News Archive for: 5/4/2005 Wednesday's News (later posted items first)
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SoftRAID driver now included with Tiger
(Email from Mark James of SoftRAID.)

" SoftRAID LLC, announced today that its SoftRAID 3 driver is included with Apple's new operating System, Tiger (Mac OS 10.4). This includes all retail DVD's and CPUs which come pre-installed with 10.4.

The SoftRAID 3 driver allows the OS X system to recognize SoftRAID volumes created with the SoftRAID 3 application. This means that a user can take their SoftRAID volumes to any machine with Tiger installed and the volumes will appear on the desktop and function normally, with or without the presence of the SoftRAID application. The SoftRAID application is necessary for the user to create and manage the volumes.

This also means that current SoftRAID 3 users can install the Tiger system directly onto their SoftRAID volumes using the Tiger Installer DVDs without modification. (Panther Installer CDs and DVDs must be modified by the SoftRAID application before they can recognize SoftRAID volumes.)

Version 3.1.3 is the currently shipping version of SoftRAID 3 and it is recommended that all SoftRAID users upgrade to this version before using Tiger.... "

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Notes on Tiger Restart/Shutdown problems w/some 3rd Party Startup Items
A reader replied to an earlier post from a PB/Tiger user on problems restarting/shutting down. (I asked the PB G4 user if he had any 3rd party software installed but had not gotten a reply.)

" I had the same issue with my Dual 2GHz G5 not shutting down after doing the Tiger upgrade. NVRAM and Open Firmware resets did no good. A search on the Apple Discussion web site revealed that 3rd party startup items were the culprit, with SpeedTools most often the offender.
Look in /library/startupitems (at the root drive level, not the user library) and remove the 3rd party items.
SpeedTools and QuickBackStartupItem have both been confirmed to break shutdown/restart. (one reader also mentioned some Norton items-Mike) Remove these items, and then after the next boot both the shutdown and restart routines will work correctly.
-Brian D. "

The System Prefs > Accts > (user) > Login items may or may not list everything you have installed. (Some may have their own Prefs Panel instead and some may not appear anywhere in System prefs.)
Update: The reader that reported the problem earlier (Dominic) said this tip fixed the problem (he had a speedtools Quickback startup item). Several other readers also replied to this post saying trashing 3rd party startup items helped with Tiger problems they had. (As with any major OS upgrade, often 3rd party addons are the cause of problems or need updating to work with the new OS.)
(Update - the next day Intech updated their Quickback and Device Tuner for Tiger.)

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PR on OWC G4 upgrades and Tiger compatibility
I missed this yesterday but sponsor OWC posted a press release Confirming Mercury Extreme G4 Upgrades are OS X "Tiger" 10.4 Compatible.
(So far only the enabler software for some other types of CPU upgrades has been an issue - PL updated their CPU Director software and Sonnet updated their cache enabler already to address this.)
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Updated Summary of Tiger reports w/non-Apple Network Adapters
Here's a summary list (alphabetical order) of reader reports on Tiger with non-Apple Wireless/Network adapters. (If you're using a non-apple adapter in Tiger, let me know the details. Include adaper model number/revision, if it required a driver, etc. - thanks.)

    Reported Working in Tiger (Broadcom chip based/native support unless noted)
  • Sonnet Aria G
  • Asante FriendlyNET AeroLAN 802.11g PCCard (PB G4 owner)
  • Buffalo WLI-PCI-G54 PCI card (MDD owner)
  • Belkin F5D7011 (802.11g) v.1101 PC-card (pismo owner)
  • Belkin F5D7000 PCI wireless adapter (MDD owner)
  • D-Link DWL-122 (USB/801.11b adapter) using D-link Singapore's 1.4.7 driver originally installed in Jaguar)
  • Motorola 802.11g PCI adapter (same one i noted last year I bought at walmart. But IIRC they've also revised the card in later shipments and may no longer be broadcom chip based.)
  • "Old" linksys 802.11b PCMCIA card working with the IOXperts Beta 10.4 driver (Didn't have the Linksys card model number but linksys often had different 'revisions' of the same model w/different chipsets)

    Reported Not Working in Tiger
  • Belkin Wireless G (F5D7050) USB Adapter (driver not loading)
  • D-link DWL-G122 USB adapter (console log shows "driver is not loadable" error. However one reader said it worked but I asked he verify that - same pismo owner that reported on the belkin F5D7011 working. BTW - a 10.3.8 user reported his newly bought G122 didn't work with the ralink drivers - module mismatch error so I wonder if they changed the chipset now.)
  • Linksys PCcard (didn't include model/revision, but was using sourceforge drivers in 10.3.x ok.) He also reported an Orinoco card didn't work - odd since that's the same chipset the original apple airport cards and 1st model base used.
  • Netgear WG511 wireless PCMCIA card (GTDriver 0.9.1 from http://gtdriver.binaervarianz.de/ not working in Tiger)
  • Netgear MA401 wireless PC card (said Macsense driver for WPE-700 aerocard+ v2.0 not working in Tiger)
  • NetZero (dialup) user reported can't dial out anymore (modem not seen?)

Apple has a Tiger Support page but info/tips there won't help if the problem is due to a driver broken in Tiger and apple doesn't provide tech support for 3rd party products. (If the adapter is driver supported - check the driver page/website of theirs to see if they have any updates for Tiger. I doubt most will yet.)

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Updated Summary of Tiger and PCI card sleep support
Here's an updated summary of Tiger feedback on PCI card sleep support/fixes (as of this morning - more reports still coming in. Later additions listed first).

    No Sleep Problems Reported (not sure if all users tested w/devices connected)
  • Acard 6880M RAID PCI Card w/dual drive RAID volume using OS X RAID (not card switch RAID) in Quicksilver Dual 800.
  • Acard AEC6290M SATA PCI Card
  • ATI Radeon 9200 128MB PCI (one 7000 card user reported no sleep support in his AGP Mac, but I asked for more details/firmware version, etc.)
  • Sonnet Allegro FW400 PCI card (G5 owner mentioned Mercury FW Hard Drive connected to the card.)
  • OrangeMicro USB 2.0 (NEC chip) card (said Tiger fixed previous sleep problem w/Verbatim flash drive connected)
  • Adaptec USB2Connect USB 2.0 PCI card (said sleep OK w/Canon printer connected)
  • Keyspan FW400 PCI card user (G5 1.8GHz) reported previous problems w/sleep fixed after update to Tiger.
  • (generic) PCI Firewire 400 card user reported deep sleep now works in Tiger (VIA chipset he later wrote.)
  • Three reports on FW800 PCI cards now supporting deep sleep (2 noted Lacie brand, one didn't note specifics. Please test with and without devices/drives connected)
  • One report on FirmTek 1VE2 card wake from sleep problem fixed
  • One report of a (unspecified) FW400+USB 2.0 PCI supporting deep sleep (again I asked for details on the card brand/model as chipset used can vary)
  • Fireconnect 4300 PCI Card (said OK even w/devices connected)

    Sleep Problems Reported
  • I/O Gear PCMCIA USB 2.0 card (GPU202) - noted problems -if- iPod (disk mode) attached (but it's not uncommon for many cards to have problems with sleep with some types of devices attached)
  • Orange Micro Grappler SCSI 930U PCI card
  • OrangeMicro SCSI 906F card prevented wake from sleep in Tiger (but worked otherwise he said)
  • Macally USB 2.0 PCI card (NEC USB2.0 chipset) (no sleep support when tested w/iPod mini/shuffle connected)
  • Belkin USB 2.0 PCI card won't allow wake from sleep (asked for details, if devices connected, etc)
  • USB 2.0 (2 port) PCI card (StarTech.com #PC1225USB) (asked if it was natively supported or used drivers)
  • Adesso AUH-215 USB 2.0 PCI card (NEC chip based/native support) not supporting deep sleep w/storage devices connected.

Connected devices are often prevented deep sleep in the past with many cards. (NOTE: Apple has posted a page with recommended Firewire and USB 2.0 cards for iPod use, although they do not mention sleep tests.)
If you're using any PCI card (USB 2.0, Combo USB/FW, Capture, Drive controller, etc.) in Tiger and find improvements (or problems) - let me know the details (card brand/model, if any drivers were needed and test with and without devices attached if possible.) Thanks.

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Reader sample comparing H.264 vs. DivX
" http://homepage.mac.com/gsf/divxvsh264.png
The top file is a DivX file created by Forty-Two VX Plus, set to 700 Megs target size (final output at 678) 512 pixels wide (for doubling to watch on a 1024 screen, like an iBook 12") with 2 pass encoding

The bottom file is a H.264 file created by handbrake set to 700 Megs target size (final output at 671) 512 pixels wide with 2 pass encoding.

one word : wow
I mean - its not even a contest. The clarity and quality of H.264 is just beyond what even i expected, now that i get to work with it every day.

i do a lot of travel as a video engineer, so i like to take my movies with me on my Powerbook 12"... the sad part is that i'm going to have to go back and re-compress all my movies now... at least my G5 at home will be happily cranking on stuff for me during the day.
-don
the software for the DivX file was Forty Two VX Plus by Kai Sakura and handbrake was used for the DivX file.
(note: Kai should be releasing an update to Forty Two VX PLus quite soon... i have it on good level rumoring that they plan on working on the open source h.264 encoder, optimize for G5, yada, yada, yada, to make Forty Two VX plus a real winner int he DVD ripping wars.) "

I knew Don's comments would draw some fire and got several LONG mails about compression (using a DVD/MPEG file as a source) and saying DivX encoding is better on PCs than Macs and comments on encoding times - one reader said "H.264 takes 4.5 hours to encode a 90 minute movie using HandBrake while Forty-Two takes 80 minutes using Divx on a PowerMac G5 Dual 2.0GHz". (It would fill this page to post all the replies and rebuttals/counterpoints, etc. so just posting a summary.)

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Tiger report from Pro 3D Apps user w/X800
" I'm a 3D artist and recently upgraded to Tiger. So far it's been rough because with my X800 (in a 2Ghz G5 with ATI displays 4.5.1), the OpenGL viewports in Lightwave Modeler, Silo and Maya have pixelated artifacts running through them that make the program unusable. (I asked what X800 ROM version he's using -104 or -107 and for the versions of the 3D apps he's using just for the record.-Mike)
After some fiddling, I was able to get Maya straightened out by using the settings shown below (he included a screenshot of ATI's Displays 3D/GL overrides panel with a profile for Maya.app with the Performance slider set to max Quality.-Mike) , though unfortunately Maya was the only program that responded. I still cannot work in Lightwave Modeler.
Fortunately, Luxology's Modo had no problems at all from the start so I can use that instead of Lightwave.
-Michael F.
(he later wrote with details on versions)
The ROM version on my X800 is -104 and the display is the Apple Aluminum 23" LCD. I ran the card with the ATI software that came with the card, then applied the ROM fix (previous ATI ROM Xtender Hotfix for display artifacts-Mike) because I had the green pixels on my display. After upgrading to Tiger this past weekend, the shimmery green dots were back, so I applied the new ATI displays software.
The software in question is Maya Unlimited 6.5, Lightwave Modeler 8.2.1 and Silo 1.30c. World of Warcraft 1.4.1 had a similiar artifacting problem, though only in windowed mode, not fullscreen.
Hope this helps out, it's a real showstopper for my work! "

I've added this to the Mac X800 user reports page. (I hate to keep harping on details like versions, but I'm spending hours every day replying to mails asking for more info/missing info like versions of drivers, software, etc.. In case there are updates (now or later), it's good to include version info in reports. thanks)

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9600 Mobility users verify Tiger Core Image/Video support
Although Apple's tiger core image page notes a 9700 Mobility is required for core image support, a reader with a Powerbook G4 17in/1.33GHz w/9600 Mobility (64MB) sent a screenshot from ASP (graphics/display section) showing that core image is shown as "supported". (Yesterday's news had notes that the desktop 9600 is also supported, despite the fact apple lists a 9600XT and up). According to an ATI contact

"The bottom line is that all the R300 derived chips (Radeon 9600, 9600 Mobility, 9700 Mobility, 9800 Mobility, 9700, 9800, 9800 Pro, 9800 SE, X800, X800 XT...) support ARB_fragment_program, and as far as I know that's what Apple requires for hardware acceleration of Tiger features such as Core Image, Core Video, etc..."

I hope Apple revises their Tiger pages to note this soon. (To avoid confusion with end users.)

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Report on problems restarting/shutting down w/Tiger (fixed)
(from a reader mail - not updated my PB G4 to Tiger yet)

" I Have a BTO April '04 Powerbook 15' (1.5 Ghz, 1 Gig Ram, 128 MB Radeon 9700, 80 Gig 5400 RPM HD) and have just upgraded to Tiger.
I now cannot restart or shut down my computer unless I manually cycle the power off. I can go to and from sleep just fine, it's only shutdowns that are troublesome. The system will hang with only the desktop wallpaper showing and the mouse is movable. Has anyone else had this problem and perhaps knows a workaround/fix?
-Dominic S. "

I asked if he had tried resetting the NVRAM and he replied it didn't help. So I asked if he did a clean install or upgrade over 10.3.x and if any 3rd party addons were installed and if any external devices connected (in case that could be a factor.) Update - see the later news item above on similar problems due to 3rd-party addons/startup items (called login items in Tiger).
Dominic later wrote that tip that fixed his problem:

" I did in fact have the Speedtools (Quickback) extension that the reader mentioned, removed it, and it worked like a charm. Everything' perfect now. Thanks to all involved
--Dominic S. "

I got a lot of mails on that tip saying it helped with problems they had after the Tiger upgrade.
(Update - the next day Intech updated their Quickback and Device Tuner for Tiger.)

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Reader request for help with encrypted files/disk image
(from a reader mail yesterday)

" I created an AES-128 encrypted sparse disk image, copied my Documents to it, and unmounted it. Later, when I mounted it again, all of my files remained encrypted, and thus garbage to me. I lost all of my documents. Not cool. Any idea how to make it remember to decrypt it? Thanks.
Nathaniel "

If any readers have a suggestion for Nathaniel, let me know.
Update - a reader replied:

" Mike,
I've been playing with AES-128 encrypted images since reading the query on the news page. Of course mine works all the time, (10.3.9), but the only way I can see it opening AND still being encrypted is if the System isn't seeing it as Encrypted dmg, (I assume it's not asking for Keychain access or a password). Other than repairing all the HDs, permissions, restarting, etc., I think the best chance would be to open it on another machine.
Bruce "
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Other Net News/Software Updates
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 8 new reports added this morning. (Entries today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 14,648 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
  • IDE Liteon SOHC-5235K (52x32x52x + 16x DVD-ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for Panther iApps burn support. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model)

    DVD-ROM Drives:
  • USB (2.0 cased) LG GDR-8162BB in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (using USB 2.0 PCI card rather than the onboard USB 1.1 ports)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (+USB cased) Sony DRU-800A used w/Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.30
    (Using Patchburn 3 for Panther iApps burn support.)
  • IDE Matshita UJ-845S in Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-109 in (MDD) Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-109 in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-109 in Dual G4 (OS X 10.4)
    (Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model)
  • IDE DVR-A09 (retail box DVR-109) in eMac (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for Panther iApps burn support.)

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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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report this morning (entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,896. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Powerlogix Dual G4 1.8GHz in (Quicksilver) G4/AGP (rated 10)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at 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).

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Mac Game Reviews Database Updated
The Rate Your Mac Games database update this morning included a review of Doom3 (from PB G4 12in owner). Total Reviews (all titles): 1221. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. Please include as much detail as possible in your review comments. (If your game title is not in the long list of titles, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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