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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 11/20/2001 Tuesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of Nov. 20th, 2001:

ID CEO Comments on Mac retail Return to Castle Wolfenstein:
"RTCW MAC Version
Hello Mike,
here's a piece of Todd Hollenshead (id's CEO) .plan file:
    (...)No date yet on the Mac version, but it's coming soon (not gold yet, though). We don't have plans to sell Linux in retail, but Timothee has done great work on the downloadable binaries so far, and I expect that to continue. (...)

So I think, there will be a MAC version on CD.
Bene (from Germany)"

I found Todd's plan file at Bluesnews - the above comments are near the bottom of his last plan file post.

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Myth III for OS X Status:
(From Bill Heineman's plan file dated today)
    " Myth III for MacOS is coming along nicely.
    Just 1 more OS X compatiblity issue (Networking) and it looks good to go. Of course the MacSoft playtesters will probably break it somehow. :) "
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Reader's OS X Sleep and Drive Spindown Utils:
" Mike --
I've written a tiny application to take care of two OS X 10.1/10.1.1 issues that were plaguing me:

1: My machine forces to go into "Deep Sleep" on its own -- I have to force it with Apple -> Sleep

2: My second harddrive spins down frequently, creating 5-10 second pauses in the Finder when it must spin back up.

I don't know if anyone else is having these issues (perhaps only DP machines), but I've written a no-frills unobtrusive application which solves both these issues and packaged it up with some basic settings and documentation and made it available for free here:

Either of the two options can be turned off if only one is of use to the user.

I've not tested these personally (I try to avoid using any non-apple system addons and set my HD to never spin down in Energy saver, and prefer the put systems to sleep manually anyway). However if any readers find Steve's software solves similar problems for them, let me know.

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Mac CD Version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein?
A reader replied to today's earlier post on (PC) RTCW in stores with comments from Activision support noting a separate Mac CD version of RTCW. (?)

" Hi Mike,
I've asked Activision about RTCW and if I can use the PC-CD and the MPTest executable to run the retail version. Maybe they didn't know or they didn't understand my questions, however, here's the answer I got:
    "Hello, Thank you for contacting customer supprt. The pc-version will not work with the macOS X. There will be a cd just for the Mac users.
    Mike Jackson
    Activision Customer Support Representative"

The first confirmation of a Mac version ;)
Greetings from Cologne,

I'm not sure their comments are correct, as I have not seen any info on a separate retail CD version of RTCW for the Mac, but then I don't get time to check all the game sites. Maybe ID's Graeme Devine will comment on this soon in a plan file update.
Activision's site and online store didn't have any info on a Mac retail version that I could find today. [Update - See the later news update above for more comments on a Mac retail CD version of RTCW.]

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B&W G3 Firewire Issues solved by PCI Firewire Card:
" Mike,
I have posted the following notes to the Drive Compatibility Database, but thought the information may be missed by some users who would benefit from the knowledge, so I am sending this to you separately, as well.

This may be of interest to many of your readers -- owners of Blue & White G3 Macs and FireWire CD-RW Drives who have not been able to burn CDs in Mac OS X. From what I have seen in posts to various Discussion Forums, including the ones on, there are a lot of us out there who have had problems.

I call this the "$50 Solution" -- Install a third party FireWire PCI card. Mine is a Western Digital card, but I suspect others from companies like Orange Micro, IOGear and QPS will work as well.

Here are the details: My QPS 16/10/40 CD-RW (Plextor mechanism) has worked flawlessly in Mac OS 9, but in Mac OS X 10.1 and 10.1.1, I have been unable to burn music or data CDs. After Apple and QPS were unable to provide a solution, I read in the release notes for Roxio's Toast 5 Preview 2 that there may be a conflict with the FireWire ports on my Blue & White G3, the Initio FireWire bridge on the CD-RW and Mac OS X. That led me to experiment with a third party FireWire adapter.

With the Western Digital FireWire PCI adapter installed, burning CDs and CD-RWs with iTunes and the Finder work normally. I have also been able to erase CD-RWs with Disk Utility.

While I would prefer that Apple and the CD-RW manufacturers would determine the cause and resolve the problem, for me, it is worth $50 to avoid rebooting into Mac OS 9 every time I want to burn a CD.
Jeff Herscovitz"

(Note - another B&W G3 owner replied to this post saying using a Firewire PCI Card also solved his Firewire hard drive problems with a B&W G3 onboard firewire.) I've commented before on my B&W G3 FW hard drive (large file copy) errors and that I wanted to try a PCI FW card which might solve the problem. I've suggested that to several B&W G3 owners in the past frustrated by FW problems with the onboard ports. (Retail stores often have PCI FW cards for $29-$39 and usually allow returns so it's at least worth a try in my opinion.)
My B&W G3 with the worst case of the problem is a server at my ISP so I've not had time to try a PCI card yet but plan to as soon as I can. Older OM and WD PCI Cards had the slower (write speed) NEC chip, but not sure of the latest ones. (I hear OM changed their card controller chip - TI ones were faster by a good amount in my past FW controller tests here.)

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Return To Castle Wolfenstein in Stores:
The PC version of Return To Castle Wolfenstein is now in some retail stores (Babbages here has it as well as the "Collectable Tin box" version. (However the local store here had it priced at $59.xx for the standard box - $10 more than Activision's online store list price.)
Hopefully ID will release a Mac executable to allow play on the Mac. (I assume the current beta WolfMP Test executable won't work with the retail version - but can't say for sure. If anyone tries it with the retail CD data files let me know.)
[See the later news item above for activision support's comments on a separate Mac CD version however.]
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More Maxtor Firewire Drive Tips/Notes on Drivers:
" Hi Mike,
Maxtor's drivers are built by Intech. Older Maxtor FW HDs are problematic because of the FW bridge chip used (Tailgate), the "Maxtor" FW drivers can make the drive work reasonably well when properly configured. The key is to set the "Maximum Data Transfer Size" to 32 KB. The Maxtor FW drive should work reasonably well after that.

Yesterday's news item was updated to note that Maxtor's asst. Product manager wrote to say they were using Intech's SpeedTools. The 80GB Maxtor FW drive owner comments yesterday from Gregory may have had the older (slower) bridge based case I assume. The 3000DV models (and perhaps later cases) have a faster FW/IDE bridge than previous models. One reader noted FWB 4.5 drivers did not work with a 3000DV case, but that Itech's drivers did, so Gregory's tip may only apply to the earlier models. (Personally I'd want to avoid spending more money on drivers - all the Firewire case kits I've built work fine with Apple's drivers only, saving $$ on the drive compared to a retail brand and by not having to buy 3rd party drivers.)

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DrBott's iPod Auto Charger and iPod Connection Kit:
(press release)
" Dr. Bott is proud to announce Auto Charger for iPod(tm) and iPod(tm) Connection Kit.

Dr. Bott's Auto Charger for iPod(tm) ensures that you are never far from a full battery nor will you be caught on the road without the power you need to keep your music flowing. Auto Charger for iPod(tm) connects to the standard 12 Volt DC cigarette lighter found in most any car and provides power to the FireWire port of the iPod(tm).
Availability: Dr. Bott's Auto Charger for iPodô retails for $24.95 and will be shipping in mid-December.

Dr. Bott's iPod(tm) Connection Kit includes everything you might need to bring your music anywhere you might want it. iPod(tm) Connection Kit provides most every option for connecting to iPod's 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack to automobile stereo systems, home stereo systems, mic input of computers and other devices, boom boxes, and clock radios. The kit includes an Auto Charger, FM Transmitter, various audio cables and a carry pouch.
Availability: Dr. Bott's iPod Connection Kit retails for $49.95 and will be shipping in December."

I hope their FM transmitter works better (higher transmit power) than the one I owned (and returned to Radio Shack). Weak transmit signal - only one free station here, and it picked up noise from the car's ignition system, etc. - useless... (other readers noted similar experiences as noted in the news a week or two back).

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 12 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 5,521 reports. [Entries after Midnight are added the following newsday morning.]
(Note - Please include your CD/CDRW drive speed in the entry. And Please do not post questions in the database, use email for that and check the database and articles here for answers/tips/guides first. )

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports
  • Acer 20x10x40 in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
  • Mirror 16x10x40x in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (listed under "other brands")
  • Sony CRX-1611 (16x10x40x) in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)
  • Teac CDW512EB - 12x10x32x in Beige G3 (OS 9.1)

    SCSI CDRW Drive Reports
  • Lacie 8424S (8x4x24x) SCSI drive using Firewire to SCSI adapter used w/B&W G3 (OS X)
    (Filed under "Firewire to SCSI" interface, using El Gato drivers)
  • Yamaha 8424S (8x4x24x) in Dual G4 (OS X)
    (using El Gato SCSI CDRW Helper - didn't help but not sure he reinstalled iTunes2 or tried Toast for OS X)
  • Yamaha 8424S (8x4x24x) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (using El Gato SCSI CDRW Helper -noting reinstalling iTunes required to get Toast5 beta to work)
  • Yamaha 4260 (4x2x6x) w/G4/AGP (OS X)
    (using El Gato SCSI CDRW Helper )

    IDE Hard Drive Reports
  • Fujitsu MHN2200AT 20GB in PowerBook G3 Wallstreet1 (OS 9.2)
  • Maxtor 100GB in iMac Slot Loading (OS X)
    (I reviewed this drive in my G4/450 Cube previously)
  • Maxtor 13GB in iMac (OS 9.2)
    (boot problems noted - perhaps jumper setting related)

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports
  • Buslink Q series - Q30 (30GB) used w/iMac slot loading (OS 9.2)
    (noted drive had only one FW port)

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 1 new report this morning. (total to date: 6,417). [Entries after midnight are posted the next newsday morning.]

  • Sonnet G4/400 in 8500/150 (rated 1)
    (noted issues in VST/Cubase - I suggested trying Powerlogix's free cache enabler which solved those problems.)

(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 TILs, Software Updates and Other Net News Links

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