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News Archive for Monday, May 10th, 2004Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

News stories of May 10th, 2004: (later posted items first)
Call of Duty for Mac now shipping
Aspyr's game status page shows Call of Duty for the Mac is now shipping. For reviews of the (highly rated) PC version with screenshots, see the Call of Duty Gamespot review and GameSpy review.
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Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics Award Program
Apple's hotnews page today links to their Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics Award Program. Here's a clip from the page:

"The Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics makes it easy for scientists to harness the immense power of computational clusters. Now, Apple is seeking five of America's most important, innovative and visionary scientific research projects that would benefit from a turnkey, high-performance computational cluster.
Through a formal call for applications, Apple will award five fully-provisioned, all-inclusive Apple Workgroup Clusters for Bioinformatics to five scientific researchers in the United States. A panel of distinguished scientists will help Apple review and select the five best applications. The recipients will be announced at Appleís Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 29, 2004. The application deadline is midnight PDT on June 13, 2004, per the Terms and Conditions of this program."

See the linked page for more details and application info.

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Apple Backup v2.0.2
Tom sent a note that Apple has released Backup v2.0.2 for .Mac users. (I don't use it personally.)

" Backup 2.0.2 is available to .Mac members by selecting the Backup icon on the .Mac website and via Automatic Software Update to .Mac members who have already installed a previous version of Backup. Backup 2.0.2 adds performance and stability improvements to scheduled backups and is recommended for all Backup 2.0 users."

Requires .Mac acct and OS X 10.2 or later. (For OS X 10.1.5 users, the Apple page links to Backup v1.1.)

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XRG author comments on Temperature Monitoring in the G5
"Subject: Temperature Monitoring in the G5
Mike, I noticed your comments (below) the posting of ThermographX today. (about XRG reporting much lower CPU temperatures in the dual G5 here than the U3 Chipset temperature and the readings for CPU temp. seem too low to be actual junction temperatures.) I thought that the temperature readings for the G5 CPUs were pretty interesting as well. It ends up that the sensors that Apple uses for the CPUs are just ambient temperatures of the area around the chip, not the temperature of the actual chip itself.
The U3 controller has a sensor on the chip, so it's readings are much higher. I've seen one temperature monitoring application that simply reported the CPU temperature to be the same as the U3 temperature, which I'm assuming would be fairly accurate, but I didn't want to do that in XRG.

I'm not sure why Apple doesn't provide a way to monitor the CPU temperature directly. According to some documentation I found, there should be a sensor attached directly to the G5, but it's a different type of sensor and I couldn't figure out a way to scale the data I was getting from it to something that looked reasonable. As far as I know, there aren't any other monitoring apps that support this sensor either.
Anyway, just thought I would send in my comments.
Mike Piatek-Jimenez
http://www.starcoder.com/xrg/ "

I won't keep it running all the time, but I downloaded XRG to both an AL PB G4 and the Dual G5 2GHz and will use it from time to time. It's interesting to be able to watch changes in temperatures and being able to monitor several sensor/areas of modern macs (selectable from the preferences). XRG also has other features in addition to thermal reporting, but that's what peaked my interest to download it originally.

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OWC price cuts on 120GB FW400 Hard Drive, FW cased DVR-107 Superdrive bundle
(email from sponsor OWC)

" OWC Neptune 120GB FireWire 400 Solution with all cables, Dantz Retrospect Backup (Mac/PC), Intech Speedtools, Preformatted with free software collection installed + 1 year OWC Warranty, now $144.99

Also... OWC Neptune DVR-107 FireWire 'Superdrive' up to 8X DVD, 24X CD Burn speeds is now $179.95 with Dantz Retrospect, NTI Dragonburn, 25 Pieces CD-R Media & 5 pieces DVD-R Media. All cables and 1 year OWC Warranty included.
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing "

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Sonnet Rebate Offer on Upgrades when bought with a new Mac
Sonnet sent a press release on their "Make your Old Mac Smile" rebate of from $5 to $25 on various Sonnet upgrades when purchased along with a new Mac. (Must be on the same receipt and purchased between May 10th - June 30th, 2004.) See http://www.sonnettech.com/rebates/smile/default.html for more details/terms and conditions at bottom of page.
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Feedback on iBook G4 Graphics (driver) Update (installer mods for pre-1GHz iBook G4s)
Friday's news page had a note about Apple's iBook G4 Graphics Update 1.0 that mentioned OpenGL fixes for the 1GHz and 1.2GHz iBook G4s. The update would not apply to previous iBook G4 models (like the G4/800) even though they have the same graphics chip. One reader however was able to get the update to install on his iBook G4/800 by removing the installer check:

" i got it installed by deleting the volume check and installation check from the resources folder in the package contents. Haven't had any problems with it yet.
(he later wrote)
Okay just benched it using the Open GL test in Xbench. Before update:
79.98, 79.94, 80.17, 80.26, 81.63
after update:
82.10, 82.35, 81.60, 82.39, 82.24
so it does improve it. (by a very small %) YMMV...
update adapted for all ibook G4's here:
http://www.analogrecycling.com/ibook/ibookG4.dmg
this has the volumecheck and installation check removed will work on all ibookG4's is also a smaller download 2.5Mb disk image open and you get the installer automatically.
but as always use it at your own risk. blahblah you know what i mean.
Gary B.
Video Editing / Media Design / VJ
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
http://www.analogrecycling.com "

The Xbench OpenGL test is just a simple spinning squares test. That's a small (%) of improvement in the pure benchmark, so it may not show any real improvements (noticeable) in an OpenGL app or games, but if anyone checks their ATI extension versions (via ASP) before and after the update - or runs real-world tests before/after, let me know. (Or if a 1GHz/1.2GHz iBook G4 owner has seen some issue fixed by this update.)
Note: Another iBook G4/800 owner wrote he installed the update and saw literally no gain even in XBench's simple OpenGL test. (Even the difference noted above really isn't significant.)

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OWC price cuts on Firewire 800 Hard Drives
(email from sponsor OWC)

" OWC Mercury Elite 800 Pro Solutions feature (2) FireWire 800 ports and (1) FireWire 400 port. FireWire Cable, Dantz Retrospect (Mac/PC), Intech Speedtools(Mac), and a 2 Year OWC Warranty are included.
80GB 7200RPM 8MB now $179.99
120GB 7200RPM 8MB now $199.99
160GB 7200RPM 8MB now $229.99
200GB 7200RPM 8MB now $259.99
250GB 7200RPM 8MB now $319.99
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing "

I reviewed two OWC FW800 180GB drives and FW800 PCI card last year. (Including tests of single drive vs dual drive RAID, FW400 RAID vs FW800 RAID, FW400 vs FW800 single drive performance, etc.)

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ThermographX 1.2.4 update
(clip from the author's email)

" ThermographX monitors the internal temperature of your PowerBook or modern Macintosh, utilizing the thermal sensors built into the computer. It provides real-time measurements as well as historical graphs for plotting short- and long-term temperature trends.Version 1.2.4 has the following changes:
- Added support for the April 2004 PowerBooks/iBooks.
- Added user measurements for PowerBook G3/500MHz.
- Updated user measurements for all other models.
The update is available from http://www.kezer.net/shareware.html/.
Thanks, Jeremy "

I recently used another utility that has temperature monitoring (X Resource Graph 1.0, mentioned in Friday's news) on a AL Powerbook and G5 system (I disabled the stock quotes and weather monitoring and changed the background colors.) It was interesting to see the G5's CPU temperatures were typically much lower than the U3 Chipset temperature (and the CPU temperatures seemed too low to be accurate) and being able to monitor several temperature sensors in the AL PB G4, including the battery and P.S. temperature. (See the later news item above for XRG's author comments on the G5 CPU temperatures.)

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EV Nova 1.8 Updater/Demo
This weekend MU listed the EV Nova Updater 1.0.8 (long list of fixes there) and an updated v1.0.8 Demo.
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Mac GeForce ROM page updated
Note - a reader replied to the earlier post (below):

"The 1057-update is also included in NVidia FCode flasher 1.1 (released 03/09/04) - http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/nvidiafcodeflasher.html
(that's the nvidia firmware updater originally released when the Cinema HD display was first sold to add support for it (added to the FAQ here back then). Later revised this year so the flasher would run under Panther I believe.-Mike)
Just flashed my Asus V7100 with 1055-rom to the new 1057 using FCode-flasher, works great!
-Christoffer"

(earlier post follows)

"I got a new Mac Geforce2MX ROM from a reader of my site, and tested it on my GF2MX (PC -> MAC) and it now works in Panther with Quartz Extreme. I could not get any of the previous ROMs to work with Quartz Extreme in Panther (even though it worked in Jaguar with the same ROM).
http://www.cybercoment.com/macgeforce.htm
Thought your readers may want to know.
-Charlie H."
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Apple Knowledge Base docs on iPhoto, Airport, OS X Server 10.3, FCP HD
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports this morning (entries from Friday-Sunday, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,360. Here's a summary of the reports added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Other World Computing G4/450 (at 500MHz) in Beige G3 (rated 8)
  • Other World Computing G4/1.33GHz in (Digital Audio) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1.3GHz in (Gigabit) G4/AGP (rated 9)

    (My reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades w/apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked on the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

(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 Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 11 new reports added (reader entries from Friday-Sunday, entries today are added the next newsday morning. Entries with no comments are not posted). The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, 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, USB, adapters). Current total 12,318 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    CDRW Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) CompUSA CW 5205 52x24x52x used w/G4 AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (listed under "other" brands. Using Patchburn II for Panther burn support.)

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • IDE LG GCC-4521B (52x32x52x + 16x DVD-ROM) in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (using patchburn 1.1 for Jaguar burn support)
  • Exp. bay Matshita UJA710 in PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn II for Panther burn support.)
  • IDE Samsung SM-352N (52x32x52x +16x DVD-ROM) in Dual G4 DDR (OS 9.2)
    (no iapps burn support)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE LG GSA-4081B in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn II for Panther burn support.)
  • IDE LG GSA-4082B in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn II for Panther burn support.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-107D in Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.3)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-107D in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (UK reader that bought one of the unsupported "DVD RW" ID models, see FAQ's DVD section for tips on those. Using patchburn II for burn support.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-107D in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (native burn support in 10.3.3, noted buffer underrun errors in Toast 6)
    (Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT and B&W G3 Macs)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Hitachi 7K250 160GB in (2001 QS) G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (no native big drive support, so limited to 128GB.)
  • IDE Maxtor 80GB in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here in B&W G3 rev2 and G4 towers up to the QuickSilver models.
    IDE articles page RAID section has an illustrated guide for adding 2 more drives in the side bays.)
    (reader FYI Beige G3 MT illustrated HD upgrade guide 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.)
(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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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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