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News Archive for Friday Nov 15th, 2002Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of Nov 15th, 2002:

OS X Beta Drivers for Aurora Igniter series Capture Cards
Since there's no copy of the (long) press release on a public beta OS X driver release at their website today I'm posting it in full here. (Note the press release text listed OS X 10.2.1 only - I wrote to ask why only 10.2.1 and was told that the release was written before 10.2.2 was released, but that Jim was using the drivers with 10.2.2.)

" Apple OSX driver release for Igniter Editing Hardware: (public Beta release)
This driver release brings the Igniter series of editing boards to the OSX environment, and adds several new features:

One exciting new feature for our IgniterRT series is the ability to play many QuicktTime formats out through our hardware in real time. This includes Apple's JPEG-RT, DV, Sorensen, MPEG and others. And, unlike other OSX hardware, IgniterRT has the ability to scale these outputs in real time to match standard video output. So instead of seeing a JPEG RT, 320x240 postage stamp image on your video monitor, you'll get a full size video image on playback. Among the applications that support this are Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Premiere. Additionally, any application that has an External Video component (or Vout component) can support this ability with Igniter.

Another feature in the OSX drivers set is the addition of Igniter 24 Frame Film to all Igniters that have a daughter card. This includes the Igniter101, Igniter201, Igniter301, IgniterRT111, IgniterRT211, and IgniterRT311. If you have any of these systems, this driver release will add the 24 frame Film feature automatically after installation. This gives the ability to automatically detect key frames and perform reverse telecine on capture, pull the audio to match a perfect 24.000 timeline (not a 23.976 approximation), and perform 3:2 pulldown on output. No other editing card has all of these 24 frame features, and it comes at no extra cost.

A third added ability is the addition of PERFECT Mac monitor previews with uncompressed playback. Because of the power of OSX's new graphical APIs, Igniter can not only offer this feature, but we can offer it at full resolution, and not just "single field" previews like some other OSX hardware. Also, any RT filters applied will be displayed on the Mac screen.

A unique advantage to the Aurora Igniter platform is the ability to switch from OS9 & OSX and back again. Because Igniter hardware personality is programmed by the driver, there is no restriction placed on moving back to OS9 or up to OSX. You're not handcuffed to either OS! This is a feature no other card offers.

* PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A BETA COPY ONLY *
There are some restrictions, so please read the entire README in the installation. Among them is a requirement for OSX version 10.2.1, (Note -see below for Jim's comments on 10.2.2 -Mike) and for RT and/or UNCOMPRESSED use, a G4 PowerMac with dual 533Mhz or better. This software should NOT be used for mission critical editing, but for only tests and feature comparisons.

For those interested in getting a copy of our public beta OSX driver, please download it from:
http://www.auroravideosys.com/pub/Igniter_OSX_5.0b0.hqx
Note that the Igniter drivers are for the entire Igniter family. Igniter, IgniterRT, and IgniterLT all use the same driver.
Jim Foreman
Senior Technical Advisor
Aurora Video Systems
www.auroravideosys.com "

Here's Jim's comments in reply to my mail on why only OS X 10.2.1 was listed:

    " I'm not sure except that when the press release was written, 10.2.2 wasn't out. I am using it with 10.2.2 with no problems so far.
    Jim "
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Apple Keychain First Aid 1.0 Utility
Tim sent a note that Apple has posted a Mac OS X: About Keychain First Aid 1.0 kbase doc:

    "The Keychain First Aid utility enables you to verify or repair your keychain configuration."

    You may use Keychain First Aid to resolve issues in which:
    * A user's .Mac password is not retained in Internet preference pane, as described in technical document 107097, "Mac OS X 10.2: Won't Save .Mac Password".
    * Mail and iChat could continue to prompt users for their password after saving it in the keychain.
    * A user could be unexpectedly prompted to unlock the keychain after changing account information or Home directory location.
    * Duplicate Mail passwords could appear in the keychain, as described in technical document 106546, "Mac OS X 10.1: Re-enter Mail Password After Upgrade".
    * Multiple references to the same keychain could appear in the Keychain Access application.
    * Applications are unable to retrieve items from a keychain file located on a network volume.
    * Saved passwords could not be read if they were created or modified by certain pre-release versions of Jaguar.
    * A Keychain dialog can sometimes prompt for permission to decrypt a "(null)" item.

See the Kbase doc for download link (English only currently) and info on installation and use.

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Mac Drivers for Belkin Nostromo N50 SpeedPad Game Controller (Updated w/Reader Comments)
(from a reader's forum post yesterday - see farther down for reader comments added in reply to this post. )

" this is were it's at n50 (SpeedPad)
http://www.belkin.com/nostromo/

if you just want the download (mac drivers) go here for the N50.
Rtmac"

The driver page link lists N50 OS 9.x and OS X software downloads (not sure if it's OS X 10.2 compatible though - don't have one of these controllers.)
Of course although designed as a game controller, the keys could be mapped to functions that may be useful in other apps.
(Update) Here's two reader's comments on the N50/Mac drivers:

" Hi,
In response to today's posting regarding the Belkin n50 Nostromo, it does work in 10.2 (I'm using 10.2.2). I've been using it with Jedi Knight II, and it works great! Just thought you'd like to know...
Matt "

A reader that has used the N50 on a PC sent comments on the mac drivers:

" Hi,
I have the Nostromo N50 for a year now and i've been using it a lot on my PC. I don't see any real gaming use on my Mac because it's only a 350mhz G4 with OS X.2 so it's kinda slow for games. Because you don't have one of these, I downloaded the driver, installed it and played with it. My feedbacks are:

it is not a System Preference when it should (at my opinion) it is REALLY easier to use than the Window's version, it is user-friendly the useless Profile editor is integrated with the Loadout Manager no pull down menus to configure keys (see captures)

oh by the way, every possible combination of keys are possible so you can use it in applications like Photoshop or QuarkXPress. I've tryed to set a key to cmd-shift-opt-ctrl-f8 and it worked! I don't even know how to program the Nostromo to do ctrl-n with the Windows drivers.
I attached you a capture of both the Windows (only the Loadout Manager) and the Macintosh (X) versions of the driver.
Dominique G."

Dominique sent two screenshots of the controller setup screen that I used PShop to trim the size down from 90-100KB each to 51KB (mac) and 61KB (win). (Best I can do in a rush here and still have the jpeg's text legible)
(Mac screen and Windows screenshot)

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Review of 6-in-1 Card Reader + USB Hard Drive Combo Unit
Reader "Bumper" sent a link to a Steve's DigiCam's review of X'S-Drive VP-2030 combination portable data storage device (2.5" hard drive not included) and 6-in-1 flash memory card reader/writer. The unit sells for $87 they say (less 2.5" notebook hard drive) and mentions MacOS compatibility.
The specs on the USB interface don't make sense however - it's noted as USB 1.1 (a 12Mbit sec or 1.5MB/sec max interface), but in the same sentence noting USB 1.1 they mention rates up to 3.84MB/sec - higher than USB 1.1 can deliver. (Since B = Bytes, b = bits, but I suspect they used the wrong abbreviation - using B for bits.) The linked Computergeeks product page has the same conflicting info as of this morning - USB 1.1 interface noted and "3.84MB/s maximum download speed (Unit to PC)" listed on the specs page.
*Update* - a reader later sent comments on using this device with a Mac:

" Greetings...
I'm writing in response to the notice you had on the review of the X'S-Drive VP-2030 6-in-1 Card Reader + USB Hard Drive Combo Unit on Friday, 11/15/02.

I have one of these units (purchased in the U.S. through Computer Geeks) and have several comments. First, although the unit does work with OS X with no drivers, inserted media cards are all listed as untitled drive images, so if you have, for example, a smartmedia and a compact flash card in the unit at the same time it's difficult to tell which is which (not a big deal, really, just a minor annoyance).

Second, in order to transfer data from media cards to an installed hard drive you must format the hard drive in MS-DOS format using Apple's Disk Utility. This might limit the unit's usefulness as a general use external hard drive, although the MS-DOS formatted drive does mount in OS X just fine (I'm using 10.2.2). Use of hard drives formatted as Mac OS disks will result in an error LED upon attempts to transfer data from a media card to the hard drive. Mac OS formatted hard drives installed in the reader will, however, show up on the desktop as images when the unit is connected via USB, and data can be transferred to and from them, just not from a media card to the hard drive within the unit. There is no information about this on either Computer Geeks' or the maker's websites.

Third, the power button protrudes slightly from the top of the unit, so the unit can be mistakenly powered up during transport in the included soft case if pressure is inadvertently applied to the top (as might happen if the unit is in a bag or briefcase).

In short, it's an intriguing unit, and is fairly inexpensive (especially if you already have a hard drive to put into it), but it does have some flaws which should be taken into account before purchasing.
Thanks,
Julian W. "

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Griffin Releases iMic Control 1.5 for Mac OS 9 and OS X
(clip from the email press release)

" New Free Software Adds Bass and Treble Controls To Your Mac - Adds Play Through Compatibility To OS 9
Griffin Technology, Inc. today announced the release of iMic Control 1.5, free software that adds Volume, Input Gain, Bass and Treble control to the Mac when used with an iMic USB Audio Interface. This software gives sound shaping control to applications that previously had none - such as web browsers streaming music or audio. It also enables Audio Play-Through monitoring on Mac OS 9. iMic Control 1.5 software is available now for free download at http://www.griffintechnology.com.
iMic Control 1.5 includes an adjustable input gain control. This allows users to adjust their sound input level when recording music or voice into the Mac. This is especially useful for people recording sound into iMovie. Although iMovie can record voiceovers and music directly, it has no way of adjusting the level of sound being recorded. ...Another key feature included in iMic Control 1.5 is Bass and Treble control... (iMic Control 1.5 software is designed to work exclusively with the Griffin iMic USB audio device)

Pricing & Availability
iMic Control Software Version 1.5 for OS 9 and OS X is available at http://www.griffintechnology.com.
Griffin iMic USB Audio Input Device retails for $35 USD and is available for purchase directly from Griffin Technology at http://www.griffintechnology.com. It is also available at most major computer stores including Amazon.com, the Apple Store and others. "

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GameRanger adds Heroes of Might and Magic IV Support
GameRanger Technologies president Scott Kevill today announced the addition of a new game title to GameRanger, the leading Macintosh online gaming service. In addition to the 109 previous titles, gamers can now play Heroes of Might and Magic IV. See the full press release for more info. GameRanger is available free from http://www.GameRanger.com/
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated today with 3 new reports this morning. Total to date: 7,743. (Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning.)
Here's a summary of the updates added today :

  • PowerLogix G4 1GHz in G4 Cube (rated 10)
    (noted wake from sleep issue)
  • Sonnet G4/800 in G4/AGP (sawtooth) (rated 9)
  • XLR8 G4/400 in 7500 (rated 9)

(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 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, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 9,020 reports. Here's a summary listing of today's new reports. (Does not include updates to previous entries. Entries with missing info, etc. are deleted.)

    Multi-Format Card Reader Reports:
  • USB Asante Gini 6 in 1 (UMR106) used w/G4 AGP (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands - some quirks noted)
  • USB Microtech/ZIO MMC reader used w/PowerBook G4 (OS X)
    (noted no support in OSX/10.2.2)
  • USB Microtech/ZIO CamerMate used w/Dual G4 DDR (OS X)
    (link to 10.2.2 drivers in prev. report)
  • USB SmartDisk Tri-Media Card Reader used w/Powerbook other models (OS X) (Noted no 10.2.2 support - didn't note PB specific model)

    DVD-ROM Drive Reports:
  • IDE Hitachi GD5000 (8x DVD/40x CDROM) in Dual G4 DDR (OS X)

    Combo DVD+CDR Drive Reports:
  • IDE Toshiba SD 1202 (16x10x40x+12x DVD ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X) (noted 10.2.2 adds native itunes/db support)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Lite-On LTR-52246 (52x24x52x) in Dual G4 DDR (OS X)
  • Lite-On LTR-48125S (48x12x48x) in Dual G4 DDR (OS X)
  • Yamaha CRW-F1ZEN 44x24x44x in G4 no AGP (OS 9)
    (noted tray eject at boot - I suggested trying later Apple CD/DVD extension based on old OS 9.0 reports of this behavior with some CDRW drives.)
  • Teac CD-W540E 40x12x48 in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs.)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • IBM 120 GXP 120GB in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here in B&W G3 rev2 to G4 QuickSilver models)
  • Toshiba MK2018GAS 20GB in PowerBook G3 wallstreet2 (OS 9.1)
    (Noted what appears to be a drive sleep sensor issue seen with IBM drives in Wallstreet PB's previously noted in my Wallstreet illustrated HD install 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.]
(Entries today will be added the following newsday. 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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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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