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News Archive for Thursday Nov. 6th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of Nov 6th, 2003: (later posted items first)
First Impressions on iBook G4/933
(from a reader post)
" It finally arrived. According to vendors, the 933 was the most in demand of the three models. And of course, as per Apple backwardness, it was the one they made the LEAST of and it shipped LAST of the three. Yeah apple...

Very first impressions.
Out of box is always simple and clean with Apple. No shock there.
What is a shock? Compared to my iBook 12" G3, not ONE external component is the same. Not materials, not keyboard, not power adapter.

The new center material is lighter grey than the old design, and has NO sheen to it. The outer shell is no longer clear, but solid white. The power button is textured white, the keyboard is opaque and of the same exact color as the middle materials. The hinge is not metal colored. The touchpad is a different material, as is the button. Even the power cord extension from the brick is 3 pronged instead of two, round instead of flat, and white instead of grey. The only items that look to be the same are the VGA adapter and the included modem cable.

So basically, this is a new design material wise. And if feels more durable, especially with the structural rigidity of the slot load vs. tray load drive.

So, with either amount of RAM (std 256MB or 640MB), my iBook G4 gets 80 on XBench (1.1.3). (Xbench is relatively small, but for OS X apps use, I'd definitely want more than 256MB of RAM)
For comparison, the iBook G3 800 it replaces gets 45. The G4 933 outperformed the G3/800 in every subtest across the board, though the G3 is running Jaguar, and the G4 Panther, so that might have something to do with it. But, just in GUI feel of this machine vs. the older, the iBook G4 doesn't "feel" at all faster.
Michael K."

There's also a previous page here with more detailed iBook G4/800 comments, initial tests and notes on the dual display mod working.

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OWC cuts prices on FW Superdrives (DVD+R/+RW/-R/-RW) and FW 800/USB2 Hard drives
(from site sponsor OWC)

" OWC Mercury DVD-R/RW;DVD+R/RW;CD-R/RW High Speed Solution was $275.99, now $249.99. All OWC Mercury Optical Solutions are Dantz Backup Certified and include: FireWire and USB Connecting cables, Power Cable, Dantz Retrospect Express for Mac & PC, Intech Speedtools for Mac, 2 Year OWC Warranty.

OWC Mercury Elite Pro FireWire 800/400 + USB 2.0/1.1 Solutions models:
80GB 2MB Cache was $199.99, now $195.99
120GB 2MB Cache was $239.99, now $225.99
120GB 8MB Cache was $249.99, now $235.99
160GB 8MB Cache unchanged at $289.99
180GB 8MB Cache was $319.99, now $309.99
200GB 8MB Cache was $349.99, now $329.99
250GB 8MB Cache was $419.99, now $399.99
OWC Mercury Elite solutions are Dantz Backup Certified and include: FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB Connecting cables; Power Cable; Dantz Retrospect Express for Mac & PC; Intech Speedtools for Mac; 2 Year OWC Warranty. "

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Reader comments/Tip on Airport Extreme 5.2 Firmware Update
There were a few problem reports from readers that tried the 5.2 firmware update for the Airport Extreme base station that was included in the Airport 3.2 update a week or so ago. (As with most anything - not everyone reported a problem with the 5.2 firmware, but several readers did - some noting they were still using older 5.0.x firmware as I recall.) I use a non-apple 802.11b base so I can't comment personally on the firmware updates but a recent reader mail included some tips he said helped solve a problem he had originally with the 5.2 firmware update:

" Hi Mike,
Its me again.
I finally got the 5.2 firmware to work with my Extreme Base.
Here is what I did. Instead of using the firmware that comes from software update I downloaded the firmware from apple direct. I then updated my G5 to 3.2 software and started the Airport admin utility. I opened and told me there was 5.2 firmware for my hub. I clicked on no not to install the firmware.
Then I clicked on the upload button and navigated to the direct firmware download from apple. I told it to upload. Then I restarted the admin utility and it came up with the wan/lan errors as before. I clicked the box not to warn me in the future. Tried my internet connection and no go. So I restarted the hub still no go. So I got to thinking about when I first installed the hub and remembered the wan/lan errors then with a hub not set up.

I thought that maybe the hub was showing the settings but not using them. So I went into the airport admin utility and manually retyped in all my settings over the old ones and updated the extreme base. Then I checked my internet connection and PRESTO! It works now. All I can think is that the hub is somehow displaying the old settings after the update but not using them. Anyway I hope this helps any others with there problems.
Shawn F. "

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Thanks to those that joined the xlr8yourmac RC5-72 challenge team
" Hi Mike, Just wanted to say thanks to new members that responded to the Join the xlr8yourmac RC5-72 Challenge Team posting - We doubled our daily output but we could use even more help to take the #1 spot! (stats page)
Thanks, Russ "

There were problems joining the team until recently that hopefully are solved now. Thanks to everyone that joined and anyone else that cares to join now. (See the linked page for more info.)

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More on 10.3/Firewire drive problems, incl. FW400 Drives
Although Apple's warning on Firewire drives mentioned Firewire 800 (Oxford922 chip based - firmware updates to address that listed here previously, including Initio FW800 chip firmware updates. Most of the Oxford922/FW800 update downloads also had FW400/Oxford911 firmware included) -- there's been some Firewire 400 owners that have had problems with drives after a 10.3 install. Most FW400 drive users that wrote in the past didn't report a problem however and I've not seen any problems yet with my FW400 (oxford911) portable drive, but it was not connected when I installed 10.3 and I usually hot plug it after booting the OS. I also do not have Filevault enabled on the 10.3 drive. However here's one of the most recent reader mails from a FW400 owner that did see a FW drive problem after installing 10.3.

"Firewire 400 woes.
I had installed ( Archive & Install ) Panther on my machine soon after it was released, everything seemed OK. I then decided it would be a good idea to wipe the disk and do a clean install. I backed up everything onto my External Firewire drive from OWC. I then restarted my computer and the drive took some time to mount ( red/orange read light was on for a long time ). When I opened up the drive all my backed up info was there, but the existing ( info that was on the drive before I backed up ) info was GONE! I'm not quite sure who to notify of this problem so I am emailing you in hopes that the drive manufacturers read this. BUYER BEWARE.
Firewire Storage Device:
Capacity: 74.54 GB
Manufacturer: Triumph Technology Inc. (? usually OWC FW drives are Oxford chipset based)
Model: Firewire Storage Device
Removable Media: No
Detachable Drive: Yes
BSD Name: disk1
OS9 Drivers: No
Speed: 400 Mb/sec Speed
Unit Spec Id: 24734
Firmware Revision:
Unit Software Version: 10483

I have not personally seen an OWC case that used other than Oxford bridges. Their download of the Firewire800 drive firmware update included oxford911 (FW400) firmware, but I don't know if that would help for those that have had a problem (to prevent it from happening again). Also if you report a problem - please let me know if you had FileVault security enabled (just curious if it's a factor - perhaps not).
Probably the best place to check for the most widespread reports on the 10.3/Firewire drive issue is Apple's discussion forums (click on the MacOS 10.3 Panther forum link) - there's one thread there titled "External FW HD Dead after Panther" that has over 570 posts as of today.

Speaking of Firewire drives, I had a reader report that they've seen some data loss with Lacie D2/FW800 drives (oxford922 bridge) connected to a server running Linux also. He said they went so far as to rebuild the system (new motherboard, etc.) and switched to using only internal IDE drives until the problem was isolated. (Not sure if this is related at all - but he mentioned they may try applying the Firmware update using a mac to see if that helps.)

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Free 3D Modeler (Loq Airou) for OS X, Blender 3D 2.30 Update
" gm mike, is offering a free 3d modeler.
the download page for Loq Airou and Documentation is here:
here is the readme from the downloaded file:

    Mac OSX read me for Loq Airou.
    Sadly I am new to the Mac and there for I have yet not been able to get every thing to work like i want it to. There for you may run in to some problems.

    First of all you need to open a terminal to be able to start the verse server. Go in to the verse bundle and find the file "server" type ./server to start it.

    Now try to start Loq Airou by clicking on the icon. If this doesnt work you must go on to the Loq Airou bundle and copy the SDL Frame work to the framework directoy on your system, now try to start loq airou again.

    If any one is mac savy and know how to fix these problems (how to start a treminal whit the server inside it when klicking on the icon and how to get Loq airou to find the SDL framwork inside the Loq airou) Please contact me.
    Sorry about the inconvenience, and happy modeling!

p.s. Blender 2.30 (free 3d program) has also been released; however the .nl server currently has a heavy load. here is a u.s. mirror:
curtis "

Last year I posted links and info on Blender 3D but haven't kept up with the changes since then. Here's their Release notes on Blender v2.30 (No time to play with it unfortunately.)

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Apple Backup2 (non-beta) available now for .Mac users
Chris sent a not that Apple has the final release of Backup2 listed on the main .Mac front page. Support for Firewire drives is back that was missing from some later 1.x versions. (Requires .Mac membership for use.)
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More reports on Prosoft Data Rescue Utility
I've updated the Data Rescue reports page with another reader report on using it for data recovery. (This one noted recovering a drive that went south during a Panther install.)
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports this morning (reader entries from yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,871. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Giga Designs G4/1.25GHz (at 1.4GHz) in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G3/800 in Beige G3 (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G4 1.2GHz in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
    (My reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades w/apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked here. 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). 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 Database had 5 new reports added (reader entries from Yesterday; entries later today are added the next newsday 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 11,667 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Liteon LTR-52327S (52x32x52x) in Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.3)
    (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)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-106D in Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.3)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Hitachi Travelstar 80GN in Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X)
    (PB G3 2000/Pismo illustrated HD install guide here)
  • IDE (SATA onboard) Western Digital WD360GD 36GB in Apple G5 Tower (OS X 10.3)
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) Seagate ST3120026A 120GB used w/Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.3)

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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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago
(These older pages in some cases have off-site links that may no longer work. Remember comments were accurate only on the date posted regarding producs/availability/pricing, etc.)

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