony doesn't make the bridge board you have or write the updater.)
Perhaps a friend has a firewire equipped PC you could use to update the drive. However past owners seemed happy with the CRX1600L before this update was available, so at least you should get good use from the drive as-is. However it would be interesting to know what the bridge board firmware update was for (fixes, improvements, etc.).

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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 9 new reports (total to date: 5,606).

  • Newer Tech G3/240 in 8100/80 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G3/375 in Umax S900 (rated 8)
  • Powerlogix G3/400 in PowerCenter Pro 210 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix Bluechip G3/466 in PB G3 wallstreet2 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix Zforce w/G3 333 OWC ZIF in 7600/132 (rated 8)
  • Sonnet G3/350 in 5400/11120 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 1)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3 400 OWC ZIF in Umax S900 (rated 9)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3 400 OWC ZIF in 8500/120 (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 5 new entries added this morning. The database has reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 3,693 reports. [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. 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.]
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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