News Archive for: Thursday, May 11th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Apple Front Row 1.2.2 Update
JMac sent a note this update appeared in SU and I checked Apple's support site and found the download page for the Front Row 1.2.2 update which says:

" Bugs fixed in 1.2.2 include:
- Addresses bugs that prevented song shuffling within playlists
- Front row no longer says the server was not found when its waiting for a large movie trailer or long shared video to load
- Corrects bugs that prevented authorized Audible Audiobooks from playing
- Fixes a variety of DVD compatibility issues
- Purchased movies located in the Movies folder are now correctly recognized
- Includes a variety of fixes for VoiceOver accessibility
- Fixes a bug that prevented Front Row from reconnecting to shared video libraries after wake from sleep "
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Apple releases OS X Security Update 2006-003 and Quicktime 7.1
(NOTE - Some Intel CPU Mac owners with Adobe's "Version Cue" installed (startup item) reported boot problems after this update. Remove/Disable version cue was the fix.)
A new Security Update for OS X appears in software update today in 10.4.6 and 10.3.9 and there's also a Quicktime 7.1 update. (thanks to Steven Mahoney for the heads-up)
Here's the info from Software Update (using 10.3.9 system, also appears in 10.4.6).
"Security Update 2006-003 is recommended for all users and improves the security of the following components.
AppKit
Bom
CoreFoundation
Finder
Flash Player Plug-in
Mail
QuickDraw
Ruby
Safari
SecurityServer

For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61798
(that page links to the specific 2006-003 update info)
Additionally, Security Update 2006-002 has been incorporated into this security update. "

The OS X Tiger version of the update has this list of updated components:

" AppKit
Bom
CFNetwork
CoreFoundation
CoreGraphics
curl
Finder
Flash Player Plug-in
ImageIO
LaunchServices
Mail
Preview
QuickDraw
Ruby
Safari
securityd "

Here's the download pages for the Security update:

Here's the SU info on the Quicktime 7.1 update:

" QuickTime 7.1 (51+MB) delivers numerous important bug fixes and addresses critical security issues. This update is highly recommended for all QuickTime 7 users.

Important Notice to QuickTime Pro Users
Installation of QuickTime 7 will disable the QuickTime Pro functionality in prior versions of QuickTime, such as QuickTime 5 or QuickTime 6.... "

Apple now has a QuickTime 7.1 download page (49.1MB).
FYI - See Macupdate.com (or the Friday news page here) for updates to several games to fix a problem running them after the QT 7.1 update.

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Mac PCI SATA Cards now from $39.99
(from site sponsor OWC)

" Mac PCI SATA Cards now from $39.99!
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Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing "
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Apple MacBook Pro 15in Developer Notes
Saw this a couple days ago but forgot to mention it. Apple has posted a MacBook Pro 15in Developer note with system block diagram, information on interfaces, memory, graphics, etc...
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Free Consultation/System Upgrade advice for Musicians
(clip from the PR email)

"...In a special arrangement with Other World Computing, Roger Adler (multiple EMMY Award nominee guitarist and digital recording professional) is participating in a free consultancy program that allows aspiring digital musicians and recording artists to get personalized one-on-one guidance from Adler on how to upgrade their specific computer system as efficiently as possible to achieve their specific recording goals.

By visiting the Internet URL: www.MacSales.com/consult, musicians and recording enthusiasts of all skill levels and ambitions have a chance to supply information about their current Mac or PC system and then seek advice on how to reach the goals they have in mind. Adler responds with advice personalized to each individual's unique set up and goals, typically within 48 hours..."

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MacBook Pro 17in owner performance comparisons to his Dual 2.7GHz G5
" Hi Mike, Just an update on my new 17" MBP 2GB 7200 100GB that came via FedEx this morning. First things first. Mac OS X performance and apps. Oh boy is this thing fast. My main computer is a G5 Dual 2.7GHz with 8GB ram and will be used as the comparison to the 17MBP.

Boot time to desktop:
Dual 2.7GHz G5: 36 sec
MacBook Pro 17inch: 8-11 sec (not a typo)

iDVD 30 min DV to DVD and burn:
Dual 2.7GHz G5: 36 min
MacBook Pro 17inch: 39 min

1080P trailer playback 3 movies simultaneous 24 FPS:
Dual 2.7GHz G5: 18 FPS
MacBook Pro 17inch: 10.4 FPS (QT crashed twice, but ran the 3rd time).

MS Word load 4000 pg document with photos 170MB: Dual 2.7GHz G5: 19.4 sec
MacBook Pro 17inch: 32 sec

Now onto windows and boot camp. The install was simple and took 24 minutes. I partitioned to 20GB for windows and loaded the mac (apple) drivers. My biggest selling point on the MBP was windows gaming. I am happy to report that this mac is faster than a similarly configured Dell XPS laptop that cost $4,800 (2.16 Core Duo, X1600 128MB, 2GB ram, 5400 RPM 120GB). I have been astounded with the quality of gaming that the MBP has to offer. Games tested: Half Life 2, Quake 3, UT 2004, Elder Scrolls Oblivion.
As before I am going to benchmark against the G5 above and the Dell, as well as impressions vs the XBOX 360. All games on the MBP are running in WinXP DX9 and no change to the ATI card clock (400Mhz reported). All games are set to 100% quality and are running at 1280x768 (16:10), all figures FPS, no FSAA.

Half Life 2 video test:
MBP: 114
XPS: 104
G5: n/a

Quake 3:
MBP: 281
XPS: 277
G5: 364

UT 2004:
MBP: 95
XPS: 86
G5: 64

Oblivion Impressions:
MBP: Smooth as silk in the dungeons, outside a little choppy when looking into the distance (fog not working, odd shadows).
XPS: Smooth but "chuggy" in dungeons, outside 10-15fps but playable (looks normal).
G5: n/a
Xbox 360: Silk 90% of the time, but outside battles with 8+ characters is just a little choppy (1080i to 65" rear projection).

As you can tell, the MBP has more than enough power to play the latest PC games (in windows), and in universal apps are very close to the G5 in performance. Now, vs the dell, the MBP is both a better value ($3,500 vs $4,800) is two pounds lighter, has a higher res screen 1680 vs 1440, is faster by a good 10%, and (best of all) can run FCP and Logic 7. I can not recommend the 17" MBP enough. More to come over the next week.
-Adam S. "

Since Adam had XP installed, I asked if he could check the default core/memory clocks of the MBP 17in's X1600 using ATItools. (To add the stock clocks info to the previous page of info on MBP/intel iMac X1600 speeds/OC reports)
BTW: Many readers are curious if the 17in may have the 'excess thermal paste' on heatinks/heatpipe seen on some MBP 15in models. If anyone with a 17in MBP opens it up to check this let me know
(FYI - It doesn't include info from a 17in MacBook Pro (2.16GHz), but William R. sent a link to a page with Graphs of Temperature Measurements on MacBook Pro (15in/2GHz and 1.83GHz models) that has some temperature graphs of stock setup and after (re)applying a (normal) amount using Arctic Silver. As mentioned before here, reportedly the fan control keys off the heatpipe temperature and with a proper amount of thermal paste, the heatpipe works more efficiently to draw heat off the CPU, Northbridge and ATI X1600 GPU.)

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Feedback on iBook G3 Video/GPU do-it-yourself repair
" Hey Mike, You had an article from a French web site a little while ago, (in April 24th news page) which detailed an easy fix for the video problem with the white iBooks. I inherited an iBook G3 900 with that same problem from a friend. Of course, it happened right after the recall program ended!
Well, I decided to try the repair without cutting a square piece of metal to fit between the sheild and the graphics chip. All I did was put 4 silicon bumpers between the sheild and the outer case and ....voila!!! It DOES work!! I wonder how many poor iBooks ended up in the trash when they could have been fixed so easily!!
-Scott "

I asked Scott to report back if the problem reappeared in the future. (A reader replied to that post in the news saying this kind of repair may only be temporary as it just puts pressure on the solder joints that have cracked from board flexing.) But at least it gets the system working again. (Some have tried re-heating the chip to reflow the solder connections, but with generally poor results from those that mentioned trying that.)

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Intel CPU Mac Clones being sold?
Yesterday a reader posted a link to a "PowerPC G6" Mac clone ($500). The description is strange (mentions PowerPC G6 as Intel 3.8GHz CPU) and an X86 version of OS X 10.4.3. (Original Intel CPU Mac system Developer version?) Not sure what the deal is with it but another reader sent a link to a story on the same item at theinquirer.net titled Mac Clones are Back.
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Question on CD-DAO support with Pioneer DVR-111 and OS X
(updated)

" I added a Pioneer DVR-111D to my G5 Dual 2Ghz yesterday running 10.4.6. Installed Patchburn 4. Seems to work with Toast 7.02. My question is something in the profile for it (see below). It does not list CD-DAO (disk-at-once) as supported even though Pioneer says it is. Is that just not supported on a mac? That is a hugely important feature for me. Does it just not show it in the profiler?
It does not list CD-DAO
-David
(clip from Apple system profiler)
Firmware Revision: 1.06
....
Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO "

I see the same thing reported in Tiger here on a system with an older model drive, yet Toast does show DAO as an option when burning CDs. I can't remember for sure but I think this was mentioned in the past (that apple/finder supported SAO vs DAO). I asked David if he had used Toast to verify it lists (and will do) CD-DAO. He later replied;

" It listed DAO and TAO under Toast and I burned a live CD in Jam and it said DAO while burning and it seemed to come out OK (which it wouldn't have if it were TAO) so I think I am OK. Still, it seems weird it wouldn't be listed on the profiler
-David "
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Acard PCI Raid Utility 2.04
(from a reader mail yesterday)

" Just wanted to let you know that Acard had updated their PCI Raid Utility which now includes some nice new features like email notification. As you know, the Acard, Sonnet, SIIG and Miglia PCI IDE Raid cards are the same, just re-branded. I figured some of your readers would like to know. You can download the utility from Acard's site and search for Utility for the 6880M.
-Dai

Version:2.04
1. Supports all ACARD's Mac RAID controllers
2. Supports the latest driver and firmware
3. Add new functions
a. Event log
b. Email notification
c. Set disk back "

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Quad G5 owner notes on RAM/Heights
" Mike, As you probably already know the ram slots in the G5 quad are restricted height wise due the front plastic fan bracket tapering back to the surface of the water cooling radiator, this bracket with its two fans must be pulled to allow access to the DDR2 ram slots. Apple could have easily squared off the design of this bracket allowing most any available ram to be installed, but in doing this would have decreased a little airflow from these fans to the radiator as the current design of this bracket does make the smoothest transition for this air passage to radiator fin surface.
As it is any of the higher quality ram chips that have heat spreaders installed, the added height of the heat spreaders or any outer casing on DDR2 ram sticks will hit the tapered portion of the fan bracket not allowing the bracket to be inserted flush with outer radiator case housing. The clear deflector shield cannot be installed unless this bracket is flush with the housing. The higher quality ram uses much better component chips than the generic ram that the user is restricted to using because of the height restriction. Also voltages to the ram are not adjustable on the Quad, as they are on a high-end PC using DDR2 ram. (many PC motherboards for years have adjustable ram timing, voltage, etc.-Mike) Most low latency ram (which shows no advantages in the Quad) gains it lower latencies by increasing or requiring the voltage to ram to be increased to gain stability with these lower latency numbers. Some high end ram is spec'd at these higher voltage values and may not run at all in the Quad.

I chose to use 2 gigs of Corsair Twin 5400c4 Pro DDR2-675 Xms2-5400. This ram has probably the tallest spreader that will still work on this machine. I ordered a pristine bracket to replace the bracket, (for warranty, if that crops up), I was going to modify by cutting small slots for the ram spreaders to clear. This ram just about touches the surface of the fans attached to the bracket. The top edge of the spreaders that protrudes into the bracket actually gets a cooling air flow on them. The ram spreaders completely fill the slots I cut so no fan air really escapes hitting the radiator. The ram was recognized and works great. The latency on this ram is SPD programmed at 4-4-4-12. Lower latency ram modules are almost impossible to come by now as the biggest manufacturer of the lowest latency chips has stop producing recently. Also, as I said, the voltages this lower latency ram needs are rated higher than the standard of 1.8. I have yet to find out how much voltage latitude the Quad has in ram recognition.
-Larry R. "

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Other Net News/Misc. Software Updates
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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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