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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 11/14/2001 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of Nov. 14th, 2001:

SCSI CDRW Helper for OS X - Notes and Install Tip (Updated)
" Mike,
Just though your reader might want to know that he/she may have to delete and then reinstall iTunes 2 after installing SCSI CDRW Helper. This trick worked for me like a charm. I can now use Toast PR2 in Mac OS X to burn CDs. This is a great step in the right direction.

I'm running on a Dual G4 500, 1 GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.1.1. I have a Yamaha 8/4/24 SCSI CDRW attached as the only device to my OEM Adaptec 2930 card. I've always had trouble with the CD burner in Mac OS X until now, whatever drivers were installed. In fact, I couldn't install the Public Beta or 10.0 without removing the card.

I still can't burn CDs in iTunes or through the Finder via Disk Burner, despite iTunes and Mac OS X showing that the burner is available. I get a "-1" error in iTunes and a "-6" error in the Finder when I attempt to burn. I didn't expect either of these to work as the SCSI CDRW Helper Read Me file clearly states that SCSI burners are not supported by iTunes or Disk Burner in Mac OS X. I guess Apple has to add support to these functions for the SCSI drive to work properly. Toast works fine though (except for known issues, like drive-to-drive copying, as noted in the Toast PR2 Read Me file).
Andy "

BTW - here's a tip to try. With iTunes open, try dragging files (MP3s, etc.) to the Toast OS X window.

(Update) Another reader wrote with SCSI CDRW Helper tips, including those for Legacy Macs running OS X with UtilityX:

" Mike, I initially had no luck getting my Yamaha 8424S recognized by Toast 5.1P2. I emailed the author and he immediately responded with a few suggestions:

- Try reinstalling iTunes 2.0.1.
- If you are using Unsupported Utility X, you must remove the PatchedIOSCSICDDrive.kext file from your /System/Library/Extensions folder
- If you're using an Adaptec SCSI card, getting the newer Adaptec drivers helps

I had the original iTunes 2.0 installed, so I yanked that and installed the updated 2.0.1 and rebooted. Success! Toast recognized the CDRW and I successfully burned a test CD. Itunes does recognize the drive as well but I get an "unknown" error when trying to burn a CD. The finder will allow me to prepare a CD but I also get the same error when trying to burn from the finder.
This is an excellent utility and something Apple should have addressed a long time ago.
-Zack"

For Adaptec SCSI card users, the FAQ and this article here lists downloads of the latest Adaptec scsi card drivers for OS X I know of.

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First Reports on Using SCSI CDRW Helper for OS X:
(Also see the later reports/tips above on SCSI helper)
Here's the first reader feedback on the El Gato SCSI helper utility for OS X noted in the news earlier today:

" I just thought I would let you know I just installed El Gato's Mac OS X SCSI CD-RW Helper and it works!! I now have cd burning in OSX!!
I have a G4 500 on OSX 10.1.1 with an adaptec 2930 (w/ 1.2 drivers) and a Yamaha 4416. Unfortunately I think only toast will work, but that's still a big step for me!
Also, it seems that this kernel extension somehow "fixes" a bug in osx! that seems somewhat disappointing to me, but oh well.
-.o0 Justin van Berckel
he later wrote
Update: iTunes DOES recognize it too!
Haven't burnt a cd yet, but it is recognized!!! "

Sounds like he's not actually burned a CD yet in iTunes, but did in Toast. I asked him to write back after burning a CD in iTunes.
Another reader with a Lacie 4x CDR wrote with negative results:

" Hi, just thought I'd let you know that I tried that SCSI Helper utility with my Lacie 4x CD-R SCSI drive, and the latest preview of Toast for OSX, and it didn't work....oh well.
Here's my setup:
G4/400(AGP)
10Gig (and) 20Gig IDE
832MB RAM
Adaptec 2906 SCSI card with a Microtek V310 scanner, Zip100 Drive, and the CD-R drive mentioned above.
Bob"

I asked Bob if he could check the drive mechanism of the Lacie drive (i.e. plextor, yamaha, etc.). If you try SCSI helper, let me know if it works (and/or post a drive database entry - see below for links to entry page, or use the link on the drive database search page.)

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MacPlay announces Sacrifice Ship Date:
MacPlay sent an email with a (300KB) jpeg file image showing that Sacrifice for the Mac is scheduled to ship to distribution on Dec. 7th, 2001. For more info on the game, see their web site.
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OS X 10.1.1 Reports - Oxford911 Firewire Drive Issues Fixed w/o Firmware Update:
(Updated with more reports at 4:45PM)
I'd heard shortly after OS X 10.1 was released that the issues noted with Oxford911 bridge based Firewire drives would be fixed with a later update (without needing a firmware update to the drive's bridge). Several readers noted the update did solve their problems. Also included in the feedback is a report from Jeff Chasick (of Fwdepot) that the firmware update for the bridge released to fix the 10.1 issues was actually an older version, not a later one. (Vincent of Macway however said the firmware updates from his company and OWC were later versions - see his comments on the details page.)

The details page also has non-firewire related reader comments on OS X 10.1.1. One reader noted his Archos 6000 MP3 (USB) Jukebox finally mounted under OS X 10.1.1. A voodoo5 owner said his card was no longer recognized after the update (there never has been any acceleration/driver support in OS X for 3dfx cards.) Details

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OS X 10.1.1 Reports on Improved CDRW Support:
I wanted to separate out feedback on OS X 10.1.1 regarding non-firewire CDRW drives. Some readers noted their IDE drives now had support after the update. However a Que Firewire drive owner reported he's still having problems and a Toshiba R1002 (4x4 combo drive) owner noted there's still no support for that model (the R1102 8x8 combo drive is supported btw). Details
(If 10.1.1 helped or hurt with your recordable drive - please post a Drive Database report noting this in the comments to allow readers to easily search for this in the future.)
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OS X 10.1.1 - Dual G4 Date/Time Bug Still There:
I thought the update had fixed the date/time bug (if not using network server Time sync), but it's still there. My G4/500 DP shows it again from a cold start today. A reader with a Dual G4/800 also noted the bug is not fixed.
I can't believe this bug is still there... (Date shows Dec 31st, 1969 at every boot unless you select to sync to a network time server.)
[One reader replied to this post saying his iMac DV also had the problem, but I have not seen it here on other than dual G4 systems. Although I've had many reports from Dual G4 owners on this issue - one Dual G4 owner wrote he's not seen the problem.]
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OS X SCSI CDRW Utility - SCSI Helper from El Gato:
(See the later new items above for reader feedback/tips on this utility.)
El Gato has released a utility called "SCSI Helper" for SCSI CDRW drives and OS X at http://www.elgato.com/SCSIHelper/index.html. (See that page for installation info and more details.)

I welcome reader reports on how well this works with various SCSI CDRW drives - or post a Drive database entry for your SCSI CDRW drive and select OS X as the entry. (Include in the comments if you're using this utility, as well as your system/drive details and if you're running OS X 10.0.x, 10.1 or 10.1.1.)

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OS X 10.1.1 and Airport 2.0 - Audio Issues Still Remain:
I verified last night that even after the OS X 10.1.1 and Airport 2.0 updates, playing audio during Airport internet access/downloads (at least those that transfer at high rates) causes the same dropouts of audio that occurred before. (Tested with iTunes 2.0/PB G4 667.) A reader noted the same thing with his USB speakers:

" Mike,
I've installed both AirPort Software Update 2.0 and MacOS X 10.1.1 update and I can confirm to you that unfortunately, it didn't fix the loss of USB Audio while transferring something via AirPort/AppleTalk.

At least, AirPort/AppleTalk networking speeds are back to normal now.
-- pascal filion"

Hopefully this can be addressed in a future update.

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Apple TIL on AirPort Base Station Minimum Safe Operating Distance:
Apple has a new TIL titled AirPort Base Station: Minimum Safe Operating Distance noting that per FCC safety guidelines, you should keep the Airport base at least 20 cm (about 8 inches) from users. (I can't imagine anyone that would have the base that close to end users, but just a FYI.) Although a low transit power, they cite this as the minimum recommended distance from users and refer to this Cisco Systems Spread Spectrum Radios and RF Safety" document.
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More FM Transmitter Reports ( iPod owner Comments )
[Note - several readers reported on another option for using an iPod or MP3 player with a car radio - one of the Casette adapters. Creative includes one with their Jukebox accessory kit, and they're available at many electronics stores like Radio Shack. ]
The last two days news pages have had comments from me on a Radio Shack FM transmitter and a reader's comments on a mid-1990s model that had higher power. An iPod owner wrote he saw the same issues I did, only worse in some respects:

" Mike-
Just wanted to second (or third?) your iterations about FM Modulator's functionality. It seemed like a great idea in concept. I bought the "Helix Audio Feeder". It was pretty cheap ($15.00), but it did have a fine-tuning dial, so more stations are usble than the 3 on some others I looked at.

My BIGGEST problem is that I live in the suburbs of NY and there are NO unused frequencies. But I found one that was pretty close to static, and then I tested it at work, where we can't tune a station in to save our lives.

It's so QUIET. I have to tork the volume on the iPod about 95% of the way up, and turn the receiving radio way up. This of course gives me that annoying BG hiss at quiet points.

Disappointing to say the least. Especially since my brother has a Sony CD changer in his trunk that broadcasts on FM to his stereo, and it is awesome. So I would guess that there must be some high-end device that will allow for higher gain or signal strength. But I'm not dropping another $100 right now :)
Mark"

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 13 new reports added this morning. The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, 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 5,412 reports. Here's a list of the reports added this morning. [Entries after Midnight are added the following newsday morning.]

    DVD-R Recorder Drive Reports:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-AO3 in Dual G4 (OS X)

    Combo DVD/CDRW Drive Reports:
  • IDE Matshita CW-8571 (8x8x32x + 8x DVD) in Dual G4 (OS X)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Lite-On 24x10x40x in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (no iTunes support without a modified support file, noted in FAQ here )
  • Mitsumi CR4808TE (16X8X40) in G4/AGP (OS 9.1)
  • Que 24x10x40 in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports:
  • EZquest 16x10x40 (Lite-On LTR-16102B Mechanism) used w/Dual G4 (OS X)
  • Sony CRX160E (12x8x32) in FW case used w/iMac slot loading (OS 9)
  • Sony CRX-120EX 4x/4x/24x used w/G4 Cube (OS X)
    [Noted OS X 10.1.1 update solved problem]

    DVD ROM Drive Reports:
  • IDE Toshiba SD-M1612 16x/48x in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
  • Matshita SR-8585 in ADS Pyro Firewire case used w/iBook 2001 (OS 9.2)

    CD ROM Drive Reports:
  • IDE Sony CDU5211 in Beige G3 (OS X)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • (OEM) Western Digital 80GB in Dual G4 (OS 9.2)
    (report that original drive in DP800 failed after less than a month)

    SCSI Hard Drive Reports:
  • Seagate ST318417N 18GB in 7500 (OS 9.1)

You can find full owner reports 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.]

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports this morning. (total to date: 6,403). [Entires after midnight are posted the next newsday morning.]

  • Formac G3/400 in 9600/233 (rated 1)
  • Other World Computing G3/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Other Brand G3/400Mhz in B&W G3 (rated 8)
  • G4/400 AGP OC report

(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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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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Apple TIL Docs, Software Updates and Other Net News Links

    Gaming Related:
  • Xbox lands (the register)
    [The local Wallmart said they're getting only 20 - all local stores here already sold out for the first shipments.]
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